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Curriculum Overview

Flax Bourton Church of England Primary School - Curriculum Subjects

Curriculum Vision

Parkside's Curriculum for champions is a concept-led curriculum which focuses on embedding knowledge and skills through progressive and sequential teaching and learning. This fosters a love of learning and prepares our children for life beyond the classroom. 


The intent of our concept-led curriculum is to provide a framework for teaching that focuses on developing children’s understanding of key ideas and concepts. By organising the curriculum around key concepts, we aim to help children to make connections between different subjects and develop a more holistic understanding of the world. Our goal is to equip children with the critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing world, while also promoting a love of learning and a sense of curiosity and wonder about the world around them. Through this approach, we hope to inspire a lifelong love of learning, and prepare our children for success both in their academic pursuits and in their future careers and lives.



Research by Arslan and Tatlidil (2017) and Hattie and Yates (2014) suggest that a concept-led curriculum can be effective in improving children learning outcomes, particularly in helping children to make deeper connections between ideas and to see the relevance and applicability of what they are learning to their lives and the world around them.

Teaching and learning

To ensure high-quality teaching and learning in the classroom, we use Rosenshine's principles. By using these principles, teachers can ensure that lessons are coherent and clearly sequenced, building on prior learning and leading to clear outcomes. The principles will also provide a framework for providing timely and effective feedback to children, promoting self-reflection and helping children to identify their next steps in their learning journey.

There are 10 principles:

  1. Begin the lesson with a review of previous learning. 
  2. Present new material in small steps. 
  3. Ask a large number of questions to all students 
  4. Provide models and worked examples. 
  5. Practise using the new material. 
  6. Check for understanding frequently and correct errors. 
  7. Obtain a high success rate. 
  8. Provide scaffolds for difficult tasks. 
  9. Independent practice. 
  10. Monthly and weekly reviews. 
Aligning the Curriculum

Our curriculum has been informed by the National Curriculum. Subject leaders have created overall progression and tailored lesson plans to align with our key concepts. By using these lesson plans, our teachers are able to provide a consistent and coherent learning experience for our children, helping them to make connections between different subjects and develop a clear, deeper understanding of the world around them. We believe that by adopting a concept-led approach to teaching and learning, and by providing tailored lesson plans that align with our curriculum, we can inspire a lifelong love of learning and provide our children with knowledge, skills and understanding they need to succeed both in and out of the classroom. 

Professional development

We continuously develop our staff as it is essential for creating a culture of continuous learning and improvement. We give our professional development a thoughtful and intentional approach that considers the needs of the staff, the goals of the school, and the resources available. 

Engaging Parents

At Parkside, we understand the importance of engaging parents. We believe creating a strong partnership between the school and the family can build a stronger school community, and support the growth and development of our children.  We aim to do this by;

  • Weekly 'Stay and Learn' sessions 
  • Parent's evenings
  • End of year reports
  • Termly curriculum overview
  • Steering groups
  • Curriculum meetings for parents 


Our concept-led curriculum has a significant impact on children’s learning and development in several ways:

  1. Deeper understanding of subject matter: By focusing on key concepts, children can gain a deeper understanding of subject matter beyond just memorising facts and information.
  2. Integration of subjects: Our concept-led curriculum encourages the integration of subjects, allowing children to see how different areas of study are interconnected and relevant to real-world problems and issues.
  3. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills: Our concept-led curriculum promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as children are encouraged to analyse and evaluate information, make connections between different ideas and concepts, and apply their learning to real-world scenarios.
  4. Child engagement and motivation: Our concept-led curriculum can increase student engagement and motivation.
  5. Creativity and innovation: Our concept-led curriculum promotes creativity and innovation, as our children are encouraged to think outside the box and approach problems from different perspectives.

The impact of the curriculum is also seen within the high data outcomes in reading, writing, spelling and punctuation and maths. It is also shown in the acquisition of knowledge and the progression of skills. The children and parents’ reviews show that they see learning as a high priority and enjoy the knowledge gained through the topics.  

Our curriculum at Parkside runs on two cycles.

  • Cycle 1: Academic year 2023-2024.
  • Cycle 2: Academic year 2024-2025.

Parkside Concept Curriculum – An Adventure

At Parkside, we are dedicated to offer a broad and ambitious curriculum which ensures that all children have knowledge, skills and conceptual understanding. This three-dimensional approach enables children to take advantage of opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. We passionately aim to provide all children, particularly disadvantaged and those with SEND, with a breadth of opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. This is done through our progression of knowledge and skills which are age appropriate. At the heart of this is a true passion for reading and developing vocabulary.  

Key Concepts  

We have identified ‘Key Concepts’ within each subject. These are ‘big ideas’ that children will keep returning to throughout their journey through Parkside. Each key concept acts as a ‘collecting basket’ for children to attach new knowledge to aid memory and strengthen thinking pathways.  

Linking concepts across subjects 

Concepts allow children to make connections between subjects. For example, the concept such as 'leadership' allows children the opportunity to discuss, evaluate and consolidate conceptual ideas whilst drawing on examples from different subjects. Understanding how to link concepts allows children to categorise their world and to make sense of what they see, hear, feel, and experience. Children who are able to link concepts have a much clearer understanding of the knowledge they are obtaining and they are able to apply this knowledge more effectively. 


Maths, reading, phonics and writing are taught in the morning and science and foundation subjects are taught in the afternoon of the school day. Subjects are blocked each term and are taught discretely, whereas musical instruments are taught on a weekly basis in order for the children to embed their skills.  

Children have the opportunity to come back to their knowledge during spaced retrieval assessments which allow staff to reflect upon whether or not the children have retained the crucial knowledge.

The enhanced curriculum 

As part of our curriculum, we are always looking for ways to further engage children and enhance their opportunities. We want every child to have the chance to access enriching experiences, through a variety of ways. We plan for our lessons and extra-curricular activities to be broad and enriching. 

Below are a number of enrichment activities that always form part of our curriculum and so are compulsory: 

Everybody Writes Day/Creativity: these days happen once every term, whereby the whole school engages in a themed approach to writing. This was done primarily to make writing enjoyable and exciting. However, they have become an established method of how Parkside enhance the writing process with real-life experiences encouraging children to be successful writers. 

Royal Shakespeare Company:  Parkside is establishing links with a Shakespeare Associate School. As part of the project Trust staff have been involved in a research project which looked at the highly positive impact of the RSC involvement on children's language, reading, communication and writing. The work of William Shakespeare is reflected in our curriculum, as a different play is studied each year across the entire school. It is yet another example of how a partnership can further develop communities of outstanding practice and impact on the lives of all children. 

Curriculum Enrichment: as part of our curriculum topics, relevant trips are organised or special visitors are invited into the school. These wider experiences help to enrich our children's lives and challenge them to aspire to be people who leave a mark on the world.  We expect that all of our children at some point in their school life are involved in a community project, whether it is helping to litter pick in the community, singing and performing for local groups and care homes, visiting the elderly members of the community. 

Forest School

The ethos of the Forest School concept, which is based on respect and a right that children have to the outdoors and the natural world, is fundamental to our school. Forest School practice allows children and staff to step out of the shadow and limitation of 'planned activities' and venture into the realms of the unplanned, unexpected and unlimited. This provides children with the opportunity to direct their own learning further supporting our desire as a school to build resilience, risk and opportunities to problem solve. Forest School is timetabled every week and every year group has the opportunity to engage in these sessions throughout the year.

PE Enrichment and Outdoor Education

PE is yet another area where, as a school, we want to enhance the experiences that our children receive.  Therefore, all of our children, as part of their PE programme, experience a wide number of sporting activities. This is in addition to a range of usual sporting activities. Residential visits to Outdoor Education Centres are also an important element of whole school enrichment, These take place throughout our school staying from a few nights to a week.  This ensures that our children become confident and independent, ready to face any challenge that they are faced with. 

Enrichment, extra-curricular opportunities

The majority of our children take part in at least one extra-curricular activity. We aim to provide a range of clubs which suit the needs of our individual children ranging from cooking club to dancing.  Clubs and activities take place  after school. These are well attended and offer all children a wonderful opportunity to develop interests and skills. The school use a range of external providers that bring expertise and specialism to our extra- curricular activities. Teachers and support staff also lead clubs each term which allows schools to offer a range of clubs throughout the week. These clubs are free to all children across the school. In addition, the school runs highly successful booster clubs before school twice a week to support our Y6's in the run-up to SATs. 

Knowing the facts is just not enough. We want our children to develop intellectually, solve problems creatively and manage complex challenges. A concept-based curriculum captures the innate curiosity of the child and allows them to make connections, developing structures in the brain for sorting and organising. 

Curriculum Overviews for Parents

These allow you to find out more about the curriculum.

ParksidePrimary School
Contact Us
01785 450145Parkside Primary Schoolheadteacher@parkside.staffs.sch.ukBradshaw Way, Parkside Ave, Parkside, Stafford ST16 1TH
The Creative Learning Patnership Trust