National Curriculum

We follow the National Curriculum, as set out by the Government, for Key Stage 1 and two and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum in Nursery and Reception. Links to both Curriculum's can be found below:


Primary National Curriculum


EYFS Statutory Framework



With the new National Curriculum introduced by the Government in 2014 we have been working hard to refresh our school approach and provision for children. As part of this work we have implemented the Cornerstones Curriculum, a nationally recognised approach for delivering outstanding learning opportunities for children.  You can read in detail about this in the Cornerstones section of our website.


Chadsmead Themes

We believe in children having sufficient time to engage with their learning at a deep, rather than shallow, level. In order for this to occur they require quality time to really engage with their learning over an extended time frame. It is for this reason that we combine learning in five curriculum subjects – science, art, design technology, geography and history – within a theme based approach. This approach is more likely to result in high quality learning outcomes. In addition, it makes greater sense to the young learner.

Learning is complex; it is not necessarily linear. It occurs when children are in a learning environment, secure and motivated. Positive learning is often interesting and fun. Knowledge is accumulated, skills become more sophisticated; independence and creativity increase. Children need to develop the skills that enable them to learn to acquire knowledge and understanding. Skills assist learners in becoming more interested, focused and prepared for a challenge. The skills are:

  • application skills
  • motivational skills
  • learning skills.

To achieve continuity, skills are taught and applied with increasing complexity. The complexity comes with accumulated teaching and experience of using and applying the skills. Knowledge and understanding are the products of applying skills successfully. In its simplest form knowledge is the commitment to memory of unrelated pieces of information. Knowledge in its more refined form is a product of facts being linked and grouped to become understanding and, although facts are still known, they are understood in context and by comparison. Skills should be taught to and practised by children. Teachers bear in mind the progression in skills and offer different levels of challenge to children in applying their skills to gain more knowledge and understanding. Skills are equally applicable across the range of factual knowledge and understanding; and, more than one skill can be used to acquire and develop knowledge and understanding.

As we have mixed age classes throughout the school, the themes are divided into cycle 1 and cycle 2.  This ensures full coverage over each Key Stage.  You can see the themes taught in each cycle in the Year Group Overviews section of our website.  Further detail about each theme can also be found here.


Cycle 1: Academic Years 2018/19,  2020/2021

Cycle 2: Academic Years 2019/20,  2021/2022