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‘Learning is defined as an alteration in long-term memory.  If nothing has altered in long-term memory, nothing has been learned.’   Sweller, Ayres, Kalyuga (2011)

At Great Wakering Primary Academy we continually strive towards developing and maintaining an engaging and purposeful curriculum that aligns with the National Curriculum requirements.  In addition to this, we also understand the importance of a curriculum which fulfils the needs of children as individuals and is personalised to meet the needs of our community and enrich children’s experiences.  Our curriculum is rigorously planned to ensure it gives our children the knowledge, skills and character development they need to become lifelong learners.

“Children will often forget what we made them think but will remember how we made them feel.” (Sir John Jones)

Although knowledge and skills are different, you cannot have one without the other.  Skills need to be anchored into knowledge to create understanding.  Even though the curriculum is theme based, it is important that each subject discipline is planned for so prior knowledge and skills can be retrieved, practiced and built upon.  We consider how children will be working in each subject area, for example as historians, chefs, musicians etc. to ensure progressive teaching and learning in all subjects (knowledge and skills), across the school.

We want our lessons to build rapport and character, be interesting, explain methods clearly and our class teachers to ask amazing questions which make the children work hard, feel inspired and want to find answers. 

Curriculum Drivers

At Great Wakering Primary Academy, our school values- Aspire, Respect, Achieve- underpin our curriculum and permeate all areas of school life.

Aspire - It is important that children have the opportunities to experience ‘real life’ situations and acquire the knowledge and skills that teach them how to succeed in the real world.  In order for our children to become lifelong learners, it is important they are engaged and inspired by the curriculum presented to them.  We want to enhance and enrich our children’s understanding of the local and wider world with a range of opportunities which develop aspirational goals and open up a world of wondrous possibilities.  These include skills such as: teamwork, risk taking, motivation, self-control, negotiation, effective communication, innovation, creativity, resilience, honesty, empathy and compassion- all of which build children’s character and confidence and are an intrinsic part of our curriculum. 

Respect - Great Wakering Primary Academy’s Curriculum will develop an understanding of children’s character, drive, identity, social skills and self-worth so they develop a sense of pride and can make responsible choices while participating in the local community.  It also develops an understanding of their own and other cultures so children learn to respect and appreciate the diversity of an ever changing society and how they fit into a wider world.  A child’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) is planned for through every aspect of the curriculum and the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived throughout the ethos of the school.

Achieve - The aim of our curriculum is for all children to develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes to learning so they can become confident, successful leaners who achieve their true potential and are prepared for the ‘real world’.  Our curriculum has been planned and sequenced to best achieve a secure knowledge that subsequent learning can take place from and encourage children to understand, value and demonstrate the positive behaviour traits which make them well-rounded citizens.

Phonics and Early Reading (See English Policy)

All children will have a true passion for reading that stays with them for life

At Great Wakering Primary Academy we use phonic teaching as a core approach to the teaching of early reading and spelling alongside the development of reading comprehension skills and developing a love of reading in our children. It is essential to us that all pupils leave our school being able to read fluently and with confidence.

Phonics is taught following the Letters and Sounds Document which aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills, especially focusing on blending and segmenting.

Phonics progress is tracked regularly through the completion of a phonic tracking grid.  In June, Year One children take the Phonics Screening Test.  In Year Two, any children who have not passed the phonics screening test in Year One will have phonics interventions to consolidate earlier phase phonics.  Our aim is for all children to leave KS1 being able to read easily, with fluency and good understanding.


All children will be fluent, effective writers and communicators so they are confident in the literary world.

At Great Wakering Primary Academy we understand a high quality English education will teach pupils to speak, write and read fluently, which is essential to prepare children for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life and the society around them.

English teaching is based around Talk for Writing because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own.  Alongside this, reading skills are also taught explicitly in whole class reading sessions, to improve both word reading and comprehension.  It is important children are encouraged to read widely across fiction and non-fiction texts to develop a rich vocabulary and feed imaginations.

Grammar and Spelling 

Children at Great Wakering Academy are encouraged to speak and therefore write using standard English.  A rich vocabulary is discussed through the children’s reading and writing and relationships and meanings between words are investigated.  Spelling and Grammar is planned from a whole school progressive plan so children acquire new knowledge and build upon what they already know so they will be equipped with a strong command of the spoken and written word in the future.


Clear handwriting helps with clear and effective communication so at Great Wakering Primary Academy we use the Nelson Handwriting Scheme to help all children develop a confident, legible and personal handwriting style and meet higher curriculum expectations. Teaching includes pattern practice, letter formation, motor skills work and joins as well as fun activities to bring handwriting to life.


All children will be equipped with the fundamentals of maths, enabling them to be confident, responsible and self-sufficient individuals.

At Great Wakering Primary Academy we aim to encourage each child to achieve their full potential in mathematics so they are fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, can reason mathematically and solve mathematical problems.  We use concrete-pictorial-abstract and scaffolding approaches which reinforce mathematical concepts and improve fluency, followed by reasoning, thinking skills and sophisticated problem solving to enable children to become confident, critically aware and independent learners.  Our maths curriculum is designed to enable children to apply their mathematical knowledge to the rest of the curriculum and real life situations, such as financial literacy.


All children will be equipped with the knowledge and understanding of how science impacts their daily lives and have the curiosity to challenge and question.

The science curriculum provides the foundations for understanding the world.  Our science curriculum builds up a secure knowledge of key scientific concepts across the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.  It also gives children the opportunities to predict, plan, observe, investigate and experiment so they can develop their own ideas and ask questions about the world.  We want children to develop a sense of curiosity about the world and understand the impact that scientific development has had on the past and will have on their future.   We use the ‘Switched On’ science scheme to support the planning of science so teachers have exciting ideas for scientific enquiry.


All children will be equipped with the skills to use ICT safely and responsibly as an integral part of life and learning in an ever changing technological world.

There has been an explosion in the use and impact of ICT in everyone's lives and at Great Wakering Primary Academy our aim is to equip pupils with the computational thinking, creativity and digital literacy so they are confident and active members of the digital world.  We enhance our teaching of e-safety with the ‘Switched On Online Safety’ scheme of work as it is vital that children are prepared to deal with online content independently and safely.

Art and Design

All children will be able to express themselves creatively and appreciate art in all forms

As artists, the children at Great Wakering Primary Academy have the opportunity to experiment, invent, and create their own works of art using a range of different mediums.  Art and design lessons are based around the theme being taught in the year group so children are engaged and knowledgeable about the topic and can consider how art has influenced history and culture. 

Design and Technology 

All children will understand how technology impacts on their daily lives and be inspired to become engineers of the future

Design and Technology develops children's skills and knowledge in design, structures, mechanisms, electrical control and a range of materials, including food. It encourages children's creativity and encourages them to think about the impact of technology on the past and in daily life.  At Great Wakering Primary Academy, it is important that DT lessons link to real life problem solving and we understand the importance of children applying the principles of nutrition to cooking, so we have cooking as key part of our DT curriculum every term.


All children will be equipped with a broad knowledge of the natural and human world and make links between the wider world and where they live.

Geography raises and answers questions about the natural and human worlds.   At Great Wakering Primary Academy, it is important to us that children are equipped with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources, natural and human environments so they can understand and resolve issues concerning the interaction between human and physical processes.  We want our geography curriculum to encourage pupils to think about their own place in the world, their values, and their rights and responsibilities to other people and the environment.


All children will be inspired to learn about the past and recognise how people and events have shaped their lives and can shape their future

History is about events that have taken place in the past, whether it was yesterday or hundreds of years ago.  We want our history curriculum to inspire our children to become curious about the past and understand how the past has influenced life today; by asking questions, examining evidence and developing their own perspective and judgements. 


All children will develop their knowledge of the French language, customs and traditions.

At Great Wakering Primary Academy, as well as children developing and making progress in the French Language, we want French teaching to foster our pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world.   It is not just an opportunity to verbally communicate, read and write in French but also a fun and active way of learning about different cultures and their traditions, as well as comparing their way of living with our own.


All children will develop an appreciation of music to allow them to become creative composers and performers.

Music plays an important part of Great Wakering Primary Academy.  We believe our music curriculum should inspire all pupils to develop a love of music.  Weekly curriculum lessons allow all pupils to develop their self-confidence and creativity when composing, performing and evaluating music and a variety of music schemes are used to enhance the activity choice to practice the knowledge and skills in line with the National Curriculum.



All children will leave GWPA with the skills and knowledge to keep themselves healthy and safe in the real world and online.

Our PSHE curriculum is taught using Cambridgeshire Primary Personal Development Programme which covers the strands Myself and My Relationships, Healthy and Safer Lifestyles, Citizenship and Economic Wellbeing.  There are also enrichment units on topics such as Body Image and E-safety.

At Great Wakering Primary Academy SMSC and British Values are threaded throughout the whole curriculum, however, areas will be taught more explicitly through PSHE.

Physical Education

All children will understand the importance and be motivated to lead healthy, active lifestyles.

At Great Wakering Primary Academy we believe that a high-quality physical education curriculum allows children to understand the importance of leading healthy, active lives while developing competence in a range of physical activity.   We offer a range of opportunities for children to compete and excel in sport through competitions within and between schools.  These allow children to build character and help embed values such as fairness and respect, while sustaining activity for extended periods of time.

Religious Education 

All children will demonstrate respect and understanding towards the religions and beliefs of others.

At Great Wakering Primary Academy we use “exploRE”, the new Essex agreed syllabus for religious education.  Within “exploRE” content related to all the major world faiths is covered and the exploration of secular as well as religious world views is included.  We understand RE is an important subject in itself, developing an individual’s knowledge and understanding of the religions and beliefs which form part of contemporary society.

RE contributes to pupils’ personal development and well-being and to community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse society.  Exploring the concepts of religion and belief and their roles in the spiritual, moral and cultural lives of people in a diverse society helps individuals develop moral awareness and social understanding.

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