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Our Curriculum Intent at Appleton Thorn Primary School


  • Our intent is for our children to develop new skills and knowledge through effective and supportive leadership from our teaching team.  

  • Teachers plan for each term, based on a text that inspires children and reflects the objectives required within each year group.  

  • Curriculum leaders construct a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all learners, including the most disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), the knowledge and resilience that they need to succeed in life.  

  • Learners have input into the curriculum and teachers base their lessons on their understanding of what they already know and their next steps in learning.

  • We focus on ‘Knowing More, Remembering More’.  

  • Fundamental British Values and personal development play an important part in day to day education at Appleton Thorn with a focus on a different value each half term. 



The ‘core’ school curriculum is founded on the ‘National Curriculum’.

The national curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by primary and secondary schools to ensure excellent progression. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject.

Appleton Thorn Primary School follows the statutory National Curriculum (published September 2013).

We believe that the curriculum should be broad and balanced and we achieve this by following the statutory National Curriculum and by going beyond this to further enrich the lives of the children we teach.  

Curriculum Key Facts:

  • Schools are free to choose how they organise their school day, as long as the content of the National Curriculum programmes of study is taught to all pupils.
  • By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programmes of study.
  • The National Curriculum identifies what to teach but not how to teach.
  • The National Curriculum does not have levels of attainment, but expectations at each banding.
  •  An Act of Daily Worship is expected in all schools.
  • In Maths there is an emphasis on arithmetic, and the promotion of efficient written methods of long multiplication and division.  
  • In Science there is a strong focus on the importance of scientific knowledge and language and a great emphasis on the core scientific concepts underpinning pupils’ understanding.  Primary aged children learn about evolution and inheritance.
  • The English programmes of study will embodies high standards of literacy.  Pupils are expected to develop a stronger command of the written and spoken word.  Through the teaching of phonics pupils will are supported to read fluently.
  • The study of languages is compulsory in Key Stage 2.
  •  The  computing curriculum has a huge emphasis on computational thinking and practical programming skills.
  • It is essential to distinguish between the statutory National Curriculum and the whole school curriculum.  All schools must provide a curriculum that is broadly based, balanced and meets the needs of all pupils.
  • The  curriculum is divided across the three phases in primary schools i.e. Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4) and Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6).
  • There are no specific times during each phase where topics have to be taught nor how long it should take. This is left to the discretion of individual schools and teachers as it is dependent on how quickly children grasp the specific area being taught.

How Appleton Thorn Primary School Delivers The National Curriculum:

The school uses ‘The Rainbow Continuum’ as a basis for the delivery of the National Curriculum and from this we have developed long term plans for:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Computing
  • Science
  • Physical Education
  • Languages
  • Music
  • Religious Education
  • PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health, and Citizenship Education)

These are arranged to link cross curricularly with the subjects below within novel based thematic planning (Appleton Thorn's Big Curriculum):

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • Geography
  • History
  • Music

Where one of the above subjects does not naturally fit within a topic being taught then it is taught discretely for the duration of the topic (normally one term).

The following documents are on the ‘Curriculum Page’ to help you follow what is being taught within the school and when it is being taught.

  1. The Rainbow Skills Continuum
  2. Appleton Thorns Big Curriculum
  3. Theme Overview
  4. EYFS Long Term Plan
  5. English Long Term Plans
  6. Maths Long Term Plans
  7. Science Long Term Plan
  8. Computing Long Term Plan
  9. Physical Education Long Term Plan
  10. Languages
  11. Religious Education
  12. PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health, and Citizenship Education)
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