The David Ross Education Trust

David Ross Education Trust schools create a rich and exciting learning environment that inspires students to become their confident, academic best.

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Briar Hill Primary School

Briar Hill is a warm and happy school with well-being at the heart. All children are challenged, nurtured and inspired to achieve highly and make a positive contribution to society.


Briar Hill Primary School: Vision Overview

The ultimate vision for our curriculum is to provide the children with opportunities to: experience memorable and enchanting moments, foster positive relationships; gain an understanding of the importance of mental health and wellbeing; develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world around them; develop curiosity, enquire and ask questions through philosophical enquiry; nurture and grow their aspirations and equip them with the knowledge, skills and confidence needed for a 21st century world.

whole school curriculum overview 2024 2025.pdf

Curriculum is King

At Briar Hill, we teach a carefully sequenced, knowledge-rich curriculum which aims to inspire pupils and promote excellent outcomes for all.

The curriculum content has been carefully chosen by our own subject experts and is organised in a coherent way, ensuring children can build on their knowledge from year to year. In this way, the knowledge in the curriculum is cumulative, constructing firm foundations and schema from which children can progress and develop deeper conceptual understanding and subject-specific knowledge and skills over time.

Curriculum coherence ensures that teaching does not jump from topic to topic, but enables children to develop knowledge over time, as well as a love of subjects. Subject content is crucial to this approach- the rich content of the curriculum inspires children and plants the seeds for a lifetime of learning. Lessons are taught with talk and thinking critically at the heart. Children are encouraged to learn in a variety of ways.

At Briar Hill Primary School, there is a real focus on Wellbeing and Mental Health, here is our 'Ready to Return' document that will enable us to meet the emotional and social needs of the pupils following lockdown so the full curriculum can be reintroduced in a timely manner. It is important that we ensure routines, expectation, modelling good behaviour and social interaction are at the forefront of what we do and are embedded and without these foundations re-established the effective learning environment will struggle to exist.

The Curriculum Crews (CLL, STEM, Humanities, The Arts and Care) at Briar Hill Primary School

The five crews consist of:

  • CLL (Reading, Writing, Oracy, MFL Drama, P4C)
  • STEM (Science, IT, Mathematics, P4C)
  • Humanities (RE, History, Geography, ECO, P4C)
  • The Arts (Art, Music, P4C)
  • Care (PSHE, Jigsaw, Keeping Safe, Mental Health, PE, Dance, P4C)

Whole School Curriculum Overviews

whole school curriculum overview.pdf

 IQM Feedback 2024 - Flagship Award

briar hill primary school review jan 2023 1 .pdf

CLL (Reading, Writing, MFL Oracy, Drama)


We also use Talk for Reading as a methodology and is featured in 'Transforming Learning Across the Curriculum'.

It is powerful because it is based on the principles of how individuals learn. It is a fully inclusive method of teaching reading with the movement from introduction to investigation to independent application, which can be adapted to suit the needs of learners of any stage. Reading for pleasure is a key driver at our school and all teachers at Briar Hill Primary School are responsible for promoting this.

All children at Briar Hill Primary School have a reading book and a reading record to take home.

In Key Stage 1, the reading books are phonetically decodable and link to the Read Write Inc. scheme. With such high expectations, we recommend pupils read at least five times a week at home and that reading records are completed by parents and guardians so that progress can be monitored and there is a positive home-school link.

A love of reading is developed through the experience of high-quality texts from a variety of authors during the Talk for Writing sessions and through use of our reading for pleasure books and our class stories. All children, from our early readers to those who are fluent, have a rich and varied reading diet, promoting both reading pleasure and an experience and appreciation for a range of texts.

By the end of Key Stage 2 we expect children to be competent and confident readers who can read a wide range of texts and show an understanding through proficient comprehension skills.

Pupil Voice

Thanks to Briar Hill Primary School I am a fluent reader from not knowing a single word of English a few years ago. 

I love our class novels that we read and then go into detail the following term. 

It is amazing to see how my daughter has flourished with her reading.  Staff always keep us up to date with the current topic and Google Classroom is always undated with extra work and activities to complete at home.

Class Novels Overview 

reading at briar hill class novels year overview 2022 2023 3 .pdf

Read Write Inc. Literature Spine Directly Linked to Phonic Knowledge

RWI Book Bag Book - Sway - Microsoft Office

The Core Talk for Reading Literature Spine

The Core Talk for Reading Literature Spine - Sway - Microsoft Office

Talk for Writing


The Talk for Writing is a powerful approach as it is based on the research of how children learn. It enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. A key feature is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’, as well as close reading. The approach moves from dependence towards independence, with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.

At Briar Hill we underpin our English work through our established core reading spine of quality fiction, poetry and non-fiction that all children experience and draw upon. Imaginative units of work are developed to create a whole-school plan that is refined over the years, is well-resourced and documented so that the teachers at Briar Hill can prioritised and focus on adapting their teaching for children’s learning.

The key phases of the Talk for Writing process, as outlined in our Guidance on the Implementation of English at Briar Hill (please see the document attached below), enables children to imitate orally the language they need for a particular topic and learning vocabulary and grammar in the context of a model text, before reading and analysing it, and then writing their own independent pieces of writing.

Pupil Voice

There has been so many opportunities for my child at Briar Hill Primary School, especially in writing and the guests visitors that they invite in. It really inspires my daughter. 

I cannot believe how much my writing has improved. 

Briar Hill Primary School gave me a fantastic base to succeed at Secondary School and in Year 7 I won a national poetry competition. Thank you Briar Hill for providing me with all the tools I need to become a writer. 

guidance on the implementation of english 2022 2023.pdf

Texts Linked to the Talk for Writing Curriculum

 Texts Linked to the Writing Curriculum - Sway - Microsoft Office

General Recommended Reads 

General Recommended Reads - Sway - Microsoft Office


At Briar Hill we know that, accurate and competent spellers need to spend less time and energy in thinking about spelling to enable them to channel their time and energy into the skills of composition, sentence structure and precise word choice.

By the end of year 1, pupils should be able to read a large number of different words containing the GPCs that they have learnt, whether or not they have seen these words before. Once pupils have learnt more than one way of spelling particular sounds, choosing the right letter or letters depends on their either having made a conscious effort to learn the words or having absorbed them less consciously through their reading. Younger pupils have not had enough time to learn or absorb the accurate spelling of all the words that they may want to write.

At Briar Hill phonic knowledge continues to underpin spelling after key stage 1 this is achieved through our delivery of Read Write Inc. spelling; teachers still draw pupils’ attention to GPCs that do and do not fit in with what has been taught so far. Increasingly, however, pupils also develop their understanding the role of morphology and etymology.

There are five main components for teaching spelling effectively: understanding the principles underpinning word construction (phonemic, morphemic and etymological); recognising how (and how far) these principles apply to each word, in order to learn to spell words; practising and assessing spelling; applying spelling strategies and proofreading; building pupils’ self-images as spellers.

The teaching of spelling at Briar Hill gradually build pupils’ spelling vocabulary by introducing patterns or conventions and continually practising those already introduced. These are developed through short, lively focused sessions, which are more enjoyable and effective than an occasional skills session.

Spelling strategies, linked to phonic knowledge, are taught explicitly and applied to high-frequency words, cross-curricular words and individual pupils’ words.  In addition, proofreading is a skill which is taught during shared and guided writing sessions.

At Briar Hill, once a new rule / phoneme has been introduced in a lesson, it is critical that this is then reinforced and revised regularly. This reinforcement is particularly important if pupils’ knowledge is to be transferred to their independent writing.


Consistency is key. At Briar Hill we firmly believe that it is crucial that all members of staff model the handwriting expectations (semi-cursive). Work on whiteboards and flip charts will match the expectations that set for the children as appropriate to the year group taught (see above progression document - attached).

During the delivery of handwriting at Briar Hill, pupils taught using different methods. These can include but are not limited to: rhymes to help them remember letter formation; teacher modelling and demonstration; independent practice and application and peer and self-assessment.

Children at Briar Hill are given the skills and resources they need to allow them to reach their full potential. This includes ensuring all children have the correct resources (either a sharp pencil or a pen); the correct seated position; pencil grip and book orientation.

handwriting progression.pdf


At Briar Hill, we know that oracy is a route to social mobility which will empower all pupils to find their own voice to succeed in school and life. Oracy is a powerful tool for learning, which teaches pupils to become effective listeners and speakers. Our pupils are empowered, through oracy, to help better understand themselves and the wider world around them. For our pupils this means that they are equip with the ability to articulate their ideas clearly, develop their understanding and confidently engage with others through spoken language.  

At Briar Hill, it is through a high quality oracy education, which is embedded across the curriculum and is supported by T4W and P4C methodologies that students learn through talk, and to talk. It is through the explicit, direct and systematic teaching of oracy throughout the curriculum that enables our pupils to make progress in the four strands of oracy (see Voice 21 materials). In all lessons, pupils develop and deepen their understanding of a subject through talk in the classroom, which has been specifically planned, designed, facilitated, modelled, scaffolded and structured to enable them to learn the skills needed to talk effectively. 

briar hill benchmarks poster.pdf

the oracy framework 1 1.pdf

At Briar Hill, our teaching of French provides an appropriate balance of spoken and written language. We aim to enable pupils to understand the French language and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing, focused on familiar and routine matters, using their knowledge of phonology, grammatical structures and vocabulary in French.  

The focus of study is on practical communication and developing reading and writing skills which develop progressively throughout KS2. Teachers support pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to speakers, both orally and in writing.  

We also focus on Latin in LKS2 at Briar Hill Primary School, Latin is the basis of many modern foreign languages. Providing learners with a solid understanding of the basics of Latin in both the spoken and written word, will enable them to confidently apply the knowledge and skills learnt at primary school to languages at KS3 and beyond.

When children move to secondary school, a variety of MFL languages are taught i.e., French, Spanish, German. Learning Latin ensures no ‘doubling up’ and is a good basis from which to learn other languages.

Why we teach Latin 

Drama is not explicitly taught, instead it is used as a tool for learning within different aspects of the curriculum. It can provide children with a meaningful purpose for writing and allows all children to access the learning. Children are able to think deeper about a character or situation and allows deeper questioning and further develops the children’s understanding. It develops literacy skills-supporting speaking and listening, extending vocabulary and encouraging children to understand and express different points of view.

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STEM (Science, Computing, DT, Mathematics)




As a result of the accumulation of essential knowledge and skills pupils’ science capital and scientific understanding will be substantial and will provide a secure foundation that will enable them to succeed in the next stage of their education.

At Briar Hill Primary School, we aim to stimulate children's curiosity about scientific ideas and phenomena by engaging our pupils through the development of their scientific understanding. Science lessons are designed with working scientifically at the core to encourage pupils to plan, observe, predict, investigate and analyse. 

We are delighted to share that we have also been awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark in July 2021. The award celebrates and highlights our commitment to excellence in the teaching and learning of science. 

Pupil Voice

I really enjoy all of the experiments we do in school. I want to do something in Science when I am older. 

I really enjoy that I am given the opportunity to develop my own experiments and come up with my own conclusion and hypothesis. 

It is wonderful to see all the opportunities the children have in Science at Briar Hill Primary School and my son really enjoyed attending the STEAM event at University of Northampton. 

Digital Literacy ensures the children can develop their ideas with the use of information and communication technology to ensure they are active participants in a digital world and are at a level suitable for the future workplace. We also teach the children about safety online: how to spot any dangers; how they can be avoided easily and what to do if they encounter any misuse of the internet.


At Briar Hill Primary School, pupils have planned opportunities to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. Through a variety of creative and practical activities, we teach the technical skills, knowledge and understanding needed to engage in an interactive process of designing and making. When designing and making, we ensure the pupils are familiar with the design cycle:

  • Design – use research and develop design criteria to design for a purpose and communicate their ideas through a range of mediums.
  • Make – use a wider range of tools and equipment with accuracy and use a wider range of materials and components according to their qualities.
  • Evaluate – evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.

The DT Curriculum includes links to designs and designers throughout history, enabling pupils to critically reflect upon and evaluate their own designs.  We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. This gives the learning purpose, relevance and context to the pupils. 


At Briar Hill Primary School, we use Effective Mathematics as a base along with our knowledge of the 5 Big Ideas to teach an embedded mastery approach mathematics curriculum. This tailored curriculum supports children to progress quickly but securely, and develop a depth of understanding of the mathematical processes through reasoning, fluency and concrete, pictorial and abstract process. At Briar Hill Primary School, we are proud of our unique Mathematical pencil cases which allow children to have all the resources they need to succeed.

Pupil Voice

Maths lessons at school are always fun and I find working with my partner incredibly useful. 

I love my mathematical pencil case, it has all the tools in there to help me succeed. 

I can't believe how quickly my son has learned his fractions and times tables at Briar Hill Primary School. Staff always keep us up to date with the current topic and Google Classroom is always undated with extra work and activities to complete at home.

Lessons are designed carefully to incorporate the below elements:

  • Representation and Structure 
  • Procedural and Conceptual understanding and variation
  • Mathematical thinking through reasoning and connections
  • Fluency - Number and Table facts
  • Small steps and coherence

Planning is based on the new national curriculum standards and used to facilitate high quality teaching and learning. Every child in KS1 and KS2 at Briar Hill Primary School has a Numbots and/or Times Tables Rockstars login. 

What Mathematics Looks Like at Briar Hill Primary School

briar hill what mathematics looks like.pdf

Furthermore, where possible, we believe that maths should be taught in context. We particularly value the importance of children understanding the reason why their mathematical learning will be relevant to them in the real world and demonstrate a clear purpose for learning mathematical skills. A recent example of linking Mathematics with the wider world can be found here


Humanities (RE, History, Geography, ECO)


At Briar Hill Primary School, we explore Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. There are also opportunities for our pupils to study other religions where they relate to class topic work in other curriculum areas such as history, geography and art. The curriculum is based around developing an awareness of other faiths and cultures in the community in which we live.


Pupils at Briar Hill Primary School will secure a significant historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts and understand connections between local, regional, national and international history. Our History Curriculum is sequenced coherently so useful knowledge builds through six unifying themes: humans and the environment, cultural develops and interactions, governance, economic systems, system interaction and organisation and technology and innovation. 

As a result of the accumulation of essential knowledge pupils’ substantive knowledge and historical disciplinary skills are substantial and will provide a secure foundation that will enable them to succeed in the next stage of their education.

 Briar Hill Primary School’s History curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate children’s curiosity to know more about the past.
  • Learn how to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
  • Begin to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.


As a result of the accumulation of essential knowledge pupils are provided with the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time, enabling them to become true global citizens. 


The Eco-schools programme is pupil-led. Each class has a representative on our Eco Committee. It is fully inclusive, hands on learning that gets the whole school and wider community involved.

eco school statement.pdf

Arts Crew (Music and Art)


To tap into our pupil’s creativity and truly unlock their potential, we strive to provide outstanding opportunities and to reflect our schools culture and community through the artists we choose. These artists provide pupils with positive role models that they can aspire to emulate, as well as developing their understanding of their own, and others’, cultural heritages.

The focus of our arts curriculum is to develop proficiencies in drawing, painting, colour theory, shade and sculpture, therefore equipping pupils with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Alongside these skills we will develop children’s knowledge of a range of artists and designs, their critical awareness and ability to critic their own work as well as the work of others. Pupils will learn about how art and design is able to both reflect and shape our history, as well as contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.

We teach a knowledge rich, skills-based curriculum which is taught in blocks on a termly basis and focus on studying a particular element of art and use a specific artist or art movement as inspiration.

Lessons are designed carefully to incorporate the below elements:

  • Exploration of key features of an art movement or an artist’s work
  • The opportunity to gather their own ideas in their sketch books
  • Explicit teaching of the skills they will be using within the unit
  • Practice of skills taught
  • Application of the skills taught
  • Creation of independent creative piece.

Pupil Voice

You can express yourself because there is no right or wrong answer.

I like that It gets your mind off things.

I learn something new every time we do art.

Music plays a central role within the curriculum at Briar Hill Primary School and is fundamental to the wider Trust mission of creating aspirational and knowledge-rich pupils. Pupils will perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great classical composers and modern musicians. Pupils will also learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence. Pupils will understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

The Music Education aims to ensure that all children:

  • Sing with a wide range and with a variety of expression
  • Sing confidently in parts
  • Read staff notation
  • Experience playing an orchestral instrument in a class ensemble (and to be given the opportunity to continue learning the instrument in smaller groups/one-to-one)
  • Hear a youth or professional orchestra live
  • Hear a youth, church or professional choir live

Music is taught daily by classroom teachers using lessons developed by music specialists from across the Trust. This allows all pupils to access a wide range of music from across a range genres, cultures and time periods. In addition to classroom teaching, Year 5 will take part in the NMPAT first access brass sound start project. This is taught by specialist teachers from NMPAT. After this project, pupils are given the opportunity to continue learning their instrument through small group lessons taught by NMPAT specialists.

Care (PSHE, Jigsaw, Keeping Safe, Mental Health, PE, Dance)

PSHE, Jigsaw, Keeping Safe and Mental Health

Briar Hill is part of strong community and the staff have an unwavering dedication to the health, safety and well-being of all pupils and the families of these pupils. PSHE at Briar Hill is taught  comprehensively and progressively ensuring coverage of key concepts takes place. This gives pupils relevant learning experiences to help them navigate their world and to develop positive relationships with themselves and others. 


Our PSHE curriculum aims to help children know and value who they really are and how they relate to other people in this ever-changing world.


We understand that learning the correct fundamental movement skills and fundamental sports skills at the right time in a child’s life significantly increases the chances of these children going on to live a healthy active life. Furthermore, our extensive PE and school sport curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their mental and physical well-being.

Children of all sporting ability have the opportunity to compete in a wide range of activities, which helps them to build their characters and resilience, along with embedding values such as fairness and respect.



We often use dance as a tool to teach the children about different cultures. At Briar Hill, we find that dance gives the children unforgettable opportunities experiences whilst teaching them the importance of different religions, traditions and cultures. 

As well as our curriculum offer, we offer a range of clubs which allows the children to express themselves. Please see our activities and sport pages. We teach KS1 dance, KS2 dance and a Musical Theatre club where we learn and perform exciting musicals.  

The core curriculum crews are equally valued at Briar Hill and are all taught through our knowledge rich curriculum, using the Talk for Writing methodology to support in the acquisition of knowledge, vocabulary and understanding and P4C approach to deepen and extend critical thinking. Each term, each crew leader is particularly responsible for: 

  • Supporting staff implement the curriculum
  • Provide bite size CPD for staff to enhance their subject knowledge
  • Provide quality planning from an expert in the subject discipline
  • Monitoring and assessment of the subjects in their crew
  • Identifying areas for development in the subjects in their crew
  • Addressing to the areas of development in their crew

Enabling Personal Growth and Success for All

At Briar Hill we are truly ambitious for all children. We believe in radiating positivity and ensuring that we rapidly break down all barriers that allows all children to thrive and succeed. Our goal is to facilitate learning, socialisation, where all children can independently explore, process and navigate in order to reach their full potential each and every day, feeling safe to do so. 

They are explicitly taught through our care curriculum, our support from the pastoral team for all, and is the golden thread that weaves throughout the DNA of the entire school. They promote and protect emotional wellbeing and mental health of young people and staff. 

In order to do this; we have agreed 5 characteristics that enable and inspire effective learning attitudes and behaviour.

These are: 

  • Enabling metacognition
  • Enabling challenge and curiosity
  • Enabling the 4 Cs of P4C (Critical, Creative, Collaborative, Caring).
  • Enabling identity and emotional intelligence
  • Enabling equality

At Briar Hill we celebrate our core values as a school. These are reminders of the qualities we strive for all our children to possess.





EYFS Vision

Curriculum Overviews

Reading Plans

Writing Plans

Mathematics Curriculum, Calculation Policy and Unit Covers

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