Curriculum Areas

The structure of our curriculum

There are clearly planned units across the year for each year group. The units are designed so that the learning is cross-curricular and meaningful for the pupils. Each unit starts with a WOW start/launch to gain the pupils interest. We are lucky to be near lots of fantastic opportunities for off-site education and so each unit gives pupils the opportunity to take their learning beyond the school gates.  We understand that learning must be meaningful for all pupils and so ensuring real-life meaningful outcomes for each topic. Each term, parents and carers receive a curriculum map so that they can talk to their children about what they are learning and learn together.

The curriculum (underpinned by National Curriculum requirements) falls into 2 areas that complement each other;

ACE Curriculum

Academic Cognitive Excellence Curriculum comprises of the teaching and assessment of the academic subjects. It is focussed on providing high quality first wave teaching for all our learners so that they leave school with the academic knowledge and skills to move onto the next stage in their learning. Central to this the unwavering high expectations by all staff of the learners and what they can achieve. All learners are tracked with the aim of ensuring that they reach their full potential and any differences are diminished. Where we see differences, actions are swiftly put in place to address them.

BBF Curriculum

The building Bright Futures Curriculum focusses on the emotional, physical and mental development of our pupils. It ensures that they have the opportunity to explore and enhance the skills and strategies to be ready for their futures. The BBF curriculum also gives our students the opportunity (though our children’s leadership programme) to put these skills into practice, while providing them with many additional opportunities, including visits to places of work and develop high aspirations for their future.

The aims of the curriculum

Academic Cognitive Excellence Curriculum (ACE) Building Brighter Futures (BBF)
To develop curious children who;

  • Are locked in their learning,
  • Have a can do attitude,
  • Use mistakes as a learning opportunity,
  • Have a range of strategies that they can call on to help them learn,
  • Can work alone or in a team .

The aims of the curriculum are met be developing a staff team who;

  • Have exceedingly high expectations of all children and are ambitious for them,
  • Possess and utilise a high level of pedagogy,
  • Provide excellent first wave quality teaching,
  • Are reflective about their practice and committed to improving it,
  • Secure excellent outcomes for all children.
To enable children to develop the skills and ability to;

  • See the world as their classroom,
  • Be emotionally and mentally robust,
  • Be physically fit,
  • Make safe choices (drugs/SRE/e safety),
  • Have a social conscience,
  • Value and be proud of their local community and country,
  • Be curious about what the future can offer,
  • Be ambitious for their future,
  • Take risks to achieve their dreams,
  • Understand how their behaviours and choices can affect their futures,
  • Affect change.

How we teach and learn

Our staff are committed to providing high quality learning experiences for all of our children. Expectations of all staff are high with regard to children’s behaviour, ability and attitude to their learning.

We understand the necessity of empowering children and fostering high self esteem so that our children can flourish. We provide a safe environment where children can take risks and challenge themselves.

There is a shared understanding among staff that high quality first wave teaching is a must and so all lessons are differentiated to meet the needs of children . Lessons are planned with the aim of enabling children to make rapid progress and reach their full potential .

We know that children have differing abilities and learn in different ways so within lessons the children are grouped in a variety of ways and teachers teach using a variety of styles in order to motivate and inspire the children.

The classroom is viewed as a learning environment and the expectation is that children’s work is displayed on the walls to celebrate their success, information posters, key vocabulary and models of high quality writing are also on display to motivate the children. The school also uses other means to celebrate and promote learning such as staff and child book picks dotted around the school, Golden Learner of the Week displays for each year group and our Writing Gallery. We also have a weekly celebration assembly that highlights and celebrates successful learning.

The ability to communicate is key to leading a fulfilled life and being an effective learner. Developing children communication skills is a key focus at Carlton and is part of every lesson, every day.

Children are discreetly taught discussion skills in lessons and are provided with the opportunity to practice them.

At the planning stage, teachers plan questions so that pupils will have the opportunity to develop their reasoning skills and justify their opinions and thoughts. A wide range of vocabulary (both subject specific and general) is necessary to be an effective communicator. Within each unit, pupils are taught subject specific vocabulary through processes known as Concept Cat (EYFS/Yr1) and Start Words (Year 2-6). There is a rich calendar of events throughout the school year so that the children can sing, recite poetry and speeches to an audience.

The school also encourages the children to have the experiences of communicating in a more formal setting, through the completion of the English Speaking Board Exams in year 6 and Carlton’s exam in year 4.

Carlton’s vision for Literacy is that each child will be able to effectively communicate (both orally and in writing) their ideas and emotions to others. Through reading and listening to others will be able to communicate with them.

Carlton is a “Power of Reading School” – each unit that the children experience is based on a high quality text. All learning comes from this text.

Reading for enjoyment is key to motivating children in their own use of language and writing. Together we share many inspiring stories by authors such as Julia Donaldson ,Michael Morpurgo and Beverly Naidoo. We make real books from our writing, making it purposeful and enjoying the experience of being authors ourselves. The Power of Reading text provide each child with continual access to high quality texts.

In Key Stage 2 the children have the opportunity to become a Reading Gladiator. This a weekly Book Club that allows them to discuss the book they are reading and explore areas such as authorial intent, themes and imagery.

The guided reading lesson is the formal opportunity where children are taught to become fluent and independent. These lessons happen daily. The school has a wide range of banded books and chapter books that are stocked up regularly. In these sessions the children are taught the skills to decode and comprehend what they are reading.

Phonics is a part of the way we teach children to read. From nursery to year 3 the children have daily phonics teaching at their level. At Carlton, we use the programme “Letters and Sounds”.

Spellings are set home weekly. Children begin by learning to spell the most common words we read and write. For example: look, going, went. After they have learnt to spell these words they move on to learning spelling patterns and rules.

The structure of the curriculum allows the children to write often and for different purposes. We provide children with examples of high quality pieces and with support help them to develop an awareness of their audience when they are writing .We encourage the children to develop their own style and become independent writers who can express their ideas effectively. The children are taught the features of different genres and with the support produce their own.

During this process they will develop their editing skills and ability to use subject-specific vocabulary.

Click here to view the National Curriculum programme that we follow.

The vision for Science at Carlton is to foster a sense of excitement and curiosity about science whilst increasing children’s awareness and understanding of the world around them. We believe that most successful way to develop the pupil’s scientific skills is through first-hand experiences.

They cover a range of early physics (e.g forces) chemistry (e.g reversible and irreversible changes) and biology (e.g growing plants) through practical work, observation and problem solving in classrooms, our outdoor classroom and the local area. A wide range of areas of scientific knowledge are taught to give a deeper understanding of the world.

Pupils are encouraged to ask questions, use new vocabulary and solve problems by making close observations, planning, predicting, fair testing and recording their findings in a systematic way. We also aim to foster responsible attitudes towards the environment and all living things.

The school has achieved good standard Healthy Schools Status; a quality standard relating to pupils healthy lifestyles.

Our links with the Crick Institute allows us to ensure that the children have access to a wide range of high quality scientific experiences.

The school hosts an annual science week that encourages the children to further develop their scientific skills and knowledge through a wide range of interesting and engaging activities.

Click here to view the National CurNational Curriculum Science

Carlton’s vision for Mathematics is that each child will possess a confidence and positive attitude to the subject regardless of their gender or background. Each child will move onto the next stage in their learning with a secure base of fluency and knowledge of key number facts. This knowledge will allow them to explore and solve mathematical challenges in everyday situations as maths is seen as an integral part of life.

At Carlton the teaching of Maths is based on a mastery approach. The approach ensures that children learn the strategies and concepts on a deeper level rather than rushing through the objectives. Attention is paid to reinforcing their knowledge.

Lessons are planned from a balanced mathematics curriculum based on the National Curriculum with a strong emphasis both on fluency in number facts, calculations and place value and applying all areas through reasoning and problem solving. Teachers are expected to use precise explanations in order for children to clearly understand key concepts and strategies and assess pupils regularly to identify those requiring intervention, so that all pupils are supported in keeping up – diminishing differences and disadvantages. Specific, differentiated and deep questioning in lessons are key in order to test conceptual and procedural knowledge, as well as supporting and stretching pupils according to their needs.

The curriculum is planned so that children have regular opportunities to embed their understanding of key maths skills; such as number bonds, knowledge of +, -, x and division/multiplication tables. The progression of written methods for calculations follow the CPA approach – from concrete (actually ‘doing’ with real objects) to pictorial representations – moving to abstract concepts only when children are ready and have a secure conceptual understanding. The calculation policy with the progression of methods used across the school is attached here.

Click here to view the National Curriculum programme that we follow

The Intent, implementation and Impact of our Curriculum – Digital Literacy and Computing


At Carlton, we believe that Digital Literacy and Computing are an essential part of the curriculum; subjects that should not stand alone, but should be an integral part of all learning.  Computing, in general, is a significant part of everyone’s daily life and children should be at the forefront of new technology, with a thirst for learning what is out there.  Computing within schools can therefore provide a wealth of learning opportunities and transferable skills explicitly within the Computing lesson and across other curriculum subjects.

Through the study of Computing, children will be able to develop a wide range of fundamental skills, knowledge and understanding that will equip them for the rest of their life.  Computers and technology are such a part of everyday life that our children would be at a disadvantage would they not be exposed to a thorough and robust Computing curriculum.  Children live in an area where there are many future employment opportunities within the broad scope of ‘technology’ and they must be taught skills and ways of thinking that will enable them to participate effectively and safely in the digital world beyond our gates.


In EYFS the children will become familiar with technology both through the use of real devices and within a role-play setting. They will look at cause and effect – what happens when I press this button? – and will develop an understanding of using technology to accomplish a goal. They will also learn some key off-line computing skills, such as following and creating sets of instructions. 

In Key Stage 1 the children will learn to understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices, and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions. They will be taught to create and debug simple programs and use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs. They will be shown how to use a range of technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content as well as recognise common uses of information technology beyond school. They will be taught to use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private. They will be able to identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies. Each of these skills will be taught through exciting half termly units.

In Key Stage 2 the children will design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems. They will solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts.  They will use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs, use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and correct errors in algorithms and programs. They will use these skills in both an on- and off-line context. Children will be taught to understand computer networks, including the internet, and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration. They will use search technologies effectively, learn to appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content. Children will be taught to select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals. They will use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly. They will learn to recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour and identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.


After the implementation of this robust computing curriculum, children at Carlton will be digitally literate and confident in a range of skills.  They will be equipped, not only with the skills and knowledge to use technology effectively and for their own benefit, but more importantly – safely.  The biggest impact we want on our children is that they understand the consequences of using the internet and that they are also aware of how to keep themselves safe online.

As children become more confident in their abilities in Computing, they will become more independent and key life skills such as problem-solving, logical thinking and self-evaluation become second nature.

Our history curriculum aims to inspire children’s curiosity about the past enabling them to develop skills and gain a coherent knowledge an understanding of both British history and the wider world. Children are encouraged to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, shift arguments and develop perceptive and judgement. Pupils learn about change and continuity over time and the diversity and the challenge of their time.

History topics covered in Carlton are closely linked to our topics. While it is vital for children to a gain core of factual knowledge about each topics, we also simulate their imaginations and make learning memorable and fun by participating in a variety of hands-on active ways, such as handling artefacts, visits linked to topic, inviting visitors, taking part in drama role play, reading stories, writing letters and diaries. Since we aim to make history come alive and inspire a lifelong love of the subject, history often takes the lead in planning and engaging, cross-curricular activities through design technology and art. We encourage children to think like a historian with a critical mind, always stressing the importance of evidence in history by asking questions such as: How do we know that? What does this evidence tell us? Could there be another point of view? Children are therefore encouraged to identify why there might be different interpretations of events.

The aim of the Geography curriculum is to inspire curiosity is the children about the world they live in. We aim to ensure that our pupils of significant places/ landmarks in the world and understand the processes that give rise to physical and human geographical features.

Through the delivery of our curriculum we aim to ensure that the children begin by developing their knowledge of the world, United Kingdom and the locality. As the move into Key Stage 2, they will extend their knowledge beyond the local area to North and South America and Europe.

As part of the curriculum, the children will develop their locational knowledge (locating countries, counties and cities of the United Kingdom). They will also develop their fieldwork skills and effectively use maps, globes and atlases.

At Carlton our approach is that children cover the curriculum content through cross curricular planned units that have strong links to other subjects. Each teacher maps out and learning journey that takes into account previous knowledge, links to other subjects, planned off site trips or visitors all culminating in a meaningful outcome. This allows children to use and apply knowledge and skills from other subjects.

Click here to view the National Curriculum programme that we follow

 The school follows the Camden agreed syllabus for Religious Education. The religions studied include

Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism and Sikhism. We seek to promote tolerance and understanding of the beliefs of others.

Religious education makes a distinctive contribution to the school’s curriculum by developing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, practices, language and traditions and by examining their influence on individuals, communities, societies and cultures.


Religious Education also gives pupils an opportunity to consider a range of questions related to their own spiritual development, the development of values, attitudes and fundamental questions concerning the meaning and purpose of life.


Teaching Methods

Teachers use a variety of creative approaches to teaching R.E. to enhance the children’s understanding and enjoyment of the subject. Such approaches include: role play and drama, which encourage children  to think about other people’s perspectives; mind maps, art, making comic strips and cooking!

At Carlton, French is our chosen language. We follow Camden’s Scheme. Our approach is to teach the language in a fun and interactive way.

In KS2 there are designated French lessons but further down the school, we take the opportunity to encourage children to begin developing the understanding of the language and vocabulary through, for example greeting each other in French or answering the register in French.

Click here to view the National Curriculum programme that we follow

As a part of our creative curriculum we recognise the importance if inspiring and engaging the children to be curious about art and design. Our aim is to support our children in developing their talents in drawing, painting and other techniques. They also learn about great artists and designers – exploring their works and understand the meaning behind them.

Our approach is that the children are provided with many opportunities to develop these skills in a cross curricular way. They also learn how to evaluate their work and skills that they have learnt. Each child has a sketch book that they use as the move through the school to showcase their developing skills.

We take every opportunity possible to showcase children’s work and have strong links with the Rankin Gallery where we exhibit our Year 1 portraits each year.

Click here to view the National Curriculum programme that we follow.

At Carlton we recognise the importance of Music as a form of creativity and ensure that it is firmly embedded in our creative curriculum. Our aim is that our children have access to range of music, and the opportunity to explore how it is created. A key part of the curriculum is that they have the opportunity to create their own music, learn to sing and play musical instruments.

Music is a subject that is celebrated and enjoyed by all children across the school. Carlton is extremely proud of its choir who have performed on many occasions at school, across Camden, and even at the Royal Albert Hall during the bi-annual Camden Music Festival. As a part of the EYFS curriculum, parents and families are invited to join weekly stay and sing sessions with their child. Our on-site music specialist teacher delivers high-quality weekly music lessons to all classes, but also enables the children to peruse their own talents through learning how to play a musical instrument. As part of the Wider Opportunities Fund, each child in Year 4 learns the violin, while other classes have educational workshops from organisations such as Apollo Music and The Musician’s Company. Through the school’s links with Camden, children can be signposted to opportunities within and beyond the school that they can pursue to develop their talents further-with the opportunity to learn to play the ukulele, recorder, keyboard, piano, and drums.

Click here to view the National Curriculum Programmes of study we follow.

The purpose of design technology is to teach children to develop the skills to design and make products to solve problems. To do this the children need to draw on their knowledge of other subjects such as maths and science.

At Carlton we teach D.T. in a cross curricular way so that children will find it easier to draw on their knowledge in other subjects. We ensure that each project has a planned realistic outcome so that it is a meaningful experience for each child.

As part of this curriculum the children also understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook. We understand the importance of this skill in making healthy life choices. Each child is taught key skills and where possible, ingredients are taking from the garden when making dishes.

Click here to view the National Curriculum programme that we follow.

At minimum, children in Y1-Y6 receive 2 hours of direct PE teaching each week. This is additionally supplemented by extended provision (After-school clubs), in-class physical activity, and organised games on the playground. Through the Camden Schools Sports Association (CSSA), Carlton students have many opportunities to showcase their talents in inter-mural activities with other schools.

We have a Level 5 trained PE coach that delivers our Physical Education Curriculum, which includes: Dance, Gymnastics, OAA, Athletics, and the three strands of games: (Invasion, Net/Wall, and Striking/Fielding). All units are tailored to the age group being taught, while our Carlton Sport Leaders also team up to lead activities for younger students each term during PE sessions-developing their leadership and communication skills.

In addition, our Year 4 children receive one year of weekly swimming lessons held at the Kentish Town Sports Centre, with an additional top-up swimming club held on Friday afternoons for Y5/6 students. Each year group also participates in a unit around disability sports (linked to the Paralympics), while as a school we actively make adjustments for children with additional needs to better access PE lessons.

Click here to view the National Curriculum programme that we follow.

At Carlton through PSHE and Citizenship we support children to be healthy and safe, make good friendships, be responsible citizens and prepare themselves for the next stage in their education and their role within society as responsible adults. The British values are interwoven into the curriculum.

At Carlton we use the Camden Scheme for the teaching of PSHE and Citizenship. Activities taught encourage children to make informed choices about a healthier and safer lifestyle: we prepare them to play an active role as a citizen, to forge good relationships and respect each other. Each year group has a focus on mental health to help children stay positive and know what to do when they find things challenging. The Camden Scheme also incorporates SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning).

Through assemblies a new SEAL theme is introduced and explored every half term across the school both in the class and at assemblies. These are:

  • New Beginnings
  • Getting On And Falling Out
  • Going For Goals
  • Good To Be Me
  • Relationships
  • Change

We use drama/role play, stories and visuals to support teaching of PSHE/Citizenship and to simulate relevant discussions and to encourage children to understand and think from different people’s perspectives as well as their own.

Each class also have discussions through Circle time, this creates a safe environment to allow pupils to talk about subjects like worries, manners, how to deal with a falling out and what makes us happy. The children will listen to each other and give positive feedback as well as ideas of how to tackle issues. This helps build their understanding of others, empathy and problem solving. Through circle time we can turn negatives into positives.

Click here to view the National Curriculum programme that we follow.

As part of our Creative Curriculum, we are keen to take learning outside the classroom and we know that the experience will benefit the child enormously. We make regular use of local places such as Hampstead Heath and Kentish Town City Farm. Each class have the opportunity to visit both formally and informally to enhance their learning experiences.

There is a trained Forest School Teacher who works offsite with identified groups of children in Nursery and Reception to provide a more holistic approach to their learning using Forest School. We also use this opportunity to welcome parents/carers to come along and support their child’s learning.

Carlton has an on-site thriving garden that is used by each class. There are planned links to the rest of the curriculum but the space is also used during breaks so that our children can develop their knowledge of growing plants and have the experiences of life cycles of plants.

As part of our engaging EYFS curriculum our children have access to both indoor and outdoor provision. We have also recently moved year 1 to the ground floor to enable those children to continue to benefit from outdoor provision.