Blackgates Primary Academy Curriculum Rationale

We have seven areas to our curriculum which are designed to provide children with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life, whilst providing them with essential childhood experiences that help them to understand the world around them.


To be successful learners in life and the wider curriculum, children need to have high levels of knowledge and skills in reading, writing and maths.  They will not be ready to truly access the curriculum without these skills, nor will they be able to achieve the ‘expected standard’ at the end of each Key Stage.  Learning to read and understand texts is fundamental to accessing the curriculum and improving children’s life chances.  This is why reading is a high priority across school.  We want children to then transfer these reading skills to writing for a real purpose and audience, using effective grammar and accurate punctuation skills in order to have an impact on the reader.  In maths we aim to develop competent mathematicians who have strong arithmetic knowledge and skills which they can apply to problem solving and reasoning situations.



This topic is designed to explore the children’s local area.  They will begin in Foundation by gaining knowledge about our school and the school community, learning about the roles of each person in school and the layout of the building.  They will draw maps for visitors and gain an understanding of where things are in school. They will then learn how to look after our school environment and be responsible citizens. In Year 1 the children will then build on this knowledge to look at the areas outside of the school building – the Forest School, Ardsley Resevoir and local woodlands.  They will learn about habitats, minibeasts and nature in these environments.  In Year 2 children will look at the history of the local area and which periods in history are represented here and have influenced change over time, such as the Victorian era.  They will then move on to looking at invaders and settlers in the wider Yorkshire area and how they have influenced our lives today. Children in Year 4 will learn about leisure and entertainment in the local area so that they can enjoy these areas safely with their families and gain geographical and scientific knowledge. In Years 5 and 6 children will visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Hepworth to find out about local artists and be inspired by their work.  This will increase the children’s aspirations and develop their creativity, something which is very important to our school.




In this topic children will learn about how amazing the human body is and that some people are real life superheroes!  Children begin this journey by learning about the people around them who matter most to them and take care of them – their family.  They will then learn about the people in the community who help us all in our lives.  In Year 1 children will gain knowledge about their body which they will later build on in Key Stage 2.  Year 2 children will learn about people in the past and present who are heroic, such as Mary Secole, Florence Nightingale and people who work in the emergency services. We also feel it is important in Key Stage 1 to teach children about how to look after their teeth and the importance of visiting the dentist regularly.

In Key Stage 2, children will build on their knowledge of real life superheroes through learning about people who influenced change, such as Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks.  They will then learn about how to look after their own bodies by having a healthy lifestyle and eating a good balanced diet.  In Year 5 they will build on this knowledge to look at how bodies can be trained for endurance and stamina in order to be athletes.  They will learn about where the Olympic Games began and how athletes develop resilience, perseverance and the determination to succeed at a goal, as well as improving their physicality.  In Year 6 they will learn about powerful people in the world who create laws, run governments and rule over countries.  They will relate this to the British Values and develop their ability to debate and reason.



This topic is about gaining knowledge about the wider world and the many wonderous things there are to see and experience in it.  We will do this by looking at the world with children in the Foundation Stage and developing their sense of awe and wonder of it.  Children will then learn the location of the Seven Wonders of the World and the culture and beliefs of the countries they are in.  Children will gain geographical knowledge about the world which they will build on every time they learn about another wonder.  They will learn where this wonder is, what the climate is like in that country, why the monument or building is important to the people of that country and the history of how it came to be there. They will also learn about key geographical features which support and sustain life, such as rivers.  They will develop their knowledge and skills in Geography, History, R.E. and PSHE throughout this topic.  It will also teach them about tolerance and respect for these diverse cultures.  We want to develop the children’s aspirations to visit these places and see the wider world.





Children have already learned about their local environment so in this topic they will learn about the lives of animals and their habitats.  In Foundation Stage, this will begin with learning about pets and which animals are domestic pets and how to look after them.  Many of our children have not visited farms and zoos, so in Year 1 they will learn about farm animals and their habitat, moving on to sea creatures in Year 2 to offer a contrasting habitat.  In Year 3 children will look at food chains and animals found in the wild in our country and other countries.  They will visit the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Year 3 and Chester Zoo in Year 4.  This will allow them to gain so much knowledge about several species of animal and learn about adaptation and conservation projects.  They will also debate whether animals should be held in captivity and what the animal’s original habitat was like.  In Year 5, they will apply this knowledge to living things in the Rainforest as they build on their knowledge of South America and Brazil from previous topics. In Year 6, they will look at natural disasters which threaten habits of animals and destroy eco-systems.





In this topic, children will develop their knowledge of materials and how they are used for specific purposes.  They will find out about inventors and inventions related to everyday objects in Key Stage 1, which will develop the children’s science knowledge, as well as their D.T. knowledge and skills, by looking at the purpose of designs and evaluating them against this purpose.  In Year 2 they will learn about the earliest inventors from the Stone Age who had to create tools and every day objects from the materials they had available to them at the time.  They will then look at changes in designs of these tools over the centuries.  In Year 3 they will learn about famous inventors who created products and made discoveries about essential things we use in our lives today, such as the lightbulb and the telephone.  They will build on this knowledge in Year 4 when they find out about inventions which have helped people to stay alive and improve our life expectancy, such as vaccines and medical cures.  In Year 5 they will fast forward in time to consider how modern day inventions help us to live better lives now, such as the internet and the mobile phone.  They will look at innovative companies like Apple and Microsoft.  In Year 6 they will develop knowledge about inventions that have changed the course of History and the world, such as Morse Code, radar and aeroplanes. This topic will focus on the resilience and perseverance inventors demonstrate and develop in order to get their designs right and how they constantly evaluate and change them when they develop new features.  This is something children will be encouraged to transfer to their work in all subjects as it is an essential skill for life.






At the start of the year, children learn about what it is like to live in Tingley and the local area, this topic is about what life is like beyond that for children and adults.  Many of our children haven’t visited the seaside and if they have, they may only have been once or twice or never built a sandcastle.  We see this is a key childhood experience which will develop their understanding of a contrasting locality and the reason why want children to visit the seaside every year they are at Blackgates Primary.  In the Foundation Stage children will build sandcastles, paddle in the sea and play games on the beach whilst learning about the key features of a coast and a beach.  In Year 1 children will compare the coastal town to Tingley and Leeds, looking at the similarities and differences.  In Year 2 children will develop their Geography knowledge and apply their Maths skills by planning and budgeting for a trip to the seaside.  In Year 3, they will build on their knowledge of how Victorians settled in Tingley and influenced our area, to be able to compare the seaside towns by looking at the history of seaside holidays.  In Year 4 they will build on their knowledge of leisure and entertainment in Tinlgey by comparing it to the leisure and entertainment opportunities in the coastal town.  In Year 5 and 6, the children consider the negative impact of tourism on coastal towns by learning about the effects of tourism on local people in Year 5 and coastal erosion in Year 6.