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Introduction to the Lunar Curriculum

The Lunar Curriculum has been designed by The Three Saint’s Academy Trust. It has been designed to incorporate good practice observed from a range of schools and has been informed by research such as the EEF ‘Teaching and Learning Toolkit’.  Parents, children and staff have been consulted during the design of the curriculum so we can ensure that we have designed a curriculum fit for purpose, designed to stretch and challenge and meet the needs of our pupils.

What is the Lunar Curriculum?

The Lunar Curriculum is a pedagogical approach that builds upon pupils’ interests to inspire learning. This curriculum is underpinned by a set of non-negotiables based upon key knowledge and skills that will be taught to the children at agreed stages. At the heart of the Lunar curriculum is the requirement that pupils have to do something with their learning rather than just learn about something, it therefore makes learning active and authentic. Its focus is almost entirely on the ability to develop pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding so that they leave school with skills that they will take to secondary school and beyond in their working life. Below you will find the aims and principles of the Lunar Curriculum.

Curriculum Aims:

  • Develop Life-skills which promote a love of learning
  • Grow an Understanding of ourselves, each other and the world
  • Nurture curiosity and creativity which feed the imagination
  • Cultivate Aspiration through motivation and self-belief
  • Instil Resilience, independence and other personal attributes

    Curriculum Principles

  • In line with Mastery Learning, we will focus on depth before breadth in every subject area so that pupils can attain proficiency and study the curriculum with confidence
  • Teach pupils Personal Learning and Thinking Skills so that they become successful and motivated learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens
  • Cultivate Collaborative Learning so that pupils develop social skills, practise interacting with others and enjoy learning
  • Endorse high-quality Project-Based Learning so that pupils are motivated by real purposes and real audiences and beautiful work is created
  • Promote Feedback which allows pupils time to engage, reflect and review – including peer and self-evaluation so that they are capable of improving their own learning 
  • Ensure that Oracy is at the heart of the curriculum so that our pupils are able to express themselves fluently, grammatically and confidently
  • Develop Social and Emotional Learning so that our pupils are self-aware, foster positive relationships and achieve personal wellbeing
  • Participate in The Arts so that our pupils develop artistically and creatively
  • Provide an Experience-Rich Curriculum so that our pupils can pursue personal interests and talents 
  • Use Digital Technology effectively and creatively so that pupils are digitally fluent and equipped for life in the 21st Century
  • Enable our children to Demonstrate Learning in Different Ways – not always pages in an exercise book but photographs, posters, products, presentations and performances
  • Foster a Growth Mindset in our pupils so that they have the strength of character to persevere


The purpose of the Lunar Curriculum is to equip pupils with a set of relevant personal, learning and thinking skills needed for success in learning and life. The Lunar Curriculum will focus upon the skills below:

  • Independent enquirers
  • Creative thinkers
  • Reflective learners
  • Team workers
  • Self-managers
  • Effective participators and communicators

What does the Curriculum look like?

  • English, Maths, Science, Music, MFL, Computing are taught discreetly in line with our aims and principles however cross curricular links ae explicit, ensuring that pupils are able to make connections with the real world
  • PE is delivered twice weekly, sometimes taught by a specialist sports coach
  • Art and Design is taught through the study of an artist
  • Other foundation subjects are taught through topics and themes referred to as ‘Launchpads into Learning’
  • Lesson sequences are not set in stone and the direction of travel is determined by continual assessment, feedback and the needs and interests of the children
  • Launchpads into Learning are flexible and not always time framed. Likewise, although there is a broad overview of Launchpads, teachers can capitalise on current affairs and significant worldwide events to capture’s pupil interest and create different Launchpads where appropriate
  • Classrooms are a busy and constructive place of learning with working walls which display children’s current learning and work in progress

Below you will find a summary of each curriculum area, written by our subject leaders, outlining the purpose of their subject area.


At The Three Saints Academy Trust, we believe that by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should be resilient, self-assured, strong, responsible and independent learners. We aim to help our children to develop into happy and healthy well rounded individuals who possess skills for the ever changing 21st Century, have a thirst for life-long learning and who make a positive contribution to society. 

Our vision is facilitated through:

  • Committed, enthusiastic and reflective practitioners with a breadth of knowledge, skills and understanding.
  • A thorough understanding of the individual child and the diverse ways and rates in which children develop and learn.
  • On-going training for practitioners in order to ensure all children's needs, learning styles and interests are fulfilled.
  • Demonstrating and continuously improving our work with parents, carers and the wider community.
  • Supporting children's development in all areas of learning.
  • Working collaboratively with other professionals within and beyond the setting.
  • Striving to develop secure relationships between children and staff and staff and parents in ways which are positive, sensitive and non-judgmental.
  • Providing a stimulating learning environment which supports and extends learning and enables children to reach their full potential.


At The Three Saints Academy Trust, we believe that the ability to read and write transforms lives. Children’s developing use of language not only underpins their achievement across the curriculum, but it lays the foundations for active involvement in cultural life, society, work and lifelong learning. Communication and language lie at the heart of our capacity to imagine, think critically and creatively, problem solve, express thoughts and emotions, and make a crucial contribution to development as successful learners. Secure and confident use in languages opens up many possibilities. English skills, including reading, writing and speaking and listening, ensure everyone can succeed in life equally, and enthusiasm and enjoyment for reading and writing is generated. Our aim is to ensure our English provision enables mastery of all aspects of the language and a keen understanding of our literary heritage.


At The Three Saints Academy Trust, we have adopted an engaging and accessible style of mathematics teaching. Mathematical concepts are explored in a variety of representations and problem-solving contexts to give pupils a richer and deeper learning experience. We strive for our pupils to master mathematics so that they can represent a concept or skill in multiple ways, have the mathematical language to communicate related ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations. Pupils should be encouraged to make connections across mathematical procedures and concepts to ensure fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving problems.


At The Three Saints Academy Trust, we believe that through teaching Religious education it encourages pupils to learn about and from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while exploring their own beliefs and questions of meaning.  It challenges pupils to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses. Religious education encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging.  It enables them to flourish individually within their communities and as citizens in a pluralistic society and global community.  Religious Education has an important role in preparing pupils for adult life, employment and lifelong learning.  It enables pupils to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own.  It promotes discernment and enables pupils to combat prejudice.


At The Three Saints Academy Trust, we believe science is a body of knowledge built up through experimental testing of ideas. Science is also methodology, a practical way of finding reliable answers to questions we may ask about the world around us. Science in our school is about developing children’s ideas and ways of working that enable them to make sense of the world in which they live through investigation, as well as using and applying process skills. The development of these key science skills is at the heart of each new topic; this allows teachers to respond to the natural curiosity of children and enables the children to learn and to develop their scientific knowledge in a fun and engaging way. Working scientifically is embedded within our curriculum focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry. Pupils engage in meaningful discussion and learn to use a variety of approaches to ask and answer relevant scientific questions. As they progress through school, children will become more proficient in selecting and using scientific equipment, at collating and presenting results and they will become increasingly confident in their ability to draw conclusions based on real evidence.


At The Three Saints Academy Trust, we recognise that the use of information and communication technology (ICT) is an integral part of the curriculum and is a key skill for everyday life. Computers, iPads, programmable robots and video cameras are a few of the tools that we use to acquire, organise, store, manipulate, interpret, communicate and present information. ICT ensures that all pupils gain the knowledge and skills they need to function well in twenty-first-century. In order to be effective citizens, workers, and leaders in society, our pupils practise critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and working creatively. We teach Computing to ensure pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through the use of technology – at a level suitable to become active participants in a digital world.


At The Three Saints Academy Trust, we believe art and design provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences and is a unique way of understanding and responding to the world. Through Art, we encourage children to look closely at the world around them.  Children use colour, form, texture, pattern, different materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think. They explore ideas and meaning in the work of artists, and this informs their own work. Through Art and Design children learn how to understand, appreciate and enjoy art.


At The Three Saints Academy Trust, we believe design and technology prepares children to participate in a world of rapidly changing technology. Everything we use in our day-to-day lives – from forks to food and hats to houses – has been designed. Finding out more about how these objects are designed and made helps children to make sense of the world around them. By designing and making their own products, children are encouraged to foster a questioning approach and learn: practical skills, like finding out how things work and making products that are useful and look good and ways of thinking and working, like coming up with ideas, solving problems and working as a team. In addition to the design and creation of products, children will also learn about and have the experience of designing and creating nutritious foods. They will learn about the importance of a balanced diet and begin to understand how different foods are produced and understand about these processes.


At The Three Saints Academy Trust, we believe a high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. The teaching of geography should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world helps them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge provides the tools and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. 


At The Three Saints Academy Trust, we believe a high-quality history education equips pupils to think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Knowledge of Britain's past, and our place in the world, helps us understand the challenges of our own time. Our curriculum focuses on a chronological understanding of key events in British and world history and the interconnectedness of key themes throughout the ages.  The children learn to use primary and secondary sources of information in order to find out about historical figures, events and periods of time.


At The Three Saints Academy Trust, we believe music is a universal language and every pupil should have the opportunity to become fluent. A high quality music education should provide all pupils with the opportunity to sing and to learn a musical instrument. Pupils will leave school with an appreciation of how music is composed and performed, allowing them to listen with discrimination and judgement to the best in the musical canon. From the EYFS and beyond, pupils are taught how to play tuned and untuned percussion instruments, and from Year 4 all pupils learn to play a musical instrument.


Personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) promotes pupils’ personal social and emotional development, as well as their health and well-being. It helps to give children the knowledge and skills they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives. It aims to help them understand how they are developing personally and socially, and tackles many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. It gives children an understanding of the rights and responsibilities that are part of being a good citizen and teaches them what it means to be appositive member of a diverse and multicultural society.

At Rainhill St Ann’s, we believe that the personal, social and health development of each child, in conjunction with their citizenship skills, has a significant role in their ability to learn. We value the importance of PSHE and Citizenship in preparing children for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life. In addition, we believe that a child needs to learn about the many emotional aspects of life and how to manage their own emotions. We are also aware of the way that PSHE supports many of the principles of Safeguarding.


A high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities. It should provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect.

In Key Stage 1, pupils should develop fundamental movement skills, become increasingly competent and confident and access a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination.

In Key Stage 2, pupils should continue to apply and develop a broader range of skills. They should enjoy communicating, collaborating and competing with each other. They should develop an understanding of how to improve in different physical activities and sports and learn how to evaluate and recognise their own success.

Physical activity not only improves health, reduces stress and improves concentration, but also promotes correct physical growth and development. Exercise has a positive influence on academic achievement, emotional stability and interaction with others. At Rainhill St Ann’s, each class will receive 2 hours of physical activity per week.


A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. It should provide opportunities for them to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing, focused on familiar and routine matters. At Rainhill St Ann’s, we focus on French, enabling pupils to make substantial progress in one language.


At Three Saints Academy Trust we believe that that the arts can play an exciting and important role in the educational experience of our pupils. We aim to enrich the quality of our teaching and learning through the arts, providing rewarding activities that inspire, inform, motivate, challenge and entertain.  At Three Saints Academy Trust we recognise that involvement in the arts can help to develop the capacity to communicate ideas and feelings; enhance perceptual skills through responding, developing and evaluating and physical skills through control and use of movement. Furthermore the arts helps to foster a positive attitude in our pupils by developing a wide range of qualities such as cooperation, enthusiasm, passion, inspiration, tenacity and ambition. All pupils are given the opportunity to develop their own personal skill set within the performing arts. This is undertaken not only through the curriculum but also within a wide range of unique experiences and opportunities offered by the school. The Three Saints Academy Trust is committed to forming strong links with the creative industries, both within the local community and the wider world in order to maximise pupils’ experiences. Such experiences include St Ann’s has Got Talent and the end of year production, both of which take place at the Theatre Royal in St Helens and see pupils involved in all areas and stages of production and performance.

For additional information about our Curriculum, contact Miss O'Shea and request a copy of The Lunar Curriculum Handbook or click on the document below.