Our Curriculum Offer
Curriculum is a word which describes the formal and informal learning which takes place in school. “In a democratic society which prizes equality of opportunity, the curriculum should be based first and foremost on the knowledge we consider all young people should have the access to and begin to acquire during their school years” (Myatt 2018).
As a Trust, we are committed to providing a knowledge-rich curriculum to all of our learners where school leaders design a curriculum based upon the National Curriculum entitlement as a minimum, with further taught and un-taught elements that extend and enrich provision. “The curriculum – taught and untaught – represents the totality of the experience of the child within schooling” (Myatt 2018).
As a Trust we work collaboratively to design and resource our curriculum, sharing expertise and harnessing talent from within, and beyond the Trust, in order to drive high expectations of curriculum content, resourcing and pedagogy. However, we recognise that there are also differences in the contexts of our schools and the communities which they serve and each school ensures that this is considered and the curriculum adjusted accordingly to meet the needs of our individual learners.
Our curriculum aspires to be
- Supported by effective assessment processes and procedures
- Sequenced so as to help children build schemas
- Taught to be remembered
- Designed to develop children’s metacognitive knowledge and behaviours
- Broad – allowing for a wide-range of experiences and contexts
- STEM-based to encourage children to become resilient, reflective and creative thinkers, in order for them to be able to fulfil their wider role in their community
- Oracy focused to ensure pupils have access to a wide-ranging vocabular supported by evidence-informed professional development
Our un-taught curriculum reflects our Trust values in:
- Developing our children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) knowledge and understanding, supporting children’s social awareness and ensuring that they know how to make a positive contribution to society.
- Supporting children’s mental and physical health.
- Putting children’s emotional development at the heart of our work through our Trauma Informed Schools (TIS) approach.
- Opportunities for creative and sporting pursuits enhance our taught curriculum to develop individual talent.
- Ensuring that there are equal opportunities for all pupils.
High quality teaching and rigorous assessment enables all children to access the breadth of the curriculum. The curriculum is inspiring, challenging, deep and broad. So that all children:
- Develop transformational knowledge and skills that take them beyond their experience.
- Strengthen their academic knowledge and cultural capital through the acquisition of a broad and rich vocabulary.
- Shape their knowledge and character to prepare them for their future adult life, so that they can make a positive impact upon society.
- Achieve outcomes that show progress, whatever their starting points.
At Discovery Multi Academy Trust the curriculum is designed to provide wide-ranging experiences and contexts which allow our children to develop the skills and knowledge to allow them to become resilient, reflective and creative thinkers. The curriculum is underpinned by our trust values; Democratic, Inclusive, Excelling and Collaborative. Through an engaging STEM-based approach to learning, our children will collaborate and be able to fulfil their wider role in their community. They will have the skills to make connections in what they have learnt, self-evaluate and develop a desire to learn as they go to their next stage of learning.
Our curriculum has been designed to create a balance between the National Curriculum statutory requirements and a range of rich experiences which allow our pupils the opportunities to broaden their life and cultural experiences. We are a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Trust and our rich experiences and learning behaviours are embedded into our STEM skills as a blueprint for learning skills and opportunities. These skills are also referenced in other subjects, in order for our pupils apply them readily into different contexts.
Our curriculum provides our pupils with experiences and opportunities which best meet their learning and developmental needs. Through clear strategic planning, our curriculum provides not only memorable experiences but is rich in opportunities from which the children can learn and develop transferrable skills. The acquisition of knowledge and the development of skills is carefully planned to create a purposeful and exciting learning journey for every child, ensuring that milestones are met at key stages throughout their primary education. Our vibrant and rich STEM based curriculum is designed so that the subject specific skills are scaffolded within a cross-curricular theme or context each term. We use clearly sequenced, balanced and informed planning to deliver learning opportunities that develop a context and culturally rich learning environment, clearly developing links to other subjects. Teachers plan and tailor units of work and lessons to address the specific individual needs of pupils, with support from experienced staff members and external agencies so that all pupils are able to reach their full potential regardless of their starting point.
We deliver our curriculum through Quality First Teaching, where:
- Staff have high expectations of themselves and all of the children.
- Teachers are expected to impart knowledge accurately and with enthusiasm.
- Teachers are expected to take into account prior knowledge and experiences and to build upon this in a systematic way;
- Highly focused lesson design with sharp objectives;
- High demands of child engagement with their learning;
- High levels of interaction for all children;
- Appropriate use of teacher questioning, modelling and explaining;
- Emphasis on learning through dialogue;
- An expectation that children will develop resilience and accept responsibility for their own learning and work independently;
- Regular use of encouragement and praise to motivate children.
Each of the schools individually enhance the curriculum to suit the needs of their pupils and school communities.
Pupil voice is used to inform curriculum planning and teaching and learning progress, and for all subjects is tracked through continuous AfL assessment on our online assessment system. This includes key knowledge, skills and concepts. There are also summative data points throughout the year to prepare children for the formal SATs tests at Y2 and Y6. Termly Gap analysis and regular data reviews are held with each of the school’s leadership team, Local Advisory Board and external visitors to evaluate the school improvement plans. Parents are invited to termly updates about their children’s progress and attainment and SATs data and phonics outcomes are shared at the end of the year.