Curriculum design in primary computing, geography, history, and science

Curriculum design in primary computing, geography, history, and science

You may be thinking about curriculum design in science and foundation subjects as you start to plan for 2022/3.  

In this article we wanted to pull together some thoughts our expert authors have written about curriculum design and planning in computing, geography, history, and science. These link into the coherent curriculum programmes that Rising Stars has published for these subjects and illustrate the intent and design which underpins them. When implemented, these programmes form an engaging learning experience for children, with built in progression, and allow teachers to focus on the ‘how’ rather than the ‘what’ when it comes to delivering a high-quality curriculum.

We also wanted to share some case studies of schools using these programmes with you.


In this blog, Miles Berry, Professor of Computing Education at the University of Roehampton and author of Switched on Computing, explains the Intent, Implementation and Impact of the new edition of Switched on Computing as a scheme of work with associated online resources for Year 1 to Year 6. The units in Switched on Computing can be used in a cross-curricular way to link into the work done in other subjects and has some specific suggestions to link to the units in the Rising Stars Science, Geography and History programmes. Here is some feedback from schools using Switched on Computing.


In this blog, Anthony Barlow, member of the Primary Committee of the Geographical Association (GA) and author of Rising Stars Geography (endorsed by the GA) reflects on things to consider when designing your primary geography curriculum, following the Ofsted Research Review. Rising Stars Geography can help with the planning and implementation of a high quality geography curriculum, with three units of work per year group which can be used alongside Rising Stars History.


In this blog, Bev Forrest, Chair of the Historical Education Primary Committee and author of Rising Stars History, looks at the implications of the Ofsted Research review on designing a primary history curriculum. She explains how she drew on the factors in the review when designing Rising Stars History, a curriculum programme which provides a progression for history teaching and learning at primary, with three units of work per year group which can be used alongside Rising Stars Geography.

To find out what some schools think about Rising Stars History and Rising Stars Geography, go here.


In this article, Rosemary Feasey, primary science consultant and author of Switched on Science Second Edition outlines the intent, implementation and impact of Switched on Science as a complete primary science curriculum programme. It has a half termly unit of work for each year group, with print and online resources, and can be used alongside the other Rising Stars programmes above. There is a mapping document to History and Geography here.

See what some schools who have been using Switched on Science are saying here.


Looking for other foundation subjects?

Our other foundation subject curriculum programmes include Rising Stars French and Champions (PE).

And finally…

As well as our subject-based programmes we also publish a thematic primary curriculum:, which includes half termly units of work as well as linked Switched on Science and Switched on Computing related units. We’d love to introduce you to this, by giving you a free Year 6 art and music project about identity ‘This is me’ that is ideal for use post-SATS.

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