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The Primary Phase Curriculum of The Duston School places ‘Powerful Knowledge’, knowledge that takes students beyond their own experiences, at its heart.

The knowledge in our curriculum has been carefully chosen and sequenced in a meaningful way that enables children to progress incrementally and builds from year to year. In this way, the knowledge in the curriculum is cumulative, constructing firm foundations from which children can build conceptual understanding and skills over time.

Our curriculum is divided into subjects, recognising the identity of the disciplines we study, fostering a love for subject content that will flourish as children move through the curriculum.

An essential element of the Primary Phase curriculum is the development of a broad and rich vocabulary, and the ambitious and explicit teaching of this. The vocabulary content of the curriculum has been planned with the purpose of addressing the ‘word gap’ for children who enter school with a limited vocabulary.

The curriculum provides exciting opportunities for children, of all backgrounds, that allow each child to develop the long-term knowledge and skills needed to reach their full potential, in order to take full advantage of opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

Children will:

  • Develop the appropriate subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum, so that children can reach and exceed their potential academically, physically and artistically.


  • Have a holistic set of values that prepares them for life in the modern world in a diverse and ever-changing community.


  • Develop the behaviours learners need to succeed in the world such as concentration, perseverance, imagination, self-improvement and curiosity.


  • Develop social skills and build a firm set of personal morals, and engage in the culture they live in and respect the cultures of others.

Young children are naturally good thinkers and our Foundation Stage Curriculum enhances their skills by encouraging them to bring everything they already know to their learning. Ideas will be linked and everything will be relevant and this approach ensures that the topics we teach cover the EYFS Curriculum both indoors and out. Previous learning is built upon by teaching new knowledge and skills and then planned opportunities are provided where children can apply what they have learnt through child-initiated activities and planned independent tasks.

As the children move through The Duston School, teaching continues to build on what has been previously taught. The National Curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum. Links are made between subject areas where this is deemed appropriate and beneficial to children’s learning.