Our Curriculum Ethos

At Elizabeth Woodville Primary School, we have developed our own bespoke thematic curriculum following the guidance set out by the DfE in the National Curriculum 2014 and enhanced by the Cornerstones Curriculum.

Our focus is on designing inspirational learning experiences for all our pupils through the development of key skills, which ensure that lessons are engaging, practical and fun!

In developing our approach, it was important that the curriculum was inspiring, varied and based on real-life experience, ensuring that children are at the heart of shaping their own learning.  At primary age we believe that children benefit from an integrated topic-based approach, focused on the development of key skills and our curriculum reflects this ethos.  Our thematic curriculum ensures that learning is interwoven through a range of linked projects providing a meaningful and engaging context, with pupils completing a final task or product to further demonstrate and apply their thinking.

Whole School Approach

Our curriculum is a unified whole school approach as each half term all classes work under the umbrella of a main theme. Examples of themes we have covered in recent years are:

In Leicestershire…, Nose in a Book, Seconds from Disaster, Step Back in Time, Adventure Time and Don’t forget your passport for…

Over the course of the year, we have a range of subject-based themes to reflect all key curriculum areas, for instance, English (Nose in a Book) and Science (Seconds from Disaster).

Within the whole school theme, each year group pair focus in-depth on a particular topic at an appropriate and challenging level for their Key Stage.

An example of this is below:


A Step Back in Time…


Year 1 / 2

Year 3 / 4

Year 5 / 6

(Now and Then)

Lady With The Lamp

(Saxons and Vikings)

Menacing Mayans
(Ancient Civilisations)


Teachers plan schemes of work across the curriculum to link with the theme title using Cornerstones’ Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs).  These projects provide inspiring, exciting and motivating learning activities that link across subject areas.  

Every year group will experience 6 Imaginative Learning Projects in a year. Each individual project is split into sections, which see children progress through four stages of learning:


1. Engage - Bringing Learning to Life

We have an exciting start to each new theme with a ‘Super Learning Day’ where staff design thrilling activities to bring the learning to life!  Adults and children dress up to enhance the experience and pupils move around to different classrooms experiencing a variety of exciting activities. This is a fantastic way to start the new theme and engage children from very beginning.  Photos of previous Super Learning Days can be found on our website.

2. Develop - Pupils Shape their Own Learning

Pupils also have a hand in shaping their own learning. At the beginning of each theme they share their current knowledge and pose questions, which they would like to investigate. This information is a valuable part of a teacher’s planning process and informs lesson design.

At the end of each theme the investigation questions are reviewed with opportunities for children to share their knowledge with the whole school in a special assembly.

3. Innovate – Applying skills in real-life contexts

Throughout the theme, children have the opportunity to apply their skills, knowledge and understanding in practical situations.  They solve real or imaginary problems using the skills that they have learnt.

4. Express – Celebrating our achievements

Pupils become performers, experts and informers for the grand finale of the project, when they have the opportunity to share their learning with other classes, parents and the community.


A Cycle of Improvement

At the end of each half term, pupils and teachers evaluate the success of the theme and discuss improvements that could be made for future cycles. Skills are also rigorously assessed and learning evaluated to ensure all skills across the curriculum are comprehensively covered. The following year new themes are devised to ensure learning is fresh and innovative.