Horniman Primary School

  • Horniman Drive
  • Forest Hill
  • London
  • SE23 3BP
  • Tel: 020 8699 3190
  • After School Club: 020 8699 8378
  • Email:
  • Headteacher: Julie Loffstadt
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Horniman School Curriculum



The curriculum at Horniman School is engaging, broad and rich. It is a curriculum that evolves based on the needs of our children and the changes in the world around us. Children leave Horniman Primary School, ready for Secondary School, equipped with the experiences, skills and knowledge they need to function as young people and adults in the 21st Century. It is a challenging and engaging curriculum that meets the needs and ethos of our school.

The curriculum is based upon the National Curriculum and children are taught in line with the National Curriculum’s age related expectations.​


The National Curriculum can be viewed here.


As a staff we thought about what we want to drive our curriculum. We decided that diversity, creativity, enquiry, enterprise and the environment should be at the heart of all we do. These have become or curriculum drivers and are evident in all that we do. The curriculum also reflects the schools location and community, as well as the interests and passions of the staff and children.


The National Curriculum is used as a basis for teachers to plan a broad and balanced curriculum to meet the needs of our children while at the same time offering a unique curriculum, with a clear progression of learning and specific learning goals for every subject.


Our curriculum map overview for 2014-2015 can be downloaded here:  PDF of curriculum map


For more information visit the subject pages from the curriculum drop down menu.



The Horniman School Curriculum is organised into immersive cross curricular topics. The topics vary in length, some lasting two or three weeks, while others may last the whole year and be revisited at different intervals.  This allows us to create exciting learning journeys and respond to the needs of the children.

There is also time and space for whole school topics (e.g. Book, Art, Science or Maths weeks), topics that reflect contemporary events (e.g. the Olympics or Royal Wedding etc.) and topics devised by the children or teachers’ personal interests.


Mathematics and Literacy are taught daily as discrete subjects that link to the topics, wherever possible, to allow a comprehensive coverage of skills and provide opportunities to apply what has been learnt in different contexts across the curriculum.




As well as designing a stimulating engaging curriculum we are committed to providing enrichment opportunities that enhance learning and contribute to the Horniman experience:


Forest school and outdoor learning 


Reception classes have weekly forest school sessions in our on site forest school and have regular visits to Sydenham Woods. Year 1 also have Forest school sessions every other week and older children use Forest School linked to their topics.


There is a forest School club after school for older children.


Click here for more information and to see pictures of what we get up to in Forest School.


The outdoor learning environment is also used throughout the school and we encourage children to learn outdoors wherever possible using the amphitheatre, playground, pond and forest school areas.



All classes from Year 2 to Year 6 have a half term of weekly Philosophy sessions led by Peter Worsley, an internationally renowned educator in this field. Peter works with teachers to link his input to the curriculum being covered at that time and teacher use enquiry based methods across the curriculum.  

The Arts


Horniman School is committed to the arts and employs specialist teachers to teach art and music.




All classes have weekly music sessions with the music teacher in which they learn to play a variety of percussion instruments, compose pieces of music, learn songs and appreciate a wide variety of music from different cultures.


All children in Key Stage 2 learn an instrument (currently recorders) taught by a music specialist and we encourage children to learn an additional instrument through our peripatetic teachers from Lewisham Music Services. Children currently learn guitar, violin, clarinet and flute and have the opportunity to perform regularly in assemblies.


There is also a school choir who meet weekly and perform in a variety of settings, including school fairs, old people’s homes and at The Southbank Centre.


We showcase the music at Horniman through assemblies and performances throughout the year.

We have an autumn assembly, Christmas songs outdoors, a spring assembly at the Horniman Museum and a Christmas Nativity and End of Year production.




As well as art being taught by class teachers, we have a specialist art teacher who teaches art skills and techniques in drawing, painting and sculpture, as well as undertaking projects in a variety of media to be displayed around the school.


There are also a wide variety of art clubs after school which children can attend.




All children are taught dance during their PE lessons and other dances liked to their topics.


We have a dance week in the summer term. 

Last year all classes learnt a number of folk dances, such as maypole and Morris dances, led by dance specialists and performed them in the Horniman Gardens.


We also have ballet and street dance clubs who have the opportunity to perform in assemblies.




Drama is often used throughout the curriculum through activities such as freeze frame, hot seating, story squares and conscience alley. 


In addition Year 2 and Year 6 perform a play with the other year groups making up the choir. Children are involved in making props and costumes. Last year Year 6 performed Bugsy Malone and Year 2 performed Whoops-a-Daisy Angel.


All classes perform a class assembly in the Spring term, based on their current topic to which parents/carers are invited. These include presenting drama, songs, animations, films and other work from their current learning.  


We also regularly invited drama groups to perform at school and organise visits to theatres. 


Physical Education is taught by a specialist sports coach as well as by class teachers.


All classes have twice weekly PE and Fitness 4 Life lessons.


Children in reception have daily 5-a-day aerobic sessions.

Click here for more information about 5-a-day fitness


The school also competes in a variety of sports competitions, such as football, cricket, multisports, tag rugby and athletics.


We hold an annual sports day at JAGs school playing fields.


There are after school enrichment clubs in tennis, karate, ballet, football, cricket, multisports, and street dance.


For more information about sports provision and how we spend the Sports premium grant click here 

Horniman Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.