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Curriculum Intent

Curriculum Intent:

A knowledge rich curriculum that embeds procedural and semantic knowledge.

“Learning is a change to Long Term Memory” 

At Marsden Junior School we aim to provide an ambitious and conceptionally rich curriculum that is relevant, challenging and engaging for every child. It is clear what end points the curriculum is building towards and what pupils need to know and be able to do to reach those end points. The curriculum reflects the school’s local context by addressing typical gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills. Currently, curriculum planning accounts for delays and gaps in learning that arise as a result of the pandemic.

We commit to immersing the children in a wide range of creative contexts that inspire engagement, excitement and a love of learning. These learning experiences will be purposeful and designed to connect with local and global concepts. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values. We provide a curriculum that values and supports emotional and social growth, enriched by spiritual, moral, social and cultural themes and the curriculum

is designed to give all learners the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life in modern Britain. These themes will inform creative, enquiry led learning experiences throughout every child’s learning adventure at Marsden Junior School. We constantly provide enhancement opportunities to engage learning and believe that childhood should be a happy, investigative and enquiring time in our lives, where there are no limits to curiosity and there is a thirst for new experiences and knowledge. We provide a safe and inclusive environment that will maximise the potential of each child.

Every child is recognised as a unique individual and we celebrate and welcome differences within our school community. Community involvement is an essential part of our curriculum as we celebrate local traditions and learn new skills to enable the children to take an active role in events throughout the year.

Our values of Respect, Integrity, Teamwork and Aspiration (RITA) underpin and promote positive attitudes to learning. These reflect the fundamental British Values and skills needed to promote responsibility for learning and future success.

Children leave the school ready for their next stage. In addition, they have a sense of belonging to a supportive community where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.


At Marsden Junior School, our curriculum is delivered over a 2-year rolling cycle. The schema is connected by key concepts; these concepts are integral to our curriculum and are explored and built on throughout the school.  The careful sequencing of our curriculum exposes the children to these concepts in a wide-breadth of contexts to achieve thresholds. Concepts are revisited throughout a forward and backwards engineered curriculum allowing the children to build a broad and deep conceptual understanding.  We expose children to authors, artists, musicians etc. and make sure that learning is made memorable and committed to the long-term memory by repeating concepts, making links and building upon previous learning. We exploit every opportunity in all subjects to develop our children’s language acquisition and expose our children daily to challenging new vocabulary. Since we believe that reading opens the door for every child to succeed, we are determined that every child, by the end of their time at Marsden Junior School will have a lifelong love of reading, and will be able to comprehend and read fluently. Class teachers are responsible for planning the curriculum for their class. They make decisions about what resources and materials they use, and how they differentiate them appropriately. They do this using their professional knowledge and expertise, sharing best practice and providing support for each other, focussed on outcomes for individual pupils.

Subject leaders and senior leaders are responsible for designing the progression in core knowledge, skills and concepts into year group plans. They ensure that all teachers are familiar with curriculum expectations through training, monitoring and coaching, with a focus on ensuring that outcomes can be achieved by all pupils.


The impact and measure of our curriculum is to ensure children not only acquire the appropriate age-related knowledge linked to the curriculum but also skills which equip them to progress from their starting points.  In shaping our curriculum this way, progress is measured and evidenced for all children, regardless of their starting points or specific needs. Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and excellent behaviour. Mental health and well-being is supported enabling confident, successful learners and active community members. Class teachers routinely evaluate the progress of pupils within and across lessons using the curriculum frameworks to make judgements. They use this information to analyse how effectively pupils are achieving or exceeding expectations and to adapt their planning accordingly. Teachers provide Subject Leaders with timely summative information about the outcomes of pupils in their class.

Subject Leaders and Senior Leaders routinely evaluate the summative outcomes for their area of responsibility. They use this analysis to identify any necessary actions that develop the quality of provision in their subject, to moderate assessments, and to benchmark outcomes against expectations beyond their school.


At Marsden Junior School, our aim is for every child to become a fluent reader. This is necessary in order for them to reach age related expectations or make accelerated progress from their starting point. As well as this, we want children to develop a love for reading and read for pleasure on a regular basis. It is our intent at Marsden Junior School to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will teach pupils to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively.

Our curriculum is designed around the needs of the pupils in our school and there are a variety of approaches to enable the pupils to make good progress.

The aims of teaching reading in our school are to develop pupils who:

  • show high levels of achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards reading;
  • rapidly acquire a secure knowledge of letters and sounds and make sustained progress in learning to read fluently (excellent phonic knowledge and skills);
  • read easily and fluently with good understanding across both fiction and non-fiction;
  • acquire a wider grasp of extensive and vocabulary;
  • participate in the teaching of phonics knowledge, skills and understanding in a systematic and enjoyable way;
  • develop their reading in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge;
  • develop a love of reading;
  • read for pleasure both at home and school on a regular basis;
  • through their reading develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually;
  • develop good comprehension drawing from their linguistic knowledge.


It is our intent at Marsden Junior School to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will teach pupils to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively and leave with a love of writing and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.

At Marsden Junior School, writing underpins our curriculum. All children, regardless of gender and ability, from Year 3 to Year 6, are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum to enable them to write fluently and with interesting detail on a number of topics, and have an awareness of the audience, purpose and context. 

With regards to writing, we intend for pupils to be able to foster a vivid imagination which makes for engaging and enjoyable writing. We aim for each child to have a highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description. This, along with, excellent transcription skills, will ensure writing is well presented and punctuated, spelled correctly and neat to ensure that learners will leave year 6 as skilled and competent writers. 


At Marsden Junior our intent is to teach a rich, balanced and progressive curriculum that will ensure our children leave with an excellent knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts and processes that involve conceptual and procedural variation and intelligent practice. We immerse pupils in fluency, reasoning, problem solving and rich skills that build a deep understanding of concepts and connections within mathematics and the wider world. They have the ability to support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate mathematical understanding. Children develop a passion for mathematics and an enthusiastic engagement in learning; they will become avid thinkers and communicate their ideas confidently.


At Marsden Junior School our intent is to teach a rich, balanced and progressive curriculum that will ensure our children leave with an excellent knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes that involve conceptual and procedural variation and intelligent practice. We aim to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically, to gain an understanding of scientific processes and also an understanding of the uses and implications of Science, today and for the future. Children develop a passion for Science and an enthusiastic engagement in learning; they will become avid thinkers and communicate their ideas confidently.


We aim to prepare our children for a rapidly changing world through the use of technology at Marsden Junior School. Our computing curriculum is designed to enable them to use computational thinking and creativity to further understand our world. Our curriculum has been designed to ensure learners have sufficient knowledge to stay safe online and use computers safely in life. As well as the Autumn 1 term being dedicated to this, online safety is embedded throughout the year with our ‘Online Safety Yearly Plan’.

At the core of our computing curriculum is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, we intend for our children to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. We want to ensure that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

Religious Education

Within RE teaching, we have brilliant opportunities to open children’s eyes to other cultures and experiences. RE at Marsden Junior School gives pupils understanding of a range of religions and other world views, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities. Our RE poses challenging questions about meaning, beliefs, issues or right and wrong, the big questions and what it means to be human. It challenges stereotypes and misconceptions of others and through developing critical thinking skills, RE nurtures informed and resilient responses to misunderstanding, stereotyping and division. 


History is taught throughout school and involves a wide range of exciting topics covering many years of History. As part of the development of their Knowledge and Understanding of the World pupils. As pupils progress through school they develop an understanding of important periods in History; the Stone Age, the Mayan civilisation, the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Vikings. Local History is also explored as well as the history behind significant topical issues throughout the year.


 The children begin to develop a deeper understanding of how to improve the environment. They study specific interesting aspects of Geography in more detail too; in particular Water, Coasts, Mountains and also Rainforests. Across school the children benefit from cross curricular activities; linking their learning in the Humanities to other areas of learning. Again, exciting practical activities and educational visits throughout school help the children develop their understanding of these topics.


The staff at Marsden Junior School recognise that children need to develop certain skills, understanding and appreciation of the visual world. We offer structure and sequence, following a 2 - year plan to ensure teachers have covered the skills required to meet the aims of the national curriculum and offer skills progression.  We aim to develop skills in the following areas:

  • Develop and stimulate children’s imagination and creativity by providing a range of visual, tactile and sensory experiences.
  • Develop children’s understanding of colour, form, texture and pattern.
  • Provide particular activities that give children the ability and skills to demonstrate their ideas in drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, printing and digital media.
  • To study great artists, craft makers and designers and understand the historical and cultural development of their artwork.
  • Develop skills in observation and analysis and critical responses to their own work and those of others through use of sketch books (carried out throughout school from Years 3 to 6).
  • Work within the local community (events and festivals) to showcase and display school art.
  • To encourage and promote a love of learning for Art through competitions (both internal and external).
  • Explore ideas and record experiences in art, as well as exploring the work of others and evaluate different creative ideas.
  • To offer the chance for children to develop emotional expression and development.

Design and Technology

 At Marsden Junior School we aim to provide all children with a broad and balanced curriculum which prepares them for life beyond primary education and ensures that they are aware of the impact of technology and its contribution to modern life.

 Design and Technology involves children developing their knowledge, skills and the understanding necessary to design, make and evaluate products fit for purpose. The teaching of Design and Technology will enable children to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs. They will be encouraged to become innovators and risk-takers working as individuals and in teams to design, create and evaluate, using a wide range of materials and practical skills.


At Marsden Junior School, we aim for all of our children to gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community and for their wellbeing. We also aim to foster a love and enjoyment for music and performing and to develop the children’s mastery of skills. Children progress in terms of tackling more complex tasks and doing more simple tasks better, as well as developing understanding and knowledge of the history of music, staff and other musical notations.

Musical tuition           

There is the opportunity for children to learn various musical instruments (e.g. brass, strings, woodwind, piano, percussion) depending on their age and aptitude, through Kirklees Music School and is arranged with them directly by calling 01484 426426.

MFL (Modern Foreign Languages)

At Marsden Junior School we expect our children to leave with a passion for languages and a commitment to the subject.  We wish to instill the confidence to speak with good intonation and pronunciation, alongside fluency in reading and fluency and imagination in writing. They will have the ability to use language creatively and spontaneously. Children will develop an independence in their studies and the ability to draw upon a wide range of resources. They will have a strong awareness of the culture of the countries where the language is spoken.


At Marsden Junior School we expect our children to leave with high levels of physical fitness and a desire to lead a healthy lifestyle, achieved by eating sensibly, avoiding smoking, drugs and alcohol and exercising regularly. The children will develop the ability to remain physically active for sustained periods of time and an understanding of the importance of this in promoting long-term health and well-being. They will acquire new knowledge and skills exceptionally well and develop an in-depth understanding of PE. They will display the willingness to practise skills in a wide range of different activities and situations, alone, in small groups and in teams and to apply these skills in chosen activities to achieve exceptionally high levels of performance. The children will develop the ability to take the initiative and become excellent young leaders, organising and officiating, and evaluating what needs to be done to improve, and motivating and instilling excellent sporting attitudes in others. They will develop exceptional levels of originality, imagination and creativity in their techniques, tactics and choreography, knowledge of how to improve their own and others’ performance and the ability to work independently for extended periods of time without the need of guidance or support. We wish to instill a keen interest in PE including a willingness to participate eagerly in every lesson, highly positive attitudes and the ability to make informed choices about engaging fully in extra-curricular sport. The children will also have the ability to swim at least 25 metres before the end of Year 6 and knowledge of how to remain safe in and around water.


At Marsden Junior School, we aim for all of our children to leave our school equipped with the skills to navigate the world. PSHE (including RSE) will allow children to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills to manage their life positively and safely. We expect our children to leave with knowledge to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships as well as preparing them for a successful adult life. Children will be taught about the society in which they are growing up in (including the laws as they relate to relationships, sex and health). They will have the ability to support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views. Children will develop the ability to foster respect for others and for difference, and understand healthy relationships. This will enable children from all backgrounds to have positive and safe relationships, and to thrive in modern Britain.


We expect pupils to work very hard during every lesson, to listen intently, to question, to reason, to reflect and to respond appropriately. It is this interaction with the teacher that helps to produce good progress in learning. We know that many parents share our view about the importance of developing ‘the whole child’ through extra-curricular activities and out of school pursuits. We believe that it is important to ensure that any additional academic work from school should not prevent pupils from widening their interests into sport, music and clubs. However, regular, additional work at home can reinforce skills through short, regular ‘bursts’ of practice, usually with an adult.

Key Stage 2 pupils have a homework diary/planner, in order that they can take ownership of their school work and to allow parents/pupils/Teachers an ongoing dialogue. A homework club also operates one lunchtime a week in school, with Teachers available to provide assistance. Parents are encouraged to contact school if they have any concerns or questions about the work given to be done at home either personally or by telephone.