The Highway Primary School

Core Concepts

Core concepts capture the essence of a specific subject – they can be thought of as the pillars that support subject level provision, the ‘big ideas’ that are the starting points for teaching in a subject. These concepts underpin the specific knowledge being taught and will, over time, support children to, for example, think like an historian, like a scientist, etc.

Core concepts run vertically through subjects, tying together experiences and learning over time. They will be regularly revisited throughout pupils’ time at school. Core concepts will relate to the curriculum vision for each subject and learning will be structured to ensure that pupils develop knowledge and skills related to these concepts.

Below are the core concepts identified by SOLA staff for each foundation subject.



  Art and Design


  • can choose which medium to use to express an idea;
  • are inspired by the expertise of others;
  • evaluate and develop their ideas and know that their work can always be adapted;
  • work collaboratively with others to refine their ideas.  


  • can identify a need through evaluating a product;
  • develop designs with an identified purpose in mind;
  • apply their technical knowledge to produce products which are fit for purpose;
  • choose from a wide range of materials and tools when making their product.  


  Computer scientists:

  • decompose problems into smaller, achievable steps
  • create codes to accomplish specific outcomes
  • use a range of programmes to create their own digital media
  • navigate the Internet safely, having a positive effect within the online community​

  Design and     

  Cooks, Designers and Engineers:

  • research and develop design ideas to meet defined criteria/purposes
  • select from a wide range of materials and ingredients according to their functional and aesthetic qualities
  • use a range of tools to cut, shape and join/combine different materials or ingredients
  • evaluate their own and existing ideas and products and use this to inform their own work
  • understand and use mechanical, electrical and technological systems in their products



  • understand location in local, national and global contexts
  • explore physical geographical processes and explain how they change the world around us over time
  • explore human actions and characteristics and explain how they change the world around us over time
  • collect, analyse and interpret geographical information from a range of sources in a variety of forms.



  • use chronology to organise historical events in time and place
  • gather, evaluate and interpret evidence from a range of sources
  • make comparisons and connections between aspects of personal, local, regional, national and international history
  • ask and answer questions to understand the causes, effects and legacies of events in the past.

  Modern Foreign


  • listen and respond to spoken language, asking and answering questions and engaging in conversations
  • build a wide-ranging vocabulary of words and phrases to communicate with others
  • speak with confidence and fluency, demonstrating accurate pronunciation and intonation
  • speak and write in sentences to express their ideas clearly


  Musicians and Singers:

  • listen to and evaluate music across a range of genres, styles and periods
  • compose, practise and perform music using a range of instruments in a wide variety of contexts
  • use their voices to express themselves through song
  • understand musical elements including pitch, dynamics, temp and timbre and how they are used to engage the listener



  • compete and understand fair play
  • develop and practise a broad range of physical skills in a variety of activities
  • understand the importance of good physical and mental health.


  Faithful and devoted citizens:

  • appreciate that we live in a multi-cultural and multi-faith society;
  • understand and respect all religious views and beliefs;
  • know that faith is important to many people;
  • explore their own and others’ values, beliefs and traditions.


  Responsible Citizens

  • are prepared for adolescence and adulthood;
  • learn about human reproduction in a sensitive, objective and balanced way;
  • understand the importance of stable and supportive relationships;
  • view their relationships in a responsible and healthy manner and are able to make informed decisions;
  • value family life, marriage/life partnerships and the responsibilities of parenthood;
  • respect themselves and others, and are sensitive towards the needs and views of others;
  • are responsible for their actions and develop a sense of self-worth;
  • acknowledge that people have different backgrounds with differing values or experiences.


  Scientists, Biologists, Chemists and Physicists:

  • develop questions about the world around them and, through scientific enquiry, begin to answer these questions, communicating their findings in a variety of ways
  • study life processes and the relationships between living things and their environments
  • study energy and forces, exploring how they are related to each other
  • study, compare and classify materials, their properties and how they can be changed