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Curriculum Drivers

At Killigrew Primary and Nursery School we have six key drivers running through our entire curriculum:

  • Spoken Language
  • Cultural Capital
  • Diversity
  • Spelling
  • Reading
  • Learning Powers

We use these drivers to prioritise the things we want our pupils to experience and learn during their time with us. These focus areas underpin learning in all aspects of the curriculum and enrich our teaching. The drivers are personal to our school and reflect what we know about our pupils on entry to the school and the social and educational priorities of our local area and community. Through embedding these in our curriculum offer, we know that our pupils are well equipped with the knowledge, skills and aspiration they need to succeed throughout their lifetime.

Spoken Language

In all our curriculum teaching, we focus on spoken language acquisition. We prioritised this particular driver because we noticed, more recently, that the children entering our Early Years setting had less confidence when communicating with each other and talking about language.

We also know that the ability to communicate effectively is a skill that is important for life-long learning. Ultimately, if our pupils have effective communication skills, they can confidently articulate their feelings and beliefs across all curriculum areas.

In addition, it is crucially important that our children understand the link between the spoken word and words on paper. Therefore, we support them to focus for longer and talk with confidence about what they have read or heard. We ensure that all adults model targeted and purposeful talk and enhance our children’s breadth of vocabulary and curiosity about language. To promote effective talk within lessons, our teachers plan and teach modelled responses and use age appropriate speaking frames.

In maths, a focus on spoken language and mathematical reasoning supports our pupils to express themselves clearly, talk about a subject with assurance, and use the correct mathematical language and vocabulary when reasoning.

Cultural Capital

Our second driver is linked to building our pupils’ cultural capital.

Building cultural capital means exposing our pupils to a variety of learning experiences and promoting character-building qualities. This practice supports the development of a well-rounded, global citizen, who appreciates and celebrates diversity. Through engendering an appreciation of human creativity and achievement, we support our pupils to be curious and creative learners who can talk confidently about their aspirations and goals.

Through our teaching, we help our pupils understand how different subject areas have shaped our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. It is important that our pupils understand that different curriculum subjects are intertwined and we believe it is essential that our pupils learn about the global issues facing the world today. By using the ‘World’s Largest Lesson’ materials, we ensure that they appreciate the importance of working towards sustainable development goals to fight inequality and injustice, end extreme poverty and tackle climate change.

We continually develop strong and positive relationships within our local community and within the wider community through working in partnership with other schools and our local residents. By providing a wide range of extra-curricular clubs, we ensure that all children have access to quality learning experiences inside and outside of school.

We make sure that our children appreciate the views of others, recognise the difference between right and wrong and understand what it means to be responsible through taking on different roles in school. We also invite visitors to our school, so that children understand what responsibility means in different careers and roles. We want our pupils to embrace the responsibilities they have now, and those they may have in the future.


Our third driver is focussed around promoting our pupils understanding and appreciation of diversity. This is particularly significant for our school because our school population has a lower than average proportion of pupils from minority ethnic origins. Therefore, it is especially important that our children celebrate the achievements and contributions that people from all faiths, races and genders have made, or are making, to our wonderfully diverse world.

In our curriculum, we study a wide range of artists, from different cultures and we ensure that that the voice and contributions of writers from different cultures and backgrounds (including BAME groups) are fully represented. We make links between different subject areas by, for example, basing some of our visual literacy units around interesting paintings, with diverse cultural influences. Our history provision includes a Black history focus at least once a term as we want to ensure that the contribution of Black people, both now and in the past, is recognised and celebrated.

By linking some of our RE curriculum to the consideration of ‘ultimate questions’ , we guide our pupils to consider community and school focused questions, help them to appreciate diverse viewpoints and investigate moral and ethical issues. We constantly make the link between our Killigrew values and the positive values of the wider world.


At Killigrew, we prioritise spelling, as we know that the ability to spell accurately will support our children to be successful throughout their life. We also know that the groundwork for successful spelling is laid throughout the children’s primary school journey.

We have identified that our pupils benefit from frequent repetition of spelling objectives and that our teachers must have high expectations in terms of applying taught skills in all curriculum subjects; for example, in geography our pupils must understand the importance of learning key geographic vocabulary and spelling the key terms correctly. We use Read Write Inc phonics to support spelling.


We also focus heavily on supporting and generating a love for reading. We believe that, in today’s modern world, our children are more used to picking up and reading snapshots of information on social media and thus may be losing the stamina to read at length and for pleasure.

We also know that the language and vocabulary the children may be exposed to online is often less developed than they might read in a book, so we have a responsibility to ensure that they are taught ambitious words within our curriculum and the reading material we provide.

Therefore, all of our English planning identifies key reading objectives and indicates age appropriate (but challenging) reading stimulus materials. Our planning for foundation subjects indicates appropriate reading materials to support and enhance subject teaching.

We have two inviting libraries which are well-stocked with well-loved titles. Through the generosity of our parent body, we are able to keep our libraries up to date with exciting new releases (as selected and listed in our wish list). All pupils enjoy their library slots and are enthusiastic participants in our ‘Read Around the World’ reading reward scheme.

Learning Powers

Finally, all of our drivers come together and are reinforced by our Killigrew values of resilience, respect, resourcefulness, reflectivity and responsibility. These values were chosen after consultation with the whole school community and have been embedded for several years now.

As independent and resilient learners, our pupils use the library and the internet (both at home and in school) to extend their research in all subjects. They are responsible learners and make the right choices to further their understanding. They are able to follow their own interests and develop their own ambitious goals for the future.

As our library contains a wonderfully diverse range of books, our pupils understand the world around them. They also understand that to achieve, particularly when practising more tricky aspects of the curriculum, they must be resilient as ‘practice makes permanent’.

Our pupils make choices about the way they communicate their knowledge and understanding. Through careful reasoning, our children decide the optimum way to present their learning for different audiences and purposes. They value structured debate, and enjoy discussing important global matters in order to make positive change for the future.

Our music teaching, which includes a wide range of peripatetic music teachers, primarily promotes a love of music, but also instils a sense of discipline: in order to master the instrument, children must be responsible, resilient and reflective.

In our PSHE curriculum, we have prioritised the practice of mindfulness as this will help our pupils with emotional regulation in school and outside school. By being present and fully engaged in the moment, whilst observing their thoughts and feelings, we know that our children learn how to be truly reflective.