Curriculum – Whole School Topic


The curriculum at Burghfield St. Mary’s is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all children. It aims to provide opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident and successful learners, with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society. The curriculum ensures that academic success, creativity and problem solving, reliability, responsibility and resilience, as well as physical development, well-being and mental health are key elements that support the development of the whole child and promote a positive attitude to learning. The curriculum supports the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, ensuring that children are well prepared for life in modern Britain.



The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the children in our school. A whole school cross curricular themed approach has been implemented to ensure a high level of engagement as well as providing coverage and progression in a number of curriculum areas. This two yearly rolling cycle approach enables theme based learning, fostering each child’s curiosity and interest throughout each topic and also enabling the achievement of depth in knowledge and skills which can be consolidated and extended when the topic is re-visited with a different focus.

In order to maintain a broad, balanced and creative curriculum, some subjects are still taught discretely. Music and performance have a high profile in the school, with each child receiving a weekly music lesson. In year 4, children are taught to play an instrument. The school has choirs and opportunities for ensemble and solo performances are planned for and provided both within the school and beyond it. We are proud of our regular performances at the Hexagon theatre, Anvil theatre and O2 Arena in London.  In order to enhance PE, sports funding procures the use of professional coaches to provide specialist teaching for the children and training of staff. The whole school takes part in tournaments and competitions across a wide range of sports and strives to provide opportunities for all abilities. When teaching RE, the school follows the Pan-Berkshire Agreed Syllabus and Discovery RE. We are also supported through the Oxford Diocese. PHSE and RSE are taught using SCARF Coram Life Education. MFL is planned according to the Language Angels scheme of work. Art and Design Technology skills are taught weekly and where appropriate, links are made to our whole school topics. Purple Mash is used to teach the ICT curriculum.

The curriculum is also extended through other opportunities where possible.  A varied timetable for extra-curricular activities is also offered by the school, where possible, with clubs that support the core curriculum, as well as those which also extend the range of children’s experiences. 

The school takes pride in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education. Children at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able are challenged and supported through being offered opportunities to demonstrate greater depth and those who struggle are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.

Subject coordinators play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading the monitoring, evaluation and review of their subject. Where available, subject coordinators undertake training to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding, so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school.



Our curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual and small groups of children can be met within the environment of high quality first wave teaching. In this way it can be seen to impact in a very positive way on children’s outcomes.

Our curriculum provides children with memorable experiences, through our use of stunning starts, marvellous middles and fabulous finishes, in addition to diverse and rich opportunities from which children can learn and develop a range of transferable skills. Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Children feel safe to try new things. High quality whole school visits and trips to various locations enhance the curriculum and provide opportunities for learning outside the classroom. Visitors to the school are also welcomed to enhance learning opportunities.

Children have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through weekly child-led assemblies, school-based exhibitions, performances, competitions and events. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning.

Term Topics

Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term
2023 Time Travellers Inventors & Inventions Green Planet
2022 Regal Rulers Amazing Animals Holidays
2021 Brilliant Buildings Eager Explorers Eco Earth
2020 Tomorrow's World Alive Continents