• Phone : 01234 345636
  • Opening Time : 8:45am - 3:40pm
  • Address : Manton Lane, Bedford, MK41 7NH

Curriculum Intent

Curriculum Overview

Edith Cavell is a happy, positive and inclusive school, where diversity is celebrated. Our high expectations and distinctive curriculum enables all children to thrive, develop a thirst for knowledge and a lifelong love of learning.

Through providing an environment where children feel safe, valued and respected, we ensure each child has access to our carefully designed curriculum. Children experience both successes and mistakes that develop resilience, deepen understanding and prepare them for life in the 21st Century.

Our curriculum has been designed to encourage experiential learning opportunities within, and beyond the classroom. Through providing these experiences, we ensure children have the opportunity to:

  • Access experiences regardless of family circumstance, culture, SEND or language barriers
  • Celebrate and share achievements in assemblies and with the wider school community
  • Actively participate in inter- and intra-school sporting competitions and tournaments
  • Attend numerous educational visits each academic year to museums and places of interest to develop cultural capital
  • Attend residential visits in Year 4 and 5
  • Attend performances, lectures, sporting opportunities and technology events facilitated by local independent schools
  • Understand the democratic process by participating in decision making through the school council, behaviour team and sports council
  • Participate in music concerts and individual music lessons
  • Adopt healthy lifestyles and maintain good mental health
  • Access a range of after school clubs and activities
  • Take part in Bikeability schemes
  • Access a Learning Mentor to support good mental health and reduce barriers to learning
  • Develop an awareness of economic, social and environmental responsibility through fundraising for a range of charities across the year.

The Edith Cavell Curriculum

What are we trying to achieve?

At Edith Cavell, we are committed to providing an enriched and challenging curriculum, with an emphasis on securing lifelong basic skills and a passion for learning. We target potential by challenging expectations of achievement and creating a supportive ethos which is tangible to those who enter the school. Through excellent teaching and learning, and the delivery of a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum, we equip our children with the transferable skills, knowledge and self-confidence that are the secure foundations of learning on which the building blocks of future study and scholarship can be built.

Our ethos of hard work, courtesy and personal responsibility team hand in hand with our commitment to furnishing our children with the core values of respect, honesty and tolerance. These permeate all aspects of the curriculum along with the skills of creativity, resilience and independent thinking.

Our curriculum promotes British Values and can be adapted in response to children’s interests, questions, and local and national events. This enables us to raise standards and reflects our high expectations through an exciting, challenging and happy learning environment.

 How do we organise learning?

We follow the Foundation Stage Curriculum for our EYFS classes, the National Curriculum (2014) for KS1 and KS2 and the Locally Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education across the school. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that at whatever stage children join the school, they will become proficient in the basic skills of communicating, reading, writing and calculating. The progression of skills is promoted through our phase-based thematic studies where individual subjects are centred around the use of a quality text.

Classes are taught in a variety of forms: whole class, ability groups, small groups, in pairs and individually. Subject leaders and teachers use their subject specialisms to enthuse the school community as we believe that we learn best when we are excited about the subjects that we are studying. Educational visits, and visitors to school, play a big part in enriching the learning experience and developing cultural capital. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that learning can and does happen anywhere at any time.

How do we know we are achieving our aims?

Through our curriculum, we ensure that we develop the whole child, allowing them to mature in to well-rounded individuals who confidently and instinctively demonstrate our core values. Our children develop a language of learning that is evident across the school through their interactions and discussions with staff, visitors, parents and each other.

Speaking and listening

As a result of our diverse, inclusive intake, we have recognised the need for speaking and listening skills to be at the forefront of our curriculum here at Edith Cavell. Through immersing children in vocabulary-rich learning environments, and providing a curriculum which emphasises the importance of talk, we equip children with the vocabulary and skills they need to become confident communicators, both orally and through the written form. We teach our children to speak politely and in full sentences at all times, and we encourage them to ask questions and articulate their ideas fluently. We provide them with a range of opportunities to speak in smaller groups and larger groups, which allows children to develop confidence in their speaking and listening skills.


At Edith Cavell, we believe that reading and comprehension are integral to learning. Evidence shows that a child’s ability to read, process and understand text, underpins their ability to access the entire curriculum. All children are therefore encouraged to read widely and for pleasure. It is recognised, however, that our children are at risk of not reading widely and often, without the fluency and comprehension appropriate to their age. Our approach to reading therefore ensures children acquire a wide body of knowledge, secure the cultural capital they need to succeed, and overcome potential barriers such as disadvantage and SEND.

Specifically, our reading curriculum:

  • Develops children’s fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading. We recognise that children have different interests and therefore have ensured that we have an eclectic range of books to foster their love of reading
  • Assesses reading attainment at all stages, addressing gaps quickly and effectively
  • Supports the mastery of early reading, and places emphasis on ensuring children are able to decode fluently through high quality Systematic Synthetic Phonics.
  • We follow the Soundswrite phonics scheme.
  • Provides reading books which connect closely to the phonics knowledge that children are taught when they are learning to read
  • Enables parents to successfully support reading at home
  • Inspires an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage, through specifically chosen class novels
  • Immerses children in vocabulary-rich, high quality texts that are chosen for their varied vocabulary
  • Ensures children swiftly deepen and broaden their knowledge through reading. As such, children are increasingly able to acquire further knowledge through reading independently
  • Drives children’s progress, enabling them to attain very well in reading. As a result, children attain the reading fluency, confidence and enjoyment to succeed in the next step of their education and adult lives.

We recognise, at Edith Cavell, that many of our children struggle with standard English and lack the vocabulary necessary to access the writing curriculum at age appropriate levels. As a result, we immerse children in vocabulary-rich environments, with staff modelling correct standard English and providing children with a range of sophisticated vocabulary at all times. When planning, teachers plan practical, real-world activities for children to write about, and provide children with a purpose for their writing. We use Talk for Writing as the basis to our English writing lessons, as this provides children with a model from which they can invent their own, independent writing piece.

Specifically, our writing curriculum:

  • Encourages children to express their ideas, discussing them with peers before building on them independently
  • Builds children’s vocabulary and understanding of effective vocabulary choices when writing
  • Provides children with strategies to widen their vocabulary and understanding
  • Supports children to plan, revise and evaluate their writing independently; first as a reader, then as a writer
  • Develops children’s awareness of context, purpose and audience when writing
  • Provides children with a purpose for writing, which engages them and develops a thirst for learning
  • Focuses upon teaching children the rules and guidance to spell unfamiliar words, common exception words, words containing prefixes and suffixes, and homophones/near-homophones
  • Enables parents to successfully support their child’s writing progress at home, through weekly spellings
  • Supports children to develop a legible, fluent and consistent cursive handwriting style
  • Ensures children have a strong grasp of punctuation and grammar, applying it effectively and consistently within their writing
  • Assesses writing attainment at all stages, addressing gaps quickly and effectively
  • Drives children’s progress, enabling them to attain very well in writing. As a result, children grow to become confident, effective communicators who are creative, independent of thought and who possess the skills needed to succeed in later life.

Mathematics is an essential part of any child’s education. It is a creative and highly cross-curricular discipline. Mathematics is necessary to everyday life, especially as we get older and move through our education and into employment. It is fundamental to science, engineering and technology, and allows our children to become financially literate. A high quality Mathematics education allows us to provide our children with a solid understanding of the world, as well as an appreciation for the intricacies of the subject, and a sense of enjoyment while exploring different areas of Mathematics.

Our aim is for all children to:

  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time. This results in children developing conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
  • Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • Solve problems by applying their knowledge to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

At Edith Cavell, we teach our students using a Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) approach to the subject. Our Mathematics teaching, from Early Years to Upper Key Stage 2, strives to allow our children to move fluently between the use of concrete apparatus, pictorial representation, and abstract representations, to develop a deep and sustainable understanding of Mathematics.

We teach Mathematics through the use of the White Rose Schemes of Learning. This allows us to teach our children Mathematics that has been organised into distinct and separate domains which connect throughout the school year and between year groups. This enables children to deepen their understanding of given areas of Mathematics from year to year, with appropriate differentiation to support and challenge.

Children experience Mathematics in discreet, daily lessons as well as through cross-curricular links in other subjects.


At Edith Cavell we recognise the importance of Science as a core subject. With a robust knowledge of the methods, processes and uses of Science, our children will develop respect and admiration for the world in which we live.

We encourage our children to be inquisitive about Science; the beginning of a new topic starts with children considering what they would like to know. Natural curiosity is celebrated, and staff support children to understand how they can find answers to their questions.

Teachers plan interesting and exciting lessons, and these high-quality teaching and learning experiences engage and stimulate our children’s desire to learn more. Scientific knowledge is embedded through a practical approach, which sees children utilise a variety of skills such as planning, problem-solving and evaluating. Working as part of a team is vital, and our children learn how to co-operate, share ideas, and use scientific vocabulary when preparing and carrying out their investigations.

Our young scientists will leave this school with a strong foundation of knowledge, developed scientific literacy, and an understanding of how and why science is relevant to their own lives. They will be ready to build on this knowledge, and will look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in their secondary school.


At Edith Cavell, we provide a high-quality, inclusive and enjoyable curriculum in Computing. Through rich and relevant learning experiences, we encourage pupils to be both creative and analytical. By teaching transferrable skills in Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy, we aspire to create life-long learners. In our ever-changing world of technology, Computing education could not be more valuable. We create autonomous, independent computational thinkers, by allowing our pupils as much freedom and creativity as possible. We encourage pupils to evaluate the use of digital content, alongside teaching them valuable internet safety lessons half-termly. Our e-safety curriculum teaches pupils the positives and negatives of technology and how to be both responsible and confident when online. Our curriculum is designed in a way that it builds on previous skills and knowledge. Important skills such as resilience, problem-solving and critical thinking as well as a core understanding of how a computer works, ensures our pupils have a solid grounding for future learning and beyond.


At Edith Cavell, we ensure that children have the opportunity to become curious historians who can reliably interrogate evidence, understand the chronology of significant dates and events in world, British and local history and question the impact that key historical events have had on life in 21st Century Britain.

Our curriculum provides all children with opportunities to:

  • Cultivate an interest about different periods in History and the desire to ask investigative questions
  • Consolidate a clear chronological understanding of periods studied
  • Analyse a range of historical sources to question and develop inference skills
  • Develop an understanding of how events in History have influenced and impacted life today
  • Compare themes and evidence from different periods in History

It is our goal at Edith Cavell for every child to be happy and enthusiastic students of Geography. That is why we inspire children’s inquisitiveness to develop a curiosity to explore the world in which we live and the peoples that inhabit it. We believe that the Geography curriculum at Edith Cavell is engaging and progressive, whilst also meeting the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. We promote inclusivity, and as such, we deliver subject learning that can be accessed by all. Learning also takes place beyond the classroom, leading to engaged learners that will have a wealth of experiences and knowledge, which will remain with them long after they have left education.

In Early Years we plant the seed of initial geographical skills and concepts. These skills will be revisited each year as we promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with developing a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. The skills and knowledge that children develop in this subject area are transferrable to other elements of the curriculum. These skills can and are used to promote their social, moral, spiritual and cultural development.


At Edith Cavell, our aim is to provide a rich and varied Music curriculum which will enable children to reach their full potential in the subject. We encourage children to enjoy singing, composing and performing using different instruments, and we provide all children with the opportunity to perform in front of an audience within and outside of school. The children learn musical skills such as composing, improvising, listening and analysing, to encourage a curiosity for the subject as well as developing an understanding of all genres of Music.


At Edith Cavell Primary School, we aim to inspire all children to develop a love of physical activity and sport.  We ensure that pupils have the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills, confidence and vocabulary in a broad range of contexts, as well as developing the whole child.  At Edith Cavell, we strive to educate our children to lead healthy lifestyles with this being both healthy bodies and healthy minds.

The aims of our P.E. curriculum are to develop pupils who:

  • Lead a healthy lifestyle through gaining the knowledge of the benefits of exercise and a healthy diet.
  • Are able to remain physically active for sustained periods of time and understanding the importance of this in promoting long-term health and well-being.
  • Have had a strong foundation focusing on fundamental movements, fine and gross motor skills built in EYFS.
  • Practise skills in a variety of different activities (independently, small groups and teams) and apply these skills to improve their performance levels.
  • Employ imagination and ingenuity in their tactics, techniques and sequencing in gymnastics and dance.
  • Have a deep interest in physical activity and show a willingness to participate in extra-curricular sport.
  • Can swim at least 25 metres before year end of Year 6 and have a good understanding of water safety.
  • To take the initiative and become young leaders in UKS2, organising and officiating games with the hope of instilling excellent sporting attitudes in others.
  • Resilient, confident and strive for their personal best whilst modestly celebrating their own and each other’s successes.

To ensure this is happening, staff will have a clear understanding of the National Curriculum, through CPD, the use of expert external coaches and utilising the GetSet4PE scheme.


We believe our Art curriculum at Edith Cavell is an essential part of our children’s education, as well as in the enrichment opportunities we offer them. Our curriculum provides children with opportunities to develop their skills using a range of media and materials and offers the chance to explore and evaluate different creative ideas. Children’s critical abilities and understanding of their own and others’ cultural heritages are nurtured through studying a diverse range of male and female artists, craftspeople and designers. It encourages creativity and inspiration and provides support and challenge for all children to achieve their full potential.

Design Technology

We strive for pupils at Edith Cavell to develop key skills needed for designing, making and evaluating through a range of practical experiences to become future engineers, designers, chefs and architects.  Through our Design Technology curriculum, pupils develop their problem-solving skills by working both in teams and individually. It provides them with opportunities to use a range of materials and tools to enable them to create structures, mechanisms, textiles, mechanical systems and food products with a real-life purpose.


At Edith Cavell we believe that happy children learn and that the teaching of Personal Social Health Education is fundamental to the development of the whole self.

Children learn about themselves and where they fit in today’s society. They are given the tools and skills to be able to understand and interact with the world around them as social beings. Through Personal Social Health Education, the children at Edith Cavell gain the life skills to be able to cope in this ever-changing world in which they live. Through the Personal Social Health Education curriculum, they come to have a better understanding of people’s differences and similarities and the values that make them who they are. The children learn to be more resilient at dealing with life’s setbacks and learn who they can trust along the way, enabling them to build positive relationships with themselves and others.

Religious Education

The principal aim of Religious Education at Edith Cavell is to enable the children to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live. This allows the children to gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.

Our curriculum provides all children with opportunities to:

  • Make sense of beliefs by identifying and making sense of core religious and non-religious beliefs and concepts. They will understand what these beliefs mean within their traditions and will realise that sources of authority can be interpreted in different ways.
  • Understand the impact by examining how and why people put their beliefs into practice in diverse ways, within their everyday lives, within their communities and in the wider world. They will appreciate different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.
  • Make connections by evaluating, reflecting on and connecting the key concepts and questions studied, so that they can challenge the ideas studied and consider how these ideas might challenge their own thinking. They will develop their own ability to express critical responses and personal reflections.

At Edith Cavell, we believe that learning a foreign language is an important part of living in a multi-cultural society. As well as teaching a skill that will be beneficial to children in the future, learning a foreign language allows our children to explore their understanding of the world. The teaching of French at Edith Cavell also enables children to become curious about another culture and develop their communication skills.

Our aim is to allow children to express their ideas and thoughts in another language, as well as respond to those of others. We aim for this to be possible through speech and writing. We provide opportunities for children to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read literature in the original language. Fostering an interest in foreign language in early Key Stage 2 allows children to build upon that foundation when learning further languages. This will enable our children to study, work and explore other countries in the future.