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In Reception, children show good concentration in well planned, absorbing and imaginative activities - Latest Ofsted ReportLeaders have established a positive culture for learning mathematics - Latest Ofsted ReportThe use of pupil premium funding is well targeted to support disadvantaged pupils’ learning - Latest Ofsted ReportDisplay walls are providing effective support for learning - Latest Ofsted ReportThe school, through its distinctive Christian character, is outstanding - Latest SIAMS ReportA culture of collective worship and prayer enables this large school to resemble a united caring family - Latest SIAMS Report

Our Curriculum Overview 

We believe the curriculum at Knaresborough St John's is progressive, coherent and inspiring!  We have developed a curriculum that aims to help children know more, remember more and do more

As staff we have given careful consideration to our children; their experiences and have developed a curriculum that caters for them individually.  This has been achieved through implementing the Elevate Trust's Curriculum Framework that was produced in a draft form for January 2023.  The implementation of the Elevate curriculum has been planned to enhance the previous school curriculum's strengths that had been developed in 2021.  The main principles of the Elevate Curriculum is to ensure the school has:

  • A progressive and well-sequenced curriculum
  • A progression model based on the National Curriculum as a minimum expectation – helping to deliver a knowledge rich and challenging curriculum to all children within Elevate Multi-Academy Trust fidelity of each subject's knowledge, skills and vocabulary.   

The vision of curriculum provision delivered at Knaresborough St John's ensures that we constantly review the strengths of the units of study, we improve the areas for development and adapt the knowledge, skills and learning to meet the needs of our children and our community.  

 Our curriculum build:

When designing our progressive curriculum that is delivered in school, we wanted to ensure it was built around knowledge, skills and experiences.  Threaded through this was the desire to have diversity and our locality embedded in what the children learn and experience.  Ensuring this curriculum serves our children and our community, we sought the input on children, staff, governors and parents.  We feel the two year rolling curriculum that has been built achieves this design outcome allowing our intent to be actioned,

Our curriculum intent:

Our curriculum is implemented through subjects taught discretely and subjects that are interwoven to create cross curricular themes. This combination aims to inspire and excite children about new learning.

All of the learning at Knaresborough St John's is triangulated through

  • Elevate's High Impact Teaching and Learning Principles:
    • Everyone ready to learn - Adults and teachers are prepared to succeed in every lesson and learning experience
    • Learning that is intentionally planned, delivered and evaluated - Teachers and TAs understand 'why', 'how' and 'what' they want every child to learn
    • Explicit and ambitious expectations - Everyone has the highest expectations in everything they do
    • Variation of strategies - Teachers and TAs use agreed effective and research based strategies
    • Activating higher order thinking - Opportunities planned for children to: explain; question; reinforce; and embed their learning
    • Targeted high quality feedback - Evidence based feedback strategies that maximise learning
    • Explicitly developing metacognition - Deliberately teaching and developing learning behaviours and attitudes
  • Assessment for Learning through the Keep Up Not Catch Up Approach to ensure no child falls behind age related expectations
  • The content for learning provided by The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and The National Curriculum

We triangulate these principles to allow our children the best opportunity to remember our curriculum in both the short and long term.


At Knaresborough St John’s Primary School, we implement our learning through units of study that are designed to challenge and extend the children, with careful thought being given to how this is achieved in mixed age classes.  The implementation of our curriculum allows themes and current affairs to be brought into topics so that we ensure a progressive and fluid curriculum to be delivered.

Our curriculum content starts with the Early Years Foundation Curriculum ensuring our children are working towards the Early Learning Goals.  We then build on this through the Primary National Curriculum programmes of study for Years 1-6. The progressive continuum of skills, knowledge and vocabulary ensures pupils are challenged appropriately.   The learning sequence is skilfully planned building on prior knowledge, skills, experiences and engaging texts to progress learning effectively. The implementation of our learning sequence follows Elevate's High Impact Teaching and Learning Principles. This combination of low stake quizzes, topic based learning reviews, end of topic reviews and a coherent sequence of learning improves working memory techniques, so that children know more and remember more.

The new Elevate Curriculum (from January 2023) is designed for subjects to be taught discretely with interconnection woven in when appropriate to enhance knowledge, skills and vocabulary.  Subject leaders ensure long term plans and medium term plans are in place and that objectives are planned and sequenced for progression.

Pastoral support for all pupils is a high priority and the basis for all learning. Children who feel safe, happy and supported are able to progress through the curriculum. Nurture groups, Time to Talk and outdoor learning are some of the pastoral support we offer. We build strong relationships with families and our community, whilst adapting the curriculum to the needs of the children in our care.

Ongoing comprehensive teacher assessment of children’s learning in all subjects ensures key milestones are reached. Teacher assessment is used to inform planning and implementation of KUNCU (Keep Up Not Catch Up) strategies. Teachers develop a clear and accurate picture of strengths and areas to develop. Summative outcomes within foundation subjects are recorded on the school’s own data tracking system. Peer feedback and self-assessment are extensively used alongside statutory assessments which are completed at the end of EYFS (Early Learning Goals), Yr1 (Phonics), Yr2 (SATs), Yr4 (Multiplication Check) and Yr6 (SATs). Termly Maths and English Standardised Assessments support teacher judgements, teacher assessments and inform planning against National Curriculum objectives.

The impact of our curriculum approach is that it inspires learners, breaks any perceived glass ceiling they may have and ignites a learning passion and developing ‘learning for life’.  We want our pupils to leave their time at Knaresborough St John's academically secure and emotionally ready for the next step in their academic journey.  To ensure we know our curriculum has been successful in achieving the intent, we involve a wide variety of people to monitor its impact.  These include:

  • Fortnightly subject leadership time for our Maths and English leads
  • Foundation subject leaders are released from class half a day each term
  • Quality Assurance visits from Elevate (two visits a year based on our categorisation within the Elevate School Improvement Strategy)
  • A new lesson observation approach to ensure learning is happening effectively and consistently
  • Termly data captures of core and foundation subjects are submitted to The Schools Data Company for analysis and detailed discussion
  • Pupil Voice, through Subject Champions, to ensure we understand our school and our curriculum from those that are most important in its success
  • Pupil Progress Meetings to hold all staff to account with ensuring no child is left behind in our learning expectations
  • Engaging our Link Governors to challenge and hold to account the curriculum and senior leaders in our school
  • Parent feedback from visits into school and from reviewing the books at parents evenings
  • Statutory assessment data which is compared to the national average

Children are confident at talking to others and can solve problems in teams and by themselves. They are resilient when faced with a challenge and can reflect on prior learning to help them achieve. Children at Knaresborough St John’s care about the environment and are proud of their school and their community. They tolerate one another and respect each other and want to make the world a better place for their future and the lives that depend on it.

Children at Knaresborough St John’s feel included in all aspects of school life and they celebrate difference and stand up to bullying and abuse. They know how to keep safe online and in the community and beyond. They feel ‘heard’ and are empowered to change the world and make a difference.

Children leave Knaresborough St John’s academically secure and emotionally ready so they can navigate the world with these skills. They feel confident and supported to achieve their aspirations and follow their dreams.

To download our overview document that provides clarity of the curriculum construction, please click on the image below.


Planning for Progression - Timeline of Development

This section of the website explains the curriculum development journey the school has been on over the last two years.

Spring 2023

The Elevate Trust  progression models used to structure our school's foundation subject curriculum was developed by the Trust's 'Leaders in Education'  group, which was led by Luke Bedford (Deputy Headteacher from Knaresborough St John's Primary School).  This group were supported by Emma Turner, author of Simplicitus - The Interconnected Primary Curriculum and Effective Subject Leadership.  In addition to this, further CPD was delivered to all schools in the trust, regarding the progressive curriculum, to ensure clarity around the rationale for achieving the highest outcomes for our children.  The structure of the Elevate documents for each foundation subject is based on the following elements:

  • Key knowledge for each year group
  • Key skills that underpin this knowledge
  • Carefully tracked vocabulary that supports subject knowledge and pitch for teachers
  • High quality reading material that supports the profile of reading within foundation subjects

These models have been carefully constructed to ensure they support teachers in delivering an ambitious and robust curriculum and were implemented at Knaresborough St John's Primary School to enhance the already good curriculum offer in school.

The assessment framework for the Elevate progression documents has been built by Alex Hope (Headteacher from Knaresborough St John's Primary School).  This assessment framework has been written to assess the precise knowledge and skills expected for each year group across all foundation subjects. 

The Elevate EYFS Curriculum Coherence and Connection document was complied by Lindsay Richardson (Deputy Headteacher from Knaresborough St John's Primary School) after working with early years leaders and Emma Turner.  The document carefully maps how EYFS provides the building blocks for Key 1 and Key Stage 2 foundation subjects.

Knaresborough St John's Primary School - Progression Documents

The following documents outline the carefully sequenced knowledge, skills and vocabulary used across our school.  Click the links to access the documents.

Knaresborough St John's Primary School - Long Term Overviews for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 using the 2023 Elevate Curriculum

Due to our school having mixed classes, we deliver our curriculum offer through a two year programme.  The links below will take you to the long term plans for Cycle A and Cycle B.  These alternate each year to ensure that children in mixed year groups do not cover the same units within a two year cycle.

Year 1 and Year 2 - Cycle A

Year 1 and Year 2 - Cycle B

Year 3 and Year 4 - Cycle A

Year 3 and Year 4 - Cycle B

Year 5 and Year 6 - Cycle A

Year 5 and Year 6 - Cycle B

Autumn 2021

In Autumn 2021, the teachers, TAs, Governors and parents worked together to develop a new curriculum that reflected the need to support children who had been affected by school closures (Covid) as well as enhancing the offer we provided around diversity and our locality.  This was implemented in January 2022 and improved the curriculum offer at Knaresborough St John's which was seen in the work the children produced and the feedback gained through subject champions (pupil voice).  Throughout the implementation period, we constantly reviewed the curriculum offer and adapted this to reflect the changes in our local community.