Curriculum Information

Curriculum Intent

At Whittingham we are committed to achieving the 'Best in Everyone' and strongly believe that every child, regardless of their background, has the right to receive a curriculum that is rich in powerful and carefully sequenced knowledge. A curriculum that will capture interests, nurture talents, encourage children to achieve their full potential and prepare them for life as responsible citizens. 

Our curriculum is based on our central value of enabling children to understand the world around them. We use educational research to develop our teaching and learning practices, with the aim of maximising cognitive development and encouraging our pupils to be lifelong reflective learners. By the time pupils leave Whittingham Primary Academy, they will have mastered a range of subject specific skills and factual knowledge through careful planning for progression and depth.

Our curriculum is based on the following key principals:

Entitlement - All our pupils have the right to learn what is in the Whittingham Primary Academy Curriculum.

Coherence: Taking the National Curriculum as its starting point, our curriculum is carefully sequenced so that powerful knowledge builds term by term and year by year. We make meaningful connections within subjects and between subjects.

Mastery: We ensure that foundational knowledge, skills, and concepts are secure before moving on. Pupil's revisit prior learning and apply their understanding in new contexts.

Representation: All pupils are able to see themselves reflected positively in our curriculum; we want our curriculum to open up new worlds – to expose children to beliefs, people, places and values that they would not otherwise encounter and also to the voices of people whose voices have not always been heard.

Education with character: Our ‘hidden’ curriculum teaches our young people about creativity and resilience as well as providing them with opportunities to learn about teamwork, to care and to serve, to overcome difficulties and to manage themselves and their feelings. Whittingham children are taught to have confidence and articulacy so that they can stand up for themselves and for what is right. These personal qualities and skills are the opportunities we provide beyond the classroom; in sport, music, performance, clubs, in chances to lead and take responsibility and in opportunities to volunteer and to serve. 

Vocabulary and Cultural Literacy - the curriculum has a core focus on vocabulary development within and across subjects. Our curriculum gives pupils access to the ‘best that has been thought and said’. 

Subject-Based Learning - The curriculum incorporates the rigour of subject substantive knowledge. Therefore, it is based on individual subject learning. Links across subjects are made where appropriate, but the curriculum is planned so that it doesn’t sacrifice subject identity and progression for cross-curricular links.  

Subject Content - The overall content of individual subjects is structured as a narrative over time. Individual lessons build into coherent units of work which in turn, contribute to the overall content arc.  


At Whittingham the teaching of substantive and disciplinary knowledge within each subject is at the heart of what we do, whilst maintaining meaningful connections across subjects to ensure that all children know and remember more.

Our curriculum is based on individual subject learning and has been carefully designed to ensure that vertical concepts allow children to link knowledge from one lesson to the next whilst also integrating knowledge across subjects. 

Children will master a range of both procedural knowledge (skills) and factual knowledge through repeated low stakes quizzes; opportunities to engage in deliberate practice and apply what they have learnt through careful planning for progression and depth.

Rosenshine Principles of Instruction are embedded across the curriculum as a teaching tool to ensure that our pupils know and remember more:

  • Retrieval practices: Teachers use these in every lesson to review prior learning at the start of lessons and within the lesson (mini-plenaries). Mini-plenaries are an effective way for teachers to address misconceptions, re-model and provide in the moment feedback to move learning on.
  • Direct Instruction: Direct instruction takes the form of modelling process and in the 'I, We, You' structure of learning these elements are the 'I' part of the lesson in which the delivery of concepts and skills is down to the teacher imparting knowledge.
  • Scaffolds for Learning: Teachers model and verbalise their own thought processes within each lesson, which helps to clarify specific steps involved.
  • Guided Practice: Children are expected to work collaboratively within each lesson. Guided practice falls within the ‘We’ section of the 'I, We, You' structure. Structures for Engagement (Kagan) are used where appropriate to enable children to support each other with learning and to provide opportunity for discussion with peers and verbalisation of their understanding of what has been taught. 

Assessment for learning takes place throughout each lesson, teachers using a range of questioning to support this. Before the children start independent practice, hinge questions are used to ascertain those children ready to move on to working independently and those needing further support. Teachers will further support those children not yet ready to move on to independent practice.

  • Deliberate Independent Practice: This is the 'You' section of the 'I, We, You' structure where children work independently. Scaffolds are available within the classroom to support where needed e.g. teacher models, working walls, knowledge organisers, success criteria etc. Independent practice brings small steps of learning together.

We encourage positive attitudes towards learning – Whittingham are committed to nurturing children's understanding of the processes behind learning, fostering self-awareness and independence during their educational journey in our school and beyond. 

For each wider curriculum subject, teachers plan the following:  

  • A pre learning quiz which takes place before new learning is delivered which identifies gaps in prior knowledge that is needed to fully access the current learning.
  • Gap teaching following the outcomes of the pre learning quiz.
  • Pre teaching key vocabulary and concepts for SEND pupils.
  • A knowledge organiser outlining the substantive and disciplinary knowledge, including vocabulary and the correct definition, that all children must master.  
  • A sequence of lessons for each subject, which carefully plans for progression and depth.  
  • A low stakes quiz which is tested regularly to support learners’ ability to block learning and increase space in the working memory.  
  • Trips, visiting experts and artefacts to enhance the learning experience.   
  • Classroom working walls which detail; current, prior and future learning, the substantive and disciplinary knowledge children will learn, key vocabulary with definitions, and the vertical concept the area of learning falls within.  


Whittingham pupils love coming to school and will happily talk to visitors about their learning. Our pupils engage with all lessons and there is an overwhelming culture of respect within the school. 

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: 

  • A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes; 
  • A celebration of learning for each term which demonstrates progression across the school; 
  • Pupil discussions about their learning; 
  • A sample of pupils’ learning across the school demonstrating mastery and greater depth of understanding; 
  • The annual tracking of standards across the curriculum.

Please click here to view the full National Curriculum

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