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Colburn Community Primary School

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Our curriculum approach

Our Curriculum


At Colburn Community Primary School, we offer an ambitious, engaging curriculum that gives our children the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours that will enable them to succeed. It is not only designed to meet the requirements of the Early Years framework and the National Curriculum but to develop resilience, promote a love of learning, provide opportunities that will inspire, be aspirational and allow our pupils become critical thinkers with inquisitive minds. Ultimately, we aim that our pupils are resilient, prepared, happy, kind, well rounded and responsible citizens.

  • We regard the teaching and embedding of reading, writing and mathematics as critical and this underpins the rest of our curriculum in all key stages.
  • Is broad and balanced and is aspirational for all children,
  • Prioritises reading and mathematical fluency so every child can access the full curriculum.
  • Ensures that knowledge and skills are taught thoroughly and progressively.
  • Is inclusive and meets the specific needs of all of our children by stimulating a love of learning.
  • Provides participation and positive engagement with a range of artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities.
  • Provides the knowledge, experiences and ‘cultural capital’ necessary to become educated citizens and to succeed in life.
  • Is relevant and draws on our locality.
  • Incorporates the teaching of British Values: democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty; mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
  • Promotes curiosity to explore and extend independent learning.



We provide a full range of subjects to engage and enthuse our learners and run a range of clubs and opportunities to enrich the curriculum and develop the whole child. Where relevant, we make links between subjects and prior learning to enhance understanding.

From the moment children join the school in the early years, they experience our commitment to experiential learning: visits and visiting experts are utilised to provide experiences and ‘hook’ our learners in and engage them. North Yorkshire is a beautiful part of the world which we utilise and celebrate within our curriculum planning, examplified in visits to Bolton Castle, Whitby and the River Swale. Children develop their knowledge, skills, understanding and vocabulary and then apply and innovate their learning in a real life context. We aim to express our learning experiences and outcomes with our families and our community.

Our curriculum is rooted in the National Curriculum and organised into projects that encourage experiential learning, building on personal experiences. Within these projects, subject knowledge progresses sequentially and is built upon. Projects will have a clear, purposeful learning journey, which begins with a ‘hook’ to engage learners and then progresses towards a meaningful outcome. Every class will experience 3 ‘Knowledge Rich Projects’ in a year. History and Geography are the ‘driver’ subjects each term; there are two history projects and one geography project each year.

Timings of learning are flexible to ensure quality of provision. Therefore, some subjects may not be taught daily or weekly but rather be blocked into learning days or weeks if a teacher feels this would be better for the children’s learning process. Project learning is supported by Cornerstones.


Each individual project is split into four stages of learning: Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express.




Engage- At the ‘Engage’ stage, children:

  • gain memorable first-hand experiences, such as going on a visit or inviting a special visitor into school
  • get an exciting introduction to the projects
  • begin researching and setting enquiry questions
  • get lots of opportunities to make observations
  • develop spoken language skills
  • take part in sensory activities
  • have lots of fun to fully ‘engage’ with their new project

Develop-At the ‘Develop’ stage, children

  • improve their knowledge and understanding of the topic
  • develop and practise their new skills
  • compose, make, do, build, investigate, explore, write for different purposes and read across the curriculum
  • research their own questions and those set by others
  • Follow new pathways of enquiry based on their interests.  

Innovate- At the ‘Innovate’ stage, children:

  • apply skills, knowledge and understanding in real-life contexts
  • solve real or imagined problems using everything they’ve learnt
  • get inspired by imaginative and creative opportunities
  • revisit anything not fully grasped at the ‘Develop’ stage

Express- At the ‘Express’ stage, children:

  • become the performers, experts and informers
  • share their achievements with parents, peers and the community
  • evaluate finished products and processes
  • link what they have learnt to where they started
  • celebrate their achievements!
  • Children enjoy this stage the most!


We aim to provide breadth within our curriculum and a range of opportunities. Children’s understanding is enhanced through welcoming skilled visitors to school and the provision of carefully selected experiences.


Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. We recognise that reading is vital for children to become lifelong learners. Children enjoy carefully selected high-quality texts linked to their projects, within a vocabulary-rich environment. Oracy is at the centre of being able to communicate successfully; we want our pupils to be able to express their learning experiences, as an inquisitive and deep-thinking learner. The value we put on spoken language is reflected in our approach to the teaching of writing. Our provision of high-quality texts supports their development as writers, enabling them to write for a range of purposes and audiences. Writing opportunities are also linked where possible.


We want our children to have a secure knowledge and understanding of all aspects of mathematics as an essential life skill. From the early years, we place an emphasis on fluency and recall of basic number facts. Children are then taught to apply these facts in order to solve mathematical problems. Developing oracy skills supports children in expressing their mathematical thinking and reasoning.


We are an outward-facing school. Global awareness and cultural understanding underpins our approach. We aim to teach our children about the world in which they live, learn from it and its issues and their place in contributing towards it, as British citizens.



Children will:

  • Have a rich knowledge and understanding of the wider world.
  • Be confident in a range of skills, using and applying them in a range of contexts.
  • Use their vocabulary and oracy skills in order to become effective communicators. 
  • Be able to investigate, explore and question.
  • Have the resilience to ‘stick at it’ and persevere through challenges.
  • Show awareness, understanding and consideration for everyone and everything, appreciating all differences.
  • Have a desire to be the best that they can be.
  • Be able to set goals to follow and aim to achieve their ambitions.
  • Develop the skills to be thoughtful and reflective.
  • Be helpful, encouraging and giving to others.
  • Be able to engage with others, develop understanding of communities and society, so they can demonstrate responsible and active citizenship.
  • Have good outcomes, academically and as well-rounded individuals.


How will we measure this at Colburn? 

  • Attainment and progress data (English, Reading and Maths)
  • Attendance data
  • Project quizzes and tests
  • Pupil voice
  • Outcomes in books.
  • Work and progress in books.
  • Monitoring- lesson visits, work scrutiny
  • Analysis of clubs and educational visits