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Curriculum Pillars

We have established our school’s curriculum principles. These reflect our school’s values, context and pedagogical approaches. In essence, our principles shape the vision for our curriculum. 

These are:

Creativity – Content – Cohesion – Community – Compassion

Below we have a brief explanation on each of the principles / pillars.


At OPA we value the development of original ideas. Children are encouraged to examine a problem with an open mind about how it might be solved. By providing open ended tasks pupils can implement fresh ideas with imagination and without copying others. Through an enquiry led model pupils engagement is high and there is a positive attitude to learning when walking into classrooms. Teachers are challenged through staff meetings as to how to best present curriculum content in all subjects.


We have worked with teaching staff collaboratively to ensure that all the national curriculum is covered which is found in our topic overview for EYFS – KS1 – LKS2 and UKS2. Teachers use the progression of knowledge and skills document to ensure that any prior learning in all subjects is secure before carefully sequencing future learning. Leaders have developed a topic on a page with reference to our curriculum principles.  In English and Maths we are publishing our sequence of learning which demonstrates the careful precision in planning to ensure good outcomes for all children in every age group.


‘Remember when you learnt about….’

Teachers in our school aim to build upon prior knowledge. We aim to ensure that learning ‘sticks’. This is achieved through a carefully sequenced curriculum. Pupils can tell us what they are learning, why they are learning it and what they are going to learn.


We have forged partnerships within our local community. Pupils have the opportunity to perform or share their learning to a wider audience. Children tell us this motivates them in their learning and gives them a sense of purpose. 

In music pupils perform to the elderly residents of  Meadowbeck care home. 

In science pupils pupils visit St Nicholas Field Local Nature Reserve. This reclaimed site was a rubbish dump. The voluntary drive of the centre shows our pupils what can be achieved with teamwork if you aim high. 

The local University provides opportunities for pupils to experience real life jobs such as construction and provides aspirations for future careers. Our school is making links with York St Johns University to develop high quality learning experiences in PE and geography

Similarly we welcome parents, grandparents and visitors to share experiences and enhance our learning.

Our community co-ordinator Mrs Culley will be overseeing the developments in this area to enhance visits and celebration events.

A visit to the University where pupils complete a construction module in school and present to lecturers.


We celebrate the diversity of our school. We are passionate about our curriculum representing all our learners and community. This is why we have refreshed our curriculum and ensured that our values, new SRE policy and inclusivity is represented across the curriculum. Our vision is that all learners have a sense of belonging and see themselves in the curriculum we have built. We have changed whole school reading texts and edited curriculum content by consulting parents and pupils to ensure we have compassion at the heart of our curriculum.