Let Your Light Shine with Joy! (school vision)

The Shine Curriculum at our school is a concept- led primary curriculum informed by the latest evidence from cognitive science and the requirements of the Education inspection framework (Ofsted, updated 2022). The curriculum provides everything to meet the needs of our truly unique and special school.

We are a small rural Church of England school situated in the village of Haskayne in West Lancashire. We have a highly mobile pupil population of around 43 children including nursery. Owing to our curriculum offer, specialist education (flexi-schooling) and inclusive nature, we have attracted children from up to four different local authorities. The Shine Curriculum is perfect for this as it is easy to adapt for SEND, perfect for home-education, dynamic, powerful and easy to use.

Our amazing teachers lead at least three subject areas and have other whole school responsibilities too such as Special Needs Coordinator (SENDco), Mental Health Lead with Nurture Base and Phonics Leader with KS1. The Shine Curriculum at Downholland Haskayne (developed with Cornerstones Education), enables us to deliver all this successfully for our unique school and situation.

The Shine Curriculum has three structural tiers, each building on the previous layer to create a robust framework of interconnected layers.


Tier 1


(Macro concepts)

The Big Ideas are macro concepts that drive the curriculum. They provide broad categories for organizing the curriculum’s micro concepts, knowledge and skills.

These concepts are transferable across subjects in the Shine Curriculum


National Curriculum programmes of study run right through the curriculum architecture.

Tier 2 Disciplinary concepts (micro concepts) Aspects (subcategory

not concept)

Micro or disciplinary ideas derive from the Big ideas of the curriculum. These smaller and more specific ideas let us plan for deep learning in each subject.

Aspects are small sub categories of micro concepts. An example of this is map work in geography.

Tier 3 Knowledge and skills

Conceptual understanding requires content knowledge (Erikson,2017). The knowledge and skill statements set out the substance needed to develop children’s understanding of the macro and micro concepts. They also ensure comprehensive coverage

of the National Curriculum.

We live in a constantly changing and evolving world. At Downholland Haskayne CE Primary School we believe our curriculum should reflect the modern world by developing and changing both now and in the future. Our curriculum drivers of Humankind, Nature, Creativity, Significance, and Change enable us to achieve this. Humankind helps us understand what it means to be human and how human behaviour has shaped the world. Nature helps us understand the complexities of the plant and animal species that inhabit the world. Creativity understands the creative process and how every day and exceptional creativity can shape the world.

Significance helps children understand why significant people, places, events and inventions matter and how they have shaped the world. Lastly, Change helps children understand why and how things have changed.


Understanding what it means to be human and how human behaviour has shaped the world.


Understanding the many dynamic and physical processes that shape the world. Creativity

Understanding the creative process and how every day and exceptional creativity can shape the world.


Understanding the importance of investigation and how this has led to significant change in the world.


Understanding the properties of all matter, living and non-living. Nature

Understanding the complexities of the plant and animal species that inhabit the world.

Place and space

Understanding the visual, cultural, social, and environmental aspects of places around the world.


Understanding how and why things are the same or different. Significance

Understanding why significant people, places, events and inventions matter and how they have shaped the world.


Understanding why and how things have changed over time.


Our curriculum also embodies our core values (LIGHTS) love, inclusion, guidance, hope, tolerance and service and they run through all elements of its design which will run alongside fundamental British values. This happens formally and informally in the curriculum and beyond. In this way the children develop a set of excellent personal values as citizens.

Many of these values are developed day to day in Collective Worship and the curriculum as well as a programme of enrichment activities through the year such as visits from people from different faiths and cultures.

Our SMSC floor book depicts all of our events and activities from 2021 and is a joy to look through. Please ask any member of staff if you would like to flick through the pages!

Well- being

Well-being for pupils, staff, parents and the whole community is of paramount importance to our school. We believe it is the foundation from which all growth of character, resilience and then learning takes place and without a firm foundation of excellent well-being and the ability to maintain and grow in this area meaningful learning does not happen.

At Downholland Haskayne Primary School we have invested in a Nurture Base and Sensory hub for children who require both a formal long-term level of support emotionally and for any child who needs support (for example after a difficult journey to school). We have a high percentage of SEND children in our care who find these areas very useful for sensory breaks in learning where by a five-minute session in the Sensory Hub can mean learning in class can continue successfully after.

Forest School is open all year round for children to gain the benefits of learning outside the classroom and the positive mindful experiences that are involved. We also have a more structured 8-week session every summer term with Lancashire Sports Partnership who lead the way!

My Happy Mind

We have invested in a programme online called’ My Happy Mind’. My Happy Mind is an NHS backed program aimed at supporting schools to create a culture of positive mental wellbeing by equipping children with the skills and tools they need to thrive in the modern world.

My Happy Mind is taught across five modules and each introduces a new set of content and habits to help children build resilience, self-esteem and confidence:

1. Meet your brain

Understanding how your brain works and how to ensure we look after it so that we can manage our emotions and be at our best. Growth Mind-set is a key part of this too.

2. Celebrate

Understanding your unique character strengths and learning to celebrate them. This is a fantastic module for building self- esteem.

3. Appreciate

Understanding why gratitude matters and how you can develop gratitude as a habit. Gratitude is key to wellbeing and resilience and we’re all about making it a habit4

4. Relate

Understanding why positive relationships matter and how to build them. We’re focussed on the building blocks of good relationships and friendships.

5. Engage

Understanding how to set meaningful goals that matter and how to keep resilient in times of challenge. This module is all about building self-esteem and resilience too.

  • Take part in discussions in class, collective worship, school trips, with visitors
  • Make important choices for the community
  • Make positive contributions to the school community
  • Express their opinions on a range of topics and issues
  • Take part in democratic activities across the curriculum

Pupil participation is integral to our school. It is through everybody’s involvement that we have become such a wonderful place to be and learn and that we are allowed to evolve and change with time and opinions in order to develop and keep up with a rapidly changing and evolving world.

The progression framework is implemented through a series of engaging and knowledge rich projects that are organized so that curriculum content, knowledge and skills are taught in a well sequenced way that allows children to learn and do more as they progress through the curriculum. The projects include: marvelous machines, Let’s Explore, Sunshine and Flowers and Magnificent Monarchs!

Each project is delivered through a series of lessons built round the Cornerstones and Shine Curriculum Pedagogy Engage-Develop-Innovate-Express to ensure the maximum impact on children’s learning.

Each project has a knowledge organizer that sets out the core information the children need to know. This is set out in fluent, age-appropriate ways and can be used flexibly across the curriculum. The organisers are rich in vocabulary and include a project glossary.
Please look under the drop down Curriculum menu for knowledge organisers and low stakes quizzes.

All EYFS projects contain knowledge organisers called, ‘Did you know?’

Maths in the curriculum is taught through White Rose Maths(WRM) scheme, which is fully integrated with the Shine Curriculum’s framework and assessment system. The projects are sequenced term by term.

Phonics is taught through Twinkl phonics. The Twinkl Phonics whole-school systematic, synthetic phonics programme provides everything needed to help our children hit those all-important goals. This includes clear and rigorous coverage of phonic sounds, tricky words and essential skills - giving you us tools to guide them towards reading and writing fluency.

Acorn Class follow Jane Consindine’s the Write Stuff writing Approach.


We have adopted ‘The Write Stuff’ by Jane Constantine to bring clarity and consistency to the mechanics of writing and to enable our children to write effectively and coherently. Children in KS1 learn to write through the Write Stuff approach. This was developed by teacher and leading English consultant, Jane Considine. It is a fun, creative and rigorous approach to develop children’s writing. This approach allows children to apply basic skills, vocabulary and grammar knowledge to write effective sentences, which are full of impact and keep the reader interested.

In The Write Stuff approach to writing, the children explore high level, rich vocabulary and are taught grammar in context through different writing lenses on the Writing Rainbow. There are three lenses used to support children with their writing:
Fantastics – ideas for writing Grammaristics – tools for writing.

Boomtastics – writing techniques

The Write Stuff is based on two guiding principles; teaching sequences that slide between experience days and sentence stacking lessons.

As part of the teaching sequence, teachers plan experience days; sentence stacking lessons and independent writing sequences. Experience days immerse children in experiences linked to their writing and drench them in vocabulary linked to the lenses in ‘The Writing Rainbow’. From the experience days, children take part in the sentence stacking lessons. Sentence stacking lessons focus on writing three sentences with focuses on lenses of the rainbow.

‘The Write Stuff’ follows a method called ‘Sentence Stacking’ which refers to the fact that sentences are stacked together and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing.

An individual lesson is based on one plot point from the text, broken in to three learning chunks:

  1. Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence.
  2. Model section – the teacher models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques.
  3. Enable section – the children write their sentence, following the teacher’s model.
  4. This part of the unit is heavily scaffolded with lots of teacher input and modelling of vocabulary use, sentence construction and use of grammar with reference to the 3 writing lenses.

During the initiate section children ‘chot’ (chat and jot) down their ideas from stimulating resources, such as pictures, music and drama. The children are encouraged to use ‘kind calling out’ where they call out examples of vocabulary, adverbs, onomatopoeia etc.

During the Model section the teacher prepares children for writing by modelling the ideas, grammar and techniques of writing taken from the writing rainbow.

In the Enable section pupils write their own sentences, taking the opportunity to deepen the moment. ‘Deepen the Moment’ is where children are challenged to
independently draw upon previously learnt skills and apply them to their writing during that chunk.

Following the sentence stacking, children are given the opportunity to show what they have learnt by planning and writing their own independent piece of writing. After they have written their independent piece, their work is marked by the class teacher who identifies different aspects of their written piece to be edited. There are 3 elements to the editing;

E1 Edit: The Revise
Edit Type 1: These are often ‘little’ adjustments or changes and tend to fall into one of these categories; Spellings Missing words or Punctuation

E2 Edit: The Rewrite
Edit Type 2: Children are asked to re-write a sentence if it doesn’t make sense, could be restructured or generally improved.

E3 Edit: The Reimagine
Edit Type 3: This is when a writer wants to add more sentences to develop an idea further. For this the children are shown how to use ‘editing flaps’.

Editing flaps are extra pieces of paper that stick onto their writing and show the additional sentences added into their work.

The Write Stuff provides a balance of narrative, non-fiction and poetry writing throughout each term.


Having followed the Write Stuff approach to developing their writing skills children should be able to

  • write for a range of purposes including diary entries, persuasive letters, stories, poems and recounts to name but a few.
  • use their vast knowledge of vocabulary to excite, inform or entertain the reader.
  • understand a range of punctuation and the effect it can have on the reader in both writing and reading.
  • understand and be able to use a range of grammatical devices.
  • understand the various sentence types that can be used to support different genres.
  • spell accurately using their phonetic knowledge and apply spelling rules.
  • to speak clearly, fluently and coherently, to be able to listen attentively with understanding, pleasure and empathy and contribute to group discussions

KS2 The Literacy Shed

As the children progress to KS2, armed with the skills from the Jane Considine approach, we feel they are ready to become more independent and
creative writers. The children are ready to develop further their writing techniques and abilities and to do this we are assisted in our teaching by ‘The Literacy Shed.’ The Literacy Shed is the home of visual literacy with video clips to enhance or start writing activities for every genre imaginable to hook the interest of pupils immediately. The children are taught the skills of the writer necessary for KS2 and beyond in a fun and engaging way.

Testing and low-stakes quizzes

Most of the Shine Curriculum projects have a question and answer sheet or low stakes quiz to help assess children’s learning. These are used at the beginning, end or at different points of the year for knowledge gathering or retrieval practice.

Assessment and monitoring

The Shine Curriculum is fully integrated with a comprehensive assessment system enabling us to assess children’s learning in all subject areas, including maths and English. With the dynamic assessment of class, group and individual progress, the assessment system provides us with immediate gaps in learning, it ensures we are challenging children appropriately in all areas and that children are progressing overall.

Year 1 phonics screening check

The check will take place in June when children will read 40 words out loud to a teacher. If a child does not do well enough in the check they will have an opportunity to re-sit the test in Year 2.

Key stage 1 National Curriculum tests

Key stage 1 tests cover:

  • English reading
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • Mathematics

Children will take the tests in May. Parents/carers can ask the school for the test results. Parents/carers will be sent the results of teacher assessments automatically.

Key stage 2

Multiplication Tables Check

The multiplication tables check (MTC) is statutory for all year 4 pupils. The purpose of the test is to determine whether pupils can recall their times tables fluently, which is essential for future success in mathematics. The test is administered during a set week in June and is carried out on a laptop or Ipad.

Key Stage 2 National Curriculum tests

Children will take national tests in May when they reach the end of key stage 2. These test children’s skills in:

  • English reading
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling
  • Mathematics