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Buxton Junior School

Our Curriculum

Our Curriculum Intent


At Buxton Junior School, we offer a rich, relevant, broad and balanced curriculum. It is the sum of a child’s experiences at school and will prepare them for life in a diverse, ever-changing and exciting world. A curriculum should give children knowledge – facts, skills and authentic experiences – but should also give them time to think, to reason and to consider from their own perspective and that of others. Our job is to educate our children so that they can make the world a better place. Our curriculum meets the needs of every child, regardless of their ability or background so that all children develop academically, culturally, physically, socially and creatively.


Our curriculum drivers, created by our whole school community, ensure that children are given multiple opportunities to learn and reflect about themselves and others, our environment and local community and the wider world.


We plan our curriculum through the lenses of these drivers and ask ourselves these questions as we plan:



Our Environment

Our Wider World

• How can we ensure that the -children’s wellbeing is always top priority?

• How will we develop the whole child’s skills including physical, practical and communication?

• What opportunities can we find for performance, discussion and debate?

• How can we ensure that all children can thrive and achieve?


• What opportunities can we find to take our children’s learning outdoors?

• How can we encourage a respect and love of our environment?

• How can we use our fantastic grounds?

• How can we use our local area in our learning?

• How can we protect our environment?

• How can we ensure that our children respect and appreciate people of all abilities, faiths and cultures?

• How can we teach our children to be “Global Citizens”?

• How can we educate our children about things that are happening around the world?



The teaching of reading is of paramount importance and at the heart of our curriculum. We use high quality whole-class texts, both fiction and non-fiction, to develop a deep love of reading and writing. We are committed to helping every child become a reader. At Buxton Junior School we have a consistent approach to the teaching of phonics, fluency and reading comprehension, enabling our pupils to become proficient and passionate readers. Each child has a Reading Journey Record in which they celebrate all the high quality texts they read in class throughout their time at Buxton Junior School. For more information about our English curriculum, please see below.


We have carefully invested in some curriculum resources which align with our intent as they support making connections with other learning, have clear explanations, provide scaffolds and models to aid learning for all children, allow retrieval of previous learning, give opportunities to attempt and apply concepts and also offer challenge. 


Outdoor learning is also a key theme of our curriculum at Buxton Junior School. Nature-connectedness and the ability to treasure the natural world on our doorstep is fundamental part of growing up. When our children are the decision-makers of the world, we will need them to be aware of the value of the natural world so we start learning and caring about it from the very start of Year 3. The children attend regular Forest School sessions, lessons are frequently held outside in one of our six outdoor classrooms and our teachers always seek every opportunity to develop outdoor learning, whatever the subject.


Implementation – Making Connections


We are determined to give our children the best education we can, so our curriculum is knowledge-rich, providing a foundation for deep understanding to allow children to develop their schemas (webs of knowledge), know more and so learn more.


We have mapped our curriculum coherently, with declarative (facts), procedural (skills) and experiential (experiences) knowledge woven together so that children develop a deep understanding within and between areas of learning to build on secure foundations and make progress through the curriculum.


By planning carefully what experiences our children have, knowledge that cannot be taught directly will be developed through experience. Hands-on activities, including outdoor learning, go hand in hand with deeper conceptual understanding so that learning has more meaning and is embedded.


Our programme of study is presented as a curriculum map for each year group where we meet the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum, ensuring key concepts and knowledge are taught. Our school curriculum goes beyond these to ensure that all children are given the opportunity to encounter a broad range of academic, cultural, physical, social and creative experiences.


The teachers plan around themes and enquiry questions that may last a half term or more so that horizontal links can be made between subjects being covered. Each unit of work is driven by a subject area, which is usually led or supported by a high quality whole-class text, covered in English. Therefore, children can link their current learning in geography, history, art, music, computing, drama, PSHE or science. We call this subject our driver subject.


Curriculum concepts run as key threads through subjects so that children can connect their learning from year to year and can understand the core ideas and themes within each subject. These ‘bedrock’ concepts are referred to repeatedly throughout the learning journey here at Buxton Junior School and will be built upon at secondary school.


Knowledge organisers are shared with the children, parents and carers so that key concepts, skills and facts can be revisited at school and shared at home. Partnership with parents and carers is a crucial part of our approach so by sharing this information, we know that children have the opportunity to have their learning supported and extended.


We have developed learning journeys for history and geographyco-created by the teachers and children, to cover the journey a child has made in a subject throughout their time at Buxton Junior School. Kept from Y3 to Y6, the learning maps are revisited by the teachers and children to make vertical links and connections with their previous learning. The learning maps also contain knowledge covered in our main feeder infant school’s curriculum so that links in learning can be made beyond our school.


Subject Instructional Programmes, a handbook for teachers created by subject leaders, are shared with all teaching staff. This document covers the essentials of each subject (how we teach, our aims, advice on how to plan, concepts, declarative and procedural knowledge for each topic within the subject) to ensure teaching is coherent and consistent across the school.


We have established seven universal cross-curricular themes, which we regularly re-visit in order to enhance our children's understanding of, and relationship with, the wider world. Revisiting learning through these themes also allows the children to make connections to their previous learning. We believe this is vital as it helps them to embed the content and skills they have already covered. Our seven universal themes are:










Equality and Diversity







In addition to our good key stage 2 data, we know our curriculum is having the desired impact because:



Children’s work

• Teach consistently well; applying sound pedagogical practices in all lessons.

• Access a variety of high quality CPD to improve practice.

• Become more knowledgeable.

• Have high levels of confidence in delivering all areas of the curriculum.

• Can give senior leaders and subject leads feedback about what is working well.

• Have a thorough understanding of pupils understanding and progress across all subject areas.

• Plan coherent and engaging learning journeys based on the unit overviews.

• Seek support from subject leads when they are less confident.

• Seek every opportunity to develop outdoor learning, across the range of subject areas.

• Can talk with confidence about what they have learned, using correct terminology.

• Are enthused and interested in a wide range of curriculum areas.

• Can talk about the declarative, procedural and experiential knowledge within a subject and the concepts associated with it.

• Can show adults examples of their learning and describe the ‘why’ behind work they have produced.

• Demonstrate good learning behaviours in all lessons.

• Are able to explain how their learning within a subject builds on previous learning.

• Are able to make thoughtful links between subjects.

• Children have an awareness and understanding of other cultures and the rich and diverse world which exists beyond our local community.

• Children are aware of the diverse world around them, not just culturally but also in terms of age, disability, gender and sex.

• Can all access, enjoy and make progress within the curriculum - regardless of their starting points, or any additional needs they may have.

• Demonstrates that they take pride in what they produce.

• Children show the same effort as they would in Maths or English, for example.

• Captures their increasing understanding of key concepts within each subject.

• Illustrates their developing understanding of the disciplines of each subject, as well as the declarative knowledge content.

• Shows that a coherent teaching sequence has taken place within each unit of work.

• Demonstrates our curriculum’s emphasis on subject-specific terminology.

• Shows the declarative, procedural and experiential knowledge within a subject area and its associated concepts.

Visitors and Governors

Parents and Carers

• Give us positive feedback about pupil engagement and behaviour in lessons.

• Comment on the high-quality work that they see.

• Report that our curriculum drivers underpin everything we do in school.

• Report that leaders are clear about strengths and weaknesses, and have clear plans to address areas for development.


• Feed back to us that their children feel happy and safe at school.

• Feel involved with and have understanding of their children’s learning.

• Give us positive feedback about their children’s attitudes to their learning.

• Share examples of when their children have been enthused by the curriculum (e.g. they’ve been talking about learning at home, or carrying out their own research because of their interest).

How we plan

After careful thought, we have created a curriculum map for each year group to ensure the curriculum is fully covered but we also have an annual planning calendar to ensure we can respond to special events, anniversaries and the children's and teachers' interests and passions.


If you would like any more information about our curriculum, please call or come into school. 

Information about what your child is learning

We love to keep you informed about what your child is learning each term, so for each unit of the curriculum you will be sent a parent/carer information sheet and knowledge organiser via parenthub. You can also find this on our year group pages. 

For copyright purposes we cannot publish the knowledge organiser on our website; if you do not receive this or require a paper copy, please contact your class teacher via their class email.