“A curriculum worth coming to school for.  Learning worth working hard for.”

We are very proud of our curriculum at Chapel Street and welcome the opportunity to share it with parents / carers and visitors to our school.  We hope the information here is helpful but if you have further questions, ideas or would like to know more please come and speak with us in school.


We are currently creating a series of videos that will showcase the excellent curriculum we offer and the outcomes it is supporting our children to achieve.  We can’t wait to share these with you so please visit again soon.


In addition to the information below, you can use the links on the right of this page to access an annual overview of the key topics taught in each year group, a subject breakdown by half term for each year group and more detailed subject specific information.  The class pages, on this website, all include more specific examples of what the children are learning each half term and copies of enrichment homework booklets.


What is our curriculum?

At Chapel Street we consider our curriculum to be everything we offer our children that supports their education and holistic development – academic, emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, moral, social and cultural.  This begins as soon as they enter our school (from 8:00am in the morning) and continues even after they have returned home (with enrichment homework, support for parents, signposting within the community and extra-curricular activities).  Every area of our provision, timetables, school day and environment is carefully planned to best meet the unique needs of our pupils.


What is our approach?

We use a Topic approach to the teaching of our curriculum as we believe this best meets the needs of our pupils.  Key elements are detailed below:


• Immersive – Combining different subjects and areas into one topic supports our children in making links, applying skills and knowledge in different contexts and provides further opportunity for revisiting and consolidating.

• Experiential – First hand experiences within school mean that all our children are able to access the curriculum equally.  Hands-on learning means the children have something to say and write about.

• Oracy – Our pupils speak over 34 different languages across the school and many are new to English.  Opportunities for speaking and listening are vital to developing knowledge and understanding needed to be successful across the whole curriculum.

• High quality texts – Each topic is focused around a well-selected, high quality text that hooks the children and helps deepen their understanding and engagement.

• Subject-specific-identity – Each subject, within a topic, is clearly identified; learning objectives and success criteria are subject-specific and show progression.

• Community – Our school is at the heart of our community and we are working to weave our community through the heart of our curriculum.  We are at the start of our work to develop this area of the curriculum but are making strong links that mean learning is more relevant for our children.  For example, when year 5 focused on a topic about the historical slave trade they also asked the local police to talk to classes about modern slavery and a recent raid on a car wash in our area and year 1 linked with Biffa to learn about recycling during their Beegu topic (materials for science) and organized a litter pick for the local area.


What is our curriculum structure?

All year groups, from 1 to 6, follow the same structure for their topics:


• Hook – Well planned to excite and motivate the children whilst giving them first-hand experience of a key (and otherwise abstract) concept (for example settlement, discrimination or belonging).

• KWL – An overview of what each child already knows and wants to learn.  This informs teachers’ planning for the rest of the topic and ensures that lessons build on prior learning.  It is also an opportunity for children to generate their own questions.

• Vocabulary – Specific teaching of the vocabulary needed to be successful in learning for that topic.

• Knowledge mats – Essential knowledge for the topic to give all children a starting point to access learning.

• First hand experiences – Including trips, visitors in to school, experiments, inquiry and opportunities for all children to do things for themselves.

• Quizzes – These are being introduced across the 2019 – 2020 academic year.  Low-stakes, frequent quizzes will be used to improve pupil’s recall of essential knowledge and quickly identify any gaps for revisiting and consolidation.

• Reflection – Children work collaboratively to decide how they would like to share their learning from the topic.  Parents are then invited in to see what they have worked on.  This can be anything from presentations, dances, charity cake sales, turning the classroom into a museum, producing books and games, videos and songs.


Sticky knowledge

The more our children know, the more they will be able to learn.  Wide general knowledge supports our pupils in making connections and understanding new concepts and information.  We use a number of strategies to increase the wider knowledge of our children:


• All children in KS1 and KS2 watch Newsround after their morning break – followed by a class discussion of the issues raised.

• Weekly assemblies for all children, from Years 1 to 6, include links to national and international awareness days, significant dates, themes and issues.  For example Black history month and religious celebrations.

• Classroom reading corners and year group libraries are rich in quality and engaging books on a range of topics and themes - not just those specific to our curriculum.

• Years 5 and 6 have a subscription to First News – the weekly newspaper specifically for children.



We have clear timetables, annual overviews and medium term planning in place for each year group to ensure all children receive their entitlement to a full, broad, balanced and rich curriculum.  We value all subjects and recognize each child will thrive in different areas.


Mathematics: Maths is taught as discrete lessons, using the White Rose scheme of work.  Throughout 2019 – 2020 we are working with the North West Maths Hub on their ‘Teaching for Mastery’ programme to develop a bespoke approach to teaching maths for our school.  This will be implemented from September 2020.  In addition to a daily maths lesson, KS1 and KS2 have daily timetabled slots for TTRS (Times Tables Rock Stars), ‘Fluent in five’ and ‘Mad maths’.


Reading: In EYFS and KS1 reading is taught using a Guided Reading approach and supported by highly effective discrete phonics teaching.  KS2 use a whole class approach to the teaching of reading which is discrete to the wider curriculum but links where appropriate.  All timetables also include opportunities for ‘reading for pleasure’ and applying reading skills within other subjects.


Writing: All year groups have a daily writing lesson.  These follow a writing sequence that has been specifically developed to meet the needs of our pupils.  Lessons rigorously develop pupils’ basic skills for writing as well as their understanding and skill in writing for a range of different audiences and purposes.  Our writing curriculum is strongly linked to the wider curriculum to support our children in having content, understanding and real purpose to write.


Topic: We take a topic approach to the teaching of our wider curriculum.  Where it is meaningful, appropriate and relevant then subjects are built into these lessons (whilst maintaining their unique, subject-specific identity).


Discrete: Some subjects are usually taught discretely from the Topic and with their own slots within our weekly timetable (PSHCE, RE, PE, MfL and music).  Others can be taught in addition to the topic, where this is most appropriate (science, history, geography, art, D&T).


Quotes from Ofsted –June 2019

“The curriculum is broad and balanced.  Leaders have crafted a curriculum that provides pupils with a strong sense of identity and a deep understanding of the context in which they live.  Pupils have access to a wide range of exciting and engaging experiences, which they cherish.  Pupils who spoke to inspectors recalled many different trips that had enhanced their learning.  These included visits to York as part of their Viking topic, excursions to the beach and residential trips to the Lake District.  Through these enhancements, pupils develop skills, knowledge and understanding in a wide range of subjects.  Across the curriculum, teachers plan activities that develop pupils’ reading, writing and mathematical skills.”


“Leaders have skillfully planned core texts which are used to hook pupils into learning.  This was seen during ‘Refugee Week’, when pupils read a range of texts which transported them into the life of a refugee.”


“Pupils were asked a range of questions to challenge their views and to deepen their learning across the curriculum.  Pupils were engaged and keen to contribute.”


“Teaching across a wide range of curriculum subjects is good.  Teachers demonstrate the same high expectations that they have in English and mathematics.  They plan well-thought-out topics to promote pupils’ learning across the curriculum.”


Developing our curriculum

As a school we began significant work to review and redevelop our curriculum in September 2017.  This has been a collaborative process involving consultation with our children, parents/carers, staff, wider community and external professionals including Clive Davis (Focus Education) and Laura Lodge (One Education).


Whilst we are very proud of the improvements we have already made, we know this is a journey and continue to work hard so that all children in our school receive the quality of education they deserve and leave us fully prepared for the next stage of their education.  Throughout this process we have made brave decisions with a focus on bringing about high quality, sustainable improvements that effectively meet the needs of our pupils – resisting the temptation to look for ‘quick fixes’ or a ‘booster approach’ that could raise test results and external data quickly at the cost of a rich, balanced and full curriculum.


Our strategic approach to developing the curriculum at Chapel Street aims to make sure that:

• We build on our strengths

• Take action to overcome identified barriers – key to our context, locality and community

• Provision meets the needs of our pupils

• Changes are sequential and progressive

• Improvements are sustained over time


Subject development

Each year we identify priority subjects for more rigorous development.  An overview of these is shown below.


2017 - 2018

2018 - 2019

2019 - 2020

2020 - 2021

2021 - 2022

2022 - 2023

2023 - 2024

























Chapel Street Primary School, Chapel Street, Levenshulme, Manchester, M19 3GH

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