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The Short Wood Approach

"The curriculum is highly effective in broadening pupils’ learning experiences and giving them many opportunities to learn in a range of different settings and subjects."

Ofsted, 2019


The Short Wood Approach


Our curriculum is underpinned by a number of key aspects:

  • language and vocabulary development
  • learning beyond the classroom
  • widening horizons
  • community and belonging




  • Short Wood’s curriculum is broad, balanced, creative and inclusive;
  • our curriculum has been carefully researched and consciously designed with our Short Woodies in mind, ensuring language and vocabulary is at the heart of an authentically diverse curriculum;
  • all planning encompasses the expectations of the National Curriculum, and the knowledge that children need to learn each year in order to ensure that they can build on it over time has been carefully mapped out and deliberately placed;
  • beyond the National Curriculum, we embed strategies to nurture the emotional health and well-being needs of our pupils across our curriculum too; in order to learn and achieve our potential we recognise that our pupils, and our whole team, need to be able to self-regulate, understand their own ups and downs and have strategies to support both themselves and each other;
  • each topic has an overarching theme to engage and inspire our pupils: we want them to be inquisitive, to learn how to learn, and to know how to discover more;
  • knowing more and remembering more will enable Short Woodies to ask questions about the world, to have a voice they feel confident to use and to become positive members of the community whilst having fun along the way.




  • we are committed to building children’s knowledge of vocabulary and oracy: this lies at the heart of our curriculum and is inherent in everything we do at Short Wood;
  • Short Wood embraces the principles of restorative practice: warm, genuine, respectful relationships are key, modelled by all adults at all times, thus allowing children to know and understand the importance of humanity, humility and connection; 
  • our curriculum is a consciously designed balance of explicitly taught knowledge: the knowledge of what and how within each specific subject; the knowledge of a wide range of strategies for learning; the knowledge of vocabulary and its importance in articulating yourself; the knowledge of Short Wood’s underpinning values of Choose Respect, Celebrate Diversity and Embrace Challenge, and of how to become an active citizen in modern-day Britain;
  • our curriculum has been carefully crafted in order to allow all Short Woodies to construct webs of knowledge which grow and develop over time: we have ensured that there are meaningful links both within and across subject areas, and within and across year groups and phases;
  • all Short Woodies are frequently encouraged to recall, revisit and consolidate knowledge, in a variety of ways and a variety of contexts, ensuring that, over time, children are able to know more and remember more;
  • we ensure that all children have regular opportunities to engage with learning activities beyond the classroom, from weekly outdoor learning sessions on-site, to adventures in the natural world with Arthog, to termly trips and visits, all of which make learning at Short Wood a more memorable experience.




  • all Short Woodies will leave us as informed and knowledgeable young people who are able to make links and connections between the wide-ranging aspects of their learning;
  • all Short Woodies will learn how to critically appraise knowledge and to ask big questions which allow them to both challenge and stretch their own learning;
  • all Short Woodies will become confident and articulate orators who are able to engage in respectful discussion and debate;
  • all Short Woodies will understand the importance of speaking up and speaking out;
  • all Short Woodies will value and respect both themselves and others, and understand the importance of collaborative working.


Overall School: 93.4%