Curriculum Purpose

Curriculum at XP Primary


This document outlines our curriculum rationale.

Design Principles and the Curriculum

Our curriculum is inextricably linked to and informed by our design principles.

‘At XP we build our community through:



and Equity

sharing our stories as we go.’

As such, we design our curriculum to realise these principles. Our relentless focus is to ensure that our students grow their character, create beautiful work and achieve academic success. Therefore, we develop our curriculum so that learning is relevant, purposeful and authentic. This manifests into a number of key seams that we use as a focus for realising our design principles through our curriculum.

Our three rich seams at XP are:

Protecting Our Planet – this is an existential threat so this is an imperative part of our curriculum. If we want our students to change the world, they need to save it first and they need the skills to lead this action. Our students make the knowledge they acquire around this seam powerful by actively making a difference to our world.

Standing for Social Justice – the world is filled with inequity and this is sustained by systems, structures and governance that protects the interests of the few and neglects the many. We uncover, confront and challenge inequities of race, gender, identity and class through our work and use the knowledge we acquire to affect social and cultural change. We want our students to be leaders of this change.

Cultivating Diversity and Belonging – at XP we understand the power of crew and we know our community is stronger because of our differences. This is, therefore, a key seam that runs through many of our expeditions and case studies allowing our students to deepen their empathy and understanding of the value of difference and non-conformity. We strive for equality at XP by promoting equity so this is  reflected in our curriculum design.

Our curriculum is designed to support young people of all abilities. This is done by carefully crafted learning experiences that are adapted and tailored to meet the needs of students. Our curriculum is academic, challenging and designed to spark interest in our students by enabling them to work together to achieve both academically and socially. Our curriculum is three-dimensional: we are relentless in our pursuit of academic success, ensuring character growth and producing beautiful work. This ensures that students can become the best version of themselves.

Our curriculum is carefully designed by teachers so that the level of challenge is high and learning experiences are rich. The expeditionary approach to our curriculum delivery ensures that teachers can carefully plan learning experiences that link to making the world a better place, starting with our own community.

Our curriculum is the means by which all of our students achieve our common mission. The curriculum is designed so that students are ready and able to take their next steps confidently and successfully into either further education or the world of work. Our curriculum reinforces the idea of Crew and the central concept of everyone climbing the mountain together toward a shared goal.

Our curriculum is relevant and purposeful. Everything we do links to improving ourselves, our community and our wider world:

  • Expeditions use experts and purposeful fieldwork to support, strengthen and provide authenticity to the learning process for students.
  • Every expedition has a product that connects to and impacts positively on the world.

Our curriculum is underpinned by a shared language that is easily accessible and recognisable. Our common language allows students to articulate their learning, understand how they learn and how this learning contributes to our positive culture. Language allows teachers and students to engage with our learning intent in a shared way.

Building on this is our three-dimensional approach to curriculum delivery. The intention of the school is clear and unwavering: all of our students through their life at the school grow their character, produce beautiful work and thereby achieve academic success.

Social Equity and the Curriculum

Our curriculum is designed to ensure social equity. Students, through the curriculum experience a breadth and range of experiences regardless of their social class, race, gender or any other factor.  These experiences and opportunities are captured on our Equity Maps.


At XP trust,  culture is planned for, developed, and sustained through practices that bring the community together, promote shared understandings, and encourage all community members to become crew, not passengers.

Crew provides opportunities for children to build a close relationship with a trusted adult  (crew leader) at the school, as well as a consistent and ongoing small-scale peer community. Crew leaders support student progress and nurture the children to become the best versions of themselves.

Each day all primary students join ‘Crew’ to check in about their feelings, participate in carefully crafted crew sessions and a check-in at the end of the day to review HoWLs and reflect on their day. This is adapted to suit the needs of Early Year students.  Crew is central to the positive culture at XP and places relationships – supporting students socially, emotionally, and academically at the heart of everything we do.

At XP Trust our first week back is always used to either introduce or reaffirm the importance of crew. This period of time is used by crew, and phase leaders to build, continue to build or rebuild, positive relationships with their crew through shared experiences and challenges. Through shared rituals, protocols and practices, strong bonds are created, or re-established, that are the foundation of our culture.

We believe that if we get Crew right, we get everything right!

Our Crew Curriculum has been carefully crafted to provide Crew Leaders with a framework that enables them to engage students in rich and broad experiences:

  • Motivate Monday – an opportunity for children to be reflective as well as active.  To share their weekend experiences during the crew check-in and then conduct activities which either focus on giving back to the community through service learning (Crew Stewardship) or personal mindfulness.
  • Time to read Tuesday – a time used each week to support the development of lifelong readers through literature circles and structured discussions on a text or the opportunity for students to independently read.
  • We care  Wednesday –  time for children to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding they will need to manage their lives, now and in the future, and to keep them healthy, safe and prepare them for life and work in modern Britain.
  • Academic Thursday (Academic Crew) – time for students to reflect on their academic progress and character growth.
  • It’s time to pledge it- pledge it – allows children time to reflect on their week and make pledges to further develop crew.

RSHE, PSHE and Citizenship is woven into our Crew Curriculum.

The why of our expeditionary curriculum and how we deliver it?

We deliver our curriculum predominantly through cross-disciplinary learning expeditions. These are standards-based projects that are specifically designed to make connections between subjects and encourage deep and purposeful learning experiences. Expeditions are tightly structured through careful mapping of standards, skills and content and designed by teachers to ensure that all students:

  • make better than expected academic progress;
  • produce beautiful work;
  • grow their characters in readiness for the world;
  • are agents for improving their own community and the wider world

What curriculum do we offer at XP Primary Trust?

Expeditions are delivered through subjects.

Expeditions are usually cross-curricular and include subjects from across the range of foundation subjects and science. This ensures that students see connections between subjects and standards and thereby deepen their learning experiences whilst strengthening their understanding of key subject concepts and skills.

Our curriculum approach is to teach knowledge and skills-based content through cross-subject learning expeditions. Each expedition is rigorously mapped against the National Curriculum Standards and Early Years Foundation Stage framework to ensure coverage and depth. Expeditions are carefully planned and sequenced to build on prior learning and experiences thus giving the children the knowledge and self-belief they need to succeed in life and become well-educated citizens.

On occasion, expeditions can be delivered through a single subject in a ‘slice’. This often occurs when a specific skill or content needs to be explored and does not have a natural home in a combined expedition.

Children learn to read using the synthetic phonics-based approach. At Plover, we use Read Write Inc. Children work through the levels of Read Write Inc until at they are at the comprehension level. Lessons include the teaching of sound, word reading and writing and then book reading.

English is woven into the fabric of expeditions allowing students to create authentic and challenging written responses. Each expedition has a core text/ texts related to the expeditionary learning. Reading in English lessons should further develop expeditionary learning by incorporating non-fiction texts as well as fiction. The Final Product provides children with the opportunity to write for real purpose, using the skills of editing and improving, preparing them for life in the real world.

Mathematics at XP is underpinned by a teaching for mastery approach. Where appropriate, expeditionary maths is utilised to develop connections, complement other subjects and to deepen learning. Our approach enables students to develop key skills in mathematical fluency, reasoning and problem solving whilst providing students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and understanding to investigate real-world issues.

In addition, key stage 2 students study a modern foreign language and all of our students engage in Physical Education.

Spiritual, Moral and Cultural (SMSC) opportunities are integrated into expeditions through the content we cover as well as through fieldwork, experts and Presentations of Learning where appropriate. SMSC is carefully mapped and delivered through our ambitious Crew curriculum.

Careers and work related learning is embedded into our expeditions through engaging and purposeful work with experts and fieldwork in industry, university and the community.

These experiences are captured in our Equity Maps for each cohort so that staff can clearly see, track and plan for opportunities that are essential for providing our students with rich, diverse and equitable experiences. 

Additional Curriculum Opportunities

As well as our core curriculum we offer students breadth and opportunity through other curriculum opportunities. A range of ‘enrichment’ activities are offered by our schools including: sporting activities, clubs and special interests.

XP Outdoors and Learning Outside the Classroom

XP Outdoors and learning outside the classroom are an integral part of our learning at our Trust. It is important now, more than ever, for students to actively engage in protecting our planet and taking responsibility for its future, especially in light of the concerns over climate change.

Being outdoors in nature has a hugely positive impact on student and staff wellbeing both physically and mentally, so getting students outdoors within expeditions and Crew is highly important.

The XP Outdoor & LOtC curriculum includes opportunities for other subjects to be taught outside the classroom to enhance expeditions and Crew by allowing students to develop additional skills, engage in fieldwork, deepen curriculum knowledge, grow character, build relationships and provide deeper learning experiences. This can also be an opportunity to teach students through an alternative pedagogy which can benefit students that often struggle in the usual classroom environment.


Our curriculum is broad and, through learning expeditions, is designed to be flexible, responsive and exciting. This does not mean we compromise on powerful disciplinary standards and knowledge but that we integrate, connect and immerse our subjects in academically rigorous learning experiences that enable them not only to be ready for their next steps as learners but also as responsible, caring and critical agents for positive social change in their own lives, the lives of others in their community and the wider world.