Curriculum Overview

Marshwood School Curriculum Intent

Our Marshwood curriculum forms the thread that weaves together all we do to live out our vision of nurture, grow, flourish and our values including respect, wisdom, love. Our two year rolling programme of study, has been organised broadly into topics based on the subject programmes of study in the National Curriculum and these have been carefully and purposefully mapped out to ensure a vertical progression of skills, knowledge and vocabulary from EYFS to Year 6. Built into this are carefully planned horizontal links to connect different subject disciplines together in meaningful ways, as well as diagonal themes which provide opportunities to develop pupils’ spiritual, moral, social, cultural, and personal wellbeing and development. 


We have shaped our curriculum and planning around four significant themes which are foundational to our curriculum, helping us to achieve our overall vision: 

  • Dignity and respect: As a Church of England School, the children themselves identified the importance of recognising the dignity of all human life as created by God and the rights of all human beings to be respected and exercise free will. We believe that if children develop a deep knowledge of their own and other cultures, it helps them to understand different perspectives within the world in which we live, to make informed choices and to respect the beliefs and choices of others. Our curriculum content dispels negative stereotypes and personal biases about different groups. In addition, whilst promoting British values, it helps our children recognise and respect alternative views and ways of life. 

  • Stewardship and community: As a Church of England School within a rural and mostly agricultural setting, we want all of our children to appreciate and value their environment and feel passionate about its management. As a small school with a family feel and a close-knit community, we also value our connections and how we support and encourage one another. Our curriculum provides opportunities to be good stewards of our school, our local area, our world and everything and everyone in it, including our charitable support for our link communities in Uganda.

  • Communication and collaboration: Communication and language are central to our curriculum planning. Oracy skills and acquisition of rich, varied and technical vocabulary are central to all learning and are developed across the school to enable our children to gain a high level of communication and interaction skills. This is more than simply spoken language. Our curriculum promotes an ambitious use of language in all forms as well as teaching children to become good communicators. Children will learn that words, actions and how they listen to others will help them to become effective communicators who can work well independently and with others.

  • Wellbeing: Our Christian distinctiveness underpins all we do and our curriculum focuses on our key school values of Love- the heart of all aspects of school life overarching our values. As part of appreciating the beauty of creation, we also want to encourage creativity in all its forms in the children which drives us in our desire to provide an enriching, broad and balanced curriculum throughout all year groups. We value developing the whole child and are keen they embrace their uniqueness and learn how to live healthy, fulfilled lives, looking after themselves physically, mentally and spiritually.

How we practically work this out is set out below through our 8 key vision phrases spelling out our intended outcome FLOURISH:

Fulfilling everyone's potential through challenge, aspiration and ambition - we follow the National Curriculum as a starting point which provides a broad and balanced core around which our staff continually develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of our pupils’ knowledge, understanding, vocabulary and skills across a wide range of subjects and topics. We help all pupils to grow by ensuring that they are challenged by the curriculum we deliver. Through our curriculum progression, our skills build on prior learning year on year outlined by the National Curriculum. We use ongoing teacher assessment (learning questions, quizzes, presentations etc) and references to prior and upcoming learning/key vocabulary in each lesson to ensure new knowledge becomes embedded and supports development of transferable skills. We set aspirational targets for all pupils which are monitored regularly to ensure that the appropriate support and challenge are built into the curriculum.

Lifelong learners who are independent, resilient and confident - as well as teaching key knowledge and skills in English, Maths, Science, RE and foundation subjects, pupils are nurtured and encouraged to reason about and solve problems, talk actively about their learning, and work independently across all subjects. We empower children to take risks and move out of their comfort zone. We are committed to nurturing a love of reading which opens the door to wider learning and enjoyment of learning. We aim for all pupils to develop fluency and confidence in mathematics, in order to achieve mastery and succeed across the curriculum. Opportunities are planned into topics to allow children to explore ideas through talk, build their vocabulary and confidently present to different audiences including through regular Celebration Worship times. 

Opening up new opportunities and experiences to promote a deep love of learning - our broad and balanced curriculum of stimulating learning opportunities is enhanced through first hand experiences, visits and visitors, helping to nurture rich experiences that build lasting memories. Sequences of work are planned with consideration of cross-curricular teaching as well as key focus on skills and knowledge acquisition in individual subjects - teachers plan carefully so that, where conducive to pupils’ learning, ideas and concepts are connected and taught in cross-curricular topics, while other subjects are taught discretely. We recognise that progress in order to flourish means knowing more and remembering more. Our curriculum content in all subjects is carefully sequenced to build upon prior learning.

Using, appreciating and caring for our local environment - wherever possible, our curriculum celebrates and makes use of our beautiful local area, including themes of farming and environmental management. Our vision of nurture, grow, flourish uses deliberately nature/agriculture-based vocabulary. We believe that access to and appreciation of our local environment, for example through regular Forest School sessions throughout the year and revisiting themes such as sustainability, helps pupils to flourish as individuals and corporately. It also ensures that the environment itself will continue to flourish through their future stewardship of it. 

Respecting and valuing everyone, no matter what their background - we know that many of our children will have a limited experience of different cultures, nationalities and faiths. Consequently, as well as appreciating our local area, we use our curriculum as a vehicle to support our pupils to grow in seeing different ways to think about and understand the wider world. We learn about different places and people around the world from the very start, including through our own link with Uganda, and consider themes such as equality through the civil rights movement in Key Stage 2. Through visits to cities, planned work on British Values and careful choice of reading materials, we promote our children’s understanding of the wider world and broaden their horizons to help them to flourish.

Inspiring creativity, moulding and nurturing each unique individual - we are ambitious for all pupils, including those with SEND and disadvantaged pupils. In nurturing, respecting and valuing each individual, we ensure that we provide the same opportunities and have the same expectations for all pupils whilst adapting our provision and support to meet the needs of all. Equal access to the curriculum may be achieved through practical and visual support, adult intervention, scaffolded learning, pre-teaching and carefully planned intervention support, and alternative methods of recording and sharing learning. We plan a balanced menu of events, trips, visitors, themed days and opportunities to learn and grow in different ways, as well as regular opportunities to share learning in different forms and to a range of audiences. All pupils are given opportunities to flourish as individuals in school plays, acts of collective worship, sports events, and performing arts in every school year and our music provision is key in promoting confidence and creativity.  

Serving our community as active citizens who make a positive contribution - our curriculum supports pupils’ personal and cultural development as well as collaborative and leadership skills within the safe space of our school community. We enhance our taught curriculum with a range of enrichment experiences, extra-curricular activities, and opportunities to develop cultural capital. Children are given opportunities to flourish in sport, music and drama, to display and share their work, to compete and to lead. The school council, faith council and house teams provide important opportunities for pupils to make meaningful contributions to the school community and for pupils to grow and work together across year groups. We hold regular whole-school theme days or weeks around reading, festivals or nationals and world events.  

Helping, supporting and caring for one another - the teaching of our school Christian values, chosen by the pupils themselves, forms an integral part of our curriculum. We ensure that themes of trust, forgiveness, kindness, joy, peace, hope, wisdom, honesty, courage, perseverance, respect and friendship are explored and revisited throughout our learning. Our diagonal themes of dignity and respect, stewardship and community, communication and collaboration, and wellbeing help us to keep focused on nurturing individuals who value and respect themselves and others, who can work independently and collaboratively. Teaching children to stay healthy mentally and physically is important within our curriculum supported by pupil leaders in both cases. We value safeguarding highly and devote curriculum time to teaching aspects of PSHE such as anti-bullying, e-safety and healthy relationships. We use pupil-led times of collective worship to share high quality learning as well as celebrating and rewarding those who show our values in action. 

Our curriculum is regularly reviewed and adapted, not least in line with new research into children’s cognition and how we can help our pupils to know and remember more over time.

The National Curriculum

We follow the National Curriculum as a starting point which provides a broad and balanced core around which our staff continually develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of our pupils’ knowledge, understanding, vocabulary and skills across a wide range of subjects and topics. The published Programmes of Study for each National Curriculum subject set out the subject matter, skills and processes to be taught at each Key Stage. Further details of our own curriculum content within each subject can be found on the individual subject pages.

The compulsory subjects for both Key Stages are as follows:

Core Subjects
Foundation Subjects

English, Mathematics and Science

Art and Design, Computing, Design and Technology, Geography, History, Music and Physical Education

We also teach a Foreign Language at Key Stage 2 and in our school this is French. We provide a daily act of collective worship and teach Religious Education to every pupil. In addition, we teach Personal, Social, Health Education which includes teaching about healthy relationships and mental health and wellbeing.

The National Curriculum and Additional Curriculum Information

Visitors and Visits

We welcome a range of visitors into School to support children in their learning. These include writers, artists, scientists and musicians etc. We also encourage the involvement of parents. Being mindful of costs to families, we invest in as many visits as we can, so that children learn from real and exciting first hand experiences.


We carefully monitor and assess our children so that we can plan for future lessons based on what pupils need to know next. We use an online tracker to record assessments, meeting regularly as staff to discuss progress and ensuring that early intervention is put in place where further support is needed.

A Foundation Stage Profile is completed at the end of each child’s first year in School. There are Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs) at the end of each Key Stage (Year 2 and Year 6). The results of these assessments are shared with parents within the end of year school report.