The Curriculum 

Cliffdale Primary Academy has developed a curriculum that meets the wide ranging educational and social needs of our pupils. It is based on the values made explicit in our vision and also encompasses and extends the national curriculum. Our whole school curriculum model provides a natural progression from Early Years through to the end of Keystage 2 with programmes designed for and implemented at an appropriate level. 

The curriculum is creative, rich and provides a personalised approach to learning. There is a whole school focus on communication, independence and personal development, preparing pupils extremely well for their secondary phase of education.

Pupils across the school enjoy a creative and varied curriculum including topics, themed days and weeks, Forest School, outdoor learning, sports activities, visits into the community, residential visits, after school clubs, a strong arts component and use of up to date technologies to enhance learning and support communication. 

Provision for SMSC is ensured through the innovative curriculum design which encourages pupils to share and reflect on their experiences and develop a strong understanding of the difference between right and wrong. 

The curriculum is highly responsive to pupil need and results in a wide variety of activities which stimulate interest and curiosity in all areas of learning this is supported by a well-resourced and highly stimulating environment. 

Curriculum Aims 

The Learning and Teaching Process 

Encourages and enables pupils to express preferences, communicate needs, make choices, make decisions and choose options that other people act on and respect. 

Develops enjoyment of learning, using a creative approach, encouraging high levels of achievement and attainment. 

Enables pupils to interact and communicate with a wide range of people. 

Recognises and encourage individual talents; seeking the maximum development of each pupil through personalised programmes. 

Increases pupils’ awareness and understanding of their environment and the world. 

Prepares pupils for secondary school in which they have the greatest possible degree of autonomy. 

Develops personal independence, self-confidence and self-esteem based on a variety of successful experiences. 

Prepares pupils to play an active role as citizens; developing a healthy, safe lifestyle; developing good relationships and respecting differences between people. 

Curriculum Organisation

All classes provide a learning and teaching environment which is orderly, structured and attractive and provides developmentally appropriate learning opportunities. They promote independent thinking, active learning, a “can-do” attitude and an active, inquisitive imagination, that fosters self-confidence and social competence. 

The curriculum is supported through a range of practical learning experiences because young children respond well to direct sensory experience, manipulation of materials and physical motor activity. Play is also crucial in helping them form concepts, generate ideas and produce symbolic representations.

The key principles on which we work are:-

  • To develop communication skills supported as appropriate by signing, symbols and the use of augmentative communication aids
  • To develop skills for independence
  • To encourage decision and choice-making

Our pupils are encouraged to:-

  • Pursue their interests and ideas, making decisions about what to do and how they might go about it
  • Learn to work and play cooperatively and safely with others
  • Exercise a wide range of intellectual and physical abilities


Pupils at Cliffdale Primary Academy who are of Reception age follow the Early Years Curriculum as appropriate to their individual stage of development. The imaginative, exciting and fun curriculum is tailored to the interests of the children and makes creative use of the outside learning environment. There is a high emphasis placed upon the importance of structured play throughout the curriculum.

Lower School: Year 1 to Year 3

Pupils follow the planned curriculum at the level appropriate to their development. Each class has a specific timetable constructed to ensure coverage of the curriculum as well as including time for meeting the specific needs of pupils as outlined in their EHC Plans. Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) forms a significant part of the curriculum and as such is high priority. The focus for PSHE in Lower School is the development of personal self-help skills and social skills. 

Upper School: Year 3 to Year 6

As pupils progress through into the Upper School they are encouraged to become increasingly independent. They access an increasing range of specialist curriculum areas and benefit from the expertise of a number of specialist teachers. They also have opportunities to support their learning and development through experiences at Year 5 and 6 such as taking part in a national dance event (JRock) and the school’s residential trips.