The curriculum is all the planned activities which we organise in order to promote learning and personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum (DfE,2014) and Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE,2012), but also the additional elements that guarantee we provide to develop our learners in meeting the school’s vision and values.
The Discovery School’s curriculum is designed to be balanced, inspiring and purposeful. It enables teachers to drive the highest standards from learners so that they are well prepared for the next stage in their education and the future beyond. It is relevant to children growing up in the Kings Hill community but also broadens children’s experiences to enable them to become well rounded individuals. The curriculum is cohesive and progressive, where skills are built upon year on year; but flexible enough to ensure that it evolves to remain relevant and stimulating. Teachers ensure pupils are inspired to have a thirst for learning; and through high levels of enjoyment, engagement and fun, children leave The Discovery School with lifelong happy memories.
Pupils were consulted in the development of their curriculum and pupil voice is used as a vital tool in our continuous evaluation of our curriculum practices. They tell us that they enjoy learning most when they are excited by the topics that they are covering and are allowed opportunities to learn practically.
Click here to access The Discovery School Curriculum Policy and Subject Specific Guidance
The school adopts a topic approach to learning throughout the EYFS to 6. National Curriculum subjects are approached in a flexible way throughout the school; taught both as discrete subjects and coordinated as part of an integrated approach to learning in line with our school’s creative curriculum.
Subject Leaders have designed subject progression documents that ensure that the National Curriculum is adequately covered and that learning is built upon year on year. These documents have been used to develop a school curriculum for each year group. Medium term plans are in place to ensure that the knowledge and skills for each subject are taught progressively and appropriately throughout the year. Teachers use these medium term plans to design sequences of lessons that cover the appropriate skills in an engaging and exciting way. Children’s individual interests and inputs are sought at the planning stage to ensure that topics are tailored in a child-centred way.
Where appropriate, subjects are co-ordinated as part of a topic based approach. However, this is not always appropriate and some subjects are taught discreetly for part or all of the year. Individual lessons may be blocked together to form focused projects or taught as discrete sessions. This flexible approach enables the school to ensure that that quality of teaching and learning remain high.
Lesson plans will identify the intended learning (skill and/or knowledge based). They will also take into account how to engage pupils in the lesson, how pupils will be organised, how the needs of all learners will be met, and relevant success criteria. Lessons will make good use of curriculum resources, including ICT, the school’s outdoor learning environment and local resources and expertise. Lessons will be carefully planned to include and meet the needs of all learners, ensuring pupils are appropriately supported and broadened. Children are actively involved in the planning of their topics.
The school does not dictate a specific lesson structure and instead allows teachers the flexibility to plan for their individual class’ needs and learning styles. Teachers will make judgements about how to group children to achieve the best learning outcome. It is expected that an effective balance is struck between meeting pupils’ individual learning needs and enabling all children to achieve the same learning intention through use of practical and supportive resources. Each year group’s provision map will set out the quality first teaching strategies that are in place to meet the needs of learners. These are published on the school website.
Teachers will use a range of teaching styles and approaches to ensure learning is engaging and appropriately challenging. Learning intentions will be shared with children in all lessons in all year groups to ensure a clear understanding of what they are learning, although this may not be at the start of a lesson. Learning intentions may be knowledge, skill or understanding based. We believe this enables children to be part of a learning culture, take responsibility for their learning, self-assess and self-evaluate. In most lessons, it is also appropriate for teachers to share success criteria with children. These will be the elements (know, do, understand) required to meet the learning intention and may be characterised by WILF (what I am looking for). Where children’s success is underpinned by following a particular process, this may also be shared with the children in the form of a task board.
Our school considers accurate and focused assessment as the cornerstone of high quality teaching, as it allows learning to be planned and taught accurately as well as meeting the needs of the requirements of the children and ensuring high levels of expectation and support. The school’s assessment policy sets out how the curriculum is assessed.
Click here to access The Discovery School Assessment and Feedback Policy
Click on the links below to see yearly topic overviews, skills and content coverage for each year group: