Curriculum Topics

Click on the topics below to expand each section.


Well developed and embedded reading and writing skills are key to all our learning at school. From spelling tests to story time, all these different elements help to improve the children’s skills and understanding in English.

Each unit is planned to ensure that there are regular opportunities for pupils to write for different purposes. Carlton is a “Power of Reading School” – which means that each unit that the children work through is based on a high quality key text. All learning comes from this text and each teacher plans from carefully structured units of work that are reviewed on an annual basis.

Reading for enjoyment is key to motivating children in their own use of language and writing. Together we share many inspiring stories by authors such as Julia Donaldson, Michael Morpurgo and Beverly Naidoo. We make real books from our writing, making it purposeful and enjoying the experience of being authors ourselves. The Power of Reading texts provide each child access to high quality texts that form the basis of their work.

Spellings are sent home weekly. Children begin by learning to spell the most common words we read and write. For example: look, going, went. After they have learnt to spell these words they move on to learning spelling patterns and rules.

Guided Reading with the teacher or teaching assistant takes place in class every day. The children read a carefully chosen book at their level within a group; the teacher listens and talks to them about what they did well and how they can improve. In KeyStage 2 children have the opportunity to read whole chapter books and take part in a weekly book club.

Phonics is part of the way we teach children to read. From nursery to year 3 the children have daily phonics teaching at their level. At the end of year 1 the children take part in a national check to see how they are getting on.

All the children have book bags. They are encouraged to make their own book choices from the class book corner and year 1-4 also take home a book at their own level.

Children love to share their learning at home, so please read with your child as often as you can!

Here are some examples of the literacy units we cover across the school:

Nursery: Literacy unit -Nursery – Owl Babies 2014

Reception: Literacy unit – Reception – Bear Hunt 2014

Year 1: Literacy unit – Year 1 – Snail and Whale

Year 2:  Literacy unit – Year 2 – the story tree

Year 3: Literacy unit – Year 3 – volcano

Year 4:  Literacy unit – Year 4 – Iron Man

Year 5:  Literacy unit – Year 5 – the highway man

Year 6:  Literacy unit – Year 6 – Floodlands

Click here to see the Literacy overview 2014


At Carlton, Mathematics teaching and learning is a key part of our curriculum.  By encouraging our children to be confident mathematicians, we are making sure they are ready for the next step in their education.  As well as ensuring our children have strong key skills in Maths, we make sure children have the chance to use and apply their understanding.  We believe in giving the children ‘rich’ tasks that challenge them and deepen their understanding.

Problem solving and reasoning are also parts of the Maths experience we offer our students.  Alongside daily Maths lessons, children have additional sessions to work on the basics of mental arithmetic, for example, their times tables.

The curriculum is planned so that children have regular opportunities to embed their understanding of key maths skills such as number bonds, knowledge of +,-,x and ÷, and multiplication/division tables.

Here is an example of the mathematics units from across last year:

Mathematics Overview – Year 1 Autumn term

Mathematics Overview – Year 3 Spring term

Mathematics Overview – Year 5 Summer term


Our aim at Carlton is to foster a sense of excitement and curiosity about science whilst increasing children’s awareness and understanding of the world around them. We believe that the most successful way to develop the pupils’ scientific skills is through first-hand experiences. They cover a range of early physics (e.g. forces) chemistry (e.g reversible and irreversible changes) and biology (e.g. growing plants) through practical work, observation and problem solving in classrooms, our school garden and the local area. A wide range of areas of scientific knowledge are taught to give a deeper understanding of the world. Pupils are encouraged to ask questions, use new vocabulary and solve problems by making close observations, planning, predicting, fair testing and recording their findings in a systematic way. We also aim to foster responsible attitudes towards the environment and all living things. The school has achieved Enhanced Healthy Schools Status; a quality standard relating to pupils’ healthy lifestyles.
Click here to view our 

Physical Education

At minimum, children receive 2 hours of direct PE teaching each week. This is additionally supplemented by extended provision (After-school clubs), in-class physical activity (such as our 5-a-Day fitness DVD), and organised games on the playground.  We have two specifically trained PE coaches that deliver the curriculum, which includes: Dance, Gymnastics, OAA, Athletics, and the three strands of games: (Invasion, Net/Wall, and Striking/Fielding). All units are tailored to the age group being taught. In addition, our Year 4 children receive one year of weekly swimming lessons held at the Kentish Town Sports Centre, and each year group participates in a unit around disability sports (linked to the Paralympics).

Click here to view the PE Yearly Curriculum Map 2016-17

The Creative Curriculum at Carlton

The Creative Curriculum at Carlton (CCC) is the teaching and learning of the Foundation subjects (the Arts, the Humanities and Design & Technology) through cross-curricular topics linked, when appropriate, to the high quality texts used in the Literacy Curriculum and the Sciences, ICT and Citizenship. Developing creativity is profoundly important, not only in the arts, but in all areas of the curriculum. The Curriculum is comprehensive and thematic, a clear process of learning with a progression of skills, knowledge and understanding for each subject. It has been designed to ensure rigorous learning but also to make all learning exciting, active and meaningful for children. The curriculum will meet the cultural, spiritual, moral, physical needs of every child.


  • The curriculum offers a wide range of opportunities for children to develop skills, knowledge and understanding. It will enable every child to achieve their potential and release their talents.
  • In order to improve children’s creativity teachers will set open tasks and projects. They provide children opportunities to give their own interpretation.
  • Children undertake Learning Journeys which link all learning, building towards one or more final products/events.
  • Deep learning is facilitated through opportunities for children to be independent and creative. Learning becomes more meaningful and provides children with the interest and skills to become lifelong learners.
  • Lessons will develop children’s skills as well as their understanding and knowledge of the world. Each subject area has a progression of skills document that teachers use to ensure learning is appropriately pitched and differentiated.
  • The scope and focus of each journey is mapped centrally. This enables the leadership team and subject leaders to check that the National Curriculum is fully covered and that pupils have opportunities to grasp the essential features of each subject, as well as to make connections between them.
  • Learning of Science and Foundation Subjects National Curriculum objectives may take place in discreet units if they do not link with topics appropriately.


  • The CCC combines subjects in cross-curricular topics that run for either half a term or a full term.
  • Religious Education, PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Emotional Education) and other areas of the curriculum may also be linked to the topic.
  • Topics provide opportunities for children to use and apply knowledge and skills from other subjects.
  • Pupils use a range and progression of mind maps to collect and organise their previous knowledge on the topic and consider questions they would like answered. This is then used by the teacher to move the Learning Journey in a direction that meets the needs and interests of the class. Children will have ownership of the content and outcomes of a topic.
  •  Learning takes a global approach, helping children to connect their learning to where they live now as well as looking at the perspective of other people in other countries. Children make links with schools and communities, nationally and internationally.
  • Children solve problems and create products that are relevant to them with opportunities for real life application.  Children create products/outcomes both individually and in teams.
  • Topics allow children to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, philosophy and BLP skills. Planning for higher order questioning encourages children’s creative and divergent thinking . P4C – teachers plan for two explicit sessions per term linked to topic.
  • Topics will develop children’s communication (speaking & listening skills) through specific teaching/modelling of skills and the use of drama, debating and presenting.
  • Celebration of children’s learning will involve assemblies, mixed year group collaborations, exhibitions, the school website, debate, public speaking, published writing, storytelling, performance, whole school collaboration, film (news reports, documentaries, narrative), podcasts/radio, public events and opportunities to look through the class Floor Book.

Click here to view the CCC Curriculum Map 2014-15

Modern Foreign Language (MFL) - French

At Carlton, all children in key stage 2 learn French once a week. We teach this in a very fun and interactive way, with speaking and listening lessons which involve games, practicing words and phrases in a variety of voices, and doing an action for every new word. We also have a range of ICT resources for the children to use- from visuals, video-clips and activities on the interactive whiteboards in class, to games which they can access on the school laptops.

This highly engaging way of teaching French ensures that all children access the learning effectively, and most importantly, begin a lifelong enjoyment of languages.

Overview of French Topics 2014-15

Personal, Social, Health and Emotional Education (PSHE) and Citizenship

At Carlton through PSHE and Citizenship we support children to be healthy and safe, make good friendships, be responsible citizens and prepare themselves for the next stage in their education and their role within society as responsible adults. PSHE and Citizenship is linked, where possible, with other curriculum topics.

The teaching of PSHE and Citizenship:

At Carlton we use the Camden Scheme for the teaching of PSHE and Citizenship. Activities taught encourage children to make informed choices about a healthier and safer lifestyle: we prepare them to play an active role as a citizen, to forge good relationships and respect each other. The Camden Scheme also incorporates SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning).

Through assemblies a new SEAL theme is introduced and explored every half term across the school both in the class and at assemblies. These are:

•New Beginnings

•Getting On And Falling Out

•Going For Goals

•Good To Be Me



We use drama/role play, stories and visual to support teaching of PSHE/Citizenship and to simulate relevant discussions and to encourage children to understand and think from different people’s perspectives as well as their own.

Learn more about our PSHE curriculum here: PSHE Curriculum map 2014-15

Higher Attaining children, Gifted and Talented

We are committed to providing an environment which encourages all children to maximise their potential and this includes high attainers, gifted and talented children, regardless of their background, race, religion, gender or ethnicity. Some pupils will have specific skills and talents and we recognize the need to provide opportunities for these to develop.

Children can excel in three areas. High Attainers: Children who are performing above the classroom average in one or more curriculum area. Gifted: General intellectual abilities, specific aptitude in one or more subjects, creative or productive thinking, leadership qualities. Talented: Ability in creative or performing arts, physical ability.

Opportunities for extension and enrichment are built into all aspects of our school provision through encouraging all children to become independent learners. We provide enrichment days, opportunities to join different groups (school council etc), extra curriculum learning (a wide range of clubs), projects linked to local secondary schools and other educational agencies, streamed classes for children to be challenged in learning, and participation in local/national competitions.

The classroom offers a carefully structured positive atmosphere in which the contributions of all pupils are recognized, differences acknowledged and where enthusiasm for learning is fostered. Teachers seek to provide tasks and interactive displays, which promote problem-solving skills associated with clear thinking & the spirit of investigation. Teachers also ensure they use both open-ended questions as well as closed questions to meet the needs of all the children. Teachers are aware of different learning styles and incorporate them into their planning. They use varied and flexible groupings, specific challenges, higher level thinking skills, differentiation, individual targets, problem-solving and using and applying tasks across the curriculum and opportunities for philosophical based thinking.

Religious Education (RE)

At Carlton, we follow the local authority scheme for Religious Education (R.E.).

The approach of the school is to explore themes through a big question that encourages the pupils to consider the points of view of others. Teachers also are trained to utilise the principles of Philosophy for children to enhance their lessons.

To ensure that each pupil has the opportunity to fully explore the concepts offered, the curriculum is structured so that one day at the beginning of each term is a designated R.E. day that begins or ends with a whole school assembly.

Following the outcomes of R.E. pupil voice in 2013/2014, the children will explore the principles/specific beliefs of the following religions this year:   Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism.

The other main religions such as Islam and Christianity are explored through assemblies and performances.


As part of the curriculum provided by the school, each child has regular access to high quality music lessons. The school also views it as an opportunity to forge partnerships with outside agencies.

There is an on-site music specialist who is at the school 2 days per week. As well as delivering the national curriculum there is organised singing and a school choir where children can pursue the development of their talent.  As part of the curriculum the following also happens:

  • in the EYFS & Year 1 the children are supported in developing their knowledge of rhythm and ability to sing. They also explore tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments.
  • in Year 2 the children have the opportunity to learn to play the recorder.
  • in Year 3 the children have the opportunity to learn the ukulele.
  • in Year 4 are part of the Wider Opportunity Initiative. Each child learns to play the violin. They have been visited by the Royal Academy of Music who perform classical pieces for them and who will play their own compositions in a live performance.
  • Year 5 have access to classical music through the school’s links with Apollo Music Projects and are encouraged to develop their knowledge of a range of instruments and experience live classical music.

In year 5 & 6 each pupil has the opportunity to continue to develop their music skills beyond the curriculum through small group or individual lessons.

The school also accessed the Camden Music department so that children can be sign-posted to musical events/opportunities borough-wide and have access to music tutors.  The school also takes part in the bi-annual Camden Music festival at the Royal Albert Hall and music jams that happen cross-borough.

You can find out more about the National Curriculum Music Programmes of Study

Sex and Relationship Education (S.R.E.)

The aim at Carlton is to prepare the children to grow up as responsible and informed adults. The curriculum we deliver is the curriculum agreed by the local authority. There are clear lesson plans and resources that can be viewed by any parent or carer on request.

Parents and carers are invited to workshops prior to its teaching to sample the activities their children will do.

Sometimes parents/carers wish to withdraw their child from lessons – it is advisable to make an appointment to meet the head teacher to discuss this as much of the curriculum content is statutory.

Educational Visits

Educational visits are a key part of the curriculum and all classes are encouraged to take a visit termly as part of their topic. We are very fortunate to be located within easy travelling distance to many of the best museums and sights that London has to offer and so we make as much use of them as possible to enhance children’s education. All trips are linked to the units covered in class.

School Awards

letsgetcooking2011  Camden award for inclusion 3As_Gold_14-16_RGB-achievement-for-all Food for Life - BronzePrimary Science Quality Award - Silver gold-award healthy schoolsEnabling-Enterprise-School-Kitemark-logoschoolgamesbronze

“The school is very nice and the adults are very caring”

Ismail, Year 6

“There are many fun and interesting lessons”

Anika, Year 6

“Carlton is very helpful: I learnt English in less than 3 months!”

Paul, Year 6

“Carlton Primary School is a great place to achieve an excellent career and future.”

Sufi, Year 6

“Carlton is a really enjoyable school with lots of fun lessons”

Maesha, Year 6
Phone: 0207 485 1947
Fax: 0207 485 1482
Carlton Primary School
Grafton Road, London, NW5 4AX