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Totley Primary School values the increasingly diverse community it serves. We believe a strong partnership between home and school is essential to support children's development and learning. Our aim is to ensure children from disadvantaged backgrounds make exceptional progress, while also providing appropriate challenge and support for all children, including those who are high attainers. As a holder of the Mental Health in School Award, we are committed to promoting wellbeing and mental health for everyone in our community.

Strategic Intent

To develop an ambitious curriculum which achieves the following:

  • Instils a lifelong love of learning
  • Offers broad opportunities to develop the whole child
  • Allows every child to experience success and fulfil their potential through alignment to the National Curriculum
  • Builds a rich understanding of key knowledge and the development of a breadth of skills
  • Values every area of learning equally
  • Develops resilience, team work, independence and confidence

Curriculum Principles

The curriculum at Totley Primary School is designed to help children develop their academic, social, and cultural skills. It aims to ensure that children become skilled readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, historians, musicians, artists, designers, and more. Each curriculum area is deliberately planned and progressively sequenced to achieve this goal.

Our intention is for children to leave Totley Primary School with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve the best possible outcomes, fulfill their potential, and move on to the next phase of education as successful and ambitious learners. They will leave with happy memories, feeling confident, secure, and as fully-rounded, positive citizens of the world.


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

Content and Sequence

Totley Primary School subscribes to the idea that learning is a journey with small steps leading to great outcomes for all children. Our approach to teaching English, maths and the wider curriculum follows a learning journey model. This means that as children progress through the steps of the journey, they are taught a series of clearly-specified components before applying them to composite activities. The curriculum content is sequenced logically, aligned with national expectations and founded on a strong knowledge base. Our teaching methods focus on enabling children to transfer their knowledge and skills across different 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, supported by subject leaders, are experts in using the most engaging, immersive and effective strategies to teach. This creates an environment which enables all of our children to focus on learning.
  • Reading is incorporated throughout the curriculum and children are taught to read with fluency in every subject. Each class has a key text, which links to the current wider curriculum theme. Children are encouraged to read widely and extensively through the reading challenge.
  • Collaboration and discussion about learning is balanced with independent, deliberate practice of key skills and knowledge.
  • Formative assessment is a cornerstone of our pedagogy and prior knowledge is used as a component for new learning. When children are identified as not being on track to reach our high expectations for their learning, prevention planning is undertaken. Our shared knowledge of every individual learner enables teachers to adapt the curriculum and its delivery to best meet the learning needs of vulnerable groups, including those children who achieve the highest outcomes.
  • 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 might not be visible 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, when a common misconception has been identified.


At Totley Primary School, we measure the success of our curriculum by the fact that the majority of our pupils have a firm grasp of the material taught by the end of each year, with the knowledge retained in their long-term memory. Many children have a deeper understanding of the subject matter as well. We are proud of our excellent results data and the fact that children leave our school with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their next stage of education. Our pupils' passion for reading is evident, and they take pride in their work across all subject areas, as they understand that our expectations are consistently high.

Our curriculum is designed to ensure that our pupils leave us as knowledgeable and skilled learners. If you would like more information about our curriculum, please contact Chris Atkinson, Deputy Headteacher.