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Children are at the heart of our curriculum and we believe that every child should have the opportunity to develop their resilience, independence, imagination, aspiration and respect - both for themselves, and one another. It is our aim to ensure that we develop young people who are well prepared for the next step of their education and able to participate fully as members of society.

Our curriculum seeks to ignite curiosity and foster a lifelong love of learning. We are proud to have developed a curriculum that is diverse, reflective of our school community, and celebrates our locality and its heritage. At the heart of our approach is our ambition to strive for excellence: for all pupils, in all subjects.

Our curriculum offer is carefully designed and sequenced and underpinned by research. All aspects of the curriculum have been carefully designed with progression in mind, which ensures that children build on existing skills and knowledge. Over time, this careful planning enables them to know more and remember more. Children at Arden have the opportunity to study a truly broad and balanced curriculum that is diverse, thought-provoking and punctuated with memorable moments and events. 


Children in the Early Years follow the Foundation Stage Curriculum, which is based on the EYFS Statutory Framework. Children in Key Stages One and Two follow the National Curriculum.

Passion and enthusiasm for teaching and learning, and high aspirations for all, are at the heart of every lesson. Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning to promote independence, embrace challenge with resilience and recognise set-backs as an integral part of the learning journey. 

We work alongside curriculum experts, as well as local and regional clusters and 'hubs' to continually develop our pedagogy and commitment to CPD and ensure that all children at Arden enjoy an enriching and personalised learning experience.

Our approach to lesson design seeks to ensure that each lesson encourages deep learning to flourish, but also that our core values of Independence, Imagination, Aspiration, Resilience and Respect are nurtured. Teachers plan lessons with the end in mind (Covey, 2004) in order to facilitate a learning journey that enables them to reach learning outcomes. Careful progression of incremental learning steps and the exploration of broader inquiries within lessons, using sources to support understanding in foundation subjects, makes learning relevant and facilitates deep understanding .We deliver lessons discretely, allowing for in-depth comprehension and the promotion of a genuine enjoyment of each distinct subject. Where relevant, we make links between subjects to secure understanding.

We encourage a collaborative learning environment, where children collaborate with and build upon the learning of their peers; lessons enable opportunities for paired and group work as well as independent study. Effective questioning is crucial to our teaching approach, as we design questions to stimulate critical thinking, encourage reflection on prior knowledge, and establish connections between new and existing concepts. 

Teaching staff and children are encouraged to use rich, subject-specific language and precise vocabulary in their discussions and reasoning, facilitating a deeper understanding of knowledge and the ability to articulate ideas and make generalisations. Oracy is key to this approach: with improved oracy comes better academic outcomes and greater self-confidence, enabling children to have access to employment in the future and thrive in their life beyond school (Department for Education, 2021).

Our dedicated teaching staff emphasise direct instruction as a means to model best practices and provide clear guidance. Staff plan collaboratively and in a reflective way to evaluate learning outcomes and plan the next steps for each child. 

We are committed to supporting individual children in overcoming any barriers to learning they may encounter, whether they are related to social, emotional, or academic challenges. Our calm learning environments and adaptive teaching approaches aim to ensure all children have access to the full curriculum but also achieve in line with their peers.

As part of our ongoing commitment to fostering aspiration and sustained motivation for learning, we integrate enriching opportunities both within and beyond the school environment into our curriculum. These experiences serve to broaden children's horizons and nurture their passion for learning. 

At Arden we consider ourselves lifelong learners, and we recognise the importance of continuous professional development for our staff and the involvement of parents in understanding our curriculum's key principles and approaches. 


Children’s knowledge, understanding and progress across all subject areas, as well as their desire and ability to learn is measured by:

  • Information from formal book scrutinies

  • School Improvement Team liaison

  • External critical friends

  • Lesson drop ins

  • Pupil, staff and parent voice

  • Performance data

  • Timetabled subject leader monitoring

  • Lesson observations

  • Learning walks

  • Weekly 'Friday Flicks'

  • Completion of subject leader reports - One Voice documents



Covey, S. R. (2004). The seven habits of highly effective people: restoring the character ethic. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Department for Education (2021). The reading framework: teaching the foundations of literacy.

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