Morley Primary School

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Morley Primary School

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The Curriculum at Morley Primary School

A Curriculum for Our Children


Our children are the leaders of the future. They have the capacity and potential to go forward and achieve their dreams. Our role is to inspire them to dream and aspire, and to give them the skills, knowledge, resilience and determination to reach their goals.


The curriculum at Morley Primary is designed to provide children with the knowledge and skill-set to succeed in their primary education, prepare them for their future educational steps and to fully equip them for life’s unknown adventures.


However, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. (The Peter Parker Principle)



 Our Curriculum Intent


To foster children who are aware of the world and their position within it by knowing how privileged they are and how others are far less fortunate. To actively be able to look out for, support and show kindness and empathy towards others, so they become citizens of the world whose aim is the betterment of society.  To know and to be proud of where they are from and to fluently use a wide range of appropriate vocabulary when discussing and writing across our wide curriculum.


We want our children to know about their local area, and how it fits into the world; to understand the effect we have on our planet, and how we interact with each other; and to have a wide range of creative skills. Our children have high academic standards, but we aim to give them aspirations and possibilities well beyond the classroom. We aim to excite them into learning by providing a rich and varied curriculum which enables them to see beyond their horizons. As they follow in the footsteps of Howard Carter or Charles Darwin, they discover how our understanding of ancient worlds grew, and they develop a love of finding out more about past cultures and civilisations; work on space and technology shows how we have been able to hypothesise, test and refine over time, and develops children's ability to think scientifically and creatively. These themes are enriched by a series of visits and visitors. Our bespoke local curriculum aims to provide children with a rich and varied knowledge of Derby and Derbyshire.  Children in all classes learn about the significant impact of Rolls Royce - their beginnings from the invention of the car, the plane and consider the statement If it wasn't for Derby, we would have lost the Battle of Britain and then the war.  Our educational visits further develop children's local knowledge in all year groups by exploring Derby's local museums. In Class 3 children earn their diploma in the History of Derby by taking part in a wonderful project with local historian, Richard Felix - Derby The Crossroads of History.


Many of these themes incorporate a book study for example Holes by Louis Sachar, Wonder by RJ Palacio, The Brockenspectre by Lina Newbery, The Hodgeheg by Dick-King Smith, Books by Julia Donaldson and The Paperback Princess by Robert Munsch.


Our pupils are taught in mixed age classes. The staff plan exciting themes which incorporate all aspects of the National Curriculum within a programme of cross-curricular activities, as well as discrete teaching where appropriate. OfSTED (2012) said that our curriculum was incredibly rich and that children had a ‘magical experience’ in lessons where ‘the atmosphere is electric’.

Morley Primary Curriculum


Class 1 Cycle 1Brrr, It's Cold OutsideExplorers, including those from DerbyDerbyshire Castles and Kingdoms
Class 1 Cycle 2Children of MorleyScience TalksOur Everyday Superheroes
Class 2 Cycle 1Stone Age vs Ancient Egyptians

The Invention of Flight and the significance of Derby


Is Trade Fair?

Who were The Tudors?


Life in Tudor Derbyshire

Class 2 Cycle 2

We are Morley


Derby Around the World

Journey of a River - River Derwent


How Can We, in Derby,  Reduce Climate Change?

Life in Roman Italy


Roman Impact on Derby and Britain

Class 3 Cycle 1

Journey Around the World - Volcanoes, Mountains and the Peak District

(Physical Geography)

Derby, the Spitfire and the Battle of Britain


The Holocaust

This is England: Early England and the Impact of the Vikings

Vikings and Derby

Class 3 Cycle 2

Are We Looking After Our World (Human Geography)

Refugees and Deforestation -impact on Derby

Life After WWll - the 1960s Derby and beyond

Ancient Greeks 

How is our life in Derby today linked to the Ancient Greeks?


Three Curriculum Pillars:

From our Curriculum Intent, we have 3 pillars to our curriculum which are included in our planning for all subjects.  We believe these pillars underpin our curriculum and link children's experiences together. 



The effective use of language is vital for success in life.  Across our curriculum, the specific use of vocabulary is prioritised and time is spent discussing the etymology and morphology words.  Children are encouraged to use these new words in discussions, in their writing, at school and at home - the more children use these words, the likelihood that they will continue to use these words in their everyday language will increase. 


Derby and Derbyshire:

At Morley we are proud of our bespoke and Derby-centred curriculum. We believe children should have a rich and varied knowledge of their local area and be proud to be part of it.  Across our curriculum, all teachers plan effective curriculum links to include Derby and Derbyshire.  For example, children will learn about scientists Joseph Whitaker, John Flamsteed and Jim Campbell.  They will know the art of Joseph Wright and the industry of Rolls Royce.  Children will learn about Tudor buildings in Derbyshire and be able to identify Derby buildings inspired by the Ancient Greeks.  Children will know how our lives in Derby are impacted on by the Ancient Greeks and the Romans and how and why refugees come to Derby.    Children will have an appreciation of how fortunate they are to live in Derby today and consider what might have happened if Derby were not so influential in WW2. These are just some flavours of the Derby experience at Morley Primary School.


Leaders of the Future:

The children at Morley Primary School are the leaders of tomorrow.  From this, children learn about the power of empathy and kindness and the importance of working together.  Children learn about leaders from history and the work of key scientists who are leaders in their field.




Within our curriculum, alongside key National Curriculum Objectives, we organise children's exploration of a curriculum focus around six key areas.  These areas are covered in all year groups which provide children with a well-rounded and developed understanding linked closely to our Curriculum Intent.   The six key areas are below:


Prior Knowledge  Significant People Key Events 
Vocabulary  Derby Maps/Diagrams/Data


Our personalised curriculum provides a significant focus upon the children's local area which links with our Curriculum Intent.  The following provides an example of how Derby is featured in our curriculum plans:

Local Links



Pre and Post Assessment:


All of our topics begin with a prior knowledge activity.  Children use an open-ended activity on Seesaw to express their current knowledge and understanding of the new curriculum theme based on these key areas.  Rather than providing children with a 'test', children are able to express their knowledge by using a range of creative tools: speech recording, video, diagrams, text, drawing or pictures.  This supports all children in showing their understanding in a method which is personalised and preferable to each child. 


At the end of the curriculum theme, children undertake the assessment again to show their knowledge and understanding.  These assessment opportunities allow children to show their full understanding of the topic. 



Our curriculum is set out to clearly show progression within all subjects in the National Curriculum subdivided into class group progression due to our mixed aged classes.  Knowledge and skill progression is further broken down into individual sections within a curriculum subject.  The documents below are an example of our subject progression.  *A full range of progression documents are available - please contact the school office if you would like to view these documents.

Morley Primary is an inclusive school. All children are welcome, and all children have access to the full curriculum and the widest aspects of school life. For further information, see our Equalities page.

Further opportunities


In addition, all pupils in Class 2 take part in the Wider Opportunities in music scheme, so far learning violin, flute, samba, clarinet, steel drum and singing. All pupils in Class 3 learn ukulele. All children have the opportunity to explore the keyboard and glockenspiel in music lessons. 


All children in school have daily access to ipads, and these are used seamlessly in most lessons. Pupils take part in a half-termly photography competition, and class reading challenges.  Each October, children all run the Mini-London marathon to raise money for local charities. 


As we have no school hall, we hire a local sports centre for one day each week during the Spring term so that the children can have specific teaching in dance and gymnastics. All pupils in Years 3-5 have weekly swimming lessons. Pupils in Class 3 play Quidditch each week after school.


PSHE utilises the Derbyshire PSHE Matters scheme, with additional material included where necessary. School has always taught RSE within PSHE, and staff have undertaken CPD to ensure that the new requirements are covered - Mrs Taylor is the PSHE/RSE lead and has been trained on the latest government expectations. We call our RSE/PSHCE offer 'Life Skills', and this is taught each week.


Assemblies cover a range of themes incorporating RE, collective worship, singing, current issues and Derby . 


Class 2 children visit either Lea Green or Mount Cook for a one night residential which allows children the opportunity to take part in a wide range of outdoor physical activities.  Children in Class 3 visit St Michael's Education Centre in Hathersage for a wonderful 3 night residential.  This is a highlight of children's time at Morley where children explore their local Derbyshire Peak District, visit Eyam for a history focus on the plague and learn about the geography of the Peak District.

Approach to Phonics and Reading


From the Early Years, phonics is taught to all pupils, and may continue into Key Stage 2 where appropriate. We use the Little Wandles programme, incorporating oral, written and interactive elements each day. Phonics is taught every morning.


Our main reading scheme is Big Cat, which runs throughout school. This links to the phonics scheme so that progression is seamless. The main reading scheme is supplemented by a wide range of other reading material, both fiction and non-fiction. The reading scheme is organised into bands through which children progress at their own speed. School staff will move children through the bands when both their decoding and comprehension skills show they are ready.


Alongside this, Key Stage 2 children take part in their Teacher Reading Challenge.  Children are encouraged to read a 8 or 9 books, which are carefully hand-picked by the teacher, as part of the challenge.  This allows for discussion, comparison and shared reading experiences.  Children also are read to most days, again with carefully chosen, age appropriate books.  From this, a strong emphasis is placed on reading for pleasure and staff and pupils discuss reading material regularly. 


Our bespoke reading comprehension strategy - ASPIRE - is embedded across all classes and has shown to have had significant impact upon children's reading attainment and progress by the end of Key Stage 2.  Each letter of ASPIRE is a discreet reading skill which is carefully and skillfully taught.  All of these skills are vital to becoming a life-long, passionate and confident reader:

A - Ask Questions

S- Summarise

P - Predict

I - Interpret

R - Retrieve

E - Explain Vocabulary.


For further information on how we developed our reading provision, see the link below.

If you would like more information about our curriculum, or have something which you can offer, then please contact school direct. Thank you.