Middleton Primary School – World Class Curriculum

Rationale for curriculum review and redesign:

The senior leadership team felt that there was a need for the curriculum to be more cohesive and that it should better represent the needs and interests of the school community.

1.Initial audit and Intent

The work started with a discussion with all teachers considering the key question: ‘What is the purpose of education?’ ‘What does the entitlement of all pupils to quality education look like? This led to discussions around: ‘What is it like for pupils to live in Middleton?’ This supported teachers to define the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to adequately prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in modern Britain.

2. Curriculum framework:

To help consolidate all of the ideas discussed during this initial audit, a curriculum framework was devised which brought together key aspects of curriculum design to help shape more detailed planning.

Golden Threads:

These are key issues which were felt to be so important that they needed to run through all areas of the curriculum. Human Values for example and developing social and emotional learning are considered to be essential aspects of all learning.

Generic competencies:

Being able to communicate and cooperate effectively, think critically and creatively were also considered essential aspects of all learning.

Curriculum Subjects:

The sense that curriculum subjects should form a rich diet of learning was a strong theme in plans for curriculum development.

Our Local Context:

Teachers believe that by rooting learning in the local context, pupils are more likely to see the relevance of what they are learning.

3. Implementation

To support the implementation of the curriculum framework, members of the Curriculum Foundation team worked alongside teachers in the classroom to design and deliver lessons that reflected all areas of the framework. Staff meetings paid particular attention to planning for progression so that pupils were effectively building on prior learning and making authentic links between subjects.

4. Coaching the leadership team

A coaching programme ran alongside this work and complemented the development of senior leaders in understanding their accountabilities for monitoring, evaluating and reviewing the effectiveness of the curriculum framework to maximise the impact on teaching and learning. This also explored the required leadership behaviours, unpicked values and developed confidence to lead and manage.


‘Working with The Curriculum Foundation really inspired our staff – enabling us to deliver a more creative curriculum with real and relevant cross curricular links. The impact of this can be seen in the quality of lessons that have been delivered and in the learning behaviour (and general behaviour) of our children. Children are ‘hooked’ into their learning – a recent walk around by a national leader in education commented on the good behaviour in every classroom – ‘Engagement in learning across the school is good. Behaviour is excellent.’ Samantha Williams, Head Teacher.