Humberstone Junior Academy

School Curriculum

What is our WHY?

The curriculum allows us to push the boundaries of children’s experiences and learning so that we may:

  • provide children with the rich subject knowledge and skills to become independent thinkers and learners
  • inspire children to strive for and achieve excellence within a creative context
  • create well rounded individuals and who understand how to make a difference to their community and beyond independent thinkers and learners
  • Provide a wide range of meaningful opportunities and experiences which help build cultural capital for all our children

Mission Statement: To inspire the children to be lifelong learners

Curriculum Intent Overview:

The curriculum is designed to be sequential and build on prior learning. It should provide children with powerful subject specific knowledge alongside skills which enable them to critically interrogate knowledge, to work with experts, to assess relevance and reliability and to consider the context of knowledge and its wider implications. Children are taught to ask and answer ‘Big Questions’ and solve challenging problems through interdisciplinary projects and a challenging text based English curriculum and a mastery approach to mathematics.  

A commitment to excellence and mastery underpins all areas of learning as does the belief that all of our children are capable of high levels of achievement. The curriculum is designed to be broad, rich and creative with many opportunities for children to develop language and effective communication skills through a pedagogy of dialogic teaching.  

We aim to develop curious, passionate and resilient lifelong learners who have a deep understanding of ethics and values and see themselves as being able to make a positive difference to the world.

Principles that Underpin All aspects Of Curriculum Design

Design principles are the fundamental principles that sit underneath the curriculum, shape its  construction and help to provide coherence across different subjects and key stages. These design principles act as the golden threads which reflect our Trust ethos and culture and help us to ensure that the curriculum “how” and “what” are linked meaningfully to the “why”.

Curriculum Organisation

  • Oracy is a fundamental part of the curriculum design and is woven throughout all elements of the school day. Oracy skills are directly taught and developed across the curriculum. Opportunities such as community circles, exhibitions, presentations and competitions provide meaningful ways for the children to talk for a range of purposes and to different audiences.
  • English: Through a curriculum based around high quality, challenging and diverse texts, the National Curriculum objectives for reading, writing, GAPS and speaking and listening are taught. There are further opportunities to apply and embed the knowledge skills of the English curriculum through interdisciplinary projects and the wider curriculum.
  • Reading knowledge and skills are taught directly through daily phonics lessons, reading practice sessions, whole class reading in English and individual reading for targeted children. A comprehensive and balanced reading scheme of work allows children to read a wide range of fiction, non fiction and poetry texts in order to develop breadth and depth and ultimately to become fluent and skilled readers. The curriculum promotes a love of reading which is central to the whole school ethos.
  • Mathematical subject knowledge is taught daily through a program of progressive mastery learning and mathematical fluency is promoted through daily maths skills and drills practice. Opportunities to further embed and apply mathematical skills are provided across the curriculum and through interdisciplinary projects.
  • Science subject knowledge and skills are taught directly every week. The science curriculum is carefully sequenced so that children revisit and build on key topics such as plants and animals and materials over several years. Disciplinary knowledge is carefully planned and sequenced for each science topic and over each year so that it becomes progressively more challenging and embedded over time. The Science curriculum is designed to promote children’s awe and wonder and engage children with meaningful real world application of science knowledge
  • Subject specific knowledge which may include (English, Maths,, Geography, History, Art, Design,) are taught through interdisciplinary projects based on the curriculum design principles. Specific skills, subject knowledge and assessment points are identified and planned through project rubrics. Projects encompass the wider skills of creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration.
  • RE is taught weekly based on the locally agreed RE Syllabus including subject knowledge, real life experiences, and regular engagement with our local religious communities. The curriculum reflects the diverse nature of the school and the British values of tolerance, respect and individual liberty. 
  • Wellbeing forms a strand of the curriculum that is both taught directly, e.g. through PSHE and is woven throughout the school day through the model of positive relationships, positive self, positive physical health, achievement and meaning and purpose.
  • The Relationship and Sex Education curriculum is taught within PSHE lessons and follows a progressive model from year 1 upwards. This learning is further embedded through community circles, visiting experts and the wider curriculum.
  • MCT forms an important part of the school curriculum and is used to enhance learning. Specific knowledge and skills such as coding, the manipulation of technology and the creation of digital content are directly taught within a context and applied across the curriculum through projects.


Project Based Learning forms a core part of the knowledge rich, creative and challenging learning experiences offered to our pupils at Humberstone Infant and Junior Academy. Projects allow children to experience trips, visits and working alongside everyday real-life experts and pupils are offered a wealth of experiences in order to build cultural capital. This supports their learning while broadening their horizons, and building on their understanding of real-life roles and responsibilities. 

Careful thought is given to the sequencing of subject knowledge and skills and how these should be taught so that children gain a deeper understanding and are able to make meaningful connections to prior learning. The knowledge and skills for each project are connected by the driving questions that children engage with over time which reflect our curriculum “Why”. Projects support the belief that all children are capable of engaging in authentic and challenging questions about life, that light the fire of motivation and drive their acquisition of knowledge and their spirit of curiosity.

Project outcomes include an end of project exhibition for parents, members of the school and wider community and provides children with meaningful opportunities to discuss their learning and develop confidence in speaking to a range of audiences. Projects are designed to be memorable and meaningful for children and result in children acquiring powerful subject knowledge that is remembered over time.

Assessment of the Curriculum:


Learning is assessed regularly, through a range of summative and formative means. Assessment for learning is crucial to ensure that gaps in learning are addressed,  allowing children to make the best possible progress. Teaching sequences are designed with assessment for learning at the forefront. Teachers assess what children can do within each individual lesson and over time and learning is then matched to their needs. Predetermined ability groupings are not a regular feature of the curriculum. Flexible groupings allow for immediate intervention, support and challenge where it is needed. Children are given opportunities to reach their full potential across the curriculum using assessment tools to shape their next steps. 

Termly reviews and pupil progress meetings are used to ensure that no children are left behind with their learning. The school uses detailed progression maps for Reading, Writing and Maths alongside more formal testing methods to inform Teacher Assessments of children’s progress and attainment. In Maths, White Rose assessment materials ensure that children are accurately assessed . To support English assessments, children complete the NGRT and Vernon test which provides them with a specific reading and spelling age. Phonics assessments are used for children in the Foundation Stage  Key Stage 1 and for those who continue to need them in Key Stage 2. Writing is assessed through teacher judgement against writing progression maps which inform pupil targets. The school takes part in moderation processes that are both internal and supported by the LA and work alongside other schools to moderate books and teacher judgements in EYFS, KS1 and KS2. Teachers use exemplification documents and guidance from the DfE to further support teacher judgements and assessments. 

For project based learning, knowledge organisers and rubrics support both teachers and pupils in understanding the assessment points throughout the projects and the knowledge and skills that pupils need to demonstrate in order to meet the project outcomes. Whilst considering the academic success and progress each child makes, teachers also use the MALS (Myself as a learner) scale to explore children’s learning self esteem and to help them to build on and improve this over time. 

A key part of formative assessment is the teacher’s role and their responsive approach to teaching. This means their direct instruction and interactions with children adapt and respond depending on feedback from pupils on learning. Throughout the school children are actively involved in the assessment process, through conversations, questions and critique. Children may work independently or within a group to critique their own, their peers or a worked example. Children are comfortable working with multiple drafts and use critique to refine and improve their work. Children actively engage with rubrics and use these purposefully to reflect and  evaluate their learning. 


Offering an inclusive curriculum that is accessible for all is a key part of our school vision. All members of the learning community will care for and support all children regardless of academic or physical ability, race, gender, religious belief, home language, socio-economic background or sexual orientation. Teaching and learning is planned to provide challenging and stimulating experiences for all learners. It is the responsibility of class teachers, working with the support of the SENDco, to provide support where necessary and provide appropriate challenges for all learners, through the careful use of a range of differentiation strategies. The schools operate an “ordinarily available” approach to inclusion and provide effective day to day support for learning in all classrooms. Examples include consistent visual prompts such as visual timetables, a consistent approach to classroom organisation and resources which reflect the dual coding approach and scripted language which all children are taught and understand. 

It is our belief that children need to be in school each day and arrive on time in order to achieve the best in their learning. The school tracks each child’s attendance carefully and aims to work in partnership with parents to achieve high attendance figures for all children. The school will also work with agencies to support attendance such as the Educational Welfare Officers and Social Services. Classes and pupils with high attendance will be rewarded and have their achievements celebrated by the whole school each week and at the end of the term and school year.

For some children who do not make expected progress in class, additional support may be needed through targeted intervention programmes, either within their classroom environment or as part of a small group. These interventions are evidenced based and identified through the school Intervention map. Where children have specific and additional educational needs, the school may provide a tailored programme of work with adult support where necessary in order to meet children’s individual needs. (See SEND policy) The school aims to support children’s social and emotional needs as well as their educational needs. Children may be offered additional support from within the school’s pastoral resources or have access to a Behaviour Mentor where appropriate. The school employs a range of behaviour support strategies and systems to ensure that children are supported to stay in school wherever possible. (See Behaviour Policy, Anti Bullying Policy) A programme of support may be offered to children who have specific language needs, or who are new to English or new to the country. This may include small group work with a trained TA, use of specific resources, or access to specific activities.