Totley Primary School Curriculum 

At Totley Primary School, we value the increasingly diverse community we serve. Most children benefit from a strong home-school partnership to support their development and learning. While we work to support the pockets of disadvantaged children in our community, we also work to ensure the significant proportion of children who achieve the very highest outcomes are appropriately challenged and supported to fulfil their potential. As a Mental Health in School Award holder, we work to support the well-being and mental health of everyone in our community.

Children and their learning are at the heart of all that we do.

We value every member of our community and believe that all should feel a strong sense of belonging to our school.

Every aspect of the curriculum at Totley Primary School is valued.

Strategic intent

To develop a curriculum which:

  • Instils a lifelong love of learning
  • Allows every child to experience success and fulfil their potential through alignment to the National Curriculum
  • Builds a rich understanding of key knowledge
  • Develops resilience, team work, independence and confidence
  • Cultivates a sense of belonging in every member of the school community

Curriculum principles

Children will leave Totley Primary School with the necessary knowledge and skills to achieve the best possible outcomes, fulfil their potential and move on to the next phase of education as successful, ambitious and hard-working learners. Pupils leave Totley Primary School feeling secure with happy memories, as confident and able learners, and as fully-rounded, positive citizens of the world.

  • Our curriculum is designed to ensure they are skilled readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, historians, musicians and artists.
  • We believe every learning opportunity counts.
  • The curriculum at Totley Primary School is designed so that children develop their academic, social and cultural capital.


A knowledge-led curriculum is not knowledge versus skills, facts versus fun or at the expense of creativity.

Content and Sequence

At Totley Primary School, we believe learning is a journey. Component steps build to great outcomes for all our children. English, maths and the wider curriculum follow a learning journey model. As children move through steps of this journey (each a logical progression from previous learning), a series of clearly-specified components are taught before being applied to composite activities. The content of the curriculum is sequenced logically, is in line with national expectations and is built on a foundation of knowledge. Teaching deliberately enables children to transfer their knowledge and skills across varied areas of the curriculum.

Teaching and Learning, Assessment and Feedback

Learning is at the core of what happens in classrooms. We believe that every lesson counts and teachers are experts in using the most engaging, immersive and effective strategies to teach children.

Formative assessment is a cornerstone of our pedagogy and prior knowledge is used as a component for new learning. When children are identified not to be on track to reach our high expectations for their learning, preventative action will be taken.

Memorable experiences at Totley Primary School enrich our curriculum while long-term memory is embedded through strategies such as retrieval practice, and deliberately spaced, carefully interleaved learning.  We understand that learning in the short-term can be invisible and that sustained mastery takes time.

Knowledge of vocabulary empowers children, giving them the tools to learn and explore the world in which they live.

Feedback is given in line with our feedback policy. Children are given immediate feedback on their strengths and areas to improve. This happens at every opportunity in every lesson. Feedback is also given against carefully-written success criteria: these are the components needed to achieve the learning intention. Feedback may also be given at a whole-class or group level, where a common misconception has been identified.


The impact of our curriculum is that by the end of each year, the vast majority of pupils have sustained mastery of the taught content. (They remember it, are able to do it and know it.) Many children have a greater-depth understanding. Children leave Totley Primary School ready for their next stage in education with the knowledge and skills that they need to succeed. This is reflected in our exceptional data outcomes. Pupils’ love of reading is palpable and born of the culture of reading that is growing throughout school. Children understand that expectations are consistently high in every subject, so pupils’ work across the curriculum is of high quality and children take pride in all areas of their learning.

Our curriculum design means children leave us as knowledgeable, skilful learners.