Learning & Curriculum

BPA Knowledge Curriculum

Preface: defining ‘the curriculum’

The curriculum is the single best opportunity that a school has to improve the life chances of its students. According to Christine Counsell and Michael Fordham, “the curriculum is the progression model”. By designing a challenging curriculum, with what Michael Young calls ‘powerful knowledge’ at its core, students can be challenged to learn the best of what has been thought and said. The goal is for students to progress through their curriculum, knowing, remembering and applying deep, powerful knowledge.

BPA Curriculum Vision and Aims

Our curriculum is shaped and influenced by the specific context of our school. As a multi-faith, diverse and inclusive Nottingham city school, we welcome a variety of children from many different walks of life. The design of our curriculum takes account of our children’s different starting points and educates all individuals to fulfil their potential academically, socially, morally, spiritually and physically.

Our curriculum provides pupils with a coherent, knowledge rich and cumulative education that will develop their cultural literacy and prepares them to make exceptional contributions to the local and global community. We want every child to share our life-long love of learning and to grow into confident, resilient, healthy young people equipped with the building blocks to thrive in their next step in education and life.

Informed by an awareness of curriculum theory and research, the Bluecoat ‘knowledge curriculum’ explores why we teach what we teach every day in the classroom, enabling us to anchor our practice to an underpinning framework of knowledge and values.

The Bluecoat Curriculum sets out the planned progression children will make from F1 to Year 6. It is designed to:

  1. Ensure that children develop the appropriate knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes in all curriculum areas that are built upon year on year.
  2. Enable children to have a deep knowledge and understanding of the world around them so that they are able to positively contribute and make a difference
  3. Educate all individuals, regardless of their ability, to fulfil their potential academically, socially, morally, spiritually and physically.
  4. Provide children with a broad base of knowledge in the subjects we teach
  5. Foster values that children are guided by in choices and actions
  6. Challenge children to make good progress
  7. Assist children in their journey of faith within the Christian context of the School
  8. Promote an understanding of global citizenship and care for the environment and make children aware of and engage with, their local, national and international communities
  9. Develop a lifelong love of learning
  10. Prepare children well for their future and next steps in life.

Ultimately, we strive for our children to leave us as knowledgeable, capable, empowered individuals, strongly guided by their values.

To support our children in building strong knowledge within and across subjects, we distinguish between two types of connections being made in the planning process; Vertical links (links within a particular subject from year to year) and Bridging links (those links between different subjects). We often teach through overarching themes to draw connections between related subjects and concepts. These have been designed to build upon one another year on year so that children explore concepts deeper, applying their knowledge in different contexts.

Each year group’s curriculum content is structured to build progressively over time; we aim to teach content that is fundamental to future learning at the beginning of the year and build on this knowledge as the year progresses. We refer to this as a ‘curriculum narrative’. The aim of this approach is for learning that has taken place in the earlier stages of the year stays warm in the memory so that it forms part of the understanding, to be used and applied in the later stages.

Some subjects are less related than others, and therefore making contrived links would water down the effectiveness of the learning. When this is the case, the integrity of the individual subject is maintained and is taught outside of the overarching theme.  Individual subject content is progressively mapped out (click this link to our progression documents) to ensure new knowledge is built on prior learning as well as ensuring progression in each subject across the curriculum. This approach enables children to add new information and recognise its place within a discipline.

We plan and deliver longer units on a theme, rather than short blocks of teaching. We have based this on a ‘mastery approach,’ which means that children spend more time studying a subject or particular concept in depth, opposed to simply ‘covering’ the objectives they should know. Every new unit of learning incorporates elements from the previous unit. This means earlier stages of learning stay ‘warm in memory’. Learning is also retained by revisiting content using deliberate spaced retrieval through low stakes questioning, daily dashes and subject based retrieval which is incorporated into every lesson.

Bluecoat Primary Academy: Knowledge Curriculum Subjects

For further information regarding each curriculum subject area that builds our knowledge curriculum, please click the subject icons below.

For more information about our approach to curriculum design, please download our The BPA Way: Knowledge Curriculum Framework below. 

Curriculum Maps Long Term Views

Please click on the icons below to see each year groups’ Curriculum Map Long Term View.



Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Contact Us

Bluecoat Academy Primary
Harvey Road

E-mail: primary@bluecoat.uk.com
Tel: 0115 900 7200

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Bluecoat Primary Academy