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  Castlefort JMI School

Curriculum Design and Overview


What we learn with pleasure, we never forget – Alfred Mercier


At Castlefort JMI School, the curriculum is designed to:


  • provide a curriculum which is enriched and challenging where all pupils have opportunities to learn in a wide range of contexts

Castlefort is a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for Inclusion (National Quality Mark) – Through highly structured experiential learning within well-resourced, rich learning environments, all children, including vulnerable groups and those with SEND, make very good progress and have excellent added value outcomes (May 2018)

  • provide opportunities for all pupils to develop high levels of literacy and numeracy required for success in adult life
  • broaden pupils’ horizons through a range of spiritual, moral, social and cultural opportunities
  • ensure that all pupils are able to thrive and develop as healthy individuals and understand how to stay safe
  • develop a strength of character and resilience that will help pupils to overcome the challenges they are likely to encounter in adult life
  • allow pupils to become creative and critical thinkers
  • provide an appropriate range of opportunities and experiences to allow pupils to succeed in the next stage in their education


Through our teaching, we aim to:

  • enable pupils to become confident, resourceful, enquiring and independent learners
  • foster pupil's self-esteem, and help them to build positive relationships with other people
  • develop pupil's self-respect, encourage them to understand the ideas, attitudes and values of others, and teach them to respect other people's feelings
  • show respect for a diverse range of cultures and, in so doing, to promote positive attitudes towards other people
  • enable pupils to understand their local community, and help them feel valued as part of it
  • help pupils grow into reliable, independent and positive citizens


Learning opportunities and lessons adopt the following principles:

  • the teaching should build on previous learning
  • it should give pupils the 'big picture' of the lesson
  • the teacher should explain the learning challenges, and why the lesson is important
  • the lesson should be presented in a range of styles;
  • it should allow opportunities for pupils to build up their own understanding through various activities
  • it should allow opportunities for pupils to review what has been learnt
  • it should have built-in opportunities for feedback to pupils, celebrating success and reviewing learning strategies
  • the teaching should indicate what the next step in the learning will be


Pupils are given opportunities to learn in different ways - these include:

  • investigation and problem-solving
  • research and discovery
  • collaborative partner/group work
  • independent work
  • whole-class work
  • asking and answering questions
  • use of ICT
  • fieldwork and visits to places of educational interest
  • creative activities
  • watching video/film clips and responding to musical or recorded material
  • debates, role-plays and oral presentations
  • designing and making things


We actively encourage pupils to develop positive attitudes to learning through our Little Learners (EYFS), Learning Champions (KS1) and Learning Ambassadors (KS2) programme.


If parents, carers or other members of the public would like to find out more about the curriculum which our school follows, please feel free to speak to your child's class teacher or organise a meeting with a member of the senior leadership team through the school office. Further information on the aims and objectives can be found on the National Curriculum website. 


Curriculum Implementation


The school is organised into 8 classes (Nursery-Y6). The teaching and learning time allocation for each age/phase is:


Nursery – 15 hours (PT) or 30 hours (FT)

Reception – 26.25 hours

KS1 – 26.25 hours

KS2 – 26. 50 hours

How do we ensure that the curriculum is accessible for all pupils?


Information on how we ensure all pupils have access to a full varied and exciting curriculum can be found on the following page.

Curriculum Impact


The curriculum at Castlefort is designed and implemented to promote high levels of engagement and achievement for every pupil. We aim for all pupils to grow as learners, become independent and be resilient to cope with the challenges they encounter.


Pupils are regularly assessed across the breadth of the curriculum. The termly cycle of monitoring and assessment provides data which can be analysed to plan for next steps in learning – this may include the need for additional support/interventions. Teachers meet with the senior leadership team each term to discuss and review each pupil’s progress.


Assessment is continuous and informs planning with a range of assessment strategies used. This is a data-rich school where data is interpreted and used effectively to personalise individual’s learning opportunities. Pupil progress meetings ensure that pupil progress is maintained and that any interventions are timely and appropriate to the individual’s needs. This data gives a picture of strengths and weakness for individuals and this information is used to inform future planning, learning and teaching (Basic Skills Quality Mark).


The outcomes our pupils achieve (all phases) are testament the positive impact the curriculum has on achievement. A culture of ‘high expectations’ permeates through the school and this has led to successful learning and performance. Further information can be found through the ‘OFSTED’ and ‘School Performance Tables’ links on our website.


Castlefort places great value on the role of parents and carers in the education of their children:

The school places an emphasis on establishing positive relationships with parents/carers, working in partnership, sharing knowledge and experience to contribute to the shared view of a child’s needs and the best ways of supporting them. The school believes that strong links between parents and school can only benefit the child as they see the two working together for their benefit. They believe pupils at all levels of ability achieve to a greater extent when they know that everyone is concerned and willing to support them (EYFS/Basic Skills Quality Mark).