Our Curriculum Definition

We define our curriculum as all planned teaching, learning & experiences that deliver successful outcomes on the strands, subjects and standards of the Early Years Foundation Stage, National Curriculum programmes of study, Relationships, Sex & Health Education and The Hartlepool Borough Council agreed syllabus for Religious Education.


Our Curriculum Vision

To build upon our school ethos, principles and character values so that every child at Fens has access to a high-quality, well-sequenced and aspirational curriculum that is founded on deep-routed learning from the very beginning of their journey and throughout. The needs of each child will be central to our curriculum provision and planning throughout school to ensure they thrive in all development areas: academically, socially, emotionally and from the perspective of all wider personal development. The educational seeds planted, cared-for and cultivated at Fens Primary School will provide a solid foundation for all of our children to achieve success throughout their lives as a result of being part of our one community, growing and learning together.     


Our School Ethos, Principles and Curriculum Pillars of Intent




Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)


The best possible start

At Fens Primary School we are passionate that all of our children have the very best start to their education, where perseverance, resilience and a love for lifelong learning is highly promoted. All of our children feel valued, respected and part of a whole community where individual achievements and milestones are celebrated.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to all of our pupils in Nursery and Reception. The curriculum for the Early Years Foundation Stage underpins all future learning by supporting, fostering, promoting and developing:

  • positive attitudes and dispositions towards learning
  • self-confidence and self-esteem
  • respect for others as well as oneself
  • social skills and emotional well-being
  • a sense of community
  • language for communication and thinking
  • reading and writing skills
  • problem solving, reasoning and numeracy skills
  • knowledge and understanding of the world
  • physical skills
  • creative skills



Solid Core

An exceptional core curriculum that builds the foundations to flourish

Children experience consistently high expectations for learning and progress in spoken language, reading and writing. From their early years, they journey through a carefully structured programme of synthetic phonics that equips them with the knowledge, skills and techniques needed for developing into fluent, confident and independent readers and writers. As their reading journey continues, children take part in structured sessions of reciprocal reading to develop “deep comprehension” of texts and to build vocabulary and understanding across the curriculum through regular modelling of expert reading behaviours. We place Reading at the heart of our school curriculum and believe strongly in the transformative powers that learning to read well can have throughout our children’s lives. That’s why we passionately pursue a ‘Love of Reading’ in our children through developing a wealth of experiences and activities for enrichment and wider personal development. Within our ‘Solid Core’ curriculum, children become true masters of mathematics through engaging in lessons which build fluency, develop children’s curiosity and ensure children apply knowledge and be creative in order to solve problems; they use this strong learning as a powerful tool in developing their understanding of the world around them and achieving success across the curriculum. Children’s understanding of the world is further developed through a practical and progressive science curriculum that harnesses their natural curiosity and develops skills in questioning, observing, investigating and working scientifically to find answers about ourselves, our world and beyond. Completing our solid core curriculum, children progressively deepen their understanding of religious and non-religious world-views in our religious education curriculum, further developing their empathy, understanding of the world around them and their cultural capital.

Children at Fens Primary School use this strong ‘core learning’ to understand the world around them; achieve academic success in the wider curriculum; develop a strong sense of self-esteem, self-belief and self-awareness; and build the firm foundations to flourish throughout life.



Broad, Balanced, Rigorous, Coherent & Purposeful

A progressive, well-sequenced wider curriculum that promotes knowing and remembering more

The school is committed to providing all of children with a broad and progressive curriculum, cultivated alongside – and weaved throughout -  our core subjects. Long term curriculum schemes of learning have been developed in each national curriculum subject across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 to ensure balance, rigour, coherence and purpose in children’s learning as they journey through our school. Our detailed plans provide teachers with guidance regarding the intentions of subject teaching, advice on the teaching and learning content of lessons and the expected attainment end points for children. The school’s distributed school leadership means dedicated and committed Subject Leaders continually monitor, evaluate and improve each area of our school curriculum. Subject-specific research, as well as refined systems for in-school monitoring, help guide our decision making, ensuring each curriculum subject develops the substantive and disciplinary knowledge needed for the children to develop strong, sequenced and progressive learning in each curriculum discipline. Meaningful cross curricular links; a wealth of enrichment opportunities; learning outside the classroom; sharing regular whole school community experiences; student leadership and our character and metacognition development all work together to offer our children a whole-school curriculum that promotes knowing and remembering more for life-long learning.  




High Quality, Responsive Teaching & Learning: Cognition and Metacognition Development

An evidence-informed, relentless drive to improve how we teach and how our children learn

Teaching and Learning is at the very heart of our school’s core purpose; ‘the best available evidence indicates that great teaching is the most important lever schools have to improve pupil attainment’ (Education Endowment Foundation). In order to deliver on our school ethos and principles, our aim is to champion a culture of evidence-informed effective teaching, ensuring long-term retention of learning for all of our children across The Fens Primary School Curriculum. We will do this alongside a commitment to our principle of high standards of learning for all school stakeholders; this includes the school’s commitment to staff Professional Development (PD). Staff have access to a range of high-quality PD that directly links to school priorities; is derived from carefully reviewed in-school monitoring and evaluation; is fully supported by Governors and Senior Leaders of the school; and has the ultimate ownership of the staff for their own learning and the impact this has on their teaching practice and pupil outcomes. Curriculum leaders continually monitor their subject areas, offering regular opportunities for subject-specific Professional Development.

This ‘golden thread’ of high standards for learning is a mind-set for all of the children at Fens Primary School irrespective of any protected characteristics, including age, Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND), gender, colour, race, ethnic or national origin, disability or religious beliefs.

Our broad and progressive curriculum provides children with a road map to develop their cognitive skills in a range of subject-specific areas: in each curriculum area, they continually build on prior learning to develop a range of strategies, techniques and methods to obtain the substantive and disciplinary knowledge required to further their learning throughout life. Alongside this, Fens Primary School are committed to developing children’s awareness of how they learn through developing a strong culture of learning around metacognition. Research suggests strong practice in metacognitive learning provides consistently high levels of impact for children as learners. We believe our children can develop metacognitive skills from an early age and will develop this practice from our EYFS.

Our metacognitive approach will typically focus on developing and allowing our learners to take control of their own learning through planning, monitoring, evaluating and reflecting upon their learning; teachers at Fens will be integral to the development of younger pupils’ metacognitive skills. For example, for our pupils to become metacognitive, self-regulated learners, the teacher must:

  • Set clear learning objectives.
  • Demonstrate and monitor pupils’ metacognitive strategies.
  • Continually prompt and encourage our pupils along the way.

Our approach to developing high quality teaching and learning will be through a mind-set of being evidence informed, diagnostic in our assessment, self-reflective and committed to continuous improvement.  



Assessment, Adaptation, Targeted Support & Inclusion

Every child succeeds through well-informed, timely and tailored support

Our children will be at the centre of all of our curriculum decision making. Our ‘golden thread’ of high standards of learning will be the priority for all of the children at Fens Primary School aiming for full inclusivity in terms of meeting the needs of all children including those with any protected characteristic, including age, Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND), family circumstances, gender, colour, race, ethnic or national origin, disability or religious beliefs. This will deliver on our school principle of maintaining a safe, protective and inclusive environment that empowers all of our young people to thrive.

Our assessment practices will be continually improved to offer teachers and leaders at all levels the best-quality information to make decisions for curriculum implementation and adaptation. Learning will be supported by good practice in retrieval of prior knowledge, an informed anticipation of children’s preconceptions and misconceptions and a range of engaging, experiential and high-quality teaching and learning.

Diagnostic assessment and expert curriculum enhancement and adaptation will form a key part in our ongoing curriculum improvement process; teachers will view assessment as a key driver to:

identify ideas and concepts which might need revisiting or re-teaching;

highlight pupils whose misunderstandings or misconceptions require targeted individual support through intervention or tutoring (interventions will be carefully monitored for impact and adapted further to meet the specific needs of the children undertaking them);

and track pupil progress to inform school-level decision-making.

Adaptations and enhancements will therefore be made using well-informed accurate information on what each child’s starting points are in relation to their strengths and areas that may need revisiting, reinforcing or re-teaching, in order for children to fully build upon these with new knowledge and skills. This will be viewed as an iterative process and form part of the school’s continuous improvement mind-set.



Wider Personal Development, Enrichment, Enjoyment and Aspirational

Our children are empowered to enjoy life through safety, challenge, purpose and belonging; they aspire to be the best versions of themselves

Highly effective safeguarding practices underpin all aspects of school life, ensuring a safe and inclusive environment that provides the firmest foundation for all children to thrive. Enjoyment is weaved throughout each school day and each and every curriculum subject. Curriculum leaders play a key role in planning a programme of enrichment opportunities linked to their subjects for all year groups. Therefore, as children journey through the curriculum of Fens Primary School, they will experience a vast range of enrichment activities that allow them to apply their knowledge, understanding and thinking in real-world and purposeful contexts. These experiences will often include wider community involvement as Fens School values the importance of strong and positive relationships between members of the whole-school and wider community; parents are seen as vital stakeholders in our children’s education and the school aims continually improve the communication, involvement and partnerships between home and school.

Our ‘One Community’ ethos is fostered through a carefully planned, sequenced and implemented whole-school programme of collective worship. It is during this dedicated time – as well as throughout our curriculum – that children are offered daily opportunities to foster in them an attitude characterised by feelings such as humility, awe, wonder, appreciation, thankfulness, respect, reverence and elation; they consider Social, Spiritual, Moral and Cultural (SMSCD)  issues and the many questions which relate to life; acknowledge the things which have meaning, value and purpose for themselves, their peers, and others; celebrate achievements, special occasions and special events in relation to themselves and peers within school, to the school as a whole or to the wider community; acknowledge and respect difference and diversity; and develop a sense of community within and beyond the school.

High value is placed on excellent Character Education which enables children to develop a strong sense of British Values through developing their own character values using our R.E.S.P.E.C.T framework (Resilience Empathy Self-awareness Positivity Excellence Communication Teamwork) from the Commando Joe’s Programme; this framework is interweaved throughout the school’s curriculum and forms the basis of our behaviour practices in school through developing relationships built on positive behaviours. Metacognition, self-regulation and reflection are all key factors in the continuous improvement of this area of school life.

Children’s wider personal development is further cultivated through the implementation of the school’s PSHEE & Relationships Education, which delivers on the intended outcomes of the Relationships, Sex & Health Education guidance for schools. Our PSHEE & Relationships curriculum aims to provide pupils with the knowledge and education to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships and to build their self-efficacy by delivering a curriculum that prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.

Fostering Aspirations is another area of wider personal development that the school values highly. Through the delivery of The Fens Primary School Aspire 2 Be programme children will have opportunities for self-reflection and discovery; be introduced to the world of work; link their learning to a world beyond the classroom; and develop their self-awareness, self-esteem and self-efficacy.  


**Please Note: Our Curriculum-focused website pages are currently undergoing refinement to ensure we communicate our entire curriculum as effectively as possible**