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Our Learning


Linked to our school values of ‘Caring, Positive and Stimulating’, the purpose of our Curriculum is to connect our children as local citizens of today with the ideas, skills and knowledge that they will need as the global citizens they will become.  We also aim to equip them with the vocabulary to recognise and understand their own emotions, and those of others. 

We will help children to be curious, ask probing questions and be brave in finding solutions.

They will engage with the familiar and be engaged by the unusual, be immersed in language and communicate in multiple languages, know how to practise, be resilient and challenged, be proud of their local environment and think on a global scale, work individually and add their voice to the many, accept help, give charitably and embrace altruism, love difference, be different and stand up for the rights of others just because it is the right thing to do.

We want them to be relentlessly creative, critically curious and to live ambitiously.

Our intention is to create a culture of enquiry, curiosity and challenge that permeates both explicit and hidden curricula.

We use the Curious City Curriculum which inspires and guides our teachers to create contextually relevant enquiry-led experiences.  This enquiry-led approach is enabling our school to create a bespoke, locally focused curriculum that goes beyond the National Curriculum 2014.

Our framework provides curious and creative learning opportunities which are progressively planned, matched to cognitive development and expose learners to the wider world in carefully planned stages.   Each enquiry is designed to provide just enough guidance whilst enabling teachers to inspire learners with local people, places and stories relevant to the school’s locality.  The current structure also has plenty of room to respond to the ever-changing world.   Enquiries are therefore being shaped by our school over time.  Our curriculum will be unique but not isolated; we are part of a family of curious, enquiry-led settings and collaborate regularly at learner, teacher and leader level.

We implement the enquiry-led approach in several ways: 

Using seven themes that help to steer and give a particular flavour to an enquiry, learners seek answers to questions posed.  These seven themes provide a broad range of perspectives in order to create a balance of experiences each year which ultimately ensures a breadth of experiences over time.

States of Being (below) enable learners to focus on and/or combine powerful knowledge in different enquiries. Each knowledge-engaged state symbolises an aspect of the curriculum, helping learners to master both the know of and know how of a subject, not just remember it. For instance, we want our learners to be Scientists, not just learn about science.  As a result, whilst we have enquiry skeletons, we build on these responding to the needs of learners.   As children get older, we help them cross-pollinate states.  We want learners to discover for themselves that they can be an Author, Scientist, Geographer and Philosopher at the same time and that some adults combine these states to become Archaeologists, for instance.  We want our learners to see the interconnection between what they are learning and how this knowledge is applied.

Cognitive development aligned with enquiry-led learning

In a nutshell, enquiry-led learning provokes learners with key questions too big to answer in one go, but not so conceptually large that they cannot understand.  The purpose is to guide learners through a scaffolded process, answering the big question with a piece of writing for example, performance or animation.  As cognitive development, emotional literacy and language immersion underpin the Curious-city approach, as well as purposeful links to mastery-led learning principles, we recognise children's awareness of the world develops as they mature and that this has a significant impact on their ability to learn.  Our job is to help learners make sense of the world, not just expose them to it.

More than the National Curriculum

Lessons may also feel different in our setting from the norm.  Think of a child’s time in school as a continuum of experiences rather than a set of lessons.  Sometimes experiences are short, sharp and immersive, other times they are light-touch events over a longer period of time.  This is exactly what a curious, knowledge-engaged curriculum should be.  The usual Author (literacy) and Mathematicians (numeracy) teaching sequences continue, enhanced by locally rich and relevant experiences through the inclusion of significant people, places and stories, community and culture into enquiries.  National Curriculum subject objectives from Science, History, Geography, Art & Design, Design and Technology, to Music are woven throughout enquiries as seen on the Whole School Enquiry Overview.  Some subjects (renamed using the States of Being) are taught discreetly, such as Foreign Languages, Physical Education, Religious Education (Jigsaw RE) PSHE and SMSC (Jigsaw PSHE).  Where possible, links are made but, more often than not, they are stand-alone experiences.

The themes enable learners to become:

Geographers • Scientists • Musicians • Authors • Philosophers • Mathematicians • Artists • Engineers • Historians • Linguists • Athletes

The impact of Curious-city can be seen and heard, as well as represented in outcomes. 

Impact can be seen through pupil books, displays and through the challenges the children produce at the end of each enquiry.  The process of enquiry, as well as final outcomes, are represented within individual pupil Enquiry books.  In classrooms, enquiry working walls demonstrate the learning journey; States of Being characters feature in books, on classroom displays and visual timetables as well as on our website and newsletters.  Our children and families also talk about the approach positively.  We know that in time, it will affect our reading and writing outcomes as the contexts and purpose for being an Author, for instance, become stronger and stronger.

To find out more about our local, knowledge-engaged, globally connected, enquiry-led curriculum ask us about the deliberate action we are taking to shape our curriculum to meet the needs of our learners and community that we are proudly a part of.

Social Emotional Learning at Corsham Primary

The school uses a whole school programme called ‘RULER’ to teach emotional/mental health and wellbeing awareness and skills. 

RULER was originally created by The Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence and is supported by extensive research in the USA and Australia.

At the core of the approach is the importance of giving children an emotional vocabulary, the time and space to listen and reflect on how they feel and a set of tools to help them move to a more positive set of feelings, for example, when sadness, frustration, anger or loneliness, are experienced.

RULER stands for:

  • Recognising emotions in yourself and others
  • Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
  • Labelling emotions accurately – if you can name it you can tame it
  • Expressing emotions appropriately
  • Regulating emotions effectively

The children are taught these skills through a series of tools, and they regularly revisit their emotions, while unpicking the vocabulary of different feelings.  Our termly focus vocabulary builds understanding of different emotions, as well as emotional awareness and understanding. Alongside this, children sign up daily on Ivern’s feelings monsters (EYFS/KS1) or Ivern’s Feelings Wheel (KS2) to destigmatise the sharing of emotions and help the belief that all emotions are healthy and valid.  These tools are represented by colours and help the children to think of emotions in terms of the amount energy and pleasantness they create in their bodies and minds. Some feelings will be high energy and high pleasantness, such as excitement, or high energy and low pleasantness such as anger.  Others may be low energy and high pleasantness such as feeling relaxed, or low energy and low pleasantness, such as loneliness. 

Children learn to reflect on what causes them to feel their emotions and consider the consequences of that feeling on their own wellbeing or its impact on others. They learn strategies to maintain that mood or to help lessen it. We regularly have these reflections and discussions in lessons such as PSHEE or when discussing book characters, as well as at the start of family assemblies.

Other tools include the Class Charter. The Class Charter is written and displayed by each class each year.  This identifies the feelings and associated behaviours children wish to see in their classroom alongside Ivern’s Golden Rules. Charters are a powerful tool to ensure personal and social responsibility and help remind everyone to be the best version of themselves.

Emotional Vocabulary to be used whenever appropriate Click here

Curriculum Overviews and Curriculum Newsletters

Each year group has their own Curriculum Overview.

Teachers evaluate the curriculum termly and co-ordinators will adapt and change the curriculum in response to their evaluations.  Our curriculum is therefore continually evolving in order to meet the needs of our pupils.

Please visit the Year Group pages to see their Curriculum Overviews and Curriculum Newsletters.

Equal Opportunities

In accordance with the school’s Equal Opportunities, SEN and Inclusion Policies (see school policies page), all children at Corsham Primary School will be given full access to the National Curriculum/Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Staff will endeavour to help all children reach their full potential irrespective of race, physical ability, gender, age or learning ability.

Management of the School Day

The school day starts at 8.50am and finishes at 3.10pm

Morning Break Pound Pill

KS1: 10.30 – 10.45am

KS2: 11.00 – 11.15am

Lunch Break Pound Pill

FS: 12:15 - 1:15pm

KS1/KS2: 12:30 – 1:30pm

Morning Break Broadwood

10.30 - 10.45am

Lunch Break Broadwood

12:30 – 1:30pm

Classroom Management and Organisation


The learning environment is managed to cater for different learning styles and needs to take into consideration, a range of levels and abilities:

  • Whole class teaching.
  • Group work and focus groups which are organised according to appropriate criteria i.e. ability, mixed ability, single sex, interest etc.
  • One to one teaching.
  • Conferencing.
  • Collaborative learning with talk partners or groups.
  • Independent learning.

All areas of the learning environment will be utilised including provision for outdoor learning, which ensures learning opportunities for a range of varied and stimulating learning experiences in all areas of the curriculum, which develop appropriate skills, concepts and knowledge.

Teaching Assistants and external agencies are employed to support children with Special Educational Needs and disabilities, as outlined on their Individual Education Plans. Inclusion is at the forefront of planning for these children which may indicate working 1:1 outside the classroom for short periods.

Behaviour Management

As outlined in the whole school Behaviour Policy every class will display the Golden Rules poster.

  • Classrooms are organised to facilitate learning and the development of independence.
  • The resources in each area are grouped according to curriculum subject and clearly labelled.
  • In order to enable whole-class interactive teaching from years three to six, pupils’ tables and chairs are organised in a horseshoe arrangement.  This offers good sightlines and good lines for communication, both verbal and non-verbal.  In year two the tables are organised in groups but in a horseshoe around the carpet area.  In the summer term, year two tables are then organised into the horseshoe shape.
  • Writing resources are available for use at all times, and are easily accessible.
  • Book corners are comfortable and attractive.
  • Labels and posters wherever possible reflect the language diversity in the school community.
  • In the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, areas for imaginative play are changed termly and linked to enquiry themes.  These give opportunities for a range of play and role-play experiences which contribute to learning in a purposeful manner.
  • Pupils are involved in the maintenance and care of all equipment and resources.
  • Pupils are encouraged and allowed access to water bottles.

We aim to provide a “vibrant” interactive and supportive learning environment.

Basic Skills

We are committed to raising standards of Basic Skills at Corsham Primary School. By Basic Skills, we mean the ability to read, write and speak in English, and to use mathematics and computing at a level necessary to function and progress in the workplace, and in society in general.

Our vision statements for Reading, Writing and Maths


At Corsham Primary School we are determined that every child will become a reader and endeavour to provide outstanding reading experiences and inspiring learning opportunities which promote the importance of this lifelong skill.  All children, both boys and girls, will be exposed to a range of carefully chosen, high-quality texts in order to develop stamina, broaden their knowledge of the world, widen their vocabulary and prepare them for reading beyond Primary School.


We believe that children learn best when they are provided with a range of opportunities and skills for writing across the curriculum.  Teachers will provide a stimulating environment that promotes all aspects of literacy learning.  Children have access to a range of writing equipment and resources to support and further develop their writing.


We believe that maths at Corsham Primary should be creative and engaging.  It should be presented through a context which is meaningful and stimulating for all children at their own level.  Children should be confidently able to apply their skills and knowledge to imaginatively solve problems.

Phonics and Reading Schemes

At Corsham Primary School we use the 'Read, Write, Inc' phonics scheme in order to teach children word recognition and spelling through developing their ability to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes (the smallest unit of spoken language), and to teach them the relationship between phonemes and the graphemes (written letters or combinations of letters).  To consolidate this learning, children will bring home 'Read, Write, Inc' reading books matched to their individual phonic level.