OFSTED 2022..."Pupils describe West Horndon as being a big family. Staff know pupils well. Pupils are proud to be part of such a welcoming school...Leaders have high aspirations for all pupils. Pupils rise to meet these expectations. All staff share this vision. Leaders make sure pupils have a wide set of experiences. These help pupils develop into confident individuals. Pupils develop their self-esteem through extra responsibilities...Leaders have developed an inspirational curriculum that is designed to meet the needs of pupils at West Horndon. ..The whole school environment is a celebration of language and vocabulary...Pupils are well behaved in lessons and around school. They know the school rules...Leaders consider staff’s workload and well-being. Staff enjoy working at the school and feel supported by leaders." Pupils do not disrupt lessons. Pupils always do their best and want to make their teachers proud of what they can achieve. 2024 New Intake Prospective Parent Tours 2nd Oct at 10.30am, 30th Nov at 9.30am and 11 Jan at 9.30am Please call the school office or email admin@westhorndon.essex.sch.uk to book a space.

Curriculum Overview

Our Curriculum

At West Horndon Primary School, we are passionate about providing a curriculum for our learners which meets their needs in the 21st Century. Our approach to curriculum planning is bespoke and flexible so that it can be adapted to meet the needs of learners over time. If you would like to find out more, please scroll to the bottom of this page where you can view our bespoke curriculum offer. To find out how our curriculum is accessible for all learners, including those with additional needs or disabilities, please view our Special Educational Needs Policy and our Accesibility Plan.

As a maintained primary school we start by ensuring that we meet the requirements of the National Curriculum
Children in Reception follow the Early Years Foundation Statutory Framework.

Basic principles

1.Learning is a change to long-term memory.

2. Our aims are to ensure that our students experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, long term memory of an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge.

Appropriate experiences

We have developed four curriculum drivers that shape our curriculum, bring about the aims and values of our school, and to respond to the particular needs of our community: 

Appropriate experiences

We have identified five curriculum drivers that shape our curriculum, bring about the aims and values of our school, and to respond to the particular needs of our community:

In designing our curriculum we start by identifying our Curriculum Drivers. The opportunities and challenges that the context of our learners setting and lives present focus the development of our bespoke, ever evolving, curriculum. 
The National Curriculum is taught throughout key stages 1 & 2. Each class has a bespoke carefully planned programme of long term planning to ensure we meet and exceed the statutory requirements for curriculum coverage. Details of what is taught in each year group and when can be found in the attached curriculum map below. 
At the heart of our curriculum is our core belief that happy, secure and well children learn best! Our foundations for learning are approaches and interventions that allow our pupils to learn well and to develop their learning to learn, character and life skills. Mastering key skills is a continuous focus and provision to ensure that our pupils have the vital building blocks to ensure that they are well equipped for the next stages of their education. We aim for all of our pupils to make good progress and to meet their age related expectations. Meaningful and engaging themes bring all of these elements together to ensure that our pupils learn in the context of an exciting, broad and relevant curriculum that makes learning irresistible. 

Cultural capital


Cultural capital is the background knowledge of the world pupils need to infer meaning from what they read. It includes vocabulary which, in turn, helps pupils to express themselves in a sophisticated, mature way.

We have developed a list of '50 Things' which capture the essence of the breadth of experiences we want pupils to have during their journey with us. These form the Curriculum Entitlement for every learner. 
We have chosen to to base our curriculum on the Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum which sets out essential coverage, learning objectives and standards for all subjects. Furthermore, it provides progress measures for all subjects including personal development. 
One of the primary reasons we have chosen to adopt this curriculum is because it emphasises the importance of developing the depth of children's learning. We want children to know more and remember more. 
Our curriculum operates on a one or two year cycle, depending on the year groups. As the school expands more year groups will move to a one year cycle. 

The diagram below shows model of our curriculum structure:

a)The curriculum breadth for each year group ensures each teacher has clarity as to what to cover. As

well as providing the key knowledge within subjects it also provides for pupils’ growing cultural capital.

b) Threshold concepts are the key disciplinary aspects of each subject. They are chosen to build conceptual understanding within subjects and are repeated many times in each topic.

c) Milestones define the standards for the threshold concepts.

d) Depth: we expect pupils in year 1 of the milestone to develop a Basic (B) understanding of the concepts and an Advancing (A) or Deep (D) understanding in Year 2 of the milestone. Phase one (Years 1, 3 and 5) in a Milestone is is the knowledge building phase that provides the fundamental foundations for later application. LEARNING AT THIS STAGE MUST NOT BE RUSHED and will involve a high degree of repetition so that knowledge enters pupils’ long-term memory. if all of the core knowledge is acquired quickly, teachers create extended knowledge.

Sustained mastery

Nothing is learned unless it rests in pupils’ long-term memories. This does not happen, and cannot be assessed, in the short term. Assessment, therefore answers two main questions: ‘How well are pupils coping with curriculum content?’ and ‘How well are they retaining previously taught content?’


Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; three main principles

underpin it:

1)Learning is most effective with spaced repetition.

2) Interleaving helps pupils to discriminate between topics and aids long-term retention.

3) Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, which increases both

storage and retrieval strength.

In addition to the three principles we also understand that learning is invisible in the short-term and that sustained mastery takes time.

Some of our content is subject specific, whilst other content is combined in a cross-curricular approach.

Continuous provision, in the form of daily routines, replaces the teaching of some aspects of the curriculum and, in other cases, provides retrieval practise for previously learned content.