Parent Info /


Access to all information related to our school curriculum, including termly overviews, latest curriculum news and our ‘Outstanding Learners’ showcase.

A school curriculum is broad and comprises a lot of information. To best communicate our curriculum to you, from top level aims and objectives, down to day-to-day news, we have split the information into four main types. These are as follows: 

1. Curriculum Introduction and Overview (Below)
This information can be found below and is applicable to the whole school. It includes curriculum background information along with subject overviews. Any further overview information, specific to a particular year group, can be found using the buttons in the sidebar – ‘View Curriculum By Year Group’. You can also view this website link for information about the National Curriculum in each subject for each year group
2. Termly Curriculum Overviews
Curriculum Overviews/newsletters are sent home to each class at the beginning of each term. This can of course be found on their class pages and main news feed. They are intended to give parents specific information about the topics your child will be covering in class during the term and hence enable you as parents to continue to encourage and support your child’s learning.
3. Curriculum News 

These are curriculum news articles for Holcombe Brook’s daily life, with accompanying photos and videos, to give you an insight into the classroom, strengthen the home-school partnership and celebrate the work the children are producing. As will all news, the articles can be found in our main news feed and on specific class pages. You can use the category links at the top of the articles to explore specific subjects in more detail. 

At the top of our website news posts you may also see Learning Waymarks. These relate the content being reported to any values, qualities and skills that we are actively teaching in the classroom and around school, to increase transparency and help you support your child.

4. Outstanding Learners Showcase
A collection of great work from our pupils. These may also include ‘Learning Waymarks’ for additional information (see above).

Curriculum Introduction

23.5 hours (KS2) and 21.1 hours (KS1) are devoted to teaching the curriculum each school week (excluding worship/assembly, registration and breaks)

‘The school’s curriculum is broad and balanced, with a range of extra activities that enhance pupils’ experiences.’ Ofted Inspection Report 2016

At Holcombe Brook we provide a creative curriculum based around the Cornerstones Curriculum.

After the new National Curriculum was introduced by the Government in 2014-15, we have worked hard to adapt and refresh our school approach and provision for pupils. As part of this work we have decided to implement the new Cornerstones Curriculum, a nationally recognised approach for delivering outstanding learning opportunities for children.

What is the Cornerstones Curriculum?

cornerstones-logoThe Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the new 2014 Primary National Curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Our new curriculum will be delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) which will provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of our children’s learning. 

We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our new curriculum will provide lots of learning challenges throughout the academic year that will require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum.

Cornerstones also provide a rigorous essential skills framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects. These essential skills are tied to activities and are age related so that staff can track children’s progress and identify their individual learning needs.

How It Works

Children will progress through four stages of learning in each ILP – Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express. You can find out more about these stages on the Cornerstones website

Pupils in Year 2 and Year 6 now sit end of year tests (SATs).

Curriculum Overview (Whole School)

Curriculum Overview For Years 1-6

The grids in the above document give you an overview of the new curriculum in most areas but as Holcombe Brook has some mixed classes, the History and Geography content has been  devised over a four year programme to ensure all pupils access the correct content.

Long Term Plan 2017 2018

Above  you will see the titles of the topics that will be covered in your child’s class throughout the year.

Subject Introductions

Below you can find information regarding the teaching of each subject. This information is relevant for the whole school:

English and Modern Foreign Languages

The development and use of communication and language is at the heart of children’s learning. This area of learning includes developing the skills for:

  • Developing knowledge of letters and sounds to help read simple texts.
  • Communication, speaking and listening in different situations and for different purposes.
  • Exploring a wide range of texts and writing for a variety of purposes.

Daily Literacy sessions are delivered across the school from Reception which follow the National Curriculum objectives. Children learn skills including speaking and listening, drama, word recognition, word structure, understanding and creating texts and presentation. There is a daily phonics session in Key Stage One classes using the Letters and Sounds programme as a base. A variety of reading schemes such as Big Cats and Oxford Reading Tree are incorporated to provide children with a broad base within which to develop decoding and blending skills. As well as these daily lessons, pupils have the opportunity to apply and extend their language skills during our themed, cross-curricular work and in their own independent topic work.

Our ultimate (and simple) aims in English are the following:

  • Pupils will speak confidently and listen critically and with empathy
  • Pupils will read fluently for information and pleasure
  • Pupils will write fluently, confidently, legibly, for a range of purposes and audiences using traditional means and new technologies

Our Modern Foreign Languages are French and Spanish which are taught to Y5 and 6 on alternate years . Children learn basic vocabulary and simple rules by using French and Spanish across the curriculum. In the Autumn Term 2015 our Y6 and Y5 pupils were also introduced to Mandarin through the University of Manchester Confucius Institute


Mathematics at Holcombe Brook Primary School is a vital part of the curriculum, comprising work in number, shape, measures and data handling. Children develop their mental calculation skills whilst learning effective written methods for computation. Children are encouraged to discuss their strategies and reasoning and to work together to use and apply their knowledge to solve mathematical problems. Wherever possible, maths is taught and practised using games, investigations and practical contexts to make it enjoyable, challenging and relevant. Basic skills in retaining number bonds and learning tables form part of the homework children complete throughout school. We use the schemes ‘Big Maths’ and ‘Abacus’ to assist us in tracking and planning for pupil progress with themes of reasoning and problem solving woven through by teaching staff to enable our pupils to use and apply their skills as widely as possible. We are also using times tables rock stars and a Mastery Approach to our maths teaching, gradually moving away from Abacus. Have a look at the calculation policy below which demostrates our ‘concrete-pictorial-abstract’ approach:



We aim to teach science in an interesting and stimulating way and aspire to give science its importance throughout the school and across all subjects. We are flexible and innovative in following the National Curriculum and expect all pupils to reach for, and achieve, the highest possible academic levels, enabling them to develop scientific investigative skills. Our feeder high school Woodhey High School has specialist science teachers and resources which we make use of in school through visits and planned events.


Holcombe Brook is excited about the continuing developments in technology which enable our children to learn about the world both within and beyond the classroom, through research, communication with others and use of control and modelling equipment.

The children have access to 18 desktop computers within a newly refurbished ICT suite and a set of 20 laptops all of which have internet access along with a variety of educational software. We have recently purchased 20 IPADs for use in all classes and aim to extend this provision in the forthcoming year. We follow the Bury Computing syllabus across school and ‘buy in’ expert advice and support on a termly basis. In addition, our pupils make use of digital cameras, computer microscopes and floor robots. ICT is one of our areas for further development in 2015/16 where we hope to  progress the use of class blogs, National and International publishing of writing through the website ‘Pobble’ and the E Safety agenda through our ‘Digismart Club’ and ‘E-Cadets’

Geography/ History/ Design Technology

In these areas of learning, children are developing the crucial knowledge, skills and understanding that help them to make sense of the world. Children are taught skills so that they can investigate the world around them. We encourage children to work collaboratively, ask questions and find solutions independently to solve problems. Practical activity is an essential part of learning in this area of the curriculum, so children have access to a range of equipment and educational visits and visitors.


In art, the focus is on developing creativity, imagination, self-expression and manual dexterity. Children engage in drawing, painting, collage and 3D work, often studying the work of artists present and past to support their learning. Children’s achievements in art are celebrated throughout the school, both in the classroom and in corridor displays.


Music is taught as a practical subject in which all children participate. It involves the following activities:

  • Singing
  • Instrumental Work
  • Composing
  • Listening

We have a selection of percussion and tuned instruments which the children can use in the above activities. Holcombe Brook children also take part in a range of musical events such as Children of Bury Sing, Christmas Concerts and Young Voices. Holcombe Brook employs a part time specialist music teacher who teaches music throughout school. In addition to this, individual and small group tuition in a variety of instruments takes part throughout the school day by Bury Music Service. There is a charge for this tuition.

Physical Education, Sports and Games

Holcombe Brook Primary School values the importance of Physical Education and exercise very highly, with enjoyment in learning being our key aim and aspiration. We aim to incorporate breadth and balance within the PE curriculum and, in this school, pupils enjoy a wide variety of sporting activities, games and clubs in many different sports. Children develop the sporting skills that they need now, and for the future, in their statutory two hours per week within school or out of school hours in clubs and against other local schools in competitions. All pupils attend  6 half day forest school sessions over the course of the year and we work closely with the Forest School teacher to link our indoor and outdoor learning as closely as possible. We have recently completed an ‘Out of School Club’ audit to evaluate the number of pupils accessing additional sport and use this to provide additional activities to specific groups of pupils. 

In the Early Years our pupils have access to extensive outdoor provision which we are constantly evaluating and improving.

Key Stage Two Games Rota


PSHE is implicit within all that we do at Holcombe Brook, as part of our commitment to ensure that our pupils are safe, healthy, secure and confident. The nature of PSHE is to focus on both the individual and how that individual relates to the world around them.

Personal, Social and Health Education is taught as a planned scheme of work, with flexibility to meet the needs of our pupils. Within the PSHE & Citizenship curriculum, there are five key themes:

  1. Health
  2. Relationships
  3. Citizenship
  4. World of work/careers education & guidance
  5. Sustainable development

We incorporate resources from the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) which help our children to understand and manage their feelings.  We make use of the ‘GoGivers’ website to support and extend our provision. 

Religious Education

At Holcombe Brook Primary School the teaching of Religious Education is approached with the following principles in mind:

  • We value the religious background of all members of the school community and hope that this will encourage individuals to share their own experiences with others freely.
  • All religions and their communities are treated with respect and sensitivity and we value the links which are, and can be made between home, school and a faith community.
  • We aim for a highly sensory approach, where children may look at and handle religious artefacts, hear religious music or taste food from a religious tradition.
  • Our teaching of Religious Education operates hand in hand with our Spiritual, Moral Social and Cultural curriculum, highlighted in the March 2012 Inspection as being a strength of the school.

KS1 Phonics and Reading Schemes

Phonics lessons follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme with several reading schemes used to back up this approach, including Oxford Reading Tree, Collins Big Cats and Oxford University Press.

Sex Education

The Governors have agreed that Sex Education should be included in the school curriculum and that it is dealt with in the context of “ourselves, the family and growth”. The school nurse gives a talk to older boys and girls in Years 5 and 6. Letters are sent to parents in advance to obtain their permission or give them the opportunity to withdraw from certain aspects if desired.

The Nurse and class teacher are encouraged to answer any relevant questions as would a reasonable parent.

Curriculum Complaints Procedure

  • The Head Teacher deals with all aspects of the school curriculum and is the first point of contact for any parent who has concerns about what is taught and learned in school.
  • School rarely receive complaints about the curriculum, but all schools are required to set out a curriculum complaints procedure.
  • If you contact us we will try to answer any questions you may have in an informal and helpful manner.
  • If, the concerns cannot be resolved, then a formal complaint may be referred to the Governing Body and from there to the Local Education. Please refer to our Complaints Procedure for more information on how to do this.

Still Want To Know More?

If you can’t find the curriculum information that you’re looking for, or want to find out more about our curriculum, please speak to your teacher, or another member of staff.