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.

Creative Curriculum Themes 2018-2019


Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2


How have things changed in my lifetime?
All About me

How can we locate significant places around us?
Around the United Kingdom

How are toys different today from in the past?

2 weeks

How has flight changed throughout history?

What are the features of the world around us?
Wonders of the World

What was it like to live in the time of the dinosaurs?
Jurassic Park

How are coastal locations in the UK different to the Caribbean?
Beside the Seaside

Moving on up: Transition


How have significant individuals from the past contributed to national and international achievements?
Land Ahoy!

What impact did the Great Fire of London have on London?
London's Burning

2 weeks

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

Who was William Shakespeare?

Why is London such a fascinating city?
The Big Smoke

What significant historical events, people and places are there in my own locality?
Going Loco - Mi cole, tu cole (My school, your school)

(Local area compared to town or city in Mexico)

Moving on up: Transition


What influence has Greek life and achievements had on the western world?
Greece Lightening

How dangerous can weather be?
Extreme Survival

(Weather and climates)

2 weeks

How does our culture compare to that of another?


How have people's lifestyles changed over the last 100 years?
History of the 20th Century

(Fashion and music through the ages)

What can we learn about the history and geography of our local area?
Lost and Found

(The local areas & Area study: Sutton Coldfield)

Why were castles needed and do we need them anymore?
A Knight's Tale

Moving on up: Transition


What are the effects of natural disasters?

(Volcanoes and earthquakes)

What are the similarities and differences between England and the other European countries?
Around the World in Eighty Days

2 weeks

How did Romans change Britain?
(The Romans)

How has transport changed over time?
Fast and Furious
(Transport, British History)

How have previous royals influenced Britain?
Reign Over Us

How does Britain look from the air?
Britain from the Air

Moving on up: Transition


How has Birmingham developed over the years?
Brilliant Brummies

(Historical - canals)
(Local area)

When was the worst time to be a baddie?
Crime and Punishment

(British History)

Christmas Carols
2 weeks

What made the Mayans marvellous?
Mayan Mayhem

What does South America offer to the rest of the world?
South America Including the Rainforest

Are all countries in the world linked by food?
World Kitchen

Would you like to meet your ancestors?
The Stone Age, The Bronze Age and the Iron Age

Moving on up: Transition


What role does water play in sustaining life on Earth?
Wild Waters

(Rivers and the Water Cycle)

How did the Vikings influence the Britain we know today?

(The Vikings)

Christmas Carols
2 weeks

How did the ancient Egyptians become such a successful civilisation?
Tomb Raiders

(The Egyptians)

How did war affect the children of World War II?
The Home Front


How did war affect the children of World War II?
The Home Front


How does parliament help shape our country?
Yes Minister

Moving on up: Transition

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.

Writing Processes

• Immersing and engaging – looking at a range of texts including links with ICT and visual literacy
• Teacher modelling and shared writing experiences
• Pupils writing in response to a text
• Editing and improving your writing.


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 at Whitehouse Common is a daily occurrence and is not simply restricted to a Literacy lesson; it is predominantly during Literacy lessons that writing skills are taught however children are taught writing skills which apply across the curriculum.

Literacy takes place daily for 1 hour a day which usually includes a 3 part lesson model: Teacher introduction, activity, plenary. RML is a synthetic phonic scheme that we use to teach phonics across the school. In Reception to Year 2 there is an extra 20 minute phonic session daily and spellings continue to be taught in a similar style in KS2 throughout the week. 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 the picture below to access a range of writing games.

literacy writing games


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.

Click the picture below to access early handwriting games.

handwriting games


Reading at Whitehouse Common is a daily occurrence and can take place in a variety of forms:

Shared Reading:

Teachers share a range of texts in different ways. These include: reading extracts or stories as a stimulus for writing, sharing stories in assembly or during their weekly library session. Pupils are taught to appreciate texts and explore the author’s style.

We use Big Reading as an approach to analysing in detail a high quality text as a class. Questions are posed that require an A.P. E response. Pupils are expected to Answer, Prove then Explain their answers in detail base don what they have read. The resource below shows how these answers may be structured. 

APE prompt


Guided Reading:

The children have the opportunity 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.

The children complete a carousel of activities throughout the week that develop their comprehension, inference and decoding skills.

In KS1 and lower KS2 pupils follow the RML program which has a phonics based approach to reading. Children also use a structured, banded reading scheme as a home reader each week. Throughout the Guided Reading sessions the children will be exposed to a range of text types and focus more specifically on their individual needs as a reader.

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, with Reception children receiving a minimum teacher led assessment session once per half term.

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.

Please click on the picture below for the reading terminology used.


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.


At Whitehouse Common Primary School phonics is taught through a range of strategies including elements of Ruth Miskin’s ‘Read, Write Inc. Scheme’ and using a range of games and activities to support phonic recognition. Parents are kept informed through curriculum meetings, workshops and homework.

More information about the phonics program we use in school can be found by clicking the picture below. This link will also show you the correct pronunciations for each sound.


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 seen by clicking the picture below:




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.



PTA Fundraising


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Go to My Nametags to order nametags, and help us raise funds.
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