The Curriculum

The background to the Roseberry Academy curriculum  

-We assessed our curriculum and found it to be too knowledge based and narrow. We agreed a common philosophy and developed our vision of creating confident, articulate, lifelong learners. We decided that we needed a curriculum which responded to children’s learning and interests, giving flexibility but covering essential skills and knowledge with reference to the new National Curriculum.

– We thought about the hallmarks of an outstanding curriculum and vowed to ensure that our new curriculum would encompass our beliefs.

10 hallmarks of an outstanding curriculum for children of Roseberry Academy

We believe that an outstanding curriculum:

  1. Is underpinned by aims, values and purpose
  2. Develops the whole person – knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes, spiritual, cultural, moral and social development
  3. Is broad, balanced and has clear progression in subject knowledge and skills
  4. Is filled with rich first-hand purposeful experiences
  5. Is flexible and responsive to individual needs and interests, encouraging an enquiring mind
  6. Encourages and develops a thirst for knowledge, love of learning and independence
  7. Has an eye on the future and the needs of future citizens including the principles of sustainability
  8. Encourages the use of environments and expertise beyond the classroom
  9. Makes meaningful links between areas of knowledge across the curriculum and the major issues of our time
  10. Has a local, national and international dimension including an understanding of British values
  • It was agreed that key skills and knowledge would be taught through a themed approach with children’s questions leading learning. This resulted in a change to how timetables are arranged ie History may not be taught each week, but taught as a block
  • Each theme would not be taught for a specific amount of time, the time spent being determined by children’s interest and enthusiasm. It was, therefore, anticipated that topics may only last for a few weeks as opposed to a full half term / term.

Learning Key Skills

  • We produced a Key Skills document, which outlines all of the Key Skills to be taught during each Key Stage. We try to ensure that half of the key skills for each subject are covered in one year, thus resulting in the whole curriculum being covered once within a two year period and twice within the whole of Key Stage Two (thus allowing for children to access all Key Skills at a higher level as they progress through the school)
  • We use Key Skills milestones which outline the age specific detail to be taught for each Key Skill
  • Key Skills are dated as they are taught and ongoing pupil assessments are entered into Target Tracker, our web based assessment system

How do we plan?

  1. Start with theme from menu (teachers choose a theme for the team)
  2. Agree an end product / purpose for the scheme of work ie at the end of this topic, we will have produced an information book about volcanoes etc
  3. Emersion session in teams to gather children’s questions and put onto a mind map
  4. Match questions to subject area Key Skills (ie G1) on mind map (with KS2 children, the children are involved in matching their enquiry questions to the Key Skills they will be learning across the curriculum) and complete the planning overview (placed onto website)
  5. Lessons are planned to be intriguing, enthusing and engaging, starting with a question and offering opportunities for collaborative learning. Teaching is creative with teachers being adept at designing learning sequences within and across lessons that are effective and consistently well-matched to Key Skills and the needs of pupils. Can I” (Key Skill) statements will inform children of the expected outcome of the lesson (replaces I Can statements)

An example of the planning process – matching key skills to our questions:


An example of a planning overview – this explains what we will be learning:survival 2

Non negotiables

Although there is a greater freedom to be creative, planning must still be robust and so there are non negotiables:

  • Maths: Planned for Year One to Year Six with reference to the Maths Enhancement Programme which is progressive, based upon the Singapore Maths philosophy and offers opportunities for the development of mastery within maths. Children in EYFS are taught maths through a cross curricular approach, using Singapore Maths principles
  • Literacy: Planned with reference to the academy’s own Planning and Assessment document, with reference to the National Curriculum and Interim Framework.
  • The phonics scheme we use to teach our youngest children reading and writing skills is Read, Write, Inc. This scheme is also used as an intervention programme for older children who find reading and writing skills difficult to master. Although children access the Read Write Inc reading books, we also have reading books from a range of different schemes to provide a wide, rich and varied reading diet for all of our children. All reading books are banded according to levels. For older children who may struggle to read, we provide reading books with content suited to their chronological age so that they do not feel different to their peers. We also encourage children to read e-books and to choose books from our extensive library, including thousands of e-books accessible via our online learning programme, Reading Eggs
  • Reading, grammar, spelling and punctuation are taught through Reciprocal Reading and Text Interrogation
  • RE and French: The Local Authority agreed syllabus is adhered to


In Key Stage One (two years), children must study:

  • The World – Oceans, continents, North and South Poles, hot and cold places in relation to the equator
  • The UK – 4 countries and their capital cities
  • Comparison between own locality and a non-European country

In Key Stage Two (four years), children must study:

  • Local area
  • Regions in UK, Europe and North and South America
  • Asia*
  • Africa*
  • World’s most significant human and physical features.

*These are not in the New National Curriculum, but we felt it to be important that they are covered


In Key Stage One (two years), children must study:

  • Changes within living memory
  • Events beyond living memory (significant nationally and globally)
  • Lives of significant people in different periods
  • Significant events, people and places in own locality

In Key Stage Two (four years), children must study:

  • Changes in Britain from the Stone age to the Iron age
  • Roman empire and its impact on Britain
  • Britain settlement – Anglo Saxons and Scots
  • Vikings
  • Local History study – The Tudors (changing power of the monarch and a significant turning point in British history ie dissolution of the monasteries) or The study of how schooling changed in Great Ayton from the school of Captain Cook to Roseberry Academy
  • Ancient civilizations (to include Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece (Ancient Greece to be done to coincide with the Olympics)
  • A study of an aspect or theme in British history – World War Two (eg social changes, role of women, food and rationing, entertainment)
  • A non European Society study – The Mayan civilization

You can see excellent examples of the learning that takes place across the curriculum in all year groups by visiting our class blogs! If you would like to see the objectives for each year group for each subject, please click on our Milestones link:


If you would like to know more about our curriculum, please contact our Principal, Mrs Helen Channing.