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Our Curriculum

The Bluebell Federation, formed of Horsted Infant and Junior School and Swingate Primary School, are committed to working collaboratively in order to achieve the best for our children. We communicate regularly within and between schools with a determined focus on our mission and values in order to promote a love of life-long learning. We are never complacent in driving forward our educational values and our curriculum will always be flexible and adaptable so that it can keep pace with the ever-changing world. Our shared mission and values underpin our curriculum offer that is shaped by a range of different learning experiences that we recognise are not limited to the experiences within a classroom but extend beyond this.

Our curriculum is formed from a number of different experiences.

  • Children will learn primarily through a range of different lessons in classrooms be they discrete learning experiences or continual/blended experiences with a driving question.
  • They will have access to a range of different assemblies that will develop their understanding of our schools’ character values, the world and cultural events.
  • Playtimes and lunchtimes will form key times for the children to engage in social and less structured physical activity.
  • Children will have special theme days and will engage with significant events in British history.
  • There will be access to a range of different clubs/trips to supplement learning and provide a range of life experiences.
  • Homework will focus on basic skills.
  • After school provision will promote physical and emotional excellence.

Our Intent:  The Bluebell Way

At the Bluebell Federation, we want the best for our children and everything is driven by our shared mission statement:

We all flourish from a wealth of learning experiences that positively impact on academic, physical and emotional success.

Academic Success

Academic success is important for our children who will grow up into a world of increasing technological demands and a diversifying workforce. Academic success boosts self-esteem and impacts positively on behaviours and social interactions within peer groups and with others. Children who are successful academically are more likely to be well-rounded and self-sufficient individuals and will have a wider range of opportunities during their life.

We ensure that children will be academically successful by taking account of an individual’s starting point and helping them to make excellent progress through our curriculum offer. We acknowledge that academic success will look different for every child and will celebrate all progress in order to develop intrinsic self-motivation; to do well for the sake of wanting to do well. We will be driven by our understanding to make choices that will only benefit the children’s academic success.

Physical Success

Physical success is important so that children are able to grow up to be healthy citizens who can make good choices about their lifestyle. Being physically successful helps your brain to work better allowing you to think more clearly, boosts your memory and enhances your concentration and focus. Being physically successful is also important because it has a positive impact on mental health, improving your ability to do everyday activities and adapt and overcome problems or difficulties.

We ensure that children are physically successful through

  • PE lessons
  • Secondary School PE links
  • Sports clubs
  • Sports leaders at break
  • Play/lunch sessions
  • A range of other activities
  • Being physically proactive in a lesson
  • Being ready to learn

Emotional Success

Emotional success is important because it is a key aspect of having a healthy lifestyle. Being self-aware is an important part of being able to work with others successfully and helps us to form meaningful relationships based on an understanding of give and take. Nourishing our social relationships can lead to more success and happiness. Emotional intelligence can help to improve communication and problem solving. It helps to develop empathetic individuals who are able to build relationships based on mutual trust.

We ensure that children are emotionally successful by

  • Well established RSHE curriculum
  • Promoting the understanding of how an individual can allow themselves and others to flourish
  • Encouraging independent and collaborative relationships
  • Appreciating diversity
  • Maintaining high expectations of behaviour and manners
  • Teaching children how to listen to others and respect their viewpoints


How we judge the success of our curriculum

We define academic success as:

  • Children achieving excellent progress from their starting points
  • Children with positive attitudes towards learning
  • Children who are driven and motivated to do well
  • Having the ability to transfer and apply skills and knowledge between disciplines

We define physical success as:

  • Everyone is ready to participate in learning
  • Having the knowledge to make informed choices about healthy diet
  • Being able to participate in a healthy lifestyle
  • Being aware of the barriers to a healthy lifestyle and knowing how to overcome them.

We define emotional success as:

  • Recognition and appreciation of diversity
  • Supporting themselves and others to flourish
  • Becoming independently and collaborative learners
  • Having resilience in the face of adversity

In January 2024, the school achieved the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) Computing Quality mark which recognises the excellent education provision at our school.  The NCCE were delighted that staff and students at our school value computing education and work so hard to deliver that education.  

The Computing Quality Framework is designed to be easy-to-use, but it is also rigorous, and the team at Swingate Primary School can be justifiably proud of our achievement.   

Computing and digital skills are increasingly valuable in opening up opportunities for young people, and we're pleased to see and be recognised for our aim of making a world-class computing education a reality for increasing numbers of young people.

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How we implement our curriculum:

Learning is not just about gathering information; it is about developing understanding.  In order to build on prior knowledge, the Bluebell Federation have created personalised building blocks throughout the wider curriculum called concepts

Concepts take the abstract constructs of learning and help to make them concrete; revealing more over time.  Concepts help contextualise thinking by systematically developing understanding.  Each school in the federation has designed their own concepts to take account of their school context in order to maximise learning.  Concepts then successfully increase the greater likelihood of securing long-term memory.

Concepts allow us to build on prior knowledge clearly and with intent.  This is achieved by breaking down a concept into sub-concepts for each year group.  For example, in history at Swingate the concepts taught from EYFS to Year 6 are:  chronology, power, equality and technology.  An example of the sub-concepts can be seen below which break the concept up to ensure progression over time.  This in turn allows for ‘sticky knowledge’ to take place. 

Progression in Concepts​






I understand what rules are and why we have them.

I understand that everyone is different.

I know how to use a range of simple technological devices. 

I can use words like first, next, then and last. 

Year 1​

I understand what power is.

I understand what equality means. 

I understand what technology is. 

I understand what past and present is. 

Year 2​

I understand that some people have more power than others. 

I understand that some groups historically have not been seen as equal. 

I understand how technology can solve problems. 

I understand that people and places change over time. 

Year 3​

I understand that different people can have power in different ways. (Leadership)

I understand that different groups believe in different levels of equality. (Comparison to modern) 

I understand that technological advances can be in different forms. (i.e. technology, structural etc. 

I understand that events are grouped into time periods. (ie AD, BC, millennium) 

Year 4​

I understand that groups can dominate another. 

I understand that some people were seen as unequal by birth historically. 

I understand that technology can change over time. 

I understand that time periods can be sequenced and happened in a particular order. 

Year 5​

I understand that religion can be used to justify power. 

I understand that groups that have been viewed as unequal have been subject to genocides on a state level. 

I understand that technology can give groups a distinct advantage over others. (radar, guns against Mayans)

I understand that events link to each other and that past events impact on what is happens next. 

Year 6​

I understand that various different forms of powers can conflict, resulting in wide scale upheaval. 

I understand that historical inequalities can have an impact on people living today. 

I understand that technology has changed how people live today, socially and physically.  

I can compare events that happened at different periods of time and consider how they have led to the modern world.

For concepts to be successfully taught, careful composites are planned for.  Composites are our learning areas concepts are taught through.  An example of how composites are planned for sequentially from Year R - 6 with concepts running through can be seen in the example below:

In order for composites to achieve our intent, we have clear components which are the skill and knowledge area we want our children to learn and understand. 

Year Group

Composite 1

Composite 2

Composite 3





Year R

Celebrations, Dinosaurs and Changes














Year 1

What is History?



Year 2

Great Fire of London


Fight for your rights

Year 3

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Greece

Roman Empire

Year 4

Stone, Bronze and Iron Age

Vikings and Anglo-Saxons


Year 5



Shang Dynasty

Year 6



Local Area

We have 3 clear components that are required to be planned for (in child language):

  1. I can (skill)
  2. I know (knowledge)
  3. I use (wider and composite specific language)

In the example below, it shows an excerpt of 1 composite for Year 3 history (Egyptians).  The general vocabulary for Year 3 (I use) can be seen on the bottom left.  The composite specific vocabulary (I use) can be seen running along each composite.  The skills (I can) required for the subject are on the top left.  The knowledge (I know) required for each composite can be seen running along each composite. 

Year 3 skills (I can)

I understand…

I can use a wide range of historical terminology.

I can use words and phrases relating to the passing of time.

I can present what I have learnt in different ways. 

I can use sources of information to find out about the past.

I can use sources of information to answer questions about the past.

I can ask a question about a text I have read and use this to draw my own conclusions.

I know that a century is a hundred years and that Ancient Egyptian time was about 3000 years ago.

I know that there were different groups of people in Ancient Egypt and they all had their place in a hierarchy.

I know that the Pharaohs were the most powerful as they were considered close to God.

I know that Pharaohs collected taxes, made rules and ordered wars.

I know that every ancient Egyptian went through the death process but this was slightly different depending on their place in the hierarchy.

I know that Ancient Egyptians believed in many Gods.

I know that the River Nile was used for trade, water and to grow crops.

I know that the pyramids were used to hold the tombs of Pharaohs after their death.

Ancient Egypt

How do you know that Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs were powerful members of society?

Lesson 1

I understand when the Egyptian civilisation took place and where Egypt is located in the world.

Knowledge: Children know that the Ancient Egyptian period began 3100BC-30BC. It lasted over 3000 years. BC means before Christ was born. Children know that a timeline shows when events have happened. A century is 100 years. Children know that Egypt is a country in Africa.

Skills: Children can use words and phrases relating to the passing of time. Children can use a wide range of historical terminology. Children can use sources of information to find out about the past.

Using an atlas, children will find Egypt on the map. Children to explain events in relation to time periods using the vocabulary below. Create a class human timeline counting in centuries from where Jesus Christ was born.  In pairs, children to order events that happened in the Ancient Civilisation in chronological order.

Assessment: Children are able to order events chronologically. Children are able to explain that a century is 100 years. Children are able to find Egypt on a map.

Vocabulary: Century, BC, years, months, days, weeks, continent, country


For some composites there is an overarching/key question.  The question will therefore influence, direct and specify the learning journey throughout the composite.  For example, a key question for the composite ‘WWI’ is ‘in what ways has WWI impacted on the modern world.’  The teachers and children are able to assess their own learning by being able to answer the question with depth; demonstrating knowledge and skills. 

We do not use phrases such as, ‘we are doing the Greeks.’  This phraseology is based on teaching a ‘topic’ as opposed to ensuring conceptual understanding is built on yearly.  

We believe in the phrase:  Dig deeper, linger longer

Our concepts, composites and components are designed to achieve our mission (the Bluebell Way) through our federation values and our character value traits; all of which are intrinsically embedded throughout the curriculum. 


As the main class practitioner, teachers are best placed to know their children’s attainment and progress. Children are regularly assessed at both Horsted and Swingate as part of normal practice. In every lesson, teachers make snapshot assessments of the work and learning that the children are completing which is used to inform the direction of lessons both in the short and the long term. Regular feedback is given to children so that they are able to build on previous learning and address any errors or misconceptions from previous learning.

As an aid to teacher judgement, Swingate and Horsted both use tests to assess progress in reading, maths and grammar, punctuation and spelling; these are formed from a combination of low-stakes testing and end of term assessments. Writing is assessed three times yearly using an assessment tool to support judgements from a range of pieces of writing which cover many genres. Moderations happen both within and between the schools in the Federation.  

Swingate - For the majority of foundation subjects, teachers can assess if children achieved the 3 components of lesson through formative assessment.  At the end of a composite, teachers are able to assess if children are able to answer the key question posed for the composite.  Teachers will assess each child at the end of composite as being working towards