Curriculum Approach

Whole school intent

Our primary aim is delivering a high-quality education to all children that:

  • Develops each child so that they leave here secure in their understanding of themselves as learners and as confident individuals.
  • Develops a growth mindset in all aspects of life.
  • Develops a sense of belonging for each child in their community, developing strong relationships, celebrating diversity and encouraging respect.
  • Develops aspirational ambitions for themselves.
  • Takes risks in their learning and respond positively to challenge.
  • Develops skills for lifelong learning.
  • Supports in the development for children to be emotionally resilient, robust learners in a world that is constantly changing and to be able to survive in that world.
  • Provides children with a wide range of first-hand experiences supporting children to make meaningful links in their learning.
  • Has Arts, Enquiry and Investigation as the starting point for all learning. Building on what the children already know and what they would like to find out. 


In addition, our Curriculum is designed to:

  • Provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all children that is coherently planned, focusing on the development the acquisition of knowledge and skills that are progressive and sequential in nature.
  • Provide equal access to learning for all children, with high expectations for every child, providing appropriate levels of challenge and support. 


At The Horsell Village School learning is defined as: 

The process of acquiring the essential knowledge, skills, understanding and behaviours required for deep understanding



There are three elements to our Teaching and Learning Approach that are entwined to form one holistic approach, all of which promote positive learning behaviours and are underpinned by Enquiry and Investigation based learning.

This is then supported by an increased focus on outside learning and the development of oracy and vocabulary skills through the Word Aware approach and the use of quality key texts throughout the curriculum.


Enquiry and Investigation based learning

Our curriculum is underpinned by theory relating to the enquiry-based learning approach. The Enquiry-Based Learning Approach enables children to:

  • Develop their thinking, questioning, research and   communication skills.
  • Collaborate.
  • Make connections through exploration and high-level questioning.
  • Engage in experimental learning.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the content.
  • Develop skills for life.
  • Take ownership of their own learning and a sense of reward, not just from the final product, but from the process itself.
  • Solve problems, create solutions and tackle real-life questions and issues.

Developing the whole child is a key driver in our curriculum design. Our Enquiry and Investigation Approach enables all children to develop not only knowledge and skills in subject areas but also essential life skills.

Our provision is designed to advance understanding gradually through each year group. Lessons are not an event in themselves, they are part of the process of learning. This means that throughout their time at school children will revisit the same content, each time in a richer, more challenging context, thus deepening their understanding. 

Our topics are cross curricular, encompassing all subjects within the curriculum, focusing on key


The Characteristics of Effective Learners


Characteristics of effective teaching and learning focus on the process of learning, the thinking that is applied and attitudes displayed to be an active learner.

Here at The Horsell Village School the children learn these life skills alongside their academic skills and knowledge.

The type of behaviour needed to be an active learner is modelled and guided by the adults in the classroom. We believe when children can actively discuss the skill set to be an effective learner and have a toolkit they can use to manage the range of emotions that can sometimes occur

they have the ability to self-regulate to ensure they are

fully ready to continue and develop in their journey.


The School Motto

Here at The Horsell Village School our school motto forms an essential part of our curriculum design.

This reflects being ready to learn through being in the correct mindset as well as supporting children to develop a range of self-help skills so they develop as independent learners.

This reflects how we treat others, through our actions and through our words.


This reflects how we look after our environment and our school and local community.


Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural

We support the children’s SMSC development through all areas of the curriculum.

  • ·Spiritual development is promoted through RE and collective worship.
  • Moral development is promoted through PSHE- ‘Mindfulness approach to PSHE, class discussion and the ‘Bigger picture’ questions.
  • Social


Outdoor Learning

Outdoor learning underpins a large proportion of our curriculum delivery. We believe that every child should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development.  In addition to play and lunch break times, The Horsell Village School Curriculum is designed to offer all children time outside to support all curriculum areas. The outdoor environment at The Horsell Village School offers motivating, exciting, and easily accessible activities from Early Years through to Year 2. Our outdoor learning experiences are delivered through a combination of school-based outdoor learning, visits and local walks.

Learning outside the classroom has many benefits including:

  • Improved communication skills
  • Greater independence
  • Improved health and sleep
  • Greater physical competence and agility
  • Improved focus and concentration
  • A greater understanding of nature and the environment
  • Improved social skills


Key Texts

Our curriculum is designed around key texts linked to a particular topic.

We believe in immersing our children in a range of key texts and high-quality language and vocabulary.

A specific focus on vocabulary supports children to:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of words and to be able to use them orally and in their writing.
  • Develop an understanding of how to use words in the correct context.
  • Make connections between the meaning of different words.
  • Express how they feel and manage social situations.
  • Orally express understanding of a topic and key concepts.

This is supported by our approach to oracy and vocabulary development.

Word Aware and Concept Cats our approaches that are designed to help imbed vocabulary in both spoken and written ways. In each lesson key vocabulary is identified and specifically taught to the children through a range of strategies.

We hope this gives you an insight into our curriculum design here at The Horsell Village School. You can find out more information by visiting each subject specific or year group page.