Dickens Heath Community Primary School

Enabling every child to be the best version of themselves


National Curriculum for Primary Education

Our curriculum - principles and practice

Subject Information

Curriculum overviews


For each term, we organise the core knowledge that will be taught and learned in year groups on a curriculum overview. Please click on your child's year group to view their termly curriculum overview.

  1. Curriculum intent

As a school, we are committed to enabling every person to be the best versions of themselves.  We view curriculum as ‘representing the totality of the experience of the child within schooling (aims, content, pedagogy, assessment)’, (Myatt, 2018, 15)’ and we have three main drivers within our curriculum offer to grow and develop our children to be the best version of themselves:

  • Development of character - behaviour, attitude and attributes
  • Raising Aspirations – striving towards high quality standards for all from their unique starting points
  • Personal Development including spiritual, moral, social and cultural development – investing in the whole child


The key priorities that support this are our REACH drivers:


Teaching responsibility and resilience

Nurturing emotional intelligence

Encouraging ambition and achievement

Promoting creativity and a love of knowledge

Celebrating hard work and kindness


At DHCPS, our curriculum aims therefore to support both academic achievement and personal development preparing our children well for the next stage of their education and beyond, inspiring them to be lifelong learners and equipped with a growing sense of life-ready skills for the future as they leave Dickens Heath.


Through our curriculum we aim to:

  • Provide children with an opportunity to grow and develop academically, emotionally, socially, physically and mentally.
  • Enable every child to thrive by creating a happy, safe and nurturing environment instilling the fundamental core values of: respect, trust, honesty, co-operation and positivity.
  • Coach our children to acquire the following learning behaviours throughout their journey in school: self-motivation, responsibility, resilience, creativity and emotional intelligence.
  • Raise our children’s aspirations and for them to feel successful and strive to achieve this by being fully inclusive, fostering a love of learning and enabling our children to know more, remember more and able to do more. We want our children to value their own achievements and those of their peers whilst recognising that making mistakes along the way aids meaningful learning.
  • Work in partnership with parents and other stakeholders in celebrating the strengths of the school while providing opportunities for the children to continuously focus on developing themselves as individuals, during their time at Dickens Heath.


Our professional pledges:

As adults, we should all be ambassadors for the school vision and values and in doing so act as role models in all aspects of our daily work.

At all times, the staff at Dickens Heath Community Primary School will:

  • Work collaboratively with colleagues;
  • Create a high trust environment;
  • Have high expectations and challenge children;
  • Manage the learning environment;
  • Promote a growth mindset, welcoming mistakes;
  • Uses a range of teaching and learning strategies;
  • Empathise and keep children in mind;
  • Reflect and respond positively;
  • Give and receive feedback.


We seek to offer a broad, balanced, knowledge-led curriculum, relevant to children, family and contexts of our school community.   Our broad, balanced, and relevant, knowledge-led curriculum teaches the objectives of the EYFS Framework in FS1 and FS2, the National Curriculum for all subjects in Y1-6, the Locally Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, Jigsaws for PSHE and RSE and Read, Write Inc for Phonics. 



As a school, we focus on the whole child and in order to support both academic achievement and personal development we feel that our children need to feel happy, safe and nurtured.  We achieve this by first focusing on ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ as with these needs met, children have the greatest opportunity to strive to be the best version of themselves.



Our curriculum is designed with knowledge at its heart to ensure that children develop a strong vocabulary base (which is explicitly taught) and understanding of the world.  The curriculum promotes long-term learning and we believe that progress means knowing more and remembering more. 


Our curriculum aims to ensure that children develop a range of knowledge and skills which successfully prepare them for their next stages in education. Knowledge and skills are carefully built upon to ensure learning is embedded into children's long-term memories; this is facilitated by quality first teaching by our talented team of staff.


We define learning as ‘an alteration in long-term memory. If nothing has altered in long-term memory, nothing has been learned. However, transfer to long-term memory depends on the rich processes described above. In order to develop understanding, children need to connect new knowledge with existing knowledge. Children also need to develop fluency and unconsciously apply their knowledge as skills. This must not be reduced to, or confused with, simply memorising facts.’ (p45 OFSTED framework).


Informed by this understanding of cognitive theory and development, our pedagogical approach is based on:

  • the research of the principles of Rosenshine (appendix 4),
  • Doug Lemov,
  • effective questioning,
  • Retrieval practice,
  • Working memory and cognitive load theory,
  • enabling environments including a Growth mindset culture, building resilience
  • effective communication


These are detailed in our Teaching and learning Policy and Guidance:

The basic principles that inform our approach to teaching and learning as outlined by Rosenshine are:

  1. Daily review
  2. New material in small steps
  3. Ask questions
  4. Provide models and think aloud
  5. Guide student practice
  6. Check student understanding
  7. Obtain high success rate
  8. Scaffolds for difficult tasks
  9. Independent Practice
  10. Weekly and Monthly review


Our curriculum is designed with knowledge at its heart to ensure that children develop a strong vocabulary base (which is explicitly taught) and understanding of the world.  The curriculum promotes long-term learning and we believe that progress means knowing more and remembering more.  We have developed a curriculum built on current research regarding how memory works to ensure that children can remember the curriculum content in future years. 


We use subjects on a page as overviews that detail how each subject and area of school is aligned to our whole school strategic overview which demonstrates how we strive for whole school effectiveness and for our children to become ‘life ready.’ The detailed whole school strategic overview can be found in appendix 1 and the synopsis in appendix 2.


The curriculum on offer for each year group is organised in Long Term Plans (an example can be found in appendix 5) for each subject which outline the key vocabulary, skills, knowledge and concepts that will be taught and the progression across and supported by curriculum overviews (appendix 6) which break the core learning and development into terms. 


At Dickens Heath, we recognise the importance of both the formal and informal taught curriculum within the school’s timetabled programme and that which takes place out of normal lesson time or the school day. 


At Dickens Heath, life is enriched by a range of extra-curricular activities.  A broad spectrum of sporting, musical, creative and other activities are offered at lunch-times and after school.


We aim to embed opportunities for high quality enrichment experiences including: educational visits, themed days, parent workshops and guest speakers.


We are beginning to make use of knowledge organisers (which are sent home regularly) in foundation subjects to ensure children know exactly which information is expected to be learned over the course of their study in a particular subject. 


For more detailed information please refer to our Curriculum policy and Whole School Educational Strategy overview which can be found below:

Remote education


In the uncertain time that we are currently living in, it is important that we are fully prepared for the possibility that we may have to have a full or partial closure of school depending on the local Covid-19 situation. 


There will also be instances where individual children will be self-isolating due to coming into contact with a positive case of Covid-19. 


As a school we are producing detailed plans which we call ‘Maintaining Education plans’ for remote education so that children will have access to a high quality education at home equivalent to the learning that they would receive within the classroom and linked to the intended, current learning.


The main sources of communication between the teacher and home when remote education is taking place will be Microsoft Teams and Class Dojo.


The school office team will support you in advising around remote education when you report your child’s absence.  Please do not hesitate to contact the office or your child’s teacher for support/advice as required.


For further detail around our remote education offer and procedures please refer to the policy and plan below.



At Dickens Heath Community Primary School we provide a curriculum that is suitable for all pupils in the class, including those with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) with support from the SENCo. We have high expectations for all pupils and are committed to ensuring our curriculum complies with the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014. Our inclusion information here emphasises the importance of providing an inclusive learning environment for all pupils including those with SEND. Additional information on this can be found in our Inclusion policy available here and our Equal opportunities policy here