Primary Semi-Formal and Formal Curriculum Overview

The Grove Primary Curriculum provides a broad and balanced curriculum, underpinned by an in depth knowledge of each individual student, and how they learn.

The Primary Curriculum is organised into 4 Pathways:

  • The Semi-Formal Pathway 1
  • The Semi-Formal Pathway 2
  • Formal Curriculum Pathway 3
  • Formal Curriculum Pathway 4

Students follow whichever Pathway is appropriate for their need and level of attainment. Pathways 1 to 3 are topic based and delivered in a three year cycle, termly topics within each Pathway have a similar overarching theme that allows some students to work flexibly between two Pathways. (See: Primary Curriculum Map – Pathways 1, 2 and 3).

The three year cycle provides students with the opportunity to move smoothly from one Pathway to the next, consolidate and enrich skills learnt within each topic and build and extend knowledge and skills within each theme.

Topics have been adapted from the Equals and International Primary Curriculum (IPC). IPC is effective in enabling students to apply skills and knowledge acquired in English, Maths, Science and other curriculum areas in a purposeful and concrete way. We have linked all topic areas to the key skills students should learn in History, Geography, Science, DT and Art.

Students working at age related expectations follow the Pathway 4 Formal Curriculum, which has been adapted from the International Primary Curriculum. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the students in our school. The aim of our Pathway 4 curriculum is for students to have the requisite skills to be successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for their next stage of education. (See: Pathway 4 Formal Primary Curriculum Map)

At the Grove school Play takes a central part in our Curriculum, we see Play as being fundamental to the development of both the student and the adult that the student will become. Play is an essential part of learning, so we provide our students with a safe and secure environment, to explore and engage in Play and Leisure skills. These skills are delivered through our Semi-Formal Curriculum, which has been adapted from Equals, Play and Leisure SoW.

Our Life Skills Curriculum is not linear learning, rather, it is a broad framework in which each students works from. Our Life Skills Curriculum includes an abundant of opportunities to develop life skills through the experience of daily activities both in school and off site. There is a key focus to each topic or area taught that incorporates life skills across the day in addition to discrete sessions. The adapted AET progression framework provides an all-encompassing framework for each area of learning, alongside this framework, Equals SoW, My Independence has been adapted to compliment the AET Framework.

Thinking and Problem Solving is fundamental for our students, at The Grove we see the development of Thinking and Problem Solving not as an isolated scheme of work that should be taught discretely, but in everything we do and therefore everything we do should be regarded as an opportunity for thinking and problem solving. Our Semi Formal curriculum which has been adapted from Equals, My Thinking and Problem Solving SoW, is a holistic approach to learning, with a a 5 tiered approach:

  • TIER 1 : Memory building
  • TIER 2 : Sabotage!! Recognition of a problem
  • TIER 3 : Independent solutions
  • TIER 4 : Generalisation
  • TIER 5 : Self-belief and confidence
Cycle 1: Primary Semi-Informal Curriculum Semi-Formal Curriculum Formal Curriculum
Autumn Term All about me
3 to 5
Who am I?
All about ourselves
5 to 7
Living together
5 to 7
Spring Term Plants and animals
Living things
Live and let live


The nature of life


Summer Term Where is?
[Barnaby Bear]
Let’s go on holiday
From A to B



Cycle 2: Primary Semi-Informal Curriculum Semi-Formal Curriculum Formal Curriculum
Autumn Term What’s it made of?
(Grouping & classifying
Materials world
(Grouping & classifying
Making new materials
Spring Term Food We are what we eat What’s on the menu?
Summer Term Looking after things Recycling – The lorax Our planet


Cycle 3: Primary Semi-Informal Curriculum Semi – Formal Curriculum Formal Curriculum
Autumn Term My play My play and leisure Games from around the world
Spring Term Nursery rhymes and stories Let’s pretend
The stories people tell
(Myths and legends)
Summer Term My senses Sensational
(The senses)
How humans work


Formal National Curriculum Overview for KS2

  Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Cycle 1 Chocolate



Bright Sparks Fashion Scavengers & settlers Material world Active planet
Cycle 2 Inventions that changed the world Land,
sea & sky
The Tower of London Living together How humans work Saving
the world
Cycle 3 Invaders, settlers & survivors History AD900 Space explorers They see the world like this Making new materials The holiday show
Cycle 4 Out of Africa The great, The bold and the brave Being human (The human body) Fascinating forces Full power Bake it