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Curriculum Statement

The Why behind our vision statement and approach to curriculum


The school went through a very rigorous process to identify what our goals and ambitions would be.

We began with all stakeholders contributing to the ‘backpack’ we organised for our learners.  We imagined a child at 3 and tried to identify what were the key skills that every child passing through Prestolee would be required to develop in their backpack to ensure they able to become effective citizens of the future.  We started with why we do what we do and why we believe what we believe.

We challenged ourselves, and our perceptions, by looking at research around the skills gap in employment.  We imagined what were the core skills and attitudes that might be needed when that child reached 21.  We looked at employability statistics and the impact of English and Mathematics.  We also considered the flexible workplace skills and soft skills that would be required in order to be successful citizens and to be able to raise a family in economic security.  We thought about how we could develop the soft skills of communication and the application of skills to wide contexts to ensure they were given every possible chance to succeed.


We asked ourselves questions such as what, ’would the use of future technology look like?’  For example, identifying that in an information rich age and with extensive web content any future learner would need to be able to consume large amounts of text.  They would not need to just to read but to identify bias, identify need, identify important content and compare this content across a wide range of sources of varying quality.  They will have to take what they need, use and apply it in any aspect of their life.  In short the future will require the most sophisticated and discerning readers’ society has ever produced.  We applied these questions to all aspects of our work and looked at a variety of sources which challenged our thinking about the future.


We came up with a range of hard and soft skills and range of attitudes and experiences.  We loaded all of them into the child’s backpack as we imagined them moving through school and then we tried to encapsulate them into a clear set of goals.  These goals we then turned into a hierarchy.


We ended up with our top line mission.


  • Every child a reader, Every Child a writer (Literacy was at the core)
  • Every child Numerate (The ability to use, apply and understand Mathematics to Mastery level)
  • A school where every child has a chance to shine and is prepared for a future of possibilities. (A range of skills, curriculum opportunities, the application of skills in context and the use of a technology rich curriculum experience).


This order was deliberate though as this would be the filter through which all curriculum and analysis and decision making would be made.  We applied this system to our entire decision making.


There are lots of things you could do, lots of things you should do, certain things you must do.


This is how we built our learning across school.  Is it perfect?  No.  Is it working well?  We think so and we think we are helping our learners succeed in a future none of us yet can see but we do know they will need to be literate, numerate, engaged and adaptable learners applying wide skills in a wide range of contexts.

Vision Statement 


Every Child a Reader

Every Child a Writer

Every Child Numerate

Every Child has a chance to shine and is prepared for a future of possibilities.



Our school is in a small village between Bury and Bolton and on the outskirts of areas with high levels of deprivation. The large majority of our families live in the village. A number of our pupils come from homes where the challenges of low income and social deprivation have a significant impact on their personal and educational development.  At Prestolee, it is our ambition to provide a First Class Education for all of our pupils and improve the life chances of all by ensuring that pupils are next stage ready and prepared for a life in modern Britain.

It is our ambition to provide the following:

  • A strong foundation in reading, writing, maths and communication and a language rich environment which underpins the curriculum.
  • A wide range of cultural experiences to stretch their imagination and build excellent knowledge and understanding of the world.
  • A curriculum which utilises what the local community can offer its pupils.
  • A curriculum which celebrates the diversity of other cultures.
  • A curriculum which places high social value on all aspects of learning and prioritises pupils becoming effective citizens of the future.

A Curriculum Where Reading is a Priority

 Reading has the highest priority at our school. It enables pupils to access the full curriculum. Pupils learn to read from day one in reception- and earlier if they attend our nursery. They access a programme of systematic synthetic phonics delivered by highly trained staff. They assess pupils regularly to ensure that each child makes good progress. Any child who falls behind is quickly identified and given the support they need to catch up. Excellent teaching of reading throughout school ensures high attainment whilst nurturing a love of reading.

A Curriculum of Breadth and Wider Opportunity

Our leaders work together to ensure a curriculum of breadth and ambition for all pupils. When designing the curriculum for each subject we stimulated curriculum conversations with the following questions and then planned our curriculum accordingly:

  • Why is this subject important?
  • What value does it add?
  • What are its unique characteristics?
  • What are the key concepts that underpin this subject?
  • What are the typical gaps in knowledge and skills of our pupils?
  • What is the most valuable knowledge and skills we can give to our pupils?

In designing the curriculum, we have ensured the key concepts we have identified underpin every unit of study within each subject. We have maximised the opportunities for pupils to build on their prior knowledge by planning a curriculum which is progressive and coherent. Our curriculum delivers progressive and cumulative knowledge acquisition to ensure pupils know and remember more. A secure grasp of knowledge helps pupils to make connections and leads to further learning. This is at the heart of the design of each unit of study in every subject. Our plans detail the knowledge pupils will learn and how this knowledge develops through the units studied. As pupils develop knowledge, they need to practise and master skills to allow them to apply this knowledge in a wide variety of contexts.

Our curriculum delivers on the ambition of the EYFS Framework and statutory National Curriculum, and offers importance to all subjects. It includes religious education and age-appropriate relationship, health and sex education.


High standards in the basic skills allow our pupils to achieve in all subjects.


We ensure that the curriculum allows for pupils’ wider development. Examples include our 'community Enrichment Pathway', our enrichment offer and extra-curricular programme of study. Pupils take on a wide range of responsibilities; they represent peers as the Primary leadership team, digital leaders, eco council, sport leaders, peer mediators and school prefects.


The learning of academic and subject specific language is embedded in all subjects.


High quality learning experiences are important in the delivery of our curriculum. These experiences provide a meaningful and memorable context to learning. Trips, visitors and enrichment activities are integral to learning and enhance pupils’ engagement. These opportunities enrich learning for our pupils, some of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds.


We provide our pupils with a first class education. High quality plans support high quality teaching. Teachers deliver challenging and engaging lessons which privilege thinking over task completion. Teachers plan lessons that have the potential to lead to mastery and ensure high quality resources are offered to pupils. Knowledge organisers are used to support pupils across the curriculum so that key knowledge can be rehearsed and stored over time in the long-term memory.

High quality professional development ensures teachers and teaching assistants have strong subject knowledge. Subject leaders understand their subject. They know how pupils develop their knowledge and skills from study unit to study unit and from year to year. They provide support and training for teachers. They review curriculum plans and check the quality of pupils’ learning. Effective pedagogy for teaching and learning is embedded across the school. Leaders check, model and support teachers in class ensuring consistency. Teachers use carefully chosen strategies to:

• Present information clearly enabling pupils to understand key concepts.

 • Check pupils’ understanding, identify and correct mistakes and misconceptions.

• Ensure that pupils embed key concepts in their long-term memory and apply them fluently.

• Deliver the subject curriculum in a way that allows pupils to transfer key knowledge to long-term memory.

 • Sequence learning so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and pupils work towards defined end points.

• Assess pupils’ understanding in order to inform further teaching, and to help pupils embed and use knowledge fluently.

 • Enable pupils to develop their understanding and link prior knowledge to new learning.


The Great Teaching Toolkit is used by all teachers to ensure effective and consistent teaching and Learning across the school. 




Our assessment systems check that pupils embed knowledge.  Formative assessment is key to check pupils are aquiring the knowledge we want them to. We review learning through retrieval practice in every lesson across the curriculum and use several low stake assessments to support formative assessment. Teachers use the information collected to inform their planning and pupils next steps in the learning sequence.

We collect summative judgements three times a year for core subjects and twice a year for foundation subjects.  This is in line with The Teacher Advisory Workload Report – ‘Making Data Work’. The data from these collections is collated for teachers. They analyse the data to inform next steps and to identify gaps in learning. Leaders are mindful of teacher workload. They review the school systems to ensure they do not create unnecessary burdens.


Leaders and teachers check the impact of the curriculum using qualitative and quantitative data. We measure the progress and attainment against the curriculum stated intentions using the question ' This is what has been taught-have they got it?' We regularly monitor the progress in books, listen to what the pupils have to say through pupil discussions and observe what they can do on their own terms. We recognise that progress is not linear and always bring any conversation about data back to conversations about the curriculum.

The high impact of our curriculum is evident from our KS2 outcomes.  A large number of pupils enter the EYFS at Prestolee with skills and knowledge below what is typical for their age. As basic skills develop, progress and attainment rise to be in line with the national average by the end of KS1. Good progress across KS2 leads to outcomes which are above the national average by the end of KS2.


If you would like to speak to a member of staff about our school curriculum please contact the main office on 01204 331521