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Curriculum Overview



The Department for Education curriculum requirements changed in September 2014.

Each school was required to develop its own curriculum relevant to the needs of its pupils – the School Curriculum. The previous National Curriculum was replaced with new National Curriculum programmes of study for all pupils from Year 1 upwards, which all maintained schools are required to include within the School Curriculum.

The School Curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences that each school plans for its pupils. The National Curriculum forms one part of the School Curriculum.

The introduction to the DfE guidance states:

“Every state funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which:

  • Promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental & physical development of pupils at the school and of society
  • Prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities & experiences of later life

The 2014 National Curriculum framework and programmes of study can be downloaded from www.gov.uk

Statutory National Curriculum subjects: English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Physical Education, Art, Music, Computer studies and Design & technology and an additional language is statutory from Year 3 onwards.

In addition, all state schools are required to “make provision for a daily act of collective worship and must teach RE to pupils at every key stage” and “ to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”

West Kirby Primary School Curriculum Rationale

Our School Vision statement summarises our curriculum commitment:-

We aim to create a happy, caring community where all members are included, secure and confident; have an equal opportunity to fulfil their potential and to develop the skills necessary to make a valuable contribution to society; both now and in the future.

We have used our evidence-based knowledge of our school community to construct a 21st Century curriculum designed to meet the needs of our pupils here at West Kirby Primary School.


Our School Curriculum Intent 

At West Kirby Primary School we have a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all pupils, the knowledge, skills and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. This curriculum is the National Curriculum with many additional bespoke elements that draw on the strengths of our staff (music, sport, art) and the unique history, geography and creativity of our locality. The study of a broad range of subjects has always been the case at West Kirby Primary School and we take pride in the fact that our pupils always study the full curriculum: it is not narrowed; we  provide our pupils with a broad and well-thought-out curriculum adapted to meet the needs of  groups of pupils, particularly those with SEND. Our ambition is to develop all pupils’ knowledge, skills and abilities to apply what they know and can do with increasing fluency and independence.


Our School Curriculum Implementation

Our curriculum is enriched by a wide range of opportunities for pupils to develop, but also a deeper knowledge of the lives and times of the artists, explorers, scientists and musicians that they study. Pupils’ learning is enhanced by visits to museums, towns and local amenities, all of which enable pupils to gain a wider understanding of the world in which they live. High quality CPD and SLT monitoring ensure that all teachers understand what they need to do to strive for excellence in their teaching. We monitor the quality of teaching through Learning Walks, Lesson Observations, Books Scrutinies and Pupil Voice sessions. This allows us to  identify areas in which teaching can be further developed. Features of Quality First Teaching are evident at West Kirby primary and include...

  • All children are challenged to do their best work and practical and interactive activities ensure their full engagement.
  • Teachers display secure and confident subject knowledge.
  • Small step planning that takes into account cognitive load theory and allows the limits of working memory to be ‘chunked’.
  • Planning for errors so that we not only plan for what our pupils should do but also plan for the errors that our pupils could make. This way we can make these errors explicit through direct teaching, as well as the strategies that we can use to overcome these errors.
  • Using a variety of assessment for learning (AFL) strategies that; Ensure pupils know what they are meant to be learning; Find out what the pupils have learnt; Provides feedback that improves pupils’ learning; Has pupils help each other learn; Develops pupils’ ability to monitor and assess their own learning.
  • Using manipulatives (concrete apparatus) and representations; using the concrete, pictorial, abstract approach in maths.
  • Using metacognitive talk when live modelling examples to pupils so that our pupils are thinking about thinking.
  • Explicit teaching of subject specific vocabulary.
  • Ensuring 100% participation through the use of a variety of Teaching and Learning strategies.An emphasis on learning through dialogue, with regular opportunities for pupils to talk both individually and in groups.
  • Teachers have consistently high expectations of behaviour across the whole school. 
  • Classrooms are dyslexia friendly with the use of overlays, coloured paper and carefully chosen smartboard background colours.Visual timetables allow children to sequence their day.
  • Regular use of encouragement and authentic praise to engage and motivate pupils.


Our School Curriculum Impact

The quality of teaching, learning and assessment across the whole school is effective. Through the way that our support is delivered, our pupils with SEND achieve the best possible outcomes. All pupils’ attitudes to their learning are positive. Pupils are ready for their next stage in learning because they attain well in core subjects and attain good basic skills.Through the curriculum, pupils develop a good understanding of different faiths and cultures and show respect and consideration for others.

 Our pupils are confident learners who are happy to work well together. There are good opportunities for older pupils to take responsibility in school (Play Makers, Play Leaders, Eco Council, Digital Leaders, Fairtrade) and we encourage pupils to be involved in making decisions and contributing to school policy (all classes have Social Council representation).


We have three core themes you will see running through our school curriculum:-

1. Health promotion

Reason: Children need to be and feel healthy and safe in order to learn so this is at the heart of our curriculum. In our locality, medical evidence indicates a need for children to develop resilience and for a focus on developing emotionally literacy and strategies for managing stressful events. Our location, close to the road, railway and open water means it is important for us to teach children how to stay safe in this environment as they become more independent.

2. Eco awareness

Reason: Our school is situated at the heart of West Kirby which is part of the Transition Town movement. Our local community is committed to the conservation of natural resources and to teaching our children how to care for the environment and develop sustainable lifestyles. Our location is beside the Dee Estuary, which is one of the largest and most important wetland sites in the world with the Hilbre Islands nature reserve within walking distance –when the tide is out! As a school, we recognise that we are privileged to have these resources on our doorstep and aim to ensure all of our pupils have the opportunity to experience and learn first-hand about our environment and how to care for the wildlife within it.

3. Global awareness Reason:

Reason: We live at the end of a small peninsula with water on three sides which some describe as having an island mentality. In fact, our school community has international links all over the world and at least sixteen different languages are spoken within our school community in West Kirby. Our children tell us they want to learn more about events taking place now and significant events from the past around the world and to learn about different languages and cultures. We want to respond and to promote intellectual curiosity, respect and developing knowledge and awareness of our world and the people in it.

We are committed to meeting the National Curriculum requirements and aim for our school curriculum to be enjoyable, exciting and to engender a passion for learning.

We are committed to achieving excellence in all areas of the curriculum. In addition to the statutory subjects, we also teach Personal, Social, Health & Economic education (PSHE), Relationships and Health Education(RHE)


Curriculum Planning at West Kirby Primary School

The National Curriculum provides with an outline of the knowledge, skills and understanding we are required to cover.

  • We ensure we are covering the National Curriculum requirements as set out in the programmes of study for each subject.
  • We follow the Wirral agreed syllabus for religious Education
  • We use the Coram Life Education 'SCARF' programme for our PSHE curriculum
  • We choose to deliver much of this through creative, cross-curricular themes to maximise relevance and both broaden and deepen the understanding and interest of our pupils.
  • We link subjects to our themes wherever this is possible and where it is not, we teach subject areas discretely and capitalise on the specialist skills and talents of our staff.

School Organisation

We have mixed age classes across our school and organise our classes in four phases:-

1. Foundation Stage: F1 and F2 pupils in two mixed-age classes

2. Key Stage One: Year 1 and Year 2 pupils across three classes

3. Lower Key Stage 2: Year 3 and Year 4 pupils across three classes

4. Upper Key Stage 2: year 5 and Year 6 pupils across three classes

Our staff within each of these phase groups plan together to meet the needs of the pupils across two school year groups so you will find our curriculum information arranged in these phase groups rather than individual year groups.

Within this, we will ensure that all pupils cover the relevant curriculum content over the two years in that phase.

Policy links- these documents may be downloaded under the Policies and Procedures tab on our school website:

Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Policy

RHE (Relationships and Health Education) Policy

SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Policy

For more information, please contact the school office or please contact the class teacher via the Key Stage email addresses