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Waddesdon Village

Primary School

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Curriculum design statement: intent, implementation, impact


The intent of our curriculum is designed with three goals in mind:

  1. To give pupils appropriate experience to develop as confident, responsible citizens;
  2. To provide a rich ‘cultural capital’;
  3. To provide a coherent, structured, academic curriculum with reading at the core, that leads to sustained mastery for all and a greater depth of understanding for those who are capable.


1)Appropriate experiences

We have developed two curriculum drivers that shape our curriculum, bring about the aims and values of our school, and to respond to the particular needs of our community.


Community – which helps pupils to be an active, responsible member of our school, the locality, our country and the world. Our aims through community and parental involvement are to enhance the learning experiences of ALL (pupils and adults). At Waddesdon Village Primary School we want parents’ and carers’ to feel welcomed and valued. We want to encourage parents and carers involvement in children’s learning because we feel that these opportunities will enrich and support the curriculum. We believe that forging strong links between the school, parents, carers and the local community (sharing skills, values, experiences, cultures and expertise) will help to improve attendance, attainment and raise standards.


Growth - underpins our approach to teaching and learning. Growth mindset is based on the belief that everyone can change and grow through application and experience. Mistakes are seen as an opportunity for learning. At Waddesdon Village Primary School, we deem mental development and health to be just as important to the education of our children as academic ability. It is important for each child to have a good knowledge of health, fitness and wellbeing in order to grow up to be successful and valued adults. Across our curriculum, children will learn about what it takes to be safe in and out of school; how to live a healthy lifestyle and how to plan ahead with targets, action planning and positive thinking. They will also have access to a wide range of extra-curricular activities, both during lunchtimes and afterschool.


2)Cultural capital

Cultural capital is the background knowledge of the world pupils need to infer meaning from what they read. It includes vocabulary which, in turn, helps pupils to express themselves in a sophisticated, mature way.


3)A coherently planned academic curriculum, underpinned by the two drivers, our curriculum sets out:

a) a clear list of the breadth of topics that will be covered

b) the ‘threshold concepts’ pupils should understand;

c) criteria for progression within the threshold concepts;

d) criteria for depth of understanding.


Sustained Mastery

Nothing is learned unless it rests in pupils’ long-term memories. This does not happen, and cannot be assessed in the short-term. Assessment therefore answers two main questions: ‘How well are pupils coping with curriculum content?’ and ‘How well are they retaining previously taught content?’



Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; three main principles underpin it:

  1. Learning is most effective with spaced repetition.
  2. Interleaving helps pupils to discriminate between topics and aids long-term retention.
  3. Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.


In addition to the three principles we also understand that learning is invisible in the short-term and that sustained mastery takes time.


Some of our content is that by the end of each milestone, the vast majority of pupils have sustained mastery of the content, that is, they remember it all and are fluent in it; some pupils have a greater depth of understanding. We track carefully to ensure pupils are on track to reach the expectations of our curriculum.