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Curriculum

At Discovery Academy, every child will discover a love of learning, achieve and aspire towards excellence.

Our Values

These values have been chosen by ALL Stakeholders at Discovery Primary Academy.

They are:

  • Determination
  • Confidence
  • Aspiration
  • Kindness
  • Responsibility

Intent

Discovery Primary Academy is committed to meeting the requirements of the latest primary National Curriculum.

We have designed a fully comprehensive framework where our curriculum continues to ensure that:

  • Our children's learning is both meaningful and benefits from a specific focus on the core requirements of the English and Mathematics curriculum. 
  • It is based on an analysis of how it can benefit the needs of our specific children and their community.
  • It is designed to ensure that children can become upwardly socially mobile.
  • It celebrates the diversity and utilises the skills, knowledge and cultural wealth of the community while supporting the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
  • It supports children in developing Global and the fundamental British Values.
  • Children are given opportunities to actively engage in their learning through meaningful and applied contexts
  • Children know they can be successful learners and that there are no limits on their ability. 
  • Children are able to develop Co-operative Learning skills to help support the effectiveness of their learning. 

Further details about the National Curriculum can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/search?q=curriculum

Cultural Capital

At Discovery Primary Academy, we offer a broad and balanced curriculum to support our children in their spiritual, moral, cultural, physical and academic development. We endeavour to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of secondary school, as well as in their adult lives.

We understand the community we serve and tailor our curriculum to meet our children’s needs. We recognise that weaker communication skills predict poor life chances and that the vocabulary children have aged 5 is a strong indicator of success at GCSE level. Many of the children who join our school, including the most vulnerable, are ‘word poor’: they have speech and language skills significantly lower than those expected for their chronological age. We are determined to create better life chances for our children than their oracy skills - upon joining our school – predict. Through explicit and rigorous teaching of vocabulary across the curriculum, as well as opportunities within every lesson to develop their spoken language skills, we endeavour to address and close the ‘language gap.’

Within our community, there are low levels of adult literacy. We are passionate about supporting our children to become confident and competent readers, not only to unlock learning across the curriculum, but to support success, later in adult life. The robust teaching of reading through Success For All - as well as additional reading support designed specifically for individuals and groups of children at risk of underachieving - spearhead our approach to tackling this issue.

Developing reading and oracy skills has a far-reaching impact on our children. It gives them cognitive gains allowing them to retain subject specific knowledge and transfer reasoning skills. It gives them social understanding and enables them to manage difference so that they have civic empowerment. Most importantly, it gives them personal and social gains through improved self-esteem and self-confidence which underpins all other aspects of learning. 

Our aim is to develop and embed a strong, sustainable reading culture within the school community. Confident and competent readers will foster a love of reading through a rich and varied experience of texts.

We believe that the active encouragement of reading for pleasure should be a core part of every child’s educational entitlement, whatever their background or attainment. Extensive reading and exposure to a wide range of texts make a huge contribution to students’ educational achievement. All children should have access to a wide range of texts in different formats and genres and support in enjoying them where necessary;  the school will engage and support parents in enabling access to a full range of reading experiences. Where this is not possible, action will be taken to provide compensatory measures which allow equality of access to all children.

Reading and oracy skills are fundamental for our children and are the cultural capital we equip our children with at Discovery Primary Academy.

Please find Discovery Primary Academy Curriculum Overview below

Implementation

Values Based Learning

The National Curriculum is delivered using a combination of a topic and specific subject approach and assessed using Target Tracker Statements (National Curriculum) as a basis to ensure coverage and progression throughout the academy. The curriculum is underpinned by the Academy’s Core Values (Determination, confidence, aspiration, kindness and responsibility) and these are taught through other areas in the curriculum, including assemblies. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils and their understanding of the core values of our society are woven through the curriculum.

The English curriculum (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening) is taught using a strategy called Success for All. It is a programme for teaching reading including phonics, writing, speaking and listening from Reception to Year 6. It also develops aspects of learning behaviour through the use of Co-operative Learning strategies. Children learn to work with others, as a team and with partners. Partner and team talk is encouraged and children make progress in lessons as a result of this. They also learn the grammar and spelling requirements of the National Curriculum. Children will create, redraft and edit their own pieces of writing. Handwriting is taught as a separate subject from Foundation Stage to Year 4.

The Mathematics curriculum is taught using a strategy called Maths No Problem. We are teaching towards a mastery curriculum where the whole class works through a mathematical concept at the same pace with ample time, before moving on. Ideas are revisited at higher levels as the curriculum spirals through the years. Tasks and activities are designed to be easy for pupils to enter, while still containing challenging components. For advanced learners, we provide non-routine questions for pupils to develop their higher-order thinking skills. We also use problem-solving approaches to encourage pupils’ higher-level thinking. The focus is on working with pupils’ core competencies, building on what they know to develop their relational understanding. Pupils learn new concepts initially using concrete examples, such as counters, then progress to drawing pictorial representations, before finally using more abstract symbols, such as the equals sign. Our questions and examples are carefully varied to encourage pupils to think about the maths. Rather than provide mechanical repetition, the examples we give the children are designed to deepen pupils’ understanding and reveal misconceptions.

Specialist teachers support music and physical education. All subject leaders are given training and opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. Whole school activities and opportunities within and outside school all enrich and develop the children’s learning. After school clubs and events extend these opportunities further. Additional whole school programmes and approaches support quality teaching and learning.

Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based and external exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools

Co-operative Learning

We believe children learn best when they actively engage their learning through meaningful and applied contexts.  We call our approach: Co-operative Learning.  We believe that all children can be expert learners and that there are no limits on ability. We ensure that children develop the Co-operative Learning strategies to help support the effectiveness of their learning.  We help children develop a positive 'can do' approach that enables them not to set fixed limits on their learning potential. 

We aim to ensure that deep learning can be applied in a range of different curriculum areas.  This enables children to master the requirements of the curriculum.  We focus on learning approaches that require children to apply their skills and knowledge through problem solving and analytical thinking. 

Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception classes) curriculum

The Foundation Stage Framework and Development Matters are the basis of our Reception curriculum. In Reception, we give children plenty of opportunities to read, write and apply their mathematical understanding.  As a result, our children start Year 1 as confident and competent learners.  Further details about the Framework can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/search?q=foundation+stage

Children’s Leadership

Children are given many opportunities to develop leadership skills at Discovery Primary Academy, including: 

  • through membership of the School Council, or Eco Council
  • as a Bank or Shop manager, or staff
  • as a Playground Leader
  • asn Language Ambassador
  • as a Reading Buddy
  • through responsibilities given in class

We believe that these opportunities support our Core Values and provide our children with experiences and skills to be valued members of their community, both now and in the future.