Our Curriculum

A statement of principles and practice


At Northburn we recognise that it is important that we think deeply about how the curriculum works – from the material that is introduced, to the frequency and context in which it is revisited, learned and eventually mastered, and how links are made across the entirety of the curriculum.

We understand a broad, balanced and aspirational curriculum to be taking a whole-school strategic approach to the spiritual, cultural and moral development of pupils, to make the world a better place. This will not just be about pupils preparing for exams, and be more about the knowledge, skills and attitudes young people will gain during their time at school to enable them to achieve in the future.

To achieve this we think of our curriculum in 3 steps- Intent, Implementation and Impact.


Curriculum Intent  


‘The curriculum is a framework for setting out the aims of a programme of education, including the knowledge and understanding to be gained at each stage’ (Ofsted 2018) 


It is our intention at Northburn Primary to equip children with the skills, knowledge and understanding required to make a successful transition to secondary school and then on to become productive members of society. We aim to develop a mind-set that encourages creative thinking and the ability to reason and solve problems. Our curriculum seeks to inspire and engage all learners.  

We aim to: 


  • Enthuse and engage learners 

  • Develop effective learning attitudes  

  • Encourage higher order thinking skills  

  • Encourage risk –taking in learning  

  • Develop resilience and independence 

  • Challenge pupils to succeed and to feel included in our community 

  • Develop the health of pupils' bodies and minds 

  • Widen our pupils’ horizons 

  • Inspire and interest pupils 

  • Enable mastery learning and address misconceptions. 

Curriculum Implementation  


 ‘For translating that framework over time into a structure and narrative, within an institution context’ (Ofsted 2018) 


We believe that knowledge and skills are intrinsically linked and that the curriculum should be constructed to ensure both can be taught. We have developed a knowledge-engaged curriculum which used as its base national expectations at each phase and has been enhanced to meet needs of our children.  

  • We have an eight-year curriculum from when our children are in Nursery through to Year 6 

  • We actively encourage enquiry learning  

  • We promote a partnership between home and school 

  • We have created a School Award  

  • We are an OPAL school 

  • We have a range of extra-curricular activities and trips 

  • We invite visitors in to share their expertise and widen horizons 

  • The curriculum at Northburn covers all aspects of a child’s life 

  • Parent feedback is sought. 

Curriculum Impact  


For evaluating what knowledge and understanding pupils have gained against expectations (Ofsted 2018) 


Progress is measured across all areas of learning against expectations set out in Tapestry and FROG.  These expectations are in line with national expectations.  Attainment is similarly tracked for all children and groups of children.  Knowledge, skills and understanding are assessed.  

Children are expected to be able to strategically employ a range of skills including: 

  • Subjects specific skill(encoding/decoding) 

  • Transferable skills (organisational skills, verbal communication skills, leadership skills, ability to reason and think creatively, be analytical) 

  • Executive functions (memory, attention, inhibitory control). 

We seek the views of pupils to assess if our curriculum inspires, is challenging and is fun. 


Curriculum Content


In early years and key stage 1 we use ‘Read, Write Inc’ as our core phonics programme. For Reading - 'Oxford Reading Tree' plus a range of books by well known authors.


In key stage 2 we use the 'Accelerated Reader' programme. More details can be found at: http://www.renlearn.co.uk/accelerated-reader/


We are continually developing our personalised curriculum using ‘Frog Curriculum Designer’


This takes the national curriculum and breaks it down by subject and year group into key performance indicators- KPIs. These KPIs show the key areas of learning that pupils will be undertaking in each year group.


Curriculum leaders have reviewed and developed the KPIs for their own subjects to ensure our curriculum remains innovative, creative and uniquely tailored to the learning needs of pupils in Northburn. 


If you would like to see our curriculum please see our progression grids and curriculum overviews.

Further information can be found out about our Northburn curriculum by looking at your child's Blue Book or Planner.  Electronic copies are available to view at the bottom of this page.


Our curriculum approach complies with the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Regulations 2014 identified in our Accessibility Policy, found below.


Click here to link to the Government National Curriculum document.