Our Curriculum

We aim to deliver an excellent curriculum that:

- is underpinned by aims, values and purpose;
- is fun, enjoyable and memorable;
- is flexible and responsive to the children’s needs and interests;
- develops the whole child; - has clear progression in subject knowledge and skills;
- offers purposeful experiences;
- uses environments beyond the classroom;
- makes strong links across subjects;
- has a local, national and international dimension where appropriate

We have devised a knowledge rich curriculum, based on the National Curriculum programmes of study, which sequences knowledge, concepts and skills. We believe it is vitally important that children develop secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage as insecure, superficial understanding will not allow genuine progression.

We view knowledge as encompassing not only established facts, but also concepts, ideas, themes and theories. These different forms of subject specific knowledge interlink and are mutually dependent.

Through our curriculum, children:
• learn key subject specific facts and vocabulary
• build knowledge developed through the understanding of concepts and generalisations, enabling pupils to identify processes, different perspectives and values
• experience high quality enquiry, having the opportunity to make decisions and problem solve
• have the opportunity to engage mentally with questions about people, society, environment and the planet. This means they identify, assimilate, analyse and communicate data of various kinds, and learn the skills to do so productively
• learn how to think and act like a subject specific practitioner

The OECD recognises that knowledge and skills are both interconnected and mutually reinforcing. Researchers have emphasised the growing importance of being able to understand, interpret and apply knowledge and skills in various situations (OECD Future of Education and Skills 2019). This is why we link some of our subject specific teaching through an enquiry question.
Our use of an enquiry question and built-in opportunities for children to identify aspects of learning they wish to develop, secures pupil engagement and supports knowledge being embedded in long term memory. 

Our subject progression ladders form the basis of our coverage of objectives, ensuring teachers deliver a broad, rich content that builds progressively year on year. You can find our progression ladders attached below. Once the children have generated the further questions which will shape the enquiry, teachers use the ladders to guide their planning. Pupils' ongoing progress is recorded alongside these ladders and passed on to the next class teacher at the end of the summer term. Pupil’s self-assessment through referring to the learning journey adds another dimension to the learning. 

Visitors and trips enhance the curriculum and are used to provide first hand experiences which help support real life outcomes. Children will feedback on their Learning Journeys to staff, guardians and Governors; ensuring that they are key drivers for improvement.

Leaders review the curriculum regularly using pupil’s work, progression ladders and pupil conferencing to ensure it remains language rich, diverse and develops the whole child.


We teach phonics using  Read Write inc. Phonics is taught daily in Early Years and Key Stage 1.

This is followed in Key Stage 2 by regular RWI spelling lessons . 
Spelling lists are given to pupils in years 1 - 6 every half term. 



In the EYFS and KS1 pupils follow the RWI reading scheme which is exactly matched to their phonics ability. 

Pupils are encouraged to read daily in school and out of school.
In school all pupils are taught the skills of reading using VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Summarise/Sequence).

Classes engage in regular guided reading sessions where pupils work in small groups with an adult to read texts together and engage in discussions and activities about the text.

Pupils are rewarded for engaging in reading using our  book trail.

We have a library in each building that pupils can access to explore and enjoy books. Most importantly - we want pupils to enjoy reading.

We are fortunate to be a member of Cornwall library Service which gives us access to thousands of books to supplement of curriculum. 


We use Babcock planning and assessment to guide our sequence of learning.

We believe it is important for pupils to have something engaging to write about and to have a purpose; therefore we try to use the wider curriculum as our stimuli for writing. We teach SPAG as part of every lesson to build children's understanding of grammar and punctuation.

We continue to develop pupils' writing style and speed through regular handwriting sessions. 


At Brunel we want children to-

Unique me - Be able to self-regulate and become a confident, independent learner.

Follow - Follow instructions successfully.

Communicate - Hold a back and forth conversation.

Control - Use a pencil effectively, scissors to cut and a knife and fork to eat.

Experience - Experience and know about the world beyond their family.

Read - Read using phonic knowledge and develop a love of books.

Write - Write using phonic knowledge.

Imagine - Use imagination to create with a variety of media and materials.


We use White Rose to structure the sequence of mathematics teaching. We all start the year by looking at Place Value as this is fundamental to the skills for calculation. We block our planning to build skills and knowledge. 

We plan mathematics to help pupils to master the skills. We achieve this by building through fluency activities to reasoning and problem solving. We give pupils some control of their learning by selecting their starting point and giving all pupil's the opportunity to access the higher level work. 

To compliment our maths curriculum we use 99 Club. We run this weekly to develop number bonds, times table facts and mental arithmetic. All pupils in year 1 - 6 have 10 minutes to complete their activity. If they make no mistakes they move to the next club. 

Alongside the maths lesson pupils also have specific time to work on times tables as the recall of these facts has a huge impact on their wider maths work.

Wider Curriculum 

We use knowledge and skills progression ladders, which we have developed with the support of the Bridge Academy Trust. These ladders were developed by exploring successful curriculums, carrying out research and trialling ideas across the school and Trust. The ladders show how skills and knowledge progress and develop over the years at Primary School. 

We start our learning with a question to engage pupils and give them a purpose for their learning. This then gives pupils the opportunity to devise their own questions to direct our learning. 

We plan our questions to be relevant, current and engaging. We also try to ensure a balance of local knowledge and broader knowledge.

EYFS continued ...

Curriculum Statement

  • We see each child as a unique and competent learner and recognise that they all have different starting points. Our aim is to help them to reach their full potential and to become lifelong learners A Unique Child
  • Parent partnership is crucial. We recognise that a parent is the child’s first educator and we believe that children thrive when parents and practitioners work together Positive Relationships
  • Most learning is play based and takes place both indoors and outside Enabling Environments
  • There is a balance depending on the age, needs and development of the children between direct teaching and child initiated learning Learning and Development
  • Storybooks are selected to use as key starting points, to spark interest and generate ideas from the children

  • The needs of EYFS children at Brunel

  • Communication & Language. Not all children come from a vocabulary rich background. Research has shown the importance of developing, using and understanding a wide vocabulary. We will teach this through rhymes, songs, poems and stories. We will use intervention materials e.g. BLAST, NELI, Lego Therapy. We are committed to support the development of children’s Communication & Language and members of staff have undertaken training through Elklan, NELI and other providers. The whole school is committed to improving vocabulary and are creating a bank of key vocabulary sorted within tiers.

  • Personal Social and Emotional Development. PSED is a strength within the EYFS at Brunel. We have worked hard to establish positive relationships between adults and children within each setting and this has been noted by external agencies. We strive to develop a positive parent partnership and we encourage parents to engage in their child’s learning. We want to support the whole family and are able to signpost parents to relevant information and services. We recognise that a number of children struggle with managing their personal needs and this includes toileting, dressing and undressing and developing good habits for oral health. We build this into our day to day routines.

  • Physical Development. Research shows that children need to develop gross motor skills before fine motor. These skills have an impact on their ability to dress themselves, use tools, use cutlery and implements for writing. Our environments both inside and out include a range of resources aimed at developing these skills. We will use additional inputs for example dough gym.

  • Transitions. Children undergo many transitions within their school life. The first transition is from home to school. This is managed very sensitively with practitioners actively seeking information from the child’s first educator (parent/carer). This is done through home visits, induction visits and stay and play sessions. Children in Nursery have a named key worker but all staff can be available for parents and children. Transition from Nursery to Reception begins with the older children moving into Portrwrinkle class in the spring and then again in the summer if numbers allow. The advantage of this is that these children become role models for the rest of the class when they start in September. All children before they move to Portwrinkle class, whenever that is, have the opportunity to take part in a range of transition activities. Transition to year 1 is managed with visits to the new classroom and staff from year 1 visiting to observe the children in a familiar setting. All transitions include a formal transfer and dialogue between staff.

  • Reading and Writing. Reading is a priority for Brunel. Children listen to carefully chosen stories by recommended authors, alongside this staff read children’s favourites. We aim to foster a love of rhymes, stories and reading. In Nursery, staff develop children’s listening skills and when playing alongside children use opportunities to develop phonological awareness. This is also focused on during group times. Brunel uses Read Write Inc phonics to teach early reading and writing. Children in Nursery have a selection of books to choose from to take home and share with parents. Reception children take home the matched reading book from RWI. Both settings will re-establish the weekly Saltash library visits once restrictions allow. Nursery children are given opportunities for mark making indoors and out. Reception children take part in adult led shared writing which will lead into independent writing. There are opportunities throughout the provision to do this.

  • Mathematics. Maths in the EYFS is based on hands on-real life experiences. Children are given many opportunities to count and handle concrete apparatus. Maths is encountered frequently through the Nursery routines. With the changes to the ELG the reception children will follow the White Rose planning. We recognise that Shape Space and Measures is no longer an area within the EYFS but this is an area that will not be neglected. This area covers many life skills and can be found within day to day play. Direct teaching of this will be done with a particular focus on vocabulary.

  • Characteristics of Effective Learning. We believe a child’s attitude to learning needs to be fostered from an early age. Our aim is to enable our children to become independent, motivated, resilient and creative learners. We use our ‘Learning Gang’ as a fun and clear way to illustrate these attributes. We want all children to have a ‘can do’ attitude.

  • Life Experiences. Children arrive at Brunel with a range of early experiences. We recognise that for some this may be limited. Therefore we are committed to giving children lots of opportunities for experiencing new things. These will include visits from the local community/job roles, visits to places such as St Anne’s care home and the library. We will provide artifacts to share and show and will cook with the children when the opportunity allows. We want to widen children’s experience and knowledge beyond their own family, the school and Saltash.
  • Documents

    View the following documents within your web browser or download to read later

    Art and Design progress ladder.docx
    Art and Design progress ladder.docx
    Computing progress ladder.docx
    Computing progress ladder.docx
    DT progress ladder.docx
    DT progress ladder.docx
    Geography progress ladder.docx
    Geography progress ladder.docx
    History progress ladder.doc
    History progress ladder.doc
    MFL progress ladder.docx
    MFL progress ladder.docx



    Music progress ladder.docx
    Music progress ladder.docx
    PE progress ladder.docx
    PE progress ladder.docx
    RE progress ladder.docx
    RE progress ladder.docx
    Science progress ladder.docx
    Science progress ladder.docx


    Our Values...



    We are bold and innovative in our approach to find new solutions to the challenges we face.



    We are inspired by the awe and wonder of the world.



    We take responsibility for our actions in an environment of mutual respect.



    We are passionate about learning.



    We are the best we can be.



    We overcome all barriers to reach our potential, developing a capacity to improve further.

    Brunel is an Ofsted graded 'GOOD' school with 'OUTSTANDING' Personal Development and Early Years Provision - click here to see the full report

    © 2024 Bridge Schools trust is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 7736425. It is an exempt charity.