Subject Leader - Mr Cowley

The Curriculum

At Orchard Primary School we pursue the Project Curriculum, formerly known as the Creative Curriculum, through an integrated approach, linking History, Geography, Art and DT with an approach led by the choice of powerful and meaningful texts. A commitment to an exciting and stimulating curriculum, which may also incorporate RE, Music, Science and Computing, as well as Values, engages, stretches and develops social and learning skills. We aim for children to become active and engaged citizens within and beyond the school community.

We have made the decision to teach what we call the Project Curriculum through an innovative and creative approach. Class teachers plan for the Project Curriculum by linking their planning to the Power of Reading in a Project Based planning approach. In their Long Term Plan, teachers indicate which elements of the National Curriculum programme of study for History, Geography, Art and DT allocated for their year group will be covered within each project. In project planning attention is directed towards the relevant skills required.

Projects are planned linked to a core text, and all have a ‘Striking Start’, ‘Magnificent Middle’ and ‘Fantastic Finish’. A visitor or a trip to a place of interest will fall into one of these categories, enabling the children to broaden their experiences. Visits from storytellers, environmental scientists, and chefs may be supported by gallery and museum visits.

Children’s displays are designed to inform and entertain, and to showcase the school and its learning community at its best. Class assemblies also illustrate the strength and variety of the curriculum, and enable the children to share their learning journey with the rest of the school community.

In Music we look at the different musical elements and use these to explore performance and composition.  We link our music curriculum to our project based curriculum and compose and perform pieces of music within this context.  Singing and developing vocal work is at the heart of our music curriculum and as a whole school we use Charanga resources to support our programme of singing.  We use our progression in singing to deepen our understanding of music and develop musical skills.  We also use the government’s Wider Opportunity scheme to teach whole class Samba Drumming lessons in Year 4.  Listening, appraising and evaluating the music of other’s is taught so that children can identify ways to improve their own music.
In Art the children get the opportunity to use a variety of mediums over the year with focus on different techniques and studying the work of various artists. There is a whole school Art afternoon every half term where the children take on a collaborative project linked to a theme.
History is taught through experiential learning which will engage the children and secure those key facts; this could include exciting activities such as inviting in guest speakers and exciting trips. We ensure our topics lend themselves well to our promotion and learning of British Values, with talks of democracy throughout the ages and discussions about the rule of law, tolerance and the rights of people. Topics also always include extended writing and presentation.


Through Geography, we aim to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people.  As part of their class topics, pupils are taught about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments and they develop an understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.  They are given opportunities to carry out practical fieldwork and to connect with the environment around them in our Forest School. 

Project Curriculum Policy

Project Based Curriculum Policy Autumn.pdf

How can you help at home?
In the Project Curriculum, the best way to support your child is in reading and researching around a project theme, particularly in History and Geography, where the facts and data uncovered will be very useful in the overall learning journey. Also looking at works of art by some of the key artists covered by the projects can be useful. Most artists’ key works can be found on the internet through a simple search.

We would urge you though not to allow your child to cut and paste entire articles from the internet. Not only is this copying, but also it does not encourage editing, checking and vocabulary skills. We would like our children to use language in their work that they understand and can be taught to use.

Intervention programmes

The Project Curriculum is fully accessible to all children, and we encourage a challenging and enquiry based approach. Visit any class and the key words you will hear are ‘Why?’,’ When?’, ‘Where?’, ‘What?’, ‘Who?’ and ‘How?’

Assessment Information

The Project Curriculum is assessed solely through ‘Teacher Assessment’ meaning the progress of your child is monitored by your child’s class teacher in an on-going manner, allowing your child’s individual needs to be met.

Orchard Primary School, Oxford Road, Sidcup, Kent, DA14 6LW
Tel: 0208 300 4878         E-mail:
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