North Hinksey CE School

North Hinksey CE Primary School


To find out more about our curriculum in detail explore our curriculum pages. 

To find out about current topics and class information visit phase pages


Explore, Explain, Extrapolate

To provide a high quality, holistic education, enabling everyone to flourish and achieve through developing their intellectual, spiritual, physical and emotional wellbeing.


  • Create a safe, enjoyable and nurturing learning environment
  • Provide outstanding pastoral care for everyone
  • Value, encourage and equip every member of the school team in their respective roles
  • Create a culture of high expectations through all areas of school life
  • Create a motivating learning environment through inspirational teaching
  • Support all children to engage fully in their own learning and promote a love of learning
  • Encourage each child to develop self-confidence and practice care and respect for others
  • Welcome difference and celebrate all that we can learn from each other


Recognising its historic foundation, the school will preserve and develop its religious character in accordance with the principles of the Church of England and in partnership with the Church at parish and diocesan levels.

The school aims to serve its community by providing an education of the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice.  It encourages an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith, and promotes Christian values through the experience it offers to all its pupils.

Curriculum statement

At North Hinksey we want the children to flourish and achieve through our enquiry-based Curriculum (EBC). Our model is based on a constructivist approach which has a strong focus on children asking questions, working together, selecting and interpreting sources, on collecting information, and on interpreting and analysing what is found.

What is an enquiry-based curriculum ?

Our Enquiry-led curriculum provides children with key questions that are too big to answer in one go, but not so conceptually large that our children do not understand. The purpose is to guide children through a scaffolded process, answering a big question by producing something, such as a piece of writing, performance or animation at the end in the form of a challenge.

Enquiry based pict

What are core principles of Enquiry-Based learning?

Cognitive development, emotional literacy and language levels underpin the approach of learning at North Hinksey. With strong links to mastery-led learning principles (Bloom’s Taxonomy) we recognise children's awareness of the world develops as they mature and that this has a significant impact on their ability to learn.

Initially, we believe in anchoring all aspects of learning to reinforce personal identity and the present day, essential in creating self-aware individuals. As they develop we will strive to help them connect to the immediate environment/ community/ country until they are able conceptualise abstract themes such as tolerance or culture on a global scale: from ‘Me’ to ‘Everyone’.

Enquiries follow a five stage cycle  and we describe this in three main phases:

  1. The Exploring phase where children engage and explore the topic or question.
  2. The Explaining phase where pupils explain what they have learned.
  3. The Extrapolation phase where children apply their knowledge to new situations or where knowledge is depended and extended.

How does this affect lessons?

We like to think of a child’s time in school as a series of learning milestones rather than a set of lessons. Sometimes the learning milestones during enquiry are immersive block weeks, whereas other times they are discrete sessions over a longer period of time. This is because not all learning is best taught in the same way.

This is exactly what we want our creative curriculum to be like. The usual focus of English and Maths teaching continues across North Hinksey using Talk for Writing, White Rose and Read Write Inc., enhanced by rich and relevant experiences through enquiry.

We understand that learning can appear to be invisible in the short-term and that is because sustained mastery takes time. As a result we expect the learning in Year 1,3 and 5 to focus on developing fundamental foundations for later application in Year 2,4, and 6.This is mirrored in Early Years where deeper understanding is expected at the end of the Reception year and  where the curriculum is underpinned by the characteristics of effective learning.

Children's learning is planned for in teaching teams and the wider curriculum topic planning runs on a two year rolling which allows teachers to plan for progression across the milestone supporting children to access depth of learning at their developmental stage not age.

The Enquiry model underpins the curriculum and the planning documents show:

a. A clear list of breadth of topics that will be covered.  This ensures that each teacher has clarity as to what to cover. We run a two year programme in all Year groups with the exception of Early Years.

b. The ‘threshold concepts’ that pupils should understand. From Chris Quigley Essentials, Talk for Writing, White Rose and Read Write Inc. These are chosen to build conceptual understanding and are repeated many times in each topic.

c. Criteria for progression within the threshold concepts. These are split into milestones. The milestone defines the standards for the threshold concepts.

d. Criteria for depth of understanding.  The depth at which the knowledge is being taught. 

How is progress and attainment tracked?

By the end of each milestone, the vast majority of pupils will have sustained mastery of the content taught. This means they are able to remember what they have learned and are fluent in it. Some pupils will have a greater depth of understanding.


Childrens’ learning is carefully monitored to ensure pupils are on track to reach the expectations of our curriculum and know that nothing is learned unless it rests in a pupils’ long- term memory. This does not happen and cannot be assessed in the short term. Therefore, we ask three main assessment questions:

  1. How well are the pupils coping with the curriculum content?
  2. Are they on track to meet end of milestone expectations?
  3. How well are they retaining previously taught content?

Parents/carers should expect three progress reports each year to help them to understand where their child is on their learning journey and what they can do to support at home.  Teachers will also offer sessions where parents can meet with them to discuss their child’s progress in more depth and these will be run within three weeks of the reports arriving home.