Federation of Penny Acres and Wigley Primary Schools’ Curriculum - Intent, Implementation and the Impact
As The Federation of Penny Acres and Wigley Primary Schools, we endeavor for our children to fall in love with learning, be totally immersed in all that school has to offer and to be excited and thirsty to further their knowledge and understanding. In order to achieve this, our curriculum is the beating heart of our school day.
Our curriculum has a clear, ‘no frills’ intent.
Intent - What are we trying to achieve here with, and through, the curriculum?
We, staff, students, governors and the communities of the Federation of Penny Acres and Wigley Primary Schools, are trying to foster a life-long learning behaviour through experiential learning, the setting of high standards, celebration, independence, choice, collaboration and personal discovery.
It is through these things that our children progress.
Progress in our federation can be summed up as KNOWING MORE, REMEMBERING MORE and as a result being able to DO MORE. A spiral approach to learning ensures that children learn, use and re-use learnt SKILLS/PROTOTYPES in order to develop KNOWLEDGE. Through our Topic based approach, we then look to deepen knowledge further.
We view the development of knowledge as making 'webs' via the creation of links instead of just 'filling buckets'. A bucket can only hold so much before it overflows and leaks whilst webs can continue to grow.
When designing our curriculum we have OUR children at the forefront of our minds. Our schools, our rural Derbyshire communities and our children are unique. This uniqueness drives our curriculum by both celebrating it and by seeking to address any ‘gaps/barrier’ such communities create.
Such gaps/barriers may include:
Such thoughts are reflected in our key aims and values which can be found at:
Implementation - how are we going to deliver this?
We have the National Curriculum to use as a starting point but always seek to embellish and deepen this further, with our children being exposed to quality learning experiences and lessons that promote the need for independent thinking and perseverance. Pre-learning sets this up, followed by our children being immersed into experiences with visits or days of discovery. Parents and members of the community coming into school to help at regular opportunities bolsters our offer and deepens these experiences further. Our curriculum is 'built in', not 'bolted on'; it is not a weaker relation to the core subjects that only happens in the afternoons.
Carefully planned ‘maps’ are produced by staff in the federation, with the learner and school’s ethos and values being at the heart of each element. Experiential learning and exciting learning experiences ‘hook’ the children, prompting questions open to discovery.
Language is a key element of our approach. We tier our taught language to ensure that learners are exposed to not only ‘expected’ language but also aspirational language linked to taught topics. Our view is that ‘aspirational’ language should become ‘expected language’, further promoting our endeavor for high standards and deepened knowledge and understanding.
Sound Discovery® is a high quality synthetic phonics literacy programme developed by Ridgehill Publishing for the teaching of reading, spelling and writing.
It is suitable for first-time learners, slow-to-start learners and dyslexic learners of all ages, including adults. It is also suitable for first time teaching of children and adults when English is being taught as an additional language.
Sound Discovery® meets the criteria as defined in the Rose Review of what constitutes “high quality phonic work”:
Diane McGuinness, a world authority on synthetic phonics, has set a challenge to literacy programmes to see if they meet her exacting standards for providing “the essentials of good reading instruction”, based on what is known about how writing systems should be taught. Sound Discovery® provides a “good fit” to her prototype of a good literacy instruction programme. Her criteria are:
Impact - What difference is this curriculum making to our children?
Our mindset places the learner back at the centre of curriculum design and makes teachers think, "What will the experience be for the children and how can we make the absolute most of each element with the resources we are able to access?" Our approach is beginning to produce children who must and can, think for themselves, be resilient and face challenges with strategies to overcome and progress.
This culture of learning together is promoted and exemplified by staff who are proud to be growing children who question learning and who want to take themselves and their learning to new and exciting places.
Do have a look at our latest news section to see how our curriculum comes to life by visiting