Irlam Endowed Primary School

Our Curriculum

Intent, Implementation and Impact

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Overview and Philosophy

At Irlam Endowed Primary School, our aim is to educate and enrich the whole child in a way that prepares them fully for later life. We provide the foundation for fully developed citizens. We believe that English, Maths and the formal requirements of the National Curriculum are important but these need to be complemented by a wide range of skills and a rich knowledge, most of which can are taught through shared experiences, challenges and adventures.

We believe that it is our job to teach the broader curriculum and teach children to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and co-operate with others while developing knowledge and skills, so that they achieve their true potential.  Our consistent focus on high standards of behaviour and responsibility is evidenced by the manner in which the children conduct themselves both in and out of school, the way they apply themselves to our School Councils and visitors to the school.

We teach our children to be well developed future citizens of Great Britain who have a love, knowledge and awareness of what it is to be a British citizen. Our role is to model and teach the values that children need to contribute effectively to society.  We support the values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs and these are embedded within our curriculum.   We aim to empower children to have a voice and to stand up against discrimination, valuing equality, tolerance and mutual respect. In addition, the school’s curriculum is designed to provide a rich learning experience that will have a positive impact on pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

These continual enriched experiences enhance the key knowledge and skills that build up a whole cultural capital for each child. There are so many elements and dimensions to our experiences and we know it is a strength of ours.  We build in cultural, scientific, historical, geographical, multicultural and physical aspects to our learning; pushing the boundaries of being inquisitive, reflective and challenged. 

We work with the National Curriculum, our Curriculum Drivers, the offers of our Locality and its surrounding area and our knowledge of the children in our school and the wider family to shape our curriculum.

The curriculum is the means by which the school achieves its objective of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need in order to lead fulfilling lives.

Our Curriculum and Cultural Capital

Knowledge of the unique locality is a must to support our cultural capital learning and we ensure that the children participate in appropriate experiences.  This in turn teaches the children to respect their community, environment and self-belonging.

We provide experiences for the children to see the importance of the locality throughout our curriculum; for example visiting St John’s Church at Harvest time, exploring Prince’s Park in all seasons, visiting Irlam Train Station, exploring the history behind Irlam Park, the Cenotaph and Irlam Hall as well as visiting the local garden centre.  We love visiting the local Care Homes especially at Christmas for carol singing and for special events.

As the children grow and move through school, so does the area they explore.  Our minibuses are used for tours of Glazebury, Chat Moss, Salford and Manchester, linking the learning to RE by exploring the Cathedrals, Mosques and other Places of Worship.  Each place has been carefully selected to bring the learning alive.

The history of our locality has numerous links.  We feel it is very important for the children to develop their understanding of the chronological aspects, the historical changes and the reasons behind each era by seeing and experiencing it for themselves.  Ordsall Hall in Salford is a Tudor Manor and as such we cover the Tudor reign in Year 4 as part of the history objectives. Irlam Station and Prince’s Park are wonderful examples of times gone by as there once stood a Hall in the park, dating from Saxon times, and Irlam station was a link between Liverpool and Manchester. The Year 6 children in fact travel on a train from here as they relive the pain and fears endured by children during World War II.

The dominant feature of Irlam is the Manchester Ship Canal and our pupils visit this and learn of the History behind it and the links to the Victorian Industrial Revolution. They can see it flow in to the distance as it reaches Salford and Manchester in one direction and Liverpool in the other. 

Further afield, the children will visit a variety of Museums including Bolton Museum with its wealth of Egyptian artefacts, Staircase House in Stockport for links to The Great Fire of London and The Imperial War Museum at Salford Quays.

We feel it is very important to allow the children to have a wide variety of alternate experiences as part of their learning entitlement as we want them to see more, understand more and experience more. These are part of our Curriculum Drivers, as we understand our locality and the breadth needed to push thinking and knowledge further afield. These include visits to a castle, a farm, a zoo, the seaside, and a cavern amongst others. The enjoyment of the children visiting these places is underpinned by the fact that they are experiencing different scenarios and possible aspirations.

In the last 3 years of school at Irlam Endowed Primary School, we offer overnight residentials for the children.  They experience a 2 day trip to London in Year 4.  The children gain valuable independence skills, learn great appreciation for their Capital city, make links in their learning and understand about a national dimension as they travel the distance to London.  Another invaluable experience is the 3 day residential at Robinwood for Year 5.  It is an Outdoor Activity Centre nestled in the hills near Todmorden in the Lancashire hills.  This experience allows for every element of team work, physical achievement, confidence building and independence. 

Finally in Year 6, the children are given the opportunity to visit France near Paris for a 5 day residential.  This experience brings too many elements alive but the main purposes are to further develop independence skills, bring together their French lessons and team work but most of all to see a culture and lives of another country.

Another very important aspect of our school is the depth of Physical Activities we provide.  We know that our Locality falls under an area of concern for health needs in children and as such we have strived to become an accredited school with regards to health and PE.

We are extremely fortunate to be in a position where we can offer a full wealth of physical activities, on top of or as part of our Curriculum lessons, ranging from BMXing at the Manchester Velodrome, Swimming lessons at the local baths, Open Water Swimming at Salford Quays, competitive sports in the local Cluster and the rest of Salford and now we can use our MUGA pitch on our school grounds. We build in healthy eating lessons, visits from medical teams and opportunities for the children to organize and run Sports Events.  Our end of year Annual Sportspersons Dinner has become a famous feature of the school and we are always entertained by a prominent Sports Personality.

Our entire Curriculum is based on fostering a love of learning.  We aspire to create learners who are inquisitive, reflective and are challenged continually.  At Irlam Endowed Primary School, we make it our goal to have young learners who are confident, apply deeper thinking and understand the key knowledge in all subjects and experiences. We strive for children to fulfil their potential, a value we hold dearly at our school.

As the children move through the transition phrases in their school lives, from Nursery till Year 6, we embrace the challenges and steps they must take as well as enhancing their education for preparation for life.  We work with the cluster high schools, local primary schools and pre-school providers. We carry out home visits, visits to our school and to other schools, in school transition activities and learning topics based on Aspirations and Future Life Skills.

Our school has classes from Nursery aged children right through to Year 6 and we have a Language Resource Provision integral to our school.  Over the time that children are with us we take them from the very beginnings of talking, reading, writing and exploring and deliver them eight years later ready for the next stage of their journey.

We promote a love of reading from the very beginning.  We have developed a Reading Route that includes all purposes of text and promotes a confidence of reading.  Within our lessons, we promote independent readers through different activities as well as teaching the basic skills developed from the teaching of phonics and early reading skills.  We facilitate use of our local library and our own school library, in which our librarians look after our books for us.


‘The curriculum is the means by which the school achieves its objective of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need in order to lead fulfilling lives.’


Our Curriculum is designed with our Curriculum Intent at the heart of all that we teach at Irlam Endowed Primary School and it is underpinned by the values that we hold dear at our school.

Values of our school

  • Every child is unique
  • Every child is important
  • Every child has a right
  • Respect for all and the world
  • Independence

We value the way in which all children are unique, and our curriculum promotes respect for the views of each individual child, as well as for people of all cultures. We value the spiritual and moral development of each person, as well as their intellectual and physical growth.

We value the importance of each person in our community. We organise our curriculum so that we promote co-operation and understanding between all members of our community.

We value the rights enjoyed by each person in our society. We respect each child in our school for who they are, and we treat them with fairness and honesty. We aim to enable each person to be successful, and we provide equal opportunities for all the children in our school.

We value our environment, and we aim, through our curriculum, to teach respect for our world, and how we should care for it for future generations, as well as our own.

We value independent learning as a life skill and our curriculum reflects and provides opportunities for this.

We believe our curriculum allows for these aims and objectives to be fulfilled:


Aims and objectives

All pupils have equal access to the whole curriculum –Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and 2.

The aims of our school curriculum are:

  • To enable all children to learn and develop their skills to the best of their ability without any curriculum narrowing, leading to a full range os subjects being taught
  • To promote a positive attitude towards learning, so that children enjoy coming to school, and acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning
  • To teach children the basic skills of English, Maths, Science and Computing, including Online Safety
  • To enable children to be creative and to develop their own thinking
  • To enable children to recognise and utilise their own best learning style
  • To teach children about their developing world, including how their environment and society have changed over time
  • To enable children to be positive citizens in their community and wider society and use the British Values
  • To fulfil all the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Salford Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education
  • To help children understand the importance of truth and fairness, so that they grow up committed to equal opportunities for all
  • To enable children to have respect for themselves and high self-esteem, and to be able to live and work co-operatively with others.
  • The five outcomes of the Every Child Matters agenda are equally sought for all pupils
  • Cater for the needs of all pupils in mainstream classes by recognising and planning for the needs of all pupils including those with SEND needs, disabilities or Dyslexia
  • Receive accurate and helpful feedback from teachers on how well they are doing at school and ways of improving their work and guidance in setting their own targets
  • Use available resources effectively to meet the individual needs of all pupils
  • Work in a learning environment that is safe, secure, exciting, stimulating and clean


Our school curriculum is

  • cohesive
  • giving the necessity of basic skills and how to apply them
  • sequenced, progressive and with structured lessons
  • purposeful and rich in vocabulary
  • developing a depth of understanding about Key Knowledge
  • allowing access for every child
  • promoting positive well-being
  • allowing for appropriate challenges
  • developing long term memory skills

Our teaching and learning methodology has been guided by the latest research into long-term retention and metacognition. We have taken account of the guidance from the Education Endowment Foundation, including the latest on ‘Characteristics of Strong Pedagogy’. In doing, so we have worked hard to further strengthen teachers’ subject knowledge across all foundation subjects, school phases and to work on ensuring pupils’ learning links are being ignited.

Through research, we have planned for a broad and balanced curriculum from Nursery to Year 6, which builds upon prior skills, knowledge and conceptual understanding.  We believe in a Topic based approach to our Curriculum that still draws upon the uniqueness of each subject.  We recognise that the curriculum encompasses all areas of learning and we provide learning which makes links across all subjects to give children a clear rationale for completing their work.

Each topic includes a topic letter for parents, a unique experience to develop an aspect of Cultural Capital and also the chance to share work with the parents through special events and our class Seesaw pages.

We have included all the statutory requirements from the EYFS framework and National Curriculum and enhanced these with the purposeful topics.

In the EYFS:

The curriculum we teach in the Early Years Foundation Stage meets the requirements set out in the revised Early Years Foundation Stage framework, with the aims of supporting children’s learning and development and welfare.

Our curriculum planning focuses on the Early Learning Goals and on developing children’s skills and experiences, as set out in this document.

Our school fully supports the principle that young children learn through play, and by engaging in well-planned structured activities. Through informal assessments of the children during their play we are able to plan for next steps and provide topics and activities that are devised by the children’s interests.

During the Foundation Stage, all Early Years staff make continual observations to record the children’s progress. These assessments form an important part of the future curriculum planning for each child and are shared with staff, parents and carers and the Governing Body. All assessments feed into the children’s future learning and developments, and are collected in their individual profiles. We are very aware of the importance of providing differentiated teaching and learning through the Early Years Curriculum.

Outdoor play plays a vital role in a child’s overall development. We plan for outdoor play activities which encourage children to be enthusiastic and adventurous with their learning. All children are encouraged to reach their full potential and our high expectations of the children provide them with the confidence and the courage to become motivated independent learners.

We are well aware that all children need the support of parents and carers and teachers to make good progress in school. We strive to build positive links with the families of each child by keeping them informed about their child’s progress through their Learning Journey.

Curriculum Areas

Our curriculum follows these main ideas and schemes, some starting in Nursery and some later on. We have complete subject overviews that show the flow of learning from Nursery to Year 6 for each subject area as well. 

For English, we follow the National Curriculum requirements and also we follow a detailed Reading Route that helps us monitor and implement skills needed for reading.

For Phonics and Early Reading we have adopted Little Wandle as our chosen scheme.

In Maths, we use and adapt the White Rose Scheme and Ten Town in Nursery.

In Computing, we use Teach Computing and Project Evolve for our online safety work.

In MFL, we use a Salford Scheme.

In RE, we use the Salford Agreed Syllabus.

In PSHEC/RSE, our curriculum follows the up to date curriculum from the PSHE Association.  We also use the No Outsiders book scheme.

For Science, Geography and History, we have written our own Knowledge Mats.  Each one encompasses all the learning that is featured in the National Curriculum.  We use the subject overviews, which means we can track the taught content along with the skills and understanding.  This carefully sequenced flow of learning ensures all key aspects are taught.  Each mat has been written considering prior knowledge and new learning and they allow for in depth subject knowledge and investigative questioning skills.

In our Creative curriculum, including Art and Design and Design Technology, we have used research to plan for an overview of skills and art and technology studies. We build our studies in to our topics. We follow certain artists within each year group, ensuring a full range of cultures, genres and diversity, however, to allow for creativity and individualized class learning, there is a freedom of choice. We carry out Art Projects to allow for creativity, looking at a variety of artwork and understanding connects. In DT, we design for a purpose, ensuring the sequenced objectives are followed. In Music, we use a published scheme to teach from called Charanga.

Our PE curriculum is fully mapped from Reception to Yr6 and it covers four strands of PE: Physical, Social, Thinking and Healthy. In Nursery, they follow the EYFS Framework.


Within our natural flow of whole class sequenced teaching, we build in opportunities for assessment of key facts, recapping prior knowledge, differentiation through support and KUNCU.  We believe in the implementation of the researched philosophy of Keep Up Not Catch Up.  This approach has been adopted by the whole school as a belief in boosting children throughout their education in achieving the expected high expectations.  Our planning opportunities and timetables ensure we allow for children to access learning through Pre-Teach activities, 5 minute Precision Teaching and Corrective Teaching through immediate marking. We also make full use of the environment to support learning, with our regularly updated learning walls and topic displays.

During the year, we have set assessment opportunities for the more formal formative assessments however the important summative assessment is carried out on a daily basis.  We believe this allows us to identify needs as they arise and to address them straight away, allowing for children to work through misconceptions and to allow their learning to flourish.

Our children’s Topic books, subject books, class subject floor books and teacher planner books allow for the different types of assessment to be organized.  We plan in 3 stages:  a yearly overview for each class, a half termly grid of lessons and objectives and finally a weekly overview for planning that also covers all the KUNCU opportunities.  We believe that at any stage of planning, there should be opportunities for reflection and revision.  There is a planning and curriculum display board near the staffroom which staff are expected to contribute to, and keep updated. It shows an overview of current and past themes as well as an opportunity to share ideas and expertise. This display clearly shows the broad and balanced theme based curriculum of Irlam Endowed. It also facilitates continuity and progression and promotes the uniqueness.


The impact of our curriculum can be seen through the work produced, and the outcomes for every child within school, including at the key milestones needed by certain year groups.  It is also visually represented on a variety of school displays and the school website.

The end of each term assessments allow for the outcomes to be monitored and analysed.  Future work is informed of any misconceptions and thus allowing for the curriculum to be taught effectively in order to meet the needs of all pupils.

Attainment is monitored through this data collected and then progress is analysed.

We monitor each subject area in school through an in depth study similar to a deep dive.  Each subject is directed by a subject lead and the role of these leaders is to provide a strategic lead and direction for the subject by;

  • Keeping up to date with developments in their subject, at both national and local level;
  • Reviewing the way the subject is taught in the school and plan for improvement;
  • Supporting and offering advice to colleagues on issues related to the subject;
  • Monitoring pupil progress in that subject area;
  • Purchasing, storing and managing resources effectively;
  • Reviewing the curriculum plans for their subject, ensuring that there is full coverage of the National Curriculum and that progression is planned into schemes of work.