Our Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

At Barlows we are clear about what we want our curriculum to achieve for the community of children we serve from the Fazakerley area.

Children, parents and staff are united in agreeing key elements that constitute our curriculum intent.

Our curriculum intent is to:

  • develop pupil vocabulary and their confidence to use it
  • be broad, balanced and enriched
  • link knowledge and skills across different subjects
  • show pupils the links between knowledge, skills and real life employment opportunities
  • develop knowledge on the rich range of cultures that make up the city of Liverpool
  • inspire


Curriculum Implementation

Jenny Moon (1999) and her work on the five stages of learning, guides the way in which we implement our topic based curriculum.

In relation to Stage 1, we begin each topic with a ‘Launch Event’, which is designed to trigger interest from the pupils. This is used as a catalyst to progress through stages 2 – 4.

In relation to Stage 5, pupils take part in an ‘end of topic’ project. The project requires them to apply the knowledge and skills acquired that term to a different context, formulating new ideas of their own.

Leaders are committed to bringing all teachers together to plan for the following half-term as a collective group so ideas, expertise and knowledge can be shared. The results of these sessions can be seen in the medium term plans published on our website.


Curriculum Impact

At the end of each topic, staff reflect on what impact the curriculum and its implementation has had on pupils’ learning. Further developments are reflected upon as are aspects that proved highly effective. These inform our ongoing curriculum intent and future implementation.


Facilitating Knowledge Retention

Facilitating knowledge retention through our curriculum is an important component of our curriculum design. We develop this through a variety of approaches:


Curriculum Design

As we continue to develop our broader curriculum subjects, we explore opportunities for pupils to revisit, apply and develop prior knowledge from other subjects. For example, topics within our PSHE curriculum allow pupils to revisit and apply knowledge from Science and Geography through units of work.


Unit of Work

Prior Knowledge that Pupils Revisit, Apply and Develop Further




Year 3 Autumn 2 – Climate Change

(Approximately 5 lessons)

Science – Plant Biology

Science – Seasonal Changes

Science – Materials

Science – Habitats

Science – States of Matter

Geography – Animals and their Habitats

Geography – Climate Change and Weather

Geography – TEMPEST: Extreme Weather

Geography – Map Skills

Geography – Coasts

Mathematics – Measures

Mathematics – Data Handling and Data Analysis

English – Speaking and Listening

English – Persuasive Writing

Current Affairs – The Story Greta Thunberg

History – Timelines




Year 5 Autumn 1 – Mountains, Volcanoes and Earthquakes

(Approximately 6 lessons)

Geography – Map Skills

Geography – People and Communities

Geography – Rivers and the Water Cycle

Science – Living things and their Habitats

Science – Rocks

Science – Forces

PSHE – Disaster: Tsunami

PSHE – Disaster: Quake

Mathematics – Measures

Mathematics – Data Handling and Data Analysis

English – Explanations

English – Speaking and Listening



1. Visitors from Employment

We believe it is vital that pupils begin to establish the links between the knowledge they acquire at school to the world of employment and careers paths. These links must be developed as early as possible. That is why our medium term plans include a visitor from different professions, both academic and vocational. Visitors are linked to the knowledge and skills pupils have been acquiring that term. Our visitors explain what they do and how they apply that knowledge within their job. Visitors from employment complement our curriculum from Nursery through to Year 6. It is our belief that such experiences help to raise aspiration and act as hooks for pupils to hang knowledge on through experience.


2. School Trips

As with Visitors from Employment, we believe that purposeful school trips act as hooks for pupils to hang knowledge on through experience. Within our medium term planning, we look to capitalise on opportunities for our pupils to access the cultural capital that Liverpool has to offer as a city. We have also developed a progressive plan of fieldwork within our Geography curriculum, so that pupils have the opportunity to visit different geographical environments first hand and apply the knowledge they have acquired in the classroom.

Universities are places that inspire awe and wonder, especially when you are 9 years old. As part of showing pupils what opportunities are available to them in the future, Year 5 pupils visit Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, and Year 6 pupils visit Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool. We hope that these opportunities help inspire our pupils to pursue further education after their GCSEs and to go on to higher education in the future.


3. Enriching the Curriculum – Children’s University

As a school, we place great emphasis on enriching the experiences pupils gain beyond the classroom. For some pupils, extra-curricular opportunities outside of school can be limited. Therefore, we have become a member of the Children’s University, which brings a range of different clubs into school for the pupils to access free of charge. The range of clubs is diverse and guided by the interests of the pupils. We fund it through a proportion of our Pupil Premium Grant and target our disadvantaged pupils to attend. However, it is a resource enjoyed by all member of our school community. During the 2018 – 2019 academic year, we hosted Judo clubs, Spanish clubs, Debating clubs, Science clubs, Ukulele clubs and Allotments clubs to name but a few!

During the summer term of 2018-2019, we held our very first Children’s University Graduation. It was a wonderful event, enjoyed by pupils, families and staff alike. Please visit the Children’s University section of our website to get a flavour of why it is so important to us.



You can find out further information about individual curriculum subjects on our website by visiting: