Our Curriculum

Vision for Learning at John Ball School

Rather than just letting subjects drive the curriculum, at John Ball we feel that it should be the needs of children that should determine the curriculum emphasis. It is vital that our children learn what is in the statutory National Curriculum, but most parents and teachers know that children need much more than this.

Balancing children’s needs with the statutory curriculum will always be a challenge, but instead of the two acting in opposition we aim to  ensure the content of the curriculum meets the needs of children and fulfills statutory requirements.

To do this, we established our key ‘curriculum drivers’ for our school in consultation with pupils, staff and members of our wider community. These aim to ‘drive’ learning forward through the unique curriculum taught at John Ball Primary School.

We use these ‘drivers’ to underpin the development work we undertake in all areas of school life and to ensure our curriculum offer is enriched and personalised to meet the needs of our community and reflects our location in Blackheath, London.


We want our children to develop a sense of pride in themselves and respect for others. We believe they need to have a highly developed emotional literacy in order to experience positive relationships. We believe in the power of the school community to change and enhance lives.

We want our children to become eloquent orators, speaking with confidence and fluency in a variety of situations. We believe that helping our children find their voice is as important as them becoming avid readers or great writers and will work to broaden vocabulary and encourage talk in all areas of learning.

Adventure and Exploration
We are passionate about the health of our children. We want our children to lift their eyes from the screen to be excited by the real world, engaging in rich experiences to develop imagination. We will use these experiences to develop confidence and allow them to manage real risks by having fun and a little danger!

Innovative Thinking
It is vital that we nurture the natural curiosity of our children, enabling them to become independent in thought and action and encouraging them to imagine, enquire and become increasingly enterprising. We will give children opportunities to think critically, by solving problems and making choices.

London and Beyond
We believe our children need to know about and understand the world that is beyond their immediate doorstep; developing opportunities to experience the richness of its diversity.  We also believe in supporting and learning about the community in which our children and families live; developing ways to care about its management and sustainability.

Children cannot aspire to things they have never encountered. We will work to broaden our children’s horizons, expanding their knowledge of the world by nurturing their interests as well as encouraging fearlessness of what is new or unknown.

You might find it helpful to read our teaching and learning policy on the ‘school policy‘ page.