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Curriculum Intent Statement

Middleton Primary School – Curriculum Intent statement

Our key aims


*Embed – knowledge & skills in to long term memory

*Enrich - children's cultural capital

*Excite - through engaging experiences


Basic principles

  1. Learning is a change to long-term memory.
  2. Our aims are to ensure that our pupils experience a rich and wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, embedded in to their long term memory the knowledge, skills and the deeper cultural capital needed for them to excel in the next stage of their education and beyond – truly ‘learning for life’!


Curriculum Intent model

  1. Our curriculum drivers shape our curriculum breadth. They are derived from the backgrounds of our pupils and from our beliefs around high expectations for all and our values.
  2. Cultural capital gives our pupils key knowledge that they need to become successful students and then later in life, valued members of our community.
  3. Curriculum breadth is shaped by our curriculum drivers, cultural capital, subject topics and key concepts.
  4. Subject topics are the specific aspects of subjects that are studied, i.e. ‘The Romans’ in history.
  5. Knowledge categories tie together the subject topics and are explored in a wide breadth of topics. Students return to these same knowledge categories over and over and gradually build understanding of them. An example: studying ‘Settlements’ throughout different topics.
  6. Cognitive Science tells us that in order for students to become creative thinkers, or have a greater depth of understanding, they must first master the basics.
  7. There is a clear Model of Progression in knowledge categories as children move up through the school.
  8. These knowledge categories are further broken down in each year group, with students gradually progressing from a ‘basic’ understanding, to an ‘advancing’ understanding and then finally to a ‘deep’ understanding.
  9. As part of this progression model, we use a different pedagogical style for basic, advancing and deep stages. At the basic stage, direct instruction is often used. By the deep stage, a problem based ‘discovery’ style is more appropriate.
  10. To track this, we use a range of different Proof of Progress (POP) tasks in each year group to assess our pupils at basic, advancing and deep stages of their learning. 


  1. Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; three main principles underline it:

13.1 Learning is most effective with spaced repetition.

13.2 Interleaving helps pupils to discriminate between topics and aids long term retention.

13.3 Retrieval of previously learnt content is frequent and regular.

  1. Our content is subject specific. We make explicit intra-curricular links between, for example, different history topics in our history lessons.

12) Cross-curricular links occur in English and maths lessons, i.e. children can write non-chronological reports about the volcanoes they have learnt about in their geography lesson or can formulate graphs based on results taken in a science lesson.

13) Continuous provision, in the form of daily routines, replaces the teaching of some aspects of the curriculum (i.e. observing the growth of a plant) and in other cases, provides retrieval practice for previously learned content.



14) Aside from English and maths which are taught on a daily basis, the other subjects are taught on a weekly (Science/PE/French) or fortnightly (all other subjects) basis. Therefore, attainment and progress are assessed over the course of a whole school year.

15) However, during the course of the year, we use comparative judgement in 2 ways:

15.1 In the tasks we set pupils (see point 10 – POP tasks) and whether they are working at a basic, advancing or deep stage of learning

15.2 Comparing a student’s work over time.

16)     Lesson observations, learning walks and book scrutinies are used to see if the pedagogical style matches our expectations for each stage of learning (see point 9).


If you would like to find out more about our curriculum, please visit the individual subject pages of our website or refer to the National Curriculum: