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The Poplars Curriculum-vision and intent

School motto: Together we aspire, learn and GROW

Curriculum vision

At Poplars Farm, we work together to create a happy, safe and welcoming environment where our pupils feel valued and are motivated to learn together. They are at the heart of everything we do, every decision we make. By maintaining high expectations of ourselves and each other, our pupils will be equipped to embrace opportunities and challenges with resilience and strong determination. We encourage a curiosity about the world and bring together the school, national, and global contexts through our biggest ideas. We aim to develop future global citizens who are ready to positively contribute to a better and more peaceful world.

Poplars Farm is an inclusive school, intent on ensuring that all pupils reach their potential within a culture of positivity and success. We tell our pupils to aim high. We value them as individuals, celebrating individuality and creativity, and preparing them with the skills, self-belief and confidence to aspire and succeed. We make it our mission to support pupils with their wellbeing and mental health needs by providing them with emotional support, be it bespoke sessions or class based. Where pupils are experiencing challenges and barriers, we pride ourselves in the way that we think ‘outside of the box’, embracing different approaches and looking to new opportunities to ensure high-quality learning for all.  We ensure the curriculum is based on consistent, child-centred, quality teaching and learning throughout the school. All learning is underpinned by our own values system, GROW (giving, responsible, open-minded and welcoming).

Academic achievement is only part of the vision for Poplars Farm. We provide many opportunities for pupils to excel in the non-academic such as the expressive and visual arts, and develop their speaking and listening skills.International and national school partnerships provide a wide audience and a real context to share these achievements. 

The school prides itself on having created The Poplars Curriculum which is characterised by its varied, creative and challenging curriculum- based on real, inquiry-based learning.


The Poplars Curriculum centres on achievement and enjoyment. It is built on research- evidenced, strong pedagogical principles, with every child guided to meet and achieve their potential. The curriculum consists of The National Curriculum (2014) and the Early Years Framework (2021) as starting points, and the wider curriculum, whilst embedding a local and global aspect. We ensure the children have a range of quality learning experiences that challenge, enthuse and promote thinking, learning and reflection. 

The Polars Curriculum is over-arched by our four biggest ideas:

  • Face, spaces and places
  • One planet to share, care for and make fairer
  • Discoveries and making sense of the world
  • Express to impress, create to communicate.

We believe that these ideas represent the essence of what builds a quality, meaningful and current curriculum and one which will lead to the acquisition of deep knowledge.


The breadth of curriculum content allows pupils to explore through an inquiry based curriculum where there are no limits to learning and there is a clear development of knowledge and skills. pupils help to decide upon what they will find out about and formulate their own questions. The curriculum starts with the learner. 

The curriculum is based on good quality resources. English is taught through quality whole class texts, usually linked to the current topic for immersion. Maths is taught through the White Rose scheme. We use Little Wandle as a basis for phonics teaching. The rest of the curriculum is our own Poplars Curriculum, where inquiry-based learning features highly and every half-term and lesson are built around a key question (some of which we developed over time, from Focus Education).  Each subject area has a subject intent with clear progression of knowledge and skills documented (on the school website), an annual action plan which outlines development opportunities and links directly to the school development plan. Curriculum Year group newsletters (using SWAY with lots of additional links to support learning at home) are sent out in the first week of a new topic. These apply to separate year groups and content/expectations may differ slightly.

Our pupils are given learning experiences based on real life and physical experiences that may otherwise not be available to them- be that in the classroom, virtually using technology, working collaboratively with national and international partners or through school visits.  We make it our aim to discover what children are good at and use this to promote a positive attitude to learning. The ethnic and social diversity of our school population is reflected in the curriculum we offer. It is broad and balanced, with opportunities for pupils to celebrate, share, and learn about their own cultural beliefs and those of others. Mixed attaining groups should be considered as a preferred option in all subjects, across school.

The Poplars Curriculum provides all pupils with multiple opportunities to practise, apply and embed the basic skills of reading, writing, maths, oracy (through dialogic teaching) and the digital, as well as developing the GROW and deep learning skills (referred to as global competencies). The thread of each one of our biggest ideas runs through each topic, in each year group to enable our pupils to make links leading to deep knowledge.

The whole school community is passionate about preparing our pupils to become successful adults in an ever-changing, technologically advanced world. To prepare our pupils for the future, they need to be able to do more than memorise facts and figures, they need to develop transferable skills and competencies. After all, the jobs that they may take in the future, may not exist today!  Pupils need to create, connect, and use information in a variety of creative ways. 

This is why we are the first school in England to be part of the global network for New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL). New Pedagogies for Deep Learning is a global initiative launched by Canadian Michael Fullan, a leading authority on education reform. We are one of thousands of schools worldwide sharing best practice in how to prepare and equip our students for the future. NPDL is based on the development of the 6Cs: 

Citizenship is a skill that allows our young people to connect with people with diverse world views and perspectives diplomatically. People who master this skill are engaged members of society who contribute to improving our world for the benefit of all.

Character is one of the more apparent skills that our pupils will need throughout their whole life. This skill describes how your child interacts with others in the world and produces important traits like perseverance, resilience, humility and kindness.

Communication is an essential skill that helps young people interact with others, express their thoughts, feelings and ideas. This skill also allows our pupils  to understand others and involves using a variety of tools and mediums to connect with the right audience.

Critical thinking is the ability to thoughtfully evaluate information and arguments by seeing patterns and making connections. This skill is becoming more and more important as information becomes easier to access and will help our pupils apply information and knowledge in the real world.

Collaboration is a skill that allows pupils to work well with others. A successful collaborator knows how to offer their unique talents and abilities while accepting,  valuing and building upon the strengths that others bring to the table.

Creativity is such a valuable skill.. It allows our young people to take an idea and turn it into a reality. This skill is developed when we encourage pupils  to “think outside the box,” be resourceful, and take risks to come up with innovative ideas and solutions to problems.

The Deep Learning toolkit will ensure that this development of the 6Cs is assessed by staff and pupils alike.


Outcomes of tweb arthe curriculum will ensure that pupils are well rounded and positive pupils, ready to move onto secondary education. They will be equipped with the foundations and skills to achieve success in future education and in life. Pupils will have an understanding of what they are good at and will have developed skills to face life’s challenges when they arise.

The impact of the curriculum is monitored though: feedback and questioning during lessons, pupil learning process reviews, topic celebration events (such as an exhibition organised by the pupils, lending itself to an assessment and reflection opportunity), triangulation of outcomes: pupil voice, test/data outcomes, planning, monitoring of books, floor books (which are used to present evidence of the Biggest Ideas GROW events, as well as deep learning) and displays, lesson learning walks, discussions with teaching staff, pupils and parents.We also encourage feedback and evaluations from pupils’ work during international partnership collaborations.

 The video below is an example of the impact of the Poplars Curriculum. It shows how quality writing stems from pupils' genuine interest and motivation. Real world tasks provide this. It shows the high profile of oracy and language learning. It shows by giving our pupils a platform (in this caes hundreds of educators involved in the global network for deep learning and to schools from across the MENA region) leads to pupils feeling valued...listened to, leading to even more motivation. It leads to increased confidence and self belief and fosters a sense of pride in our school and a sense of working in partnership. It leads to our pupils being informed, prepared and equiped to face the future. Children matter...

Children Matter.mp4
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