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Water Mill

Primary School

Anything is possible

Curriculum Overview Introduction

What does your child learn at school each day? Find information about our curriculum subjects here.


Water Mill Curriculum Area


Welcome to our Curriculum Area. We are really excited to be sharing our updated curriculum with you!


Using a cross curricular, thematic approach, we have updated our programmes of study to reflect the content and challenge of our curriculum. Each theme overview breaks down the skills, concepts and knowledge taught as well as some exciting activities that the children can immerse themselves in. Teachers have received training in the key areas of curriculum change and we are ready to provide outstanding curriculum provision.


The curriculum will be taught with the consideration of the needs of all learners. Our curriculum is engaging, exciting and will inspire children to nurture a passion for life long learning. Our curriculum is accessible for all learners. We believe in the importance of providing an inclusive learning environment for all pupils, including those with special educational needs (SEND). Equal access if given to all and where support is needed it is catered for. Additional information on this can be found in our Special Educational Needs Strategy Statement and our Equalities Policy.


Our Vision, Values and Owl-standing skills underpin all teaching and learning.


Our Curriculum Intent - Learning the Water Mill Way


Our curriculum sparks creativity in our children: Our curriculum is exciting, fun, creative and provides a wealth of experiences that fuel a thirst for learning. We focus on the learning of skills and knowledge taught through challenging experiences both in and out of school. 

Our curriculum embodies our vision of all children being prepared for their future lives: We want our children to be proud of themselves and their achievements, learning to speak positively about themselves and their peers and share their skills with others. We want them to have a clear understanding of how to improve their learning, what helps them to do well and to feel able to approach challenges with confidence, knowing that mistakes are part of their learning and should be celebrated as a way to get closer to reaching a solution.  

Our curriculum is underpinned by clear development of knowledge and skills:  There is clear progression, where skills and knowledge grow over time and are revisited in subsequent years to ensure they are embedded. We know our children learn best through an active curriculum, where they learn through talk. We encourage talk as a means of developing new learning through all activities. Early reading follows the ‘Big Cat’ reading scheme and when children become more confident readers they have access to a wide variety of age appropriate reading materials. Phonic skills are taught through the ‘Little Wandle’ phonics scheme and ‘Big Cat’ readers.These successfully help the children to read and write new words. Reading for pleasure is encouraged and modelled by staff.

Our curriculum is broad and balanced: We have carefully planned it to cover the National Curriculum and learning that meets the needs of our pupils. Where valuable connections can be made, cross curricular links are used. However, we recognise that these work best when they are not forced and therefore we know that they will not be used all of the time.   

Our curriculum reflects the wonderful diversity of our school: We are proud of the diversity that exists within our school and we use this to develop the knowledge of and respect for the culture and beliefs of others. We celebrate the festivals of our pupils and have visits from members of different faith groups. Through e-twinning we link with schools from all over the world. 

Our curriculum has space to develop: We purposefully leave space to ensure that depth can be given to the children’s learning where their interests are piqued within a subject or topic: We ask the children what they would like to learn more about within their learning. This allows us to find opportunities for application of new skills learnt, for some of the learning to be child led and for depth.  

Our curriculum involves the whole community: There is time built into teachers’ planning for pupil and parent voice so that they are part of the learning journey. Parents and members of the local community are invited in to share their skills, so that they can be involved in the teaching of our curriculum wherever possible, offering real life experience to bring context to what we are learning. We have close links with other schools; taking part in joint projects and events. We have close links with the University of Birmingham; taking part in research projects, visits and initial teacher training. 
Our curriculum gives our children skills for learning: Our curriculum allows children to discover who they are as learners, what they personally need to be able to do to learn effectively and to have a selection of different strategies that they know they can dip in and out of when faced with new learning and challenges.  
Our curriculum has cultural capital:  We celebrate and embrace the different backgrounds, heritage, language and traditions of all the children in our school. We offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities, as a way to offer different opportunities to those offered in the classroom. We also include day and residential visits and focussed weeks and days to ensure that our children develop skills and knowledge through exciting, meaningful activities. Our values and British values underpin everything that we do. 
We believe that our curriculum will ensure that our children are proud of their achievements and are prepared and positive about the future because, no matter what they face, they will know that:  ‘Anything is Possible’.


Click on the links below to see a brief outline of what is covered in each Key Stage over the course of the year.

Curriculum by Class

(Theme titles)

Reception Themes

Why am I unique?Why do we celebrate?What Changes?
What comes out of an egg? What makes our world wonderful?Would you like to be beside the seaside?

Year 1 Themes

What is Good for me?What's a Gruffalo?Do you want to play?
What is 'Old Joe'?Who climbed the beanstalk?Are you an animal?

Year 2 Themes

Where's home?

Where does chocolate come from?Time for a voyage?
Where do you come from?Who lives in the enchanted forest?Are you afraid of the water?

Year 3 Themes

Do you want to be a caveman?Can you feel the force and do you know our city?
Back to nature?Live to tell the tale?

Year 4 Themes

What did the Romans do for us?What happened to the Mayans?
What's that sound?How did you travel here?

Year 5 Themes

Who came next?Is anybody out there?
How does it work?How did we get to where we are today?

Year 6 Themes

Who are we and where do we come from?Which discoveries changed the world?
How do we look after ourselves?What was the Shang Dynasty?


Full details about what is covered in each subject in each of the above themes can be found in the class home page under the 'Children' tab.


At Water Mill we use a variety of different books, including some from different published schemes, to develop children’s reading skills. Reading takes place daily, sometimes in small groups and at other times as a whole class.


We use the recently introduced Little Wandle scheme to teach phonics and Big Cats reading scheme for early reading.

More information about our curriculum and about our school can be found in our prospectus.


Contact Us

Water Mill Primary School Water Mill Close, Selly Oak, Birmingham, B29 6TS
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