Our Curriculum


‘We’re here to put a dent in the universe' - Steve Jobs


At Spire Juniors we believe that children should be supported, nurtured and encouraged to become global citizens, having the purpose, skills and dreams to make a better future. We believe that by creating an exciting and stimulating learning environment we can prepare our children to be safe, ready and respectful members of society with the best start in life.

Structure and Organisation:

Our curriculum is organised into three areas, ‘Discover’, ‘Explore’ and ‘Create’.Central to the curriculum are Core Skills that underpin everything we do:

Active Learning:

  • To seek out and enjoy challenges
  • To collaborate with others
  • To show commitment and perseverance
  • Assess themselves and others

Basic Skills:

  • To speak clearly and convey ideas confidently
  • To read and communicate ideas in writing efficiently and effectively.
  • To calculate efficiently and apply skills to solve problems
  • To use new technologies confidently and purposefully

Creative Thinking:

  • To ask questions to extend their thinking
  • To generate ideas and explore possibilities
  • To overcome barriers by trying out alternatives or new solutions
  • To connect ideas and experiences in inventive ways

You can access our curriculum overview (containing an outline of each curriculum area)  by clicking on this link. 


We believe that our children deserve inspirational learning opportunities.Curriculum planning ensures that children are immersed in exciting projects with authentic outcomes.They are challenged to work creatively whilst deepening their knowledge and understanding through highly engaging and enriching experiences.

  • Using a ‘long term’ concept-based learning model, we begin by identifying the curriculum content to be covered.We then identify key concepts that can be drawn out to allow different areas of the curriculum to be threaded togetherusing a long term overview.The concepts are then framed with an enquiry question that provides a starting point for the projects.Throughout, children are encouraged to think deeply about their work, expand their horizons and take responsibility for their learning.
  • In order to expand our children’s often limited horizons all our projects are contextualised, culturally relevant and purposeful. Children work towards authentic outcomes and engage with critical audiences, e.g. journalists and shop window dressing. Projects frequently involve the children dealing with complex issues, and, as a result, they develop an understanding of what is possible and a belief that they can make a difference.
  • We have exceptionally high expectations of learning and outcomes.Our curriculum is designed to allow children to work on real world projects. Each project engages with external critique and ‘real world feedback’ to provide a reason for children to redrafting and adapting their learning. Ultimately we want our children to be instilled with the desire to produce unique work.
  • Projects use a combination of direct teaching, facilitated learning and guided discovery within the classroom and the wider environment.A plethora of opportunities exists to allow our children work alongside experts and professionals, take part in visits and residential trips, contribute to inter-school events, sleep at ‘The Deep’, sing with ‘Young Voices’, run with the Brownlee brothers and travel into space! Our classroom environments are designed to encourage children to work collaboratively, flexibly and with high levels of independence.



The three curriculum themes of history, geography, and arts have rigorous skills progression grids which ensure that key subject-specific learning is embedded throughout each project.This is assessed using SOLO taxonomy, which consists of 5 levels of development. The school focuses on Level 3, 4 and 5; Multi-structural, Relational, Extended Abstract. Children are continually assessed, formative judgments are made mid-term to allow teachers to adapt learning opportunities and then again at the end of the term.

Curriculum Development:

The curriculum structure allows continued innovation and development.Teachers have the freedom and confidence to change, adapt and develop the content of individual projects which are underpinned by our non-negotiables skills and ‘procedural’ knowledge, namely:


Procedural skills and knowledge by subject.
History Geography Arts

Plan and research Analyse and evaluate

Show empathy

Show a commitment to justice

Explore issues, events and problems from different perspectives

Support conclusions using reasoned arguments and evidence

Communicate their learning in relevant ways

Recognise that they can impact their environment and community

Show a commitment to justice

Recognise their roles as Global citizens

Communicate learning in relevant ways

Show empathy

Show flexibility

Organise time and resources

Communicate their learning in relevant ways

Work towards a goal

Adapt ideas as circumstances change

Continuous research and links with innovative schools are used to inform practice and high levels of reflectiveness throughout school lead to a shared commitment to continued development.

Please watch the video below for a brief overview of our curriculum

Spire Junior School - curriculum intent from Mr Shaw on Vimeo.

Please click here to see our curriculum overview

Please click here to see our curriculum policy

Our Latest End Projects

Our Year 4 children hired a market stall in Chesterfield town centre where they sold their African animals and raised £109 for WWF. They were also able to speak with members of the public about all their learning this term and share key facts and information. 


Our Year 5 children hired a shop window in Chesterfield town centre where they showcased all their learning about plastic pollution. 

Religious Education

Children are taught R.E. on a weekly basis. We follow the Derbyshire Agreed Syllabus.


Children have at least two lessons of P.E. every week. They take part in a variety of sporting activities including gymnastics, dance, games, athletics and outdoor and adventurous activities. In Y5 the children learn to swim.


The children are taught about e-safety to help them to keep safe on the internet. They use the internet to research topics and find information. They are taught how to use databases, spreadsheets, multimedia and word processing programmes.

Children use ICT in all areas of the curriculum to support their learning.

Other Subjects

Our other subjects are taught to support our main project. Over each term, children will cover:

  • Science
  • Music
  • Spanish
  • Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education
  • Art

To access our Curriculum Statements for each subject click on the links below:

Art and Design 














If you require any further information about our school curriculum please email Mr Dave Shaw at



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The school was inspected by Ofsted in March 2017. The school continues to be rated as a good school.

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