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Our Curriculum


At Horfield Primary School we view the design of the curriculum as an evolving and fluid process which takes into consideration: the needs and character of our children; the children’s prior learning; children’s experiences; the community in which school exists, the statutory curriculum (National Curriculum) and educational research which is evaluated and relevant to our school. It is our intention to keep our curriculum under review so that we can help it evolve and improve in response to the changing needs of our children.

We have designed a curriculum which teaches what matters to our children so that they know more, remember more and understand more. Our curriculum is designed so that it starts with strong foundations for learning in Early Years and then progresses so that knowledge builds over time allowing children to revisit and build on their prior learning. We have designed our curriculum as a team with subject leaders taking the lead in each subject but sharing their journey along the way with all staff so that we all fully understand the aims behind our curriculum. Our curriculum is deliberately ambitious and is designed so that children can use their knowledge to ask questions and form their own opinions about big issues such as climate change or the ownership of historical artefacts. 

Through our curriculum we intend for children to develop crucial life-skills, and positive moral traits so that they can understand their role within the community and wider world including what it means to be British in today's society. To be aware of the rule of law, tolerance and being mutually respectful whilst understanding what it means to live in a democracy and to have individual liberty. To take part in a wide range of experiences to build their cultural capital and to use this to make links across their learning. We also want children to have a special appreciation of the city and community in which they live so they can understand what makes Bristol unique in the world and what we can celebrate about our city. 

Most of all we want our curriculum to interest and inspire the children of Horfield so they come to school enthusiastic to both share their existing knowledge and fully engage with new learning. We want to create learners who always want to know more and have the ability to form and share their own opinions about a range of subjects.

Each year Horfield has a whole school theme for learning which is used to develop shared ideas across the school. This year our metaphor is COMMUNITY we will be using the to help children explore what it means to belong to a community and the different communities they belong to. We will also be helping children to understand their responsibilities as part of a community and the different ways they can make a positive contribution.



In all subjects, we recognise the importance of the methods and practice of teaching we choose to use in enabling pupils to know more, understand more and remember more. We know that their is no one approach to teaching our curriculum and teachers will use a range of approaches which will fit both the curriculum content and also the needs of their particular class. These approaches will include:

  • Direct teacher instruction, modelling of skills and techniques, demonstration by the adult
  • Inquiry-based learning which includes the use of questions to develop knowledge
  • Children working in groups or pairs both with support and independently
  • Pupil-led learning where children have the opportunity to discover and present their own learning
  • Specific focus on key vocabulary to enable children to understand key concepts and share their learning with others

To ensure that our curriculum is planned and delivered consistently we have some underlying principles for implementation:

Our curriculum is underpinned using the National Curriculum which is statutory for Local Authority schools.

We enhance the curriculum using progression grids that we have developed as a whole staff, these can be found on the individual subject pages under the curriculum tab on the website

All teachers use the progression grids are to develop their specific planning for their year group.

Vocabulary for each subject for each year group has been agreed and this can be found on the progression grids. This vocabulary will be explicitly taught over the year.

Teachers use the curriculum by strand documents to ensure they are familiar with the children's prior learning and expectations for the previous year group. These can be found on the individual subject pages under the curriculum tab on the website

To support teachers planning we use agreed resources in each subject to assist teachers in planning high-quality lessons i.e. , White Rose for Maths or Kapow for Design & Technology etc.

Each subject is timetabled across the year to ensure that sufficient time is given for children to reach the expected outcomes.


  • The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout EYFS and Key Stage 1. Unlocking Letters & Sounds. is our chosen DfE approved Phonics scheme. 
  • Phonics is taught daily to all children in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2.
  • Staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. Phonics is delivered in a whole class format because it enables staff to ensure application across subjects embedding the process in a rich literacy environment for early readers.
  • Phonics is the primary approach for Early Reading at Horfield as we believe it gives children the foundation to be able to develop their understanding of texts and embed a life-long love of reading.
  • Intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels this includes those children who did not achieve the expected standard in the Year 1 Phonics Screening. 


Reading forms the core of our curriculum. All children read and are read to so that they develop a love of reading. Books are selected by teachers with the knowledge of how they link to other areas of the curriculum so that they enhance the learning across subject areas.


  • Reading Scheme – school uses a variety of high quality reading books to provide a wide variety of appropriate texts for children to read covering all genres.  All books are Book Banded in order to ensure progression and challenge for all children. While children are learning to read they are assessed regularly to ensure their books match their developing ability. All children in EYFS and Year 1 have phonically decodable books  which are fully aligned to our phonics scheme.
  • Individual Reading – all children in Foundation Stage read individually to an adult regularly. Children who are not at the expected level in all year groups will be given the opportunity to read with and adult as part of reading interventions.
  • Home Reading – all children are expected to read at home and take home ‘home’ reading books. All children in EYFS and Year 1 take home 2 reading books, a familiar read and a new read both of which are phonically decodable. Children in Year 2 who did not pass Phonics Screening in Year 1 take home 2 reading books, a familiar read and a new read which is phonically decodable. 
  • Whole Class Reading – all children from Year 2 upwards take part in Whole Class Reading. These are planned by all teachers to teach a range of techniques which enable children to comprehend the meaning of what they read.
  • Reading Areas All classrooms have class-reading areas with subject specific books and age related reading for pleasure books. 
  • Library – All children visit the school library regularly and choose a book to read at home for pleasure.
  • Outdoor Reading Cabin - All children have the opportunity to visit the cabin over the week to enjoy reading at lunchtimes. This Spring our suitcase libraries will be launched to enable more children to access reading at lunchtimes.



This academic year the focus for our curriculum development work is to ensure that we have a robust system in place for ensuring that our curriculum intent is achieved in all subjects.

There are a number of statutory measures already in place to measure impact in Phonics, Reading, Writing and Maths at various points in a child's school career these include:

  • Year 1 Phonics Screening
  • Year 2 Phonics Screening (for those children who did not achieve the expected standard in Year 1)
  • End of KS1 SATs (taken in May in Year 2)
  • Year 4 Multiplication Check
  • End of KS2 SATs (taken in May in Year 6) 


In addition to these statutory assessment the school uses NFER standardised assessments at regular points throughout the year in Reading and Maths to provide a benchmark to monitor progress. Teachers also use teacher assessment to provide a judgement about writing. Following these assessment teachers meet with school leaders and the SENDCo in pupil progress meetings to discuss and additional support that may be required for any children not meeting the expected standard for that point in the year.

In Science this year we are going to be working to implement the PLAN assessment materials which have been developed by the Primary Association for Science Education. We are at the beginning of our journey with these materials and have training planned for staff throughout the year to ensure these are embedded by the end of the year. You can find more information about the PLAN resources here: Primary Science Assessment (PLAN) |

In other subjects we are developing our assessment systems to ensure that children know more, remember more and understand more. 


Yearly Curriculum Overviews

Our individual Year Group Curriculum Overviews can be found on individual class pages. These provide greater detail about what is studied in each year group. Please ask your child's class teacher if you would like a printed copy.