ENJOY ACHIEVING TOGETHER ... by being the best that we can be!   

At Usworth Colliery, we go places, do things, meet people and learn new things.

Our pupils learn best through experiential learning and our curriculum is built around this.  We provide the pupils with experiences and opportunities they may not otherwise access. Through this approach, pupils are offered a curriculum which is exciting, engaging and ambitiously designed to give all pupils knowledge and understanding that they need to succeed in the world. To widen the aspirations of our young learners they are regularly exposed to a range of experiences that put their new knowledge into a real world context and help them contextualise what they are learning.

To promote resilience and independence our curriculum encourages pupils to adopt a growth mind-set in order to learn from mistakes and develop as learners.

Our curriculum is based on the expectations of the national curriculum and is designed to be both progressive and matched to the needs and interests of our pupils. It starts with what the pupils already know and what they would like to know, added to this is what they need to know and from this a bespoke and flexible curriculum is created. Long term plans are designed to be developmental and progressive and each new topic or learning experience builds on the skills knowledge and understanding previously taught.

To support the unique needs of our pupils the curriculum has vocabulary and reading at its core. As pupils progress through school, children’s vocabulary is improved through consistent exposure to new words from age appropriate texts and taught subject specific vocabulary.  Teaching builds on previously learnt vocabulary and the acquisition of this allows the children to discuss and reason within the subjects. Pupils access a wide variety of high-quality written sources to develop their reading skills and spark their interest and enthusiasm for learning. Children are encouraging and empowered to develop their own lines of enquiry asking their own questions about the subject they are studying.

Curriculum Implementation

Subject Leaders drive the curriculum to deliver the intent through an increased understanding of how well each subject is delivered, by providing documentation to support planning and delivery of the subject and through CPD and targeted support where necessary.

Leaders support teachers to plan well pitched, progressive series of lessons  

Leaders develop and implement a curriculum based on national curriculum expectations and the five key principles of our intent

  • Experiential
  • Progressive
  • Reading at the core
  • Vocabulary acquisition as an integral part of the learning
  • A growth mind-set approach to develop resilience 

Leaders provide staff with a long term plan that sets out the key skills, knowledge and understanding to be taught in each year group across the year, termly and in some cases half termly.

  • English: long term plan
  • Reading: Comprehension skills progression overview for Guided Reading and Reading Long Term Plan Maths: TfC CFC document 
  • Foundation Subjects: Key Skills Knowledge and Understanding document
  • Leaders provide staff with a vocabulary progression document that sets out where new subject specific vocabulary is taught and what prior vocabulary knowledge pupils should have acquired
  • For each subject area leaders provide support materials such as suggestion lists of possible experiences, activities that support objectives websites schemes etc.
  • Leaders support staff with short term planning either by unit or topic through CPD, personalised support in PPA, extra planning time and/or staff meeting time.
  • Science and Topic: Planning Grids and Pacers
  • Maths S Planning
  • Literacy: Unit Planning Grid
  • Reading: Guided Reading Grid
  • Daily planning is paper free and staff are encouraged to plan though screens focussing on delivery opportunities for modelling and quality resources
  • All Leaders monitor their subject though learning walks, work scrutiny, pupil voice, teacher feedback, assessment scrutiny and data analysis. Whole school CPD and individual support is identified from this monitoring and Leads facilitate this support.

Staff plan and deliver lessons that reflect the intent of the curriculum

  • Teachers use the support materials provided by leaders to deliver lessons that are progressive in terms of building on prior knowledge and applying previously taught skills and understanding
  • Teachers assess and monitor progress throughout the lessons and adapt immediate teaching and future teaching accordingly
  • Teachers plan for support and challenge in all lessons for all pupils though a range scaffolds and challenge activities.
  • Teachers use the progression in vocabulary documents to implicitly plan for and teach new vocabulary as well as revisiting and applying the vocabulary already learned
  • Teachers aim to increase depth of learning rather than speed of learning though a growth mind-set approach which promotes an everyone can achieve mentality where children access the same work but are supported to record their learning at an appropriate level and others are or challenged to think more deeply about or explain more clearly their understanding
  • Teaching assistants and teachers provide immediate intervention where necessary following a lesson to support children who have not yet grasped the concept fully and enable them to access the next piece of learning alongside their peers
  • Planned interventions are provided when pupils need to catch up or where a gap in learning has been identified and can be addressed.
  • Teachers assess attainment at the end of each teaching sequence or unit and record this as DNA ticks on the school database, Pupil Asset. These assessments are revisited and modified throughout the year as pupils make progress. These assessments inform future planning, intervention provision and summative end of year assessments.

Outdoor Learning at Usworth Colliery Primary School.

Through Outdoor Learning children learn through what they do, through what they encounter and through what they discover. Participants learn about the outdoors, themselves and each other, while also learning outdoor skills. Active learning readily develops the learning skills of enquiry, experiment, feedback, reflection, review and cooperative learning. It is also essential for accelerated learning and development.

Curriculum - Further Information

Skills, Knowledge and Understanding

This document will be used as an expected benchmark to ensure that each child is working at a level that is appropriate for their age, as well as ensure coverage.

Key skills, knowledge and understanding document

Whole School Evidence

Further information can be found on the Personal, Social, Health & Cultural Education (PSHCE) subject page. Please Click Here.

What is the learning challenge curriculum?

The learning challenge curriculum has been designed to link together critical elements in:

What is the underlying pedagogy?

Teaching and learning

  • Built around a questioning and enquiry approach; helping to hook children into learning.
  • Incorporates curiosity into the teaching sequences.
  • Incorporates challenge and differentiation.


  • Incorporating’ thinking about thinking and learning’.


  • Allows you to demonstrate statutory coverage.
  • Ensures an incremental approach to skill development.
  • Driven by driving standards in all subjects.
  • Supported differentiation.
  • Weaves together subject specific skills; the basics and genre features in writing.


  • Assessment pro-actively built into the planning process.
  • Skill progression used to ensure clarity of levelling in all subjects.
  • Allows assessment to be used to make a difference to what actually happens in the classroom.

The Learning Challenge Learning Journey


What might children be interested in?

What do they already know?

Do they have any misconceptions?

How might they prefer to learn?

Big Picture

How will you share the big picture?

How will you visually represent the learning journey?

Will there be any surprises?

How will you include children’s questions?


How will non-negotiables be applied?

Links to specific genre/s?

Maths & ICT links?

Reflect, review & evaluate

How will you build in?

What difference will it make?

Do you reflect on

‘the what’ and ‘the how’?


What do you know about the context of your children?

What do you know about the interests

& motivations of your children?

Starting Point

What will get the children hooked?

What will fire them up?

(May be the wow!)


What will hook children?

What will they remember?

How will they link it to learning?


What is the outcome for the unit?

What are children working towards?

Does it add meaning and value?

What drives the learning challenge approach?

  • Planned around the distinctive needs your children
  • Enquiry based to promote curiosity
  • Outcomes driven to raise standards
  • Embeds the application of basic skills
  • Allows writing to be meaningfully embedded
  • Cross-curricular (where meaningful)
  • Interesting for the teacher as well as children
  • Integrates empowering learning (‘learn to learn’)
  • Underpinned by latest thinking about quality learning and brain-based learning


There is a ’Big Question’, which lasts for a longer period of time (usually a half-term). The teacher and children work together to create the learning challenges. Such questions could be:

Are all wolves bad?

Could I be eaten by a dinosaur?

How can Usain Bolt move so quickly?

Will you ever see the water you drink again?

Where would you choose to build a city?

Pre-learning tasks help bring out what learners already know, what misconceptions they may have, and what really interests them. Teachers use this as a basis for their planning.

Progression in the curriculum is built around essential knowledge, understanding and key skills within each subject. These are broken into year group expectations and have additional challenges for able learners. English, Mathematics and ICT skills are applied where it is appropriate to do so.

Time for children to reflect upon or review their learning is central to the whole process. The idea is that learners present their learning to the rest of the class, using speaking & listening and ICT skills to do so.

Learning challenges are shared with parents and they are asked to contribute when and where they can (either through homework, visiting school to share information or sending in resources).

Visits and visitors are imperative to answering our weekly learning challenges. Learning challenge planning will differ from year to year depending upon the interests of the children and staff, although covering the main skills, knowledge and understanding for the year group.

Please click on the links below to access the Government website and information about the national curriculum tests (often referred to as SATS).

Changes Information

End of KS2 Assessment Testing Information for Parents

For further information please click the links below.

Information Leaflet

The National Tests – A Parent’s Guide

The KS1 and KS2 Writing exemplification documents are available here:

Teacher Asessment Exemplification KS1 English Writing

Teacher Assessment Exemplification KS2 English Writing

For more information regarding the content of our curriculum for each year group please click here. For further information about the curriculum we are following please email info@usworthcolliery.co.uk or telephone the school office directly on 0191 4178888