The Curriculum

Curriculum Statement

At Whitehouse Common Primary School we aim to tailor education to individual need, interest and aptitude so as to fulfil every child's potential. Every pupil will have access to a creative, rich, broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum

We recognise that every child has a different knowledge base and skill set, as well as varying aptitudes and aspirations; therefore every young person's needs will be assessed and their talents developed through diverse teaching strategies.

At Whitehouse Common Primary School this means all teachers and teaching staff have the responsibility to ensure that they offer a curriculum and a range of teaching approaches which ally high standards in Basic Skills with opportunities for enrichment, creativity and physical activity thus promoting and ensuring enjoyment and excellence for all.

Below, you can find information on the curriculum delivered at Whitehouse Common. For further information, you can speak to the school offices.

Wider Curriculum Units


Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2


Our school and its place in the UK

How have things changed in my lifetime?

2 weeks

How has flight changed throughout history?

The New Seven Wonders of the World

Who was Mary Anning?
Jurassic Park

How is Sutton Coldfield different to Mumbai in India?


How has technology changed our lives?

What impact did the Great Fire of London have on London and cities in general?
The Great Fire of London

2 weeks

How does life compare in the polar regions with life in England?
Poles Apart

What did the Cadbury family do for Birmingham?

How can we recognise the 1960s?

How is Birmingham similar to and different from Sydney?


How dangerous can weather be?

When do you think it was better to live - Stone Age, Bronze Age or Iron Age?

2 weeks

How did The Romans change Britain?


What are the geographical similarities and differences between West Midlands and Murcia (link school in Spain)?

What happened to Britain when The Romans left? 


(The Anglo-Saxons & Scots)

What happened to Britain when The Romans left? 


(The Anglo-Saxons & Scots)


What are the effects of natural disasters?

How did the struggle between the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons affect the kingdom of England? 

2 weeks

What impact did Bishop Vesey have on the history and development of Sutton Coldfield? 

How have previous Royals influenced the Britain we know today?

How have previous Royals influenced the Britain we know today?

What does Britain look like from the air?


How has Birmingham developed over time?

How cruel were the Victorians?

Christmas Carols
2 weeks

Why did the Indus civilisation end?

Why did the Indus civilisation end?


Is South America just one big rainforest? 

Is South America just one big rainforest?

What made the Mayan’s marvellous? 


What role does water play in sustaining life on Earth?

War through time

Christmas Carols
2 weeks

War through time

How & why has our economy and trade changed over time?

How & why has our economy and trade changed over time?

The Greeks

The Greeks & Yes Minister

Key Learning Drivers: Environmentally conscious; reflective learners; culturally aware; developing spiritually and morally.

* indicates school curriculum
* indicates British values (also covered through PSHE, PE, Trust Values and BLP)
* Timings (number of weeks indicated) are for guidance and will vary depending on the length of term and the needs of the cohort.

Teaching British Values

Promoting British Values at Whitehouse Common Primary School

The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”

The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated this year. At Whitehouse Common Primary School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:


Each year the children decide upon their class charter and the rights associated with these. All the children contribute to the drawing up of the charter. We have a pupil council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class council meetings. The council is genuinely able to effect change within the school. Every child on the student council is voted in by their class. Children have an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school.

The Rule of Law

The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Whitehouse Common. Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school. There are our Class Rules, Playground Rules and E-Safety Rules. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.

Individual Liberty

At Whitehouse Common Primary School, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons.

Mutual Respect

Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

Whitehouse Common Primary is a diverse school. We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. Our curriculum and our links with other schools, both local and global, illustrate our commitment to exploring our school community and local community. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.


At Whitehouse Common Primary School teachers plan from the National Curriculum, which promotes the love of reading and embedding of keys skills in English.


Reading at Whitehouse Common is a daily occurrence and can take place in a variety of forms including big reading (whole class lessons), guided reading (small groups) and shared reading, through engaging with texts as a group in a range of subjects.


  • Phonics is taught through the use of Ruth Miskin’s RWI synthetic phonic program. Phonics is taught daily in both the early years and key stage one.
  • Spelling rules are taught in a similar style in to phonics, using a mnemonic to support the learning of the sound pattern. Blending activities are used throughout school to teach the spelling rule. A long term plan has been put in place to ensure breadth and coverage as outlined in the National Curriculum. Key words are taught from reception to Year 6 and form part of the weekly spelling list alongside a list of spellings linked to a spelling rule.
  • Click on the image to find out more information about the phonics program we follow.rwi

Early Reading

All the books used are fully decodable and match the phonics teaching that takes place in school. Home reading books are well matched to the guided reading texts used and provide further opportunities for reading at home.

We use Big Reading as an approach to analysing in detail a high-quality text as a class. The key 5 question types are used to teach pupils how to tackle a question and to enable them to dig deeper in to a text to show a deeper understanding.

Guided Reading:

The children have the opportunity to work in small group reading sessions guided by an adult. During these sessions the children interact with a group text and develop their reading strategies as well as their comprehension skills. Children are taught to decode, how to read more fluently with expression and respond to the text through a range of questions linked to the five question types.

One-to-One Reading:

Throughout Key Stage 1 and 2 children read individually as often as possible, either with a ‘Reading Volunteer’ or with a teaching assistant or class teacher.

All classes have a class library session available for children to use. This contains a selection of books from the School library. This also provided opportunities for the children to work towards their Book Award.

Book Awards

Each year the children work towards a Book Award Jewel. The scheme was launched to encourage children to read for pleasure a wide variety of authors and further develop their reading diet. Certificates are awarded for completion of their award.

Please [click here] to view the book award lists for each year group.


Through the teaching of writing we aim to develop independent writers who:

  • Have an understanding of how authors use language to create mood and effect;
  • Use language effectively to communicate through a range of genres and to varying audiences;
  • To recognise a range of writing genres and the purpose of the writing
  • Spell accurately and have an understanding of phonic principles;
  • Write neatly and effectively in a way that is appropriate to purpose
  • Speak and write with correct grammar and know the meanings of grammatical terms;
  • Enjoy writing as a form of communication.

Writing is taught using a range of strategies including Pie Corbett’s, Talk for Writing ideas. Pupils develop a sound understanding of text structures, are able to retell a number of texts and as a result create well-structured pieces of writing.


All children at WCPS are taught handwriting using ‘Nelson’ handwriting scheme. This font allows children to learn to form letters using four main joins.
These are:
1. to letters without ascenders (um ig)
2. to letters with ascenders (for example ch ol)

3. horizontal joins (for example od ve)
4. horizontal joins to letters with ascenders (wl of)

The scheme also includes nine break letters (letters that aren’t joined from) these are: b g j p q x y z s.
All children currently have a weekly handwriting session to support them in learning these formations and to practise their handwriting.
Children from Nursery – Year 4 will write using pencil, whilst children in Years 5 – 6 will write using a handwriting pen once they have shown that they can write in a neat script.
Working walls are used in all classes which display modelled examples of writing and texts for children to refer to. Children recognise that writing evolves and must go through these processes before you can produced a polished piece of work.

Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

(Also referred to as GPS or SPaG)

From Y1 – Y6 all pupils complete regular grammar tasks to explore, secure and embed key skills; where possible these tasks relate to the key skills taught within the literacy lesson.

You can play grammar games here:

Please [click here] for a glossary of grammatical terms.

Our key spellings can be seenunder the curriculum tab/spellings



At Whitehouse Common Primary School we strive to make our curriculum exciting, engaging and most of all purposeful. Mathematics also adopts this philosophy and is taught through a daily Mathematics lesson in line with the National Curriculum. The different areas of maths are covered throughout the year. Each area of maths has opportunities for children to use and apply what they have learned in a range of contexts to ensure their understanding is embedded. Our aim is that all pupils are challenged and develop mastery of maths.

Lessons are taught in exciting and practical ways using a ‘big question’ to introduce the learning and spark investigative skills. Captain Conjecture is often used to introduce the ‘big question’ and may set further challenges in order to help advance the children’s reasoning and problem solving skills.

captain conjecture

Long Term Plan

Maths Long Term Plan Button bordered



We explore and demonstrate concepts through the use of practical apparatus for example:








Mathematical concepts are taught through the use of demonstrating, modelling and discussion. The children are taught to develop a practical and pictorial understanding of key concepts before immersing in the abstract form of number.

concrete pictorial abstract

Throughout lessons, opportunities arise for children to reason, explore, explain and discuss. Activities are directly related to the learning objective and may be practical, recorded in books or completed using ICT. The lesson refers back to learning objective and success criteria and provides opportunities for self and peer assessment.

[Click here] to access the calculation policy


Arithmetic and Mental Maths

Within each daily mathematics lessons children are also taught the skills needed for mental arithmetic. Where appropriate, mental maths and arithmetic are taught explicitly. Outdoor practical mental maths sessions take place wherever possible. The purpose of these sessions is to develop pupils’ fluency of number.

[Click here] for arithmetic activities


Multiplication Tables

The learning and teaching of multiplication tables is imperative as it supports many areas of the maths curriculum.  Children are taught on a regular basis the tables they need to know confidently.  Each child (Year 2 - 6) has their own personal target card to identify the multiplication tables they need to work on and know confidently.  Children are encouraged to learn their tables at home as well as at school and regular practise is important. 

[Click here] for times tables activities

times tables


 Times Tables Rockstars

We use Times Tables Rockstars in school. Click on the image below to visit the site!

TTRS button




Our Science curriculum is designed to ensure that our children learn through practical, creative interaction and investigation of their immediate environment and beyond.  In addition, our children develop a clear understanding of factors leading to a safe and healthy lifestyle for their future.  

All children are given opportunities to develop thinking and questioning skills and gain knowledge through a strong emphasis on Scientific Enquiry, set in the context of key life skills.  Children are motivated and have frequent opportunities to question, plan, predict, measure and record in a variety of contexts. Scientific understanding and application are reinforced across the curriculum.

There is an effective balance between acquiring skills and applying them. Through their experiences, children are confident in making judgements, identifying patterns and evaluating their learning.  The Science curriculum at Whitehouse Common ensures that our children understand the worldwide significance of major scientific innovations, and the contribution Science makes through its impact on technology, business, medicine and our planet.

Our science lessons teach an understanding of natural phenomena. They aim to stimulate a child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way they do. It teaches methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought. Children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way science will affect their future on a personal, national, and global level.

Science Skills

The acquisitions of Science skills are set within the context of key skills for learning which is included within planning. The Scientific skills taught are:

•    Planning and questioning
•    Observing and measuring
•    Presenting evidence
•    Considering evidence and evaluating

The development of these skills is promoted through opportunities to apply and develop communication skills, the application of mathematical skills, information technology skills, the ability to work with others; problem solving and improving own learning and performance.

Key Stage One

In Key Stage 1 children will observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical processes and occurrences. They will begin to work collaboratively to collect evidence, which will help them to answer questions. They will record work, including the use of simple charts and tables where appropriate, and make measurements. They will begin to make comparisons, evaluate outcomes and evidence, and judge whether tests are fair. They find out more about scientific ideas through the use of ICT and reference materials. Children share ideas and communicate using scientific language. By the end of Key Stage 1, children begin to think about the positive and negative effects of scientific development on the environment.

Key Stage Two

In Key Stage 2 children will learn about a wide range of living things, materials and processes. They will begin to link ideas based on evidence. They will apply knowledge and skills to answer questions linked to everyday things and personal well being.  Children will carry out systematic investigations independently and collaboratively. They will use ICT and a range of reference sources to support their work. They will communicate ideas and conclusions using a variety of recording methods. Children will consider positive and negative impacts of scientific progress on the environment, and explore sustainable alternatives to present sources of energy.



For information on our computing curriculum, please click here.



The School Day - Times

Nursery - Acorns Building

Morning session:

Start: 9:00am

Collect: 12:00pm

Afternoon Session:

Start: 12:00pm

Collect: 3:00pm


Reception and Key Stage 1 - Acorns Building

Morning: 8:50am - 12:00pm

Afternoon: 1:00pm - 3:20pm

Key Stage 2 - Oaks Building

Morning: 8:50am - 12:40pm

Afternoon: 1:40pm - 3:30pm


Children should arrive no earlier than 10 minutes before the start of the day.

Teachers will be on duty in classrooms to care for your children from 8:40am.



How have things changed in my lifetime?


Nativity 2 weeks

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