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Intent, Implementation, Impact


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:

  • Children's awareness of our wider community.
  • The possibility of increased vulnerability of children due to our family ethos and culture.
  • A narrowed view of cultural diversity.
  • Misguided views around gender identity and relationships.


Such thoughts are reflected in our key aims and values and our behavior policy which can be found at:


 Our aims and Our values




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.


The teaching of Phonics in our Federation - Sound discovery 

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”:

  • Fully compatible with a broad and rich curriculum

  • Systematic, with a clearly defined and structured progression for learning all the major grapheme/phoneme correspondences: digraphs, trigraphs, adjacent consonants and alternative graphemes for the same sound.

  • Capable of being delivered in discrete daily sessions at a brisk pace that is well matched to children’s developing abilities.

  • Underpinned by a synthetic approach to blending phonemes in order all through a word to read it, and segmenting words into their constituent phonemes to spell them.

  • Clear that blending and segmenting are reversible processes.

  • Multi-sensory, encompassing various visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities which actively engage children (for example, manipulating magnetic or other solid letters to build words, activities involving physical movement to form letter shapes).

  • Clear about the importance of speaking and listening as the foundation for embarking on a systematic phonics programme and for acquiring the skills of reading and writing.

  • Offer guidance on how to assess progress and use this information to inform the next steps of learning.

  • Offer guidance about adapting the programme for children with special educational needs or who have missed earlier elements.

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:

  • No sight words except for truly undecodable words.

  • No letter names.

  • A “sound-to-print” orientation. Phonemes, not letters, are the basis of the code

  • Teach phonemes only and no other sound units.

  • Begin with an artificial, transparent alphabet: a one-to-one correspondence between 40+ phonemes and their most common spelling.

  • Teach children to identify and sequence sounds in real words by segmenting and blending, using letters.  Don’t do this in the auditory mode alone.

  • Teach children how to write each letter.  Integrate writing into every lesson.

  • Link writing (spelling) and reading to ensure children understand how the code works.

  • Teach spelling alternatives (there’s more than one way to spell this sound) not reading alternatives.

  • Spelling should be accurate or, at a minimum, phonetically accurate.

  • The final step is to introduce the entire advanced spelling code … a process that has yet to find its way into any reading programme.
Long Term Curriculum Maps 
Yearly Curriculum Maps
Topic maps (please note, these are 'living/organic documents and are being added to all of the time).


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



Please see our SEN Information page to see how we comply with our duties in the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 about making the curriculum accessible for those with disabilities or Special Educational needs.