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St Mark’s Primary School

"'Let Your Light Shine' Matthew 5:16"

Project Based Approach



Our curriculum intent is taught through effective implementation. Subject leaders have created clear, coherent and sequential skills and knowledge progressions that build from the Early Years through to when the children reach the end of Year 6. These include key vocabulary and subject specific themes and also take into account the substantive knowledge that children learn for a specific topic and the disciplinary knowledge, which encompasses the methods children use in order to think like a “Scientist or a Historian” etc. These subject specific whole school progression maps, allow teachers to plan effective lesson sequences that build on prior learning, address misconceptions and deepen children’s ability to make connections over time with their learning, looking at subjects as a whole rather than individual topics.


Across the school, learning is organised into cross curricular projects that create meaningful links between subjects where appropriate, however where this is not possible, subjects are taught discretely. Every subject is covered throughout the year within multiple projects but is taught in a block where it links cross-curricularly rather than being taught for a certain amount every week. In most cases, Science, Geography or History are a main driver for the project with other subjects being linked to it. Where subjects do not lend themselves to the project approach, they are taught discretely, sometimes using a scheme, for example Language Angels for French and Charanga for music.


Before starting a project, children are exposed to key vocabulary (pictures for KS1) that relate to the project. These are explored as a class alongside exploratory activities giving children an initial idea of the learning to come. From this, questions are generated by the children to suggest areas they would like to find out more about and which direction they would like the learning to take, putting the child at the centre of the planning. Teachers then use these questions and the progression documents to plan engaging and informative lessons that spark the children’s curiosity.


At the beginning of each project, elicitation and diagnostic activities are carried out to determine the children’s prior knowledge and misconceptions, which are then used as a starting point for the new learning. These activities can then be returned to at the end of the project to determine what the children have learnt and remembered. Lessons are then created and sequenced to allow children to make meaningful connections within their learning, build on existing knowledge and prepare themselves for experiences in the wider world. Where possible, links are made to our school context and local surroundings to embed the learning in familiar settings, while also ensuring encouraging an understanding of diversity and equality for all. Teachers use a range of high-quality teaching strategies, including the use of effective modelling and scaffolding to allow children to become successful and self- sufficient learners, preparing them for their next stage of learning.


During the projects, children take part in WOW activities, which could include trips, visitors, visits, project days and immersive activities to broaden the curriculum and give purposeful links for the children. Throughout the year, the children all come off timetable to take part in specialist theme weeks such as Arts Week, Science Week and Sports Week to fully broaden and enhance the curriculum the children are experiencing.


At St Mark's Primary School, all teachers are responsible for providing an inclusive curriculum that is differentiated for those with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND). We have high expectations for all pupils and are committed to ensuring our curriculum complies with the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014. 


Our inclusion statement emphasises the importance of providing an inclusive learning environment for all pupils including those with SEND. Additional information on this can be found in our Special Education Needs Information Report and Equalities Policy.



Children in the Foundation Stage follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum of which the three prime areas are:

  • Communication & Language
  • Physical Development 
  • Personal, Social and Emotional development


These support learning in four specific areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World 
  • Expressive Arts & Design



For more information on a specific subject, please visit the subject pages.