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Curriculum Overview

Alder Brook Curriculum Tree Illustration

Curriculum overview

Alder Brook is a school for pupils with a range of additional needs. The primary area of need for our pupils is Social, Emotional and Mental Health. Many pupils have Education, Health, and Care plans (EHCPs). Pupils attend Alder Brook through a range of routes including a Short-Term Placement (STP) which is in partnership with a mainstream setting, permanent exclusion from another setting, or pupils with special educational needs.


At Alder Brook we believe every child should receive a rich education that is purposeful to the needs of each individual pupil. Our aim is to ensure all pupils including disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND reach their full potential. Often pupils begin attending Alder Brook having previously been unable to access learning successfully in their mainstream settings. Many of our pupils will not have had barriers to learning identified or been referred to external agencies for support. In designing our curriculum, we have also taken account of the diverse and wide-ranging social and economic backgrounds of our families. Our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of pupils who are on a short-term placement, pupils with moderate learning difficulties, and pupils who are working at age related expectations and pupils who may have had acute childhood experiences.


See full Policy below to Download "The Curriculum Policy 2022"



  Reading at Alder Brook



 It is our intent at Alder Brook that all pupils, by the end of their primary education, will have developed a love of reading. Our aim is that they can read fluently, with confidence and show a secure understanding of what they have read. Children will experience accelerated learning in all areas of the curriculum, which will develop positive self-esteem and aspirations for the future. All pupils will experience reading a range of stories, poems and non-fiction text and be able to support learning in all areas of the curriculum with their reading skills. We aim for children to develop their imagination and use of vocabulary through reading widely and being read to.  We aim to establish a love of reading, which will support them in gaining knowledge about themselves and the world in which we live.


At Alder Brook, all pupils are baselined to assess their reading ability, within two weeks of entry. We are currently using PIRA reading assessments. Pupils also have a dyslexia screener. If a child is identified as having dyslexic tendencies, they are supported with appropriate interventions. These would be in the form of Toe by Toe dyslexia support materials, Word Wasp, coloured overlays for screens and texts, precision teaching and work directly in front of them as well as on the screen, in whole class or group sessions. We are currently introducing phonics screening for pupils in Key Stage 1 and any pupils in Key Stage who are experiencing difficulties with reading. All children will also be assessed using the first two hundred high frequency words.

Reading is taught using a range of resources. The daily reading books are a combination of schemes that have been chosen to meet the needs of the children at Alder Brook. These include PM Benchmark, Collins Big Cats, Oxford Reading Tree and Rising Stars Reading Planets.  We also have Oxford Owls (an online reading scheme) which supports home learning and reading in school.

Each pupil has a 1:1 reading time with an adult every day with a focus of teaching fluency, correct intonation when reading aloud, developing confidence and understanding and discussing the text. During this time the adult hears the child read, discusses the text and unfamiliar vocabulary. The children are also questioned using the national curriculum objectives, Blooms taxonomy and the Blank level questioning.

All teaching of reading is recorded in a pupil’s individual reading journal. This includes daily 1:1 reading with an adult .


Once automatic decoding has become embedded and reading is fluent, some pupils will access a weekly standalone comprehension session. In this session the children will read a short text either independently or with an adult. They will then answer questions in their reading journal. This session will cover a range of texts. The materials we are currently using are The Literacy Box, Primary Focus comprehension, Complete Comprehension and texts that are related to study in a range of areas of the curriculum .Texts relating to current affairs or monthly events such as Black History Month, Remembrance Day etc.  may also be used.

Twice a week pupils have a guided reading session. Where possible, this book is related to a theme they are studying in class and age appropriate. During these sessions pupils will discuss the text, talk about unfamiliar vocabulary, read passages aloud and respond to questions. Adults may also read passages to model correct intonation, volume and speed of reading. The questions focus on a developing a range of reading skills.  These are; decoding (for pupils who do not have a secure phonics knowledge), literal comprehension, reorganisation, making inference, language for effect and themes and conventions. Adults can scribe answers for pupils in these sessions, if appropriate. There will be opportunities to answer similar types of questions in a range of ways.

Each class has a daily reading for pleasure session where an adult reads to the children or children can select a book and read to themselves.  During the adult led session the adult models correct intonation and the group can discuss unfamiliar vocabulary and their responses to the text. The books read in this session will include books related the current topic, age appropriate texts and familiar favourite stories.. We have a range of recommended texts for each age group and children will become familiar with these by reading them and being read to.

Each day children who are developing their phonics knowledge will have a session which focuses on their current phonics target. We aim for pupils to close gaps in phonics and accelerate progress. We teach the 6 phonics phases using a range of resources.

Reading Progression follows the national curriculum guidelines. Pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure, be motivated to read and develop an understanding of a range of vocabulary. Pupils have opportunities to listen to stories that are beyond the level at which they can read independently.

Children have opportunities to develop their reading skills throughout all areas of the curriculum in the form of reading for research, reading to gain subject knowledge and reading for pleasure within a subject.

Each classroom has a reading corner with a range of books for all ages and abilities. There will also be a theme to a range of books which could be linked to something the children are studying or a chosen author.  Children are given opportunities to relax and read any of these books during playtimes, story time and golden time. Every term pupils are given the opportunity to select a book to take home and keep. This is because many of our pupils do not have access to books at home. We also encourage pupils to visit the local library and they can take books from school home if they wish to.

Pupils are continually assessed in reading through discussion and questioning. At the end of every term pupils complete a formal reading assessment using PIRA. This result is used as the data to track pupil progress and inform future planning and teaching of reading.


Pupils who are not age related will make accelerated progress in reading. We aim for pupils who are age related to deepen their understanding in reading and for this to be reflected in progress in all areas. Skills developed in reading will be used to support learning in all areas of the curriculum. Self- confidence and self-esteem will be improved. Children will enjoy reading and being read to. Through reading, children will gain a greater knowledge of the world and have wider opportunities throughout life.


Safeguarding pupils and staff is paramount at all times. Pupils at Alder Brook are taught stand alone lessons about how to safeguard themselves and others. Safeguarding also runs through all areas of the curriculum.






At Alder Brook, we aim to give all pupils cultural capital, in the form of knowledge, behaviours and skills, which will enable them to be aspirational and succeed in life as a fulfilled and valued member of society. Our intent is that all pupils can talk confidently and clearly about their thoughts opinions and ideas. They will be able to listen carefully to others and respond appropriately. Pupils will have a high level of self-esteem and develop resilience in writing. Children will develop their imagination and extend their range of spoken and written vocabulary. In writing, pupils will be able to present and broadcast a range of ideas, in a wide range of forms and with an awareness of different audiences and purposes. They will be able to communicate these ideas showing accurate use of grammar, punctuation and spelling, on paper and on screen. Pupils will have a positive attitude to writing and endeavour to present work neatly.





 At Alder Brook we provide an ambitious and coherently planned literacy curriculum that is embedded throughout the school.

Our literacy curriculum is sequenced and adapted to ensure that all pupils, including disadvantaged and those with SEND, accumulate knowledge, skills and attitudes that prepare them for future learning and employment. We aim to increase fluency and independence as pupils develop the ability to apply what they know across the curriculum.

All pupils are screened for dyslexia in the first few weeks of arriving at Alder Brook. Pupils also receive a speech and language assessment if there are thought to be any additional needs. Further assessments involving EP or Learning Support Service take place if it is felt necessary. Pupils are baselined using the assertive mentoring ladder which uses the National Curriculum writing objectives. Pupils also receive a phonics assessment to inform planning and teaching.

At Alder Brook, children are given opportunities to have memorable experiences in the form of visitors into school, visits to local areas, the arts etc and some visits which are further afield. These give experiences of the wider world and are a stimulus for discussion to develop vocabulary and extend writing opportunities.


Individual learning plans (ILP)

Some pupils at Alder Brook access an Individual learning plan.

This would be implemented to support pupils who are displaying high levels of dysregulation, have experienced considerable trauma, have low attendance, school anxieties or attachment anxieties.

These plans consist of targets that are measurable over a 2-3 week period and are specific to the needs of that child.

They will include a reading, writing and maths target. They will also have two SEMH targets.

The pupil will have a personalised timetable.

A multi - sensory approach is used when working on each of the targets.

The aim of the plan is to increase pupil engagement, achieve measurable academic progress in small steps and to develop a positive sense of well - being and self-esteem.

Speaking and Listening

All staff aim to model Standard English to pupils. Children are provided with opportunities to develop their speaking and listening skills.

We aim for pupils to acquire a wide range of vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.

Pupils can talk clearly and confidently about their thoughts, opinions and ideas, listening carefully to others so that they can refine their thinking and express themselves effectively.

Pupils are provided with opportunities to gain experiences of the wider world, through trips and visitors to school.



We support pupils in being able to write clearly for a range of purpose. Also we develop neat handwriting and use of accurate punctuation. Pupils develop spelling strategies and a knowledge of spelling patterns.

Pupils can write and present ideas in a wide range of forms with an awareness of different audiences. Each year group will cover a range of appropriate genre, with a focus on developing skills for writing.

Pupils are given regular opportunities to write. Skills are modelled, there are shared writing experiences and opportunities for independent writing. Pupils are encouraged to read their work to themselves or an adult and edit to improve vocabulary choices and sentence structure. Children use the spelling strategies they have learnt.

Grammar is taught as focused sessions each week.   Knowledge is assessed throughout the half term in order to inform future planning.

Spelling is taught and practiced daily as part of each child’s IPP. Precision teaching is used throughout the school. Pupils are supported to learn how to spell a word, what it means and be able to use it in a sentence.


Our writing follows the National Curriculum. We use a thematic approach as a stimulus and this can cover either a half term or a term.

The theme and genre are the vehicle through which we engage children in writing in order to teach them the key skills as stated in the national curriculum.

A cycle of writing will generally last three/four weeks.

This is broken down into stages:

Stage 1

Children are introduced to the genre of writing. They will have opportunities to read and be read to so that they become familiar with the type of text.  During this stage the children will be introduced to vocabulary and spellings that are relevant to the theme and linked to their stage.  Grammar and punctuation related to the style of writing is also introduced.  Composition of the text is also looked at and shared.   Throughout the unit presentation and handwriting will also be addressed. 

Stage 2

This stage will look at familiar texts and make changes to it .The focus will be on planning and use of the features in stage 1.  Grammar sessions will be linked to the children’s individual targets.  Concepts will be modelled by adults and used by the children. There will be opportunities for shared and independent writing.

Stage 3

Children will plan and complete a piece of writing in the style of the genre. They will proof read, edit and re-draft. They will make improvements to vocabulary and grammar. Editing and re-drafting will also be used to check spelling and punctuation Pupils may also present their final piece using ICT. They will share their work with the group, through reading sections aloud and showing and discussing their work. Children will be encouraged to write part of the final draft to show development of handwriting.

Throughout all three stages there are opportunities for children to read a range of texts related to the theme and style of writing.

All pupils also have access to our enhanced curriculum at different levels. These experiences support children’s social and emotional needs whilst developing their range of vocabulary and life experiences. This in turn has a positive impact on engagement and outcomes in writing. 





Pupils are formally assessed in writing within two weeks of entering Alder Brook. Writing is assessed using the National Curriculum objectives. From then onwards children are assessed regularly to inform planning and identify gaps in pupils knowledge and understanding. Assessment takes place in the form of live marking, discussion and formal marking. At the end of each term a formal stage is recorded for each child in writing.

In addition, pupil progress meetings are completed to monitor progress. This is done between the class teacher and literacy lead. During this session quality of work , knowledge and understanding , evidence of increased stamina for writing, intervention strategies and pupil progress are discussed. This is recorded formally on a class pupil progress sheet.

Pupil progress is carefully monitored and if pupils are not making expected progress, additional support is put in place.

Through formal and informal lesson observations, quality of teaching is monitored. Triad lesson studies share good practice and provide professional development.  Staff are given regular in house CPD and opportunities to access relevant external courses. The literacy lead also works closely with the Local Authority SIP and external literacy experts. We are part of a local schools cluster group that meets termly.




The impact of the teaching of writing at Alder Brook is measured in a range of ways. Pupils will make progress in the formative assessments and close gaps in knowledge. This will then be reflected in the end of term summative assessments. Children will develop positive self-esteem and a sense of achievement when writing. They will become independent writers that can spell accurately and use appropriate grammar. Pupils will be able to use a wide range of vocabulary in both written and spoken language enabling them to communicate effectively. Having a positive attitude, secure knowledge and skills in writing, will enable pupils to have opportunities in life and make a valuable contribution to society.








It is our intent at Alder Brook that all pupils, by the end of their primary education, become confident mathematicians who are fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics. They will be able to problem solve by applying their knowledge to a variety of routine and non – routine problems. They will be able to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry using justification or proof, using maths.

We want all pupils to have a love for learning and to feel pride in their achievements. Our intent is to raise self – esteem and engage pupils in their learning by making it fun and interactive. Within the maths sessions we ensure there is an appropriate pace so that pupils are engaged and progress is made.

We follow the National Curriculum for maths and use a spiralling approach ensuring that the strands are repeated throughout the year, each time building upon prior knowledge and understanding to ensure secure and long lasting understanding of maths.

We strive to give pupils the skills to problem solve and be fluent in number. Pupils will make progress over time and will be able to use the skills in everyday life e.g. finances, telling the time. These skills can then be transferred in their futures to give them the opportunity to have a successful career.

Mathematics is taught through teachers planning for each individual pupil as well as using a range of resources and intervention programmes. Teachers also plan specific individual interventions to further support progress during the Early Bird tasks.




At Alder Brook all pupils are baselined using Puma to assess their mathematical ability, within two weeks of entry.

Maths is taught through a variety of interactive, structured lessons including use of practical activities, outdoor learning and trips related to real life problems solving. Within the maths sessions we include recall of  previous knowledge and understanding as well as new learning input with opportunities to demonstrate new understanding.  Maths based interventions are also included each morning during the Earlybird sessions at the start of every school day including precision teaching, prodigy and TT Rockstar for tables practice.  Pupils are taught in units which are revisited throughout the year and formative assessment is tracked on individual progression ladders. Summative assessments are completed at the end of each term using test papers to capture each pupil’s overall understanding in mathematics.  Vocabulary/Speaking and Listening is also a key part to delivery of understanding to ensure children are aware of correct terminology for tests and future progression leading to greater depth and understanding. Maths opportunities are also identified and taken within other areas of the curriculum e.g. coding lessons linked to computing and financial awareness linked to PSHE.



Individual learning plans (ILP)

Some pupils at Alder Brook access an Individual learning plan.

These plans implemented to support pupils who are not achieving national standards of progress. This could be due to long-term SEND or displaying high levels of dysregulation, have experienced considerable trauma, have low attendance, school anxieties or attachment anxieties.

These plans consist of targets that are measurable over a half term and are specific to the needs of that child.

They will include two maths target.

The pupil will have a personalised timetable.

A multi - sensory approach is used when working on each of the targets.

The aim of the plan is to increase pupil engagement, achieve measurable academic progress in small steps and to develop a positive sense of well - being and self-esteem.



The impact is measured and recognised through formative assessments tracked on the pupil’s progression tracker using teacher assessment at the end of each session. At the end of every term pupils are summatively assessed using published testing resources which then informs future interventions and planning to close the gap further.

Through informal and formal lesson observations quality of teaching is monitored and need for professional development responded to. Also termly book looks to review pupils’ knowledge and understanding of maths, coverage, quality first teaching and interventions all to support evidencing progress.

Finally, through monitoring attendance and number of high level incidences and restrictive physical interventions we are able to track and review individual pupil’s engagement to school life including maths.



At Alder Brook we aim to provide a broad and rich science curriculum in which children can explore, be creative and have fun. Through this, children will work practically and hands on giving them a deeper understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them think scientifically, gain an understanding of scientific processes and the implications of science today and in the future.

The science curriculum encourages children to be inquisitive learners, fostering a healthy curiosity in children about the world around them. Our in depth, individualised programme of study that follows the national curriculum, gives children opportunities for open ended discussions, the application of scientific skills and the use of scientific equipment in every lesson. 

At Alder Brook we are passionate about teaching our children to be independent, focussed learners capable of anything they put their mind too.  With this in mind we developed science to underpin these values.



Teachers in Alder Brook are positive and enthusiastic towards the teaching and learning of science in school.  We reinforce that expectations in presentation are high and participation of the subject is greatly encouraged.  Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science at Alder Brook involves the following:

v Each class has mixed ability students who are streamlined into different class groups dependent on level of scientific understanding.  On entry all children are baseline assessed and streamlined into the correct science group. Children come to us with a range of SEN needs impacting on their experiences and understanding in science.  We therefore teach to their level of understanding not age related expectations.

v Science will be taught in accordance with the curriculum map for each year group.

v Each lesson is practical and hands on, within each lesson there is a mini investigation and discussion of scientific language. This is displayed each lesson on the board or on class display. 

v Each classroom needs to have an up to date science working wall displaying age appropriate scientific vocabulary, children’s work and learning outcome for that lesson.

v We use the rising stars’ scheme of work as a resource to help with plan and resource our lessons.  Planning involves giving children an opportunity to research, ask questions, predict, discuss and follow up answers to questions as per our golden thread.   A range of resources are used in each lesson to engage and encourage children to participate.  We also use a variety of recording strategies so children get a rich variety of opportunities to record information and display the experiments they have done in class.  Children are encouraged to celebrate their achievements and share these with others.

v Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills from our programme of study in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning and workshops with experts.

v Regular events, such as Science Week and project days, such as Nature walks and gardening, allow pupils to come off-timetable, this provides a broader provision and application of knowledge and skills. These events have often involved families and the wider community.

v Children are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities, visits, trips and visitors to complement and broaden the curriculum. These are purposeful and link with the knowledge being taught in class.

v Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment safely and wherever necessary use our online Rising Stars CPD tools to further skill themselves up.


 The impact of science at Alder Brook is measured in a range of ways.  Student progress is measured through termly book looks, learning walks, audits, and questionnaires.  This is then further measured through summative and formative assessments of topics throughout the year.  This triangulation approach to assessing pupil impact shows an improvement in the quality and quantity of science work over time.  Science is a practical and exciting subject and as a result encourages high engagement in lessons.  This has given children a chance to learn through practical hands on experiences creating open ended discussion and inquisitive questioning. During lessons pupils use a wide range of vocabulary in both written and spoken language, this has a positive impact on their confidence and self-esteem enabling them to effectively contribute to class discussions and completion of work.


Physical Education


At Alder Brook we aim to develop a fun, high-quality physical education curriculum that inspires all pupils to succeed and excel, developing the individuals abilities in competitive sports and other physically demanding activities which will help them cooperate and collaborate with others. We will provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident and build their character and identity in a way, which will build a foundation to enable them to have a love of physical activity throughout their lives. Our children will have opportunities to compete in positive competition and sport and other activities that will help embed values such as resilience, teamwork, determination and self-discipline. P.E at Alder Brook is a vital component of the curriculum, which if successful the pupils will lead healthier lifestyles, a balanced diet, a positive attitude and resilience to persevere with activities that may be once have felt too difficult. In addition, this will also help children appreciate their own and others strengths and weaknesses in sport. As a school, we are passionate about the need to teach children how to work in a team and independently, this will hopefully embed lifelong values such as fairness and respect.

“Sports do not build character. They reveal it.” – Heywood Broun


Pupils at Alder Brook take part in weekly P.E lessons which are taken off the Primary P.E Passport app and recently have brought in the daily mile, which is done once a day for 15 minutes. Our P.E curriculum includes various different sports which all ensure children develop confidence, resilience and appreciating others strengths and weaknesses. As a school we are part of a cluster, which organize out of school competitions for children who do not otherwise access sport. These include, bench ball, American football, dance, athletics etc. This is an inclusive approach, which aspires to encourage pupils to not only have healthy physical development but also a positive feeling of well-being.

Throughout the school, qualified swimming instructors give children lesson once a week for six weeks. This allows children to swim competently and confidently over a short distance. All the pupils learn different techniques such as front crawl, back crawl and breaststroke. Moreover, the children that can swim confidently are given the opportunity to perform safe self-rescue in deeper water.

Also in addition to the internal school P.E lesson, the pupils have access to outdoor activities. In the Autumn 2018 -Spring 2019 using the sports premium funding the school attended horse-riding lessons at Carrington Riding Centre. This gave the pupils half hour riding and half hour lesson on grooming and looking after the horses. This helped the pupils care, nurture and build a relationship with the horses.

Furthermore, to this, in the summer term 2019, KS2 attended water sport lessons at Helly Hansen Water Sport Centre at Salford Quays using Sports Premium funding. The children took part in one lesson per week for six weeks, during this the pupils took part in kayaking, bell boating, paddle boarding, raft building, sailing and canoeing. This helped the pupils build their resilience with the activities, confidence in water and working safely in a team.

Also, in the spring term 2019 we had Shale Sharks come in for 6 weeks to do a SEMH provision ‘Tackle your emotions’ which was based on an hours practical and an hours theory where they did various activities to help them understand their emotions. We have booked for Shale Sharks to come in in the summer term 2020 to deliver an intervention called ‘Sharks on wheels’, which is an intervention where physically able children learn to play rugby in a wheel chair.

Every year, year 5 and 6 go on a residential for 3 days where they take part in outdoor activities that they cannot access at home. In the summer term 2019, we went to Lledr Hall where we engaged in orienteering, canoeing, high and low ropes, mining and scavenger hunts. Throughout the trip, the children were encouraged to use the P.E values by working team and as an individual. Each child thoroughly enjoyed this.

Throughout the school day, physical activities are used in different lessons or for individualized strategies for the children. For example, fine and gross motor skills, corner games in maths and literacy, yoga and fitness videos are used as strategies for some children to de-escalate.

Progression in P.E is monitored through P.E passport; we have only recently started this so this will be fully embedded by summer 2020.


Our curriculum aims to improve the children’s SEMH needs and wellbeing. This not only from the sport that is taught but also from the P.E values that are embedded in to each activity such as resilience, teamwork, determination and self-discipline. Our impact is therefore to inspire all children to succeed and excel in sports by providing an inclusive approach whether it be competitive or non-competitive this will allow them to build their resilience, character and become physically confident.

Our goal is for children to have a physically active life and have access to a wide range of activities whether that be in school or out of school in order for them to live a happy and healthy lifestyle.

The Arts


At Alder Brook we aim to develop a high quality, fun and creative curriculum that inspires all pupils to be confident, resilient and Positively engaged. Through this they will be able to express themselves through real life experiences, enhance sensory needs, improve self-esteem and speech and language.  It is our intent to engage, inspire and challenge pupils to be able to be inventive, creative and gain a wider knowledge of the arts. As pupils progress they should be able to use a range of materials and have a deeper understanding of art and design.


At Alder brook Art and design is taught over one day each half term on a full day basis and is planned to our class topic and linked to cross curriculum subjects. Each strand will be taught as a focus throughout one half term over a two-year cycle. The cycle will consist of two terms of Art and design and one term of Drama. Through this thematic approach, National Curriculum objectives are covered. Each area of learning is covered by the end of half term. Drawing will be a continuous thread which will be visited alongside each strand. There are two oral strands and two evaluation strands which will be visited at the end of every lesson to assess and evaluate the speaking and listening objectives. Staff will also use blank level questioning where appropriate. Each half term we have an educational trip where we visit museums, art galleries and places of historical interest. We also have artist who comes in to teach a theme which is focused on each class topic. The artist uses a variety of materials and looks at different media to build knowledge and includes experimental learning. 


We aim for pupils at Alder Brook to experience and develop their enjoyment of the arts. They will gain a range of experiences which will support them in making aspirational choices in the future.

The Humanities


Through teaching humanities at Alder Brook, we intend to develop children’s knowledge of the wider world and local history and geography. They will ask questions and research the answers to develop an awareness of different places/themes or how things have changed overtime.

In history, the pupils will have opportunities to develop a sound chronological understanding of the past; investigate and compare beliefs, behaviour and characteristics of people; use evidence to explain past events; compare a wide range of primary and secondary sources and discuss the reliability of those sources.

In geography, the pupils will have opportunities to ask geographical questions; investigate, collect, record and analyse the evidence; use a range of maps and atlases; identify significant places and environments and take part in field work.

In addition, they will address contemporary issues such as the environment and the impact of their carbon footprint.

As a result, we hope to develop a curiosity and fascination of the world and the people in it, therefore inspiring our children to travel.


Currently, we use the Cornerstones curriculum when delivering humanity lessons. Each year group has specific projects based on the National Curriculum programmes of study. All projects engage pupils by providing memorable experiences, explore concepts and themes in greater depth and develop essential skills.

Each project is taught in conjunction with English. The pupils will complete three pieces of cross-curricular writing and participate in a weekly topic lesson.

History and geography lessons are taught using a range of sources like artefacts, photographs, video clips, reading materials, timelines, maps, atlases, compasses and artwork. Pupils also use ICT to research and gather information (search engines, websites and Google maps etc). In addition, cross-curricular Art and DT projects support learning in humanities as children design air raid shelters for use during World War II, make Mod Rock Tutankhamun death masks and design and build large bug hotels for the school grounds etc.

Pupils also make use of the local environment for field trips, for example, The Bridge Water Canal and Worsley Woods. The pupils have travelled further afield to Ordsall Hall, The Titanic Museum in Liverpool and National Trust properties. Every year, the Year 5 and 6 pupils have the opportunity to experience a residential holiday at Llder Hall in Wales where they participate in activities like orienteering, hiking and canoeing in the Welsh National Park.

During each topic, pupils build on key skills found on Alder Brook’s KS1 – KS2 progression ladders for history and geography. Historical skills include chronological understanding, a range and depth of historical understanding, historical enquiry and historical interpretation. Geographical skills include geographical enquiry, direction/location, using different styles of maps and map knowledge.


As a result, pupils will have a broader understanding of the world in which they live in, know key historical events/people and understand chronological order. They will know what it is to be a responsible citizen and will show respect for other people’s countries and cultures whilst knowing how to reduce their carbon footprint and effect climate change.

Through studying humanities, pupils will have the ability to think critically, reflect, debate, discuss, evaluate and be independent learners.

They will feel a pride in their local area and culture, but also have a longing to travel and broaden their horizons.

British Values


At Alder Brook, we take pride in teaching the fundamental British Values that the Department of England and Ofsted are asking schools to promote in line with the National Curriculum. These values are democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect.

Pupils have the opportunity to distinguish from right and wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England. Pupils can develop an understanding that the law is there to protect everyone, and we all abide by the law. We encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour and take into consideration that whilst they can make choices in their lives they also have a sense of responsibility for supporting the freedom of others. All pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to which ensures pupils understand how democracy works by actively promoting the democratic processes such as school council whose members are voted for by the pupils. 

At Alder Brook, we take great importance to engage pupils with these values to develop, demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow pupils to participate fully in treating others with respect and tolerance and contribute positively to, life in modern Britain. We ensure that we provide a steady focus on helping children make connections to others, explore and understand diversity, similarities and difference and promote equality for all. We facilitate the role of extra-curricular activities such as educational visits to promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils. Teaching staff play a vital role in challenging stereotypes and use resources and teaching strategies that reflect and value the diversity of pupils’ experiences and provide pupils with a comprehensive understanding of people and communities beyond their immediate experience.


At Alder Brook, British Values are delivered each week in sequencing order: democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect. Teaching staff are given lesson objectives with suggestive planning ideas derived from the strands for each British Value. This provides a clear, constructed guideline on delivering each lesson. These objectives are recorded in ‘My Journey’ journals to demonstrate pupil development through the strands. Pupils are given termly questionnaires and feedback to measure the effects of teaching British Values. 

At Alder Brook, Religious Education is delivered twice per term where religious speakers come in and deliver lesson objectives from the RE strands. In addition to this, we commemorate religious festivals through different activities and learning platforms. Visits to places of worship are organised accordingly considering the current circumstances.

We take great pride in giving our pupils the opportunity to express themselves through the school council. Members are elected by the pupils themselves to give pupils the chance to develop their self-esteem and self-confidence. Due to current circumstances, meetings and interactions are held via Zoom and Class Dojo twice a month.      


Delivering British Value per week will ensure pupils understand the importance of identifying and tackling discrimination. They will accept that other people have different faiths and beliefs to oneself and should not be the cause of discriminatory or prejudicial behaviour. Pupils will understand that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected by the law. Pupils will appreciate that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety and lastly, pupils will understand how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process.



The Alder Brook Primary School computing provision aims to equip our children to participate in a rapidly changing world where work and leisure activities are increasingly transformed by technology. It is our intention to enable children to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information in a safe, responsible and respectful manner. We also focus on developing the skills necessary for children to be able to use information in a discriminating and effective way.  It enables children to develop their problem solving and reasoning abilities. It develops children’s ability to understand and apply the essential principles and concepts of Computer Science, including logic, algorithms and data representation, analyse problems in computational term, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.  Computing skills are a major factor in enabling children to be confident, creative and independent learners and it is our intention that children have every opportunity available to allow them to achieve this.


Pupils are given regular opportunities to apply the skills that they have been taught to support their learning in other curriculum subjects.

Pupils will understand and use appropriate topic vocabulary, including that associated with programming, e.g. algorithm, debug, input, output, and variable.

Pupils learn how to use mobile technology and the internet safely. Online safety is not only taught in computing lessons, but in PSHE lessons, assemblies and workshops.

Pupils will be taught how to use a range of computer software, including spreadsheets, databases, email systems, word processing, multimedia presentations, app development, control programming and coding.

As a team we aim to make children’s engagement in computing stimulating and practical teaching skills relevant to their current and future needs.  The curriculum is designed to meet their required skills and will incorporate a cross curricular approach with coverage within lessons and as stand-alone lessons aimed to teach specific skills. There is a great emphasis on increasing and improving keyboard skills allowing children greater ability to access new technology.  There is focus on how these skills will support how technology is used in the outside world. 

Children will be given opportunities to practise their skills, such as logging in, saving work, touch typing and mouse control are further developed when children complete computer activities and games; and also when completing regular online research. 

Children will have access to a range of computing resources aimed at improving their understanding of different computing hardware and software.

A big focus will be on On-Line Safety, and the possible dangers of using the internet and mobile technologies, and to advise on ways in which to reduce risk.  We also send termly support letters home to help support parental/guardian awareness.  Children will also take part in thoughtful questioning that encourages deeper thinking and reasoning.


Children across the school articulate well about the potential risks of being online, and can talk about ways to keep safe.  Teachers plan a range of opportunities to use computer technology, inside and outside school

Pupils know how and why technology is used in the outside world, and in the workplace. They know about different ways that computers can be used.  Pupils use acquired vocabulary in computing, including coding, lessons.  They have the skills to use technology independently, for example accessing age-appropriate software and games in computer software independently in KS1 and KS2.  Their basic keyboard skills will be significantly improved in a progressive way and evidenced through their computing ladder.

There will be noticeable improvement in quality and quantity of computing skills evidence across the curriculum.  Children will be using new learnt computing skills to access the curriculum during extraordinary circumstances e.g. accessing blended learning at home during bubble closures during COVID.

Modern Foreign Languages


It is our intention at Alder Brook to expand the knowledge of our pupils by teaching a variety of different academic subjects. Within modern foreign languages, one of our fundamental aims is to begin building a basic knowledge and understanding of languages from different countries around the world. Children will be encouraged to use a variety of skills such as reading, writing and listening to help them begin to recognise basic phrases from other languages and imitate their pronunciation with some success.

It is our intention that children have a fun and enjoyable experience whilst learning languages that are unfamiliar to them. It is our intent that we use a range exciting and interesting teaching methods to capture the child’s initial interest and keep this interest spiked throughout each lesson. With this in mind, children will incorporate subjects such as Art and Design Technology into their Modern Foreign Languages lesson, using more creative and practical methods alongside more formal text taught information.


Modern Foreign Languages will not be implemented as a standalone subject at Alder brook and will instead be combined with History, Geography, Art and Design Technology to form the Enriched Curriculum. Our aim in implementing this to allow opportunities to develop speaking and listening skills across the curriculum.

It is also our intention to offer a variation of choices within the MFL curriculum to allow flexibility for teachers and pupils alike. Classes will have three ideas to choose from during each lessons, having a choice between basic phrases, colours and animals. Classes will also be able change the chosen language they teach every term. By offering this flexibility, the intention is to improve each pupil’s intercultural understanding of the world around them and to respect cultural diversity in all walks of life.


Modern Foreign Languages will be taught for one lesson each term, with classes having a choice of the different areas they can look at. Evidence can be provided in a number of ways including pieces of written work or pieces of Art Evidence will be recorded in the Enriched Curriculum book. Each child will have their own personal Enriched Curriculum book and evidence from MFL and the other 4 subjects listed above will all go into this book together.

There will also be full days each term specifically focusing on different Enriched Curriculum topics. These days will provide some practical MFL learning experiences for our pupils.


Children will begin the process of learning an additional language, an important skill in an ever changing, culturally diverse society. As the year progresses and teachers begin to vary the languages they teach, children will become multilingual in the use of some words and phrases. This could also spark a love or passion for a country a child was previously unaware of. In doing this, the pupils will be able to take a small piece of their Alder Brook experience into their adult life.

Our MFL curriculum will also impact upon our students through teaching languages that are the predominant language of pupils from our classroom. By being able to teach others about their homeland/language we aim to build the self -esteem of pupils, build friendships and develop a warm and accepting environment for everyone involved.
Our MFL curriculum will also support children in developing their speaking and listening skills as outlined in the National Curriculum, enabling them to communicate effectively throughout their lives.

Speaking and Listening


Our speaking and listening approach at Alder Brook reflects the importance of spoken language in pupil’s development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. It is our intent at that all pupils, by the end of their primary education, will be able to express themselves confidently and appropriately using spoken language. They will be able to speak and write fluently and communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others will be able to communicate with them.  Children will have developed a wide vocabulary and have a sound understanding of grammar and linguistic conventions for spoken language. Our pupils will be able to listen and speak confidently and effectively in order to participate fully in society and achieve their full potential.  It is our intent that Speaking and Listening will be interwoven throughout all subject areas.


 Within two weeks of entering Alder Brook, all pupils are baselined to assess their understanding of abstract language We are currently using T.A.L.C  ( Test of Abstract Language Comprehension) .

We then use Blanks Level Questions alongside the NC objectives to develop the child’s speaking and listening.

Children who are below A.R.E will have specific, measurable and achievable targets which are monitored half termly. These targets will be based on Blanks Level Questions. Children who have targets up to Level 3 will work on these questions during 1:1 reading time each day as well as throughout all other areas of the curriculum.  Speaking and listening opportunities are built into all areas of the curriculum. Pupils are taught how to listen effectively. Adults allow thinking time for pupils to respond appropriately and ask open ended questions whenever possible. Adults are encouraged to model Standard English and tackle misconceptions in language. During our PSHE sessions children develop strategies to recognise and name emotions which will over time support positive behaviour, develop a sense of well -being and build self- esteem. Across the curriculum there are opportunities for discussion where pupils are able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.

Pupils are given the opportunity to make formal presentations, perform and present their work and ideas to others.

We work closely with speech and language professionals to support pupils with additional needs.


Pupils develop positive self-esteem and are effective communicators. They have a rich and varied vocabulary which supports accelerated progress across the curriculum. Effective speaking and listening skills will allow pupils to lead fulfilled lives and make a positive contribution to society.

Adaptations to the delivery of the curriculum due to COVID circumstances.

Design and Technology


  Design and Technology


Through teaching design and technology at Alderbrook, our intent is to develop children’s creative and practical expertise to perform everyday tasks. Through the use of dual coding our intent it to support long-term skills which can then be used beyond school and into adulthood. Our pupils will build and apply their knowledge and understanding of the skills needed to design and make a range of products for a wide range of uses.


In design and technology, we intend for pupils to have opportunities to explore and investigate, to inspire them to think independently. Our intent is to develop their vocabulary and build up resilience through testing and evaluating their ideas and products. The design of our D&T curriculum allows pupils the time to learn and understand the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook for themselves. As a result our pupils will be more motivated, give purpose to their new learning and teach them skills for life.



Design and technology is taught for one full day, once every half term. We cover a minimum of one skill from each strand, in order to give our pupils the breadth. But content is dependent on the needs of the children and being mindful of cognitive overload. The learning objective will be prepared by the class teacher taking targets from the design and technology strands. All pupils have the opportunity to discuss the origin of the food and identify foods that come from the UK and around the world before preparing and cooking and using different units of measure dependant on age and ability. KS1 pupils practise cutting, peeling and chopping a range of ingredients. KS2 look at balanced diet and use appropriate tools and equipment to measure. The pupils talk about their own work, identifying strengths and any weaknesses that could be improved.



As a result, pupils will have a broader understanding of design and technology. They will be more resilient and have learned to be independent thinkers. They will be familiar with a range of food preparation tools and know how to use them safely. Pupils will understand the need for a balanced diet and measure and weigh ingredients in either standard or non-standard measures.

Pupils will develop their skills for problem solving through ongoing evaluation and adaptations and be more resilient when testing out new ideas. They will gain knowledge of which tools, materials and equipment are needed and have the vocabulary to explain why.




We aim to meet the specific SEMH needs of each child through the delivery of our PSHE curriculum. Our learning opportunities focus on fostering the social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of each pupil to help them own good mental and physical health and wellbeing.

We are committed to providing a nurturing environment in which each child can begin to understand and manage their emotions independently enabling them to self regulate calmly and safely. The children will learn the importance of taking responsibility for their choices and to respect rules and boundaries. Our curriculum teaches that the foundation for achieving healthy and fulfilling relationships is valuing self and others and as a staff we promote and model socially appropriate behaviour and have the same expectation of our pupils.

Through PSHE the children will become aware of wider social issues which impact us and begin to develop their knowledge and curiosity. We seek to provide exciting opportunities for the children to develop vital life skills such as independence and resilience and form positive attitudes towards new experiences and challenges they encounter.

We wish to inspire all our children to have aspirations and the belief that they can accomplish their goals and make a positive contribution to our society now and in the future.



The PSHE curriculum is delivered through a variety of approaches. All children access Breakfast sessions each morning which have a discussion focus based on the core themes set out in the

PSHE Curriculum. A discreet weekly PSHE lesson teaches these themes in depth and provides activities and experiences which embed the learning topic. Visitors are regularly invited into school to further reinforce our lessons and where possible we arrange trips out of school to provide the children with real and hands- on experiences.

Children who require further support will complete SEMH based intervention programmes which focuses on an area of need. All pupils access a focused SEMH session each week in addition to the PSHE lesson.

All PSHE activities and experiences are kept in a book called My Journey which tracks 11 branches of learning that we have identified as being at the core of our PSHE and personal development curriculum.


Individual learning plans (ILP)

Some pupils at Alder Brook access an Individual learning plan.

These plans are implemented to support pupils who are displaying high levels of dysregulation, have experienced considerable trauma, have low attendance, school anxieties or attachment anxieties.

These plans consist of targets that are measurable over a half term and are specific to the needs of that child.

They will include a reading, writing and maths target. They also have two SEMH targets.

The pupil will have a personalised timetable.

A multi - sensory approach is used when working on each of the targets.

The aim of the plan is to increase pupil engagement, achieve measurable academic progress in small steps and to develop a positive sense of well - being and self-esteem.



Our objective is for the PSHE curriculum to have a fully encompassing impact on the whole child. This will be evidenced through improved SDQ scores which highlight increased self-esteem and positive social interaction, we will also see a reduction in RPI’s and high level incidences. There will be overall improved attendance in school. The children will be able to understand and articulate their needs and thoughts freely and respectfully and be empathic to the opinions and beliefs of others. PSHE lessons and specific interventions will result in the children having the skills to develop and maintain more positive and meaningful relationships and this will be demonstrated in their ability to self-regulate and reflect on their choices. The pupils will be able to transfer their improved mental and emotional wellbeing to the home and wider community and feel a sense of purpose and belonging. Pupils will report positively in the pupil survey about their knowledge and understanding around relationships and self.

There will be a desire from pupils to learn and engage in their lessons with children making good academic progress, possibly moving into mainstream provision or other appropriate specialist settings.