Our E3L Curriculum

Our vibrant curriculum has been designed to excite our pupils; it has been carefully planned so that pupils will want to dive in and explore our irresistible themes. Although themes are cross-curricular, each theme has a driving subject for each half term to allow in depth study of the foundation subjects.  

Every half term will start with a new theme for pupils to discover. Our values Excite, Explore, Excel drive our curriculum and the learning journey. This is why it is called E3L – Excite, Explore, Excel Learning. Each theme starts with a memorable experience (or Excite), is followed by a series of carefully sequenced ‘Explores’ to develop skills and knowledge and includes a range of assessment opportunities (Excels).  


Our Curriculum

Our curriculum provides a dynamic platform for our pupils to excel during their time at school and beyond. Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust have partnered with Hodder Education and Rising Stars, one of the largest education publishers in the country, to develop and publish our E3L curriculum into eduu.school, an online curriculum offer for schools across the country and indeed the world. 

Our curriculum is cross-curricular, with literacy at its heart, driven through inspiring themes and underpinned by the development of key skills across the foundation subjects (History, Geography, Music, Art and Design, Design Technology and Science.) There is a focus on Science, ensuring children’s scientific knowledge and investigation skills are well developed.  Our themes also encourage a love and celebration of the Arts and ensure we help children cultivate their own Cultural Capital for the world beyond school. Each theme has a key poem, piece of music and piece of art work for pupils to respond to. ‘Wellbeing Moments’ and ‘Wellbeing Explores’ are an integral part of each theme and offer an opportunity for pupils to perceive wellbeing as a natural tool that can enhance and enable their learning.  

The E3L curriculum has been fully mapped to the National Curriculum to ensure full curriculum coverage from EYFS to Year 6.  

Teachers adapt, personalise and contextualise each theme to customise the curriculum to their cohort whilst ensuring curriculum coverage. It is ambitious for all pupils, including SEND pupils. We use ‘Pathways planning’ to make adaptations that allow all pupils to access the E3L curriculum.  

All themes are supported by a family learning project which offers pupils a creative opportunity to explore key concepts and to extend or consolidate the theme with their families outside of school. 



Inclusivity and diversity are very important to us at the Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust. In our pursuit to ensure we deliver an equitable and exemplary curriculum, we have texts readily available that excite and ensure our learners have a greater understanding of the culturally rich world they are part of, from having protagonists with different ethnic backgrounds, to stories that unmask historical episodes from a range of cultures and perspectives. 

We aim to ensure that our learners develop a rich literary heritage which is all-embracing and continually evolving. We want our learners to see themselves in the stories and literature we share to empower and enable them to excel in all areas of the curriculum. 



E3L; Excite, Explore, Excel

Within our EYFS provision, we promote the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ (Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creative and Critical Thinking) by providing all children with a range of rich and meaningful first-hand experiences through our inspiring E3L themes such as: Let’s Pretend, Through the Window, Toy Story and Snap, Crackle and Pop.

Our children in EYFS are given opportunities to engage in “direct” learning experiences both indoors and outdoors and we encourage them to access materials independently and to have pride in their work, make sensible choices about their learning, as well as have high expectations of themselves and others.


Key Stage One

E3L; Excite, Explore, Excel

At Tameside Primary Academy, our themes are carefully chosen to show progression through content and knowledge across the subjects, taking account of seasons across the year and the first theme of each academic year focusing on PSHE, such as Blast from the Past’ in Year 1.

A theme lasts up to half a term, and starts with an Excite experience, such as the discovery of a dinosaur nest, which the pupils use as a hook to engage them and base their learning on. Our underpinning philosophy is that they learn better in context rather than studying a single subject in isolation.

Science knowledge and skills are delivered through the E3L themes, some of which are specifically science focused such as ‘Brilliant Bodies’ and ‘Creepy Crawlies’. We also place an extra emphasis on practical science through additional practical science investigations. We ensure coverage of the science programme of study across each year group.

All of the themes have certain key characteristics: A large piece of extended writing, time for developing reading, and a number of subject specific skills that the pupils will develop. A pupil can produce a variety of outputs such as a digital dinosaur fact-files in the ‘Dinosaur Discovery’ theme in Year 1 or a recipe for a class book that will be printed in the ‘Roll Up! Roll Up!’ theme in Year 2.

Our Immersive Room provides learners with opportunities to visit and experience places and times in a way that they are unable to do in a standard primary school and will enhance the themes and the learning that takes place. Themes such as ‘Shipwreck’, ‘Dinosaur Discovery’ and ‘Worth Repeating’ will all benefit from them having carefully crafted lessons in this special learning space.


Key Stage Two

E3L; Excite, Explore, Excel

In Key Stage 2 our themes continue to offer irresistible learning opportunities through innovative and rich experiences through our E3L curriculum.

An E3L theme lasts up to half a term, which the pupils use as the context to base their learning on. The underpinning philosophy is that they learn better in context rather than in isolation.

E3L themes cover areas of the National Curriculum, but some themes might be more geography based, while others may contain more history. By writing the curriculum in this way it allows for stronger experiences and more time to produce high-quality outcomes with more learning impact. In this way there is an opportunity for in-depth learning but with the full curriculum balance across the age phases.

All of the themes have certain key activities and outcomes with many opportunities for pupils to have a real audience. For example, a large piece of extended writing, such as a piece of diary writing in the ‘Blitz’ theme, is shared with a global audience via an online blog. A recipe in ‘Merlin’ is published and ‘sold’ to families. The theme ‘Framed’ in Year 5 allows pupils to produce a ‘real’ gallery exhibition that is ‘visited’ by families and the community.

Our Immersive Room also enables learners to visit and experience places and times in a way that they are unable to do in a standard primary school and will enhance the themes and the learning that takes place. Themes such as ‘Trailblazers’, ‘Amazing Islands’, ‘Planet SOS’ and ‘The Globe’ will all benefit from them having carefully crafted lessons in this special learning space.



Primary Theme – Sequence and Key Context

Year Group Theme Subject focus Key Theme Content
1 Blast from the Past History
  • Own memories and memories within living history
  • Aspects of change in natural life e.g. people
  • Chronology of past events
  • Similarities and differences between now and the past
  • Observe and describe weather
1 Twist and Shout Music
  • Listen with concentration and understand musical genres e.g. Rock and Roll
  • Steady beats and rhythm
  • Percussion instruments
1 We are British History


  • British values
  • Cities/places of the UK
  • Key geographical features of the UK
  • Great Fire of London
1 Amazon Geography
  • Rainforests of the world
  • Non-European country (South American country) comparison with the UK
  • Listen with concentration, and understand musical genres
1 Amazing Animals Art
  • Wild animals and their habitats
  • World continents
  • Nature artists such as Henri Rousseau
  • Carnivores, omnivores and herbivores
1 Dinosaur Discovery Science
  • Dinosaurs including fossils and Mary Anning
  • Herbivores, carnivores, omnivores
  • Identify and name everyday materials and their sources


Year Group Theme Subject focus Key Theme Content
2 Then and Now History
  • Victorian school life
  • Local History study inc. significant events, people and places
  • Local industry
  • Local landmarks
2 Worth Repeating Art
  • Geographical features in the environment e.g. patterns
  • Reflection in line symmetry
  • Range of artists who use pattern such as Gustav Klimt, Damian Hurst, James Brunt, Kandinsky
  • Range of techniques using pattern and colour
2 Roll Up, Roll Up! DT
  • Circus and fairgrounds including rides, mechanisms etc…
  • Structures
  • Listen with concentration, and understand musical genres
2 Creepy Crawlies Science
  • Minibeasts and their habitats
  • Identify and name a variety of plants and animals
  • Explore the differences between things that are living, dead and never been alive
  • Understand basic algorithms
  • Simple food chains
2 Brilliant Bodies Science
  • Basic principles of a healthy and varied diet including nutrition and hygiene
  • Parts of the body
  • Importance of exercise for humans
2 Shipwreck History
  • Location of the U.K inc counties, capital cities and seas surrounding the U.K
  • Name and locate the world’s oceans and continents
  • Significant explorers – Sir Walter Raleigh, Henry Hudson, Sir Francis Drake, Ibn Battuta, Electa Johnson, Christopher Columbus
  • Geographical features such as coastlines and cliffs
  • Sharing opinions about things that are important to them
  • People who help us


Year Group Theme Subject focus Key Theme Content
3 Trailblazers DT


  • Significant individuals – Sir Edmund Hillary / Sherpa Tensing / Amelia Earhart / Wright Brothers
  • Inventions – light bulb / steam engine / telephone / penicillin / world wide web
  • Learn about a range of artists such as Picasso
  • Develop an understanding of the history of music such as – Ray Charles / Otis Redding / Aretha Franklin in rhythm and blues music
3 Pre-historic Planet History
  • Stone Age (The Palaeolithic Age, Mesolithic Age, and the Neolithic Age)
  • Bronze Age
  • Iron Age
  • Settlements across all ages
3 It’s Not Fair DT


  • Human and physical features of Britain
  • Fairtrade products and community
  • Produce sustainability
  • Understand seasonality including where and how ingredients are grown
  • Basic human rights
3 Planet SOS Art
  • Improve mastery of observational drawing of natural objects
  • Significant places such as The Great Barrier Reef, Amazon Rainforest
  • Food chains
  • Pollution
  • Painting techniques including primary colours
3 Zeus History
  • Ancient Greek life
  • Significant individual – Alexander the Great
  • Greek myths
  • Battles of Marathon and Thermopylae
  • Influence on the western world: Olympics
3 Catastrophe Geography
  • Physical geography of volcanoes – formation and their impact on places e.g. Pompeii
  • Natural disasters – Tsunami, seismic waves
  • Structure of the earth


Year Group Theme Subject focus Key Theme Content
4 Musical Express Music
  • Performance music – musical theatre and movies
  • The Science of sound
  • Listen with attention to detail
  • Singing
  • Improvisation
  • Instruments- focus on orchestral music
4 Merlin Science
  • States of Matter
  • Arthurian legend
  • Food groups and nutrition
4 What Did the Romans Ever Do for Us? History
  • Roman Empire/ Growth
  • Roman Emperors
  • Roman invasion of Britain
  • British Resistance (Boudica)
  • Roman Legacy
4 Mountain High, River Low Geography
  • Physical Geography: Mountains, rivers, coasts, water cycle
  • Human Geography: Settlement, land use, natural resources
4 Savage Settlers History
  • Anglo-Saxons: Settlements (where and why, daily life)
  • Vikings: Viking life, beliefs, battles
4 Around the World Geography
  • Countries of the world
  • Geographical comparison: Climate, landmarks, position, population, living conditions, culture etc…
  • Russia study
  • Biomes
  • Climate zones, tropics, longitude/latitude


Year Group Theme Subject focus Key Theme Content
5 Framed Art
  • Key artists: Gaudi, Banksy, Gormley
  • Art Movements: Modernism, neo-gothic, graffiti, street art, contemporary art including sculpture
5 Bloodhound Design Technology
  • Biomes: Desert climates
  • Effects of air resistance and friction
  • Build and apply knowledge and understanding to make products -building a model electric car
  • Mechanisms and electricity
5 Galaxy Quest Science
  • Solar system
  • Significant individuals: Neil Armstrong, Mia C Jemison, Galileo, Tim Peake
  • ISS and the space race
  • Day, night and seasons including phases of the moon
  • Forces of gravity
5 Mummified History
  • Ancient Egypt civilisations and class system
  • The River Nile
  • Pyramids
  • Hieroglyphics
  • Significant individuals: Howard Carter and Tutankhamen
5 Amazing Islands Geography
  • Islands of the world including their formation and their human and physical geographical features
  • Island usage
  • Cultural development of art forms
  • Develop an understanding of the history of island music such as Hawaii, Cuba and Japan
  • Globally significant place – Galapagos (Charles Darwin)
  • Climate change
5 What the Dickens? History
  • Reign of Queen Victoria
  • Significant point in British history – the Industrial Revolution
  • Significant individuals such as Charles Dickens, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Dr Barnardo and Lord Shaftesbury
  • Significant events in history such as the setting up of the workhouses and the great exhibition
  • Great artists and designers in history such as William Morris


Year Group Theme Subject focus Key Theme Content
6 Forensic Science
  • Evolution and inheritance including DNA, cloning and fingerprints
  • Online safety and personal data security
  • Classification systems and keys
  • Show an awareness of moral issues
6 Iceberg Ahead Geography
  • Investigate the disaster of the Titanic
  • Maps and grid referencing
  • Causes of migration
  • The impact of humans on the environment
  • Significant Individuals
6 Blitz History
  • Understand historical concepts such as cause and consequence and significance of WW2 for adults and children
  • Understand methods of historical enquiry and source bias via propaganda
  • Declaration of human rights
  • Develop an understanding of musical composition and structures in wartime music
6 Mozart Mash-Up Music
  • History of Music
  • Musical genre comparisons – pitch, tempo, melody, rhythm, dynamics, mood and effect
  • Appreciate and understand a variety of music
  • Improvisation and composition
  • Notation
  • Instruments
6 The Globe History
  • Read and discuss a wide range of Shakespearean text
  • Communicate ideas through sketches and diagrams e.g. set design
  • Self-portrait and miniatures
  • Significant individual – Shakespeare and his birthplace
  • Develop an understanding of musical composition and structures influenced by the Elizabethan era
6 Digital Dragons’ Den DT


  • The role of charities
  • Charitable materials e.g. advertisements, posters, leaflets etc.
  • Evaluate and analyse logos
  • Use a range of software to create a range of systems to build a website

Please contact the school office if you would like to find out more about our curriculum: admin@lpa.shirelandcat.net