Curriculum Subjects

Planning & Subject Leadership

Overarching themes

Teachers map out their year by plotting key skills and knowledge from the individual progression documents. As they do this, they begin to consider related material from the subjects which lend themselves to form an overarching theme.

Curriculum Mapping: A long term view

At Holly Primary School, we pride ourselves on providing our children with a rich, broad and balanced curriculum. To ensure each year group provides the breadth of the curriculum, we map our curriculum coverage over the course of the year. Curriculum maps show what element of each subject will be taught at which point in the year. Curriculum maps are available on our website and shared with parents at the beginning of the year.

Medium Term Planning

We plan with an overarching theme using key progression documents whilst maintaining individual subject identity. Our themes are often based around a key text, visit or stimulus. The medium-term planning document used encompasses sticky knowledge, prior knowledge and the key vocabulary that we would like the children to obtain through the course of the unit.

Short Term Planning

When planning, teachers break down the learning into smaller steps which build progressively in a coherent sequence in order for children to master the intended learning outcomes. Our learning outcomes are defined as the knowledge, skills, attributes, behaviours or attitudes teachers expect learners to have developed by the end of the learning experience.


Assessment forms an important part of our approach to teaching and learning at Holly. It is only through assessment that we can find out whether what has happened in the classroom has produced the learning we intended. Curriculum, teaching and assessment are inextricably linked. When all three are aligned, they should facilitate effective learning for all children, irrespective of their starting points. This is illustrated below:

At Holly Primary School, we use standardised testing in Y1-6 to help monitor the progress of pupils in the core areas of the curriculum. Standardised scores allow us to benchmark pupil performance against a national sample of pupils who have taken the same test. In the wider curriculum subjects, we make ongoing assessments after each lesson and use this feedback to inform future lessons. Furthermore, we use low stake quizzes and questions (three thinkers) to review content learnt as part of the wider curriculum or themes. Children’s books and pupil discussion also offer insight into the depth of learning that has taken places and whether this has been remembered.

Subject leadership

Our curriculum is constantly evolving and we have recently inducted new subject leaders. Our leadership model promotes work in teams and across our school we work collaboratively to offer support and ensure consistency.

The role of a subject leader is essential to the success and strategic development of our curriculum. They are the driving force behind improving pupil outcomes and experiences within their subject. Subject leaders are provided with regular leadership time to monitor, evaluate and reflect on developments within their subject. At Holly, we encourage opportunities for a professional dialogue where colleagues reflect on their subject knowledge and practice. Subject leaders use a range of coaching skills and techniques to support them in ensuring that there is a powerful culture of sharing and cascading excellent practice.

Holly Primary School