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Beckingham Primary School


Beckingham Primary School – Curriculum Intent Statement


Basic Principles


  1. Learning is a change to long-term memory.
  2. Our aims are to ensure that our children experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, long-term memory of an ambitious, vocabulary-rich curriculum we embed with sequenced skills, knowledge and understanding. 


Curriculum Intent Model


  1. Curriculum drivers shape our curriculum breadth. They are derived from an exploration of the backgrounds of our children, our beliefs and our values. They are used to ensure we give our children appropriate and ambitious curriculum opportunities.
  2. Cultural capital gives our children the vital background knowledge required to be informed and thoughtful members of our community who understand British values. Opportunities for our children to develop their cultural capital are planned within the curriculum design and supported by school visits and experiences.
  3. Curriculum breadth is shaped by our curriculum drivers, cultural capital, subject topics and our ambition for children to study the best of what has been thought and said by many generations of academics and scholars.
  4. Our curriculum distinguishes between subject topics and ‘threshold concepts’. Subject topics are the specific aspects of subjects that are studied.
  5. Threshold concepts tie together the subject topics in a meaningful way. The same concepts are explored in a wide breadth of topics. Through this ‘forwards and backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, children return to the same concepts over and over and gradually build understanding of them.
  6. Cognitive science tells us that working memory is limited and that cognitive load is too high if children are rushed through content. This limits the acquisition of long-term memory. Cognitive science also tells us that in order for children to become creative thinkers, or have greater depth of understanding they must first master the basics, which takes time.
  7. Children gradually progress in their procedural fluency and vocabulary richness through three cognitive domains: basic, advancing and deep. The goal for children is to display sustained mastery at the ‘advancing’ stage of understanding and for the most able to have a greater depth of understanding at the ‘deep’ stage. The time-scale for sustained mastery or greater depth is for us, two years of study.



  1. Our curriculum is based on evidence from cognitive science: three main principles underpin it:
  • Learning is most effective with spaced repetition
  • Interleaving helps pupils to discriminate between topics and aids long-term retention
  • Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent & regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength
  1. In addition to these principles we also understand that learning is invisible in the short-term and that sustained mastery takes time.
  2. Our content is subject specific. We make intra-curricular links to strengthen understanding and knowledge.
  3. Continuous provision in the form of daily routines, replaces the teaching of some aspects of the curriculum and, in other cases, provides retrieval practice for previously learnt content.


  1. Because learning is a change to long-term memory it is impossible to see the impact in the short term.
  2. We use comparative judgements to compare children’s work over time, both in and across schools. 
  3. We use lesson observations and drop ins to see if the pedagogical style matches our depth expectation


E Moore

April 2020

Governors date and sign                                            Staff date and sign


What does your child learn at school each day? Find information about our curriculum subjects here.

The whole school MATHS OVERVIEW can be found here.

Simply click on your child's year group for more detail on what they will be learning on a day to day basis,

The Phonics scheme we use is LCP with Sounds and Letters.

We use Big Cat as our core reading scheme.

If you wish to know about what your child is learning please contact your child's teacher.