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 At Blackburn Primary School we provide a curriculum that Inspires Excellence, nurtures well-rounded children and through carefully thought out schemes of learning support our children to go on and make a positive contribution to society

Our curriculum is designed to:

  • Inspire excellence and be ambitious for all
  • Nurture children who are interested in learning and interesting to talk to because of their deep conceptual knowledge 

To achieve this we: 

  • Have reading at the heart of everything; supporting children to be literate and choose to read because they love it
  • Follow National Curriculum
  • Ensure learning is sequential and progressive building learning over time (The big picture)
  • Teach discreet subjects with the aim of preserving the unique nature of each subject
  • Design learning to provide the knowledge and cultural capital to help children understand their place in the world and make a positive difference to it
  • Are creative because of the solid foundations in learning that the children are provided
  • Support, nurture and explicitly teach children so they are prepared for later life


Curriculum principles 

Our curriculum principles underpin our curriculum design. They are how we bring our mission statement alive in the school. When developing any curriculum area this is where we start. 

Concept building

For each subject we have worked hard to establish our key concepts. To do this we have made use of knowledge bases such as the Historical or Geographical Association, Local Authority advisors, leading thinkers in their respective subjects and teachers from our link secondary schools. Key concepts are important ideas or themes that are central to a particular subject. We like to think of a key concept growing through units of work in each year group. They are revisited on multiple occasions. Designing our curriculum in this way lets us think about the most important knowledge we ensure each pupil gains through a specific unit of work. You can view the key concepts by clicking on the specific subject pages.

Curriculum overviews 

Curriculum overviews or long term plans outline broadly what out children will learn during their time at Blackburn and the order they will learn it in. The example below comes from our Geography curriculum and can be observed in full on the geography page. 

Structures for units of work

Each subject has its own identity and therefore a unit of work will be structured in a different way. As a result we have clear  structures to units of work to support teachers. The examples below come from our writing journey and Physical Education. 

Medium term plans

The detail of our curriculum is set out in the medium term plans. Here we plan everything we want our children to know, understand, do and remember. They make our curriculum purposeful and bring our principles alive. They are written with care and time, they are reviewed regularly. Through having these documents we are able to leave nothing to chance and meticulously plan out what our learners will be taught and remember. The example below comes from our History curriculum. 

Active Ingredients 

As a school, we ensure that our children receive the same quality of education, no matter what class they are in. To do this we create active ingredients or guiding principles that support our working practices. Active ingredients allow us to put our plans in place in the classroom. They are our pedagogical guide  Below you can see an example from Writing:


We believe that teachers should have autonomy over their working practices and how the active ingredients are enacted in their classroom. Staff need to experience success through mastering the craft of teaching. Their purpose needs to align with the school’s and they need to feel that they belong to the team and the community.

Therefore within each subject we identify active ingredients and create a ‘subject on a page’ to share with everyone the consistencies we have as a school.  



Our aim is for the intended curriculum to be remembered. To do this we ensure that our curriculum is designed in a way that makes knowledge and behaviours systematic across school so that every child benefits and not just the lucky ones that happen to be in the right classroom. This means that although staff are not asked to use a particular method, we do plan each unit in detail to ensure we can check that the curriculum is learnt and retained. Units are designed to build on prior units and provide children with opportunities to retrieve knowledge and use it in different contexts. Examples can be seen the images below:



Y4 History

Y1 Geography

Y5/6 PE

To read more about our curriculum please view the presentation below. 

To request more information about our school curriculum or printed copies of any documents please contact 


Our curriculum

Thank you to Andrew Percival of Stanley Road Primary School, Oldham, who has contributed to some of the slides