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Wider Curriculum

Strategic Intent

To develop a curriculum which:

  • Teaches a knowledge of the world and instils a love of learning in the foundation subjects.
  • Is aligned with national expectations and values every area of learning. We value creative and immersive learning opportunities, with authentic outcomes, that are deeply rooted in a foundation of knowledge and skills.
  • Is sequenced for progression across and within years, and in a way which necessitates transference of knowledge between curriculum areas.
  • Equips every child with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful, confident and accurate historians, geographers, artists, linguists, musicians...
  • Gives children opportunities and experiences to grow their cultural and social capital.
  • Because children at Totley Primary School care about their community within a global society, the curriculum grows their knowledge of the world and teaches them how to contribute to society. 
  • Because children at Totley Primary School have enriching experiences out of school, the curriculum draws on their knowledge, and social and cultural capital, giving children chance to apply their own schema to new learning.


Content and Sequence

  • The Wider Curriculum builds on the firm foundation of all areas of the EYFS.
  • Children are taught knowledge and skills that go beyond national expectations.
  • The Wider Curriculum Map disseminates knowledge and skills across Years 1 to 6: teachers are equally accountable for the content, progress and attainment of children and their development of knowledge and skills. Long term planning is carefully sequenced through the Wider Curriculum Map ensures that skills and knowledge are progressive between year groups and means learning builds on prior knowledge. Knowledge and skills are grouped into themes or topics. This gives a context in which to learn. Topics allow children to learn about important events, places, people and ideas. The Curriculum Map ensures the curriculum is not narrowed: each theme incorporates several subjects (art to ensure drawing, painting, print making and 3D media are covered in every year, at least one humanities subject in each theme, music and DT). Every subject is taught in every year. 
  • The Learning Journey model is used to sequence the learning of a given theme. Children move through defined components of learning (Inspire, Explore, Discover, Create, Present and Outcome) to answer an overall Big Question with a planned outcome. Children are given opportunities to Evaluate their learning at each stage: children are asked a planned question which links back to the enquiry question and necessitates children deliberate, debate and reach a conclusion based on the knowledge they have gained. Each component of a Learning Journey teaches children new knowledge and skills they will need in order to answer the Big Question and Create the composite Outcome.


We teach history through enquiry-based learning. Children are taught the knowledge and skills they need to answer enquiry questions. Children are taught to evaluate wider themes in history over time. One way we ensure they do this is by comparing the historical periods they learn about. Children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, while thinking critically, weighing evidence, sifting arguments and developing perspective and judgement. Children are taught to appreciate the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change and diversity. We learn about our local history and how Sheffield fits into world events of the past.


Our knowledge-rich curriculum means children can speak as experts about where in the world they live and develop an appreciation of different places and different lives. Children grow their understanding of human and physical geography, and learn how to describe the places they learn about. We link geography to other curriculum areas wherever possible, such as to give context for learning in history. A deep understanding and appreciation of the fragility of our planet, sustainable development and renewable resources. 


We see art as a vehicle for creativity and individual expression, and it provides opportunities for building cultural capital. It is an important form of cultural expression and, therefore, has significance and meaning for all our children. Our teaching provides an understanding of techniques and media in drawing, painting, printing and using 3D media. We use digital media as a tool to facilitate high quality end points in children’s work when it is an appropriate tool to do so.


In their music lessons, pupils use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes. Assemblies also provide an opportunity to practise singing. Pupils will also be taught to play a variety of instruments musically and encouraged to play together in ensemble groups. We encourage listening to a wide range of music with concentration and understanding. We teach children how to describe music using subject specific vocabulary. Music lessons are taught both discretely to teach children the knowledge and skills they need, and are linked to other curriculum areas, for example in history.


We teach Food Technology, Construction and Textiles. Children are taught the vocabulary they need to describe the techniques they need to produce high-quality products that meet a specific need. Food and cooking as part of a healthy lifestyle is very important in our curriculum. All children cook food from scratch; some of the ingredients they grow themselves and they are taught where ingredients come from (such as which are grown, caught, processed and reared).


Drama is used as a key tool in developing oral skills, vocabulary development, building confidence and self- esteem, and as an essential tool in developing imaginative, expressive, and persuasive spoken and written language. ‘Hot seating’, and ‘response in role’ drama techniques are used in literacy lessons aid the development of speaking and listening, reading and writing skills. Imaginative role play is fundamental to developing the whole child, not just in Early Years and KS1 education, but also as they children develop, and our curriculum provides opportunities to perform to wider audiences through assemblies and events around key festivals. There are increasing opportunities for our pupils to perform as they progress through the school.


Physical Education is taught as a learning journey in each of the six key areas. By progressively building their sports specific skills and knowledge, children are able to participate and compete in a range of increasingly challenging sports and activities, both individually and as a team. Through learning the sporting values, children become resilient, respectful competitors and by developing their self-evaluation skills they become hardworking, self-motivated athletes.


We balance discrete computing lessons with integrating technology into all curriculum areas. iPads and laptops are as much tools for learning as pencil and paper. We teach children how to use computer technology efficiently and effectively in order to produce work of a high quality, to code and how to be safe online. Each year group has a set of fundamental skills, meaning they can use technology efficiently and with growing independence.

Teaching and Learning, Assessment and Feedback

  • Teaches use the composite stages of learning to plan Learning Journeys which are cumulative and lead to composite outcome activities. We value the importance of sharing these outcomes with the wider community: children need to see their learning in a wider context.
  • Enquiry questions lead each component stage (a lesson). Within lessons, the same stages of learning are used to structure the lesson sequence.
  • Vocabulary is starting to be explicitly taught to enable children to articulate their learning and grow their knowledge of the world. We are embedding strategies to teach morphology and etymology of tier 2 and tier 3 words in the Wider Curriculum.
  • Feedback is given on children’s learning in line with our feedback policy. Formative assessment within every lesson helps teachers to identify the children who need more support to achieve the intended outcome, and who are ready for greater stretch and challenge through planned questioning or stretch activities, which give further opportunity to practise, reinterpret or evaluate learning.
  • Summative assessments are made of children’s learning at the end of each Learning Journey. This is starting to be used to plan the starting point of the next Learning Journey in the same theme, plan Pop Activities (a retrieval practice strategy) and to establish how to revisit the covered taught knowledge and skills again in order to deepen learning. These summative assessments are also reported to parents.
  • We know spaced learning helps to make learning stick. Therefore, learning is deliberately sequenced through the school year to allow children the opportunity to revisit, then build on, prior learning. A theme, for example, could have three Big Questions, which are answered across the school year.


  • Teachers now sequence lessons and learning journeys purposefully. There is emerging impact on learning and the outcomes children achieve. Children are starting to know more about the subjects they learn and are remembering more of their previous learning.
  • Children have pride in their work and pupil voice shows they enjoy sharing their learning with the wider community.
  • Lessons align with the curriculum framework. 
  • Pupil voice indicates that children understand the sequence of the learning journey and value each component step in helping them to work towards the composite outcome.
  • Learning walks show that vocabulary and tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary is being taught.
  • Children apply their knowledge of the foundation subjects across other curriculum areas, such as in their writing.
  • Nearly all children achieve the national expectations, and a significant proportion achieve a greater depth standard.
  • Children leave Totley Primary School as globally aware citizens, understanding how they can contribute to society and with high levels of cultural and social capital.