The Primary Knowledge Curriculum Partnership

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Our Aims

The aims of the PKC Partnership are to:

  • Support schools to embed a coherent, carefully sequenced Knowledge-Rich Curriculum

  • Create a network of like-minded schools

  • Provide high-quality professional development to school leaders and teachers

  • Reduce teacher workload

The Primary Knowledge Curriculum places ‘Powerful Knowledge’, knowledge that takes students beyond their own experiences, at the heart of the primary curriculum. The knowledge in our curriculum is carefully chosen, sequenced in a meaningful way that enables children to progress incrementally and is highly specialised. Our curriculum is divided into subjects, recognising the identity of the disciplines we study, fostering a love for subject content that will flourish as children move through the curriculum.

Careful and thoughtful planning over the past seven years has allowed us to design a curriculum that weaves important concepts such as fairness, justice, liberty, identity and power through a diverse range of contexts, in both place and time, building examples that children can draw upon as their understanding grows.


Our curriculum nurtures the minds of children who will think often and deeply. Pupils will be taught meaningful content that builds on their prior knowledge. For many children, particularly those who have not gained it elsewhere, the establishment of that prior knowledge will begin with their very first lesson. Drawing on research-based cognitive science, there are carefully planned opportunities to recall and revisit vital prior knowledge and to strengthen retrieval from lesson to lesson, unit to unit and year to year. The knowledge base encourages children to infer, question, interpret, analyse, argue and reason. Most importantly, the Primary Knowledge Curriculum provides children with the tools they need to participate in their own education that will continue for a lifetime.

About the Primary Knowledge Curriculum

We want school leaders and teachers to have the autonomy to decide how the PKC is taught in their school. We believe the materials we have written will both upskill and free teachers to use their own professional understanding to implement the curriculum in their context. In this way, we have designed materials that are comprehensive, but not restrictive in delivery. Our materials reduce the burden of knowledge gathering and planning, allowing teachers to focus on their own subject knowledge and pedagogy. We strongly believe this benefits both teachers and pupils, leading to better outcomes for all.

The planning includes subject knowledge for teachers, succinct knowledge goals, key vocabulary, suggested tasks and key questions, as well as some teaching resources such as sources and maps. Some teachers may wish to follow the plans exactly as they are written, while others may wish to adapt them. All partner schools will have free access to our, ‘A Knowledge-Rich Curriculum in Practice’ CPD training. This explains the rationale behind the planning and gives teachers practical advice on how to make the plans come to life in their classroom.

In addition, schools can decide which units of the PKC they follow. From working with hundreds of schools nationwide we have learned that schools have different requirements when embedding a new curriculum, such as time constraints. Some schools may wish to select to teach some units instead of others, while others may wish to follow the curriculum in its entirety as we do in our schools. Although we strongly recommend that the curriculum is followed in its entirety to build knowledge coherently, the unit rationales will allow schools to decide for themselves, within their constraints, how best to design their curriculum. Our aim is that in time we will develop even more interesting units for schools to choose from. We have created rationale documents to accompany each unit so schools understand the importance of each unit and how it enables progression of knowledge and skills across the curriculum. Schools can use the rationale documents to allow them to make informed curriculum decisions that meet the needs of their school.

The PKC Partnership