Our Curriculum Explained

At Lower Farm Academy, our concentric curriculum motivates, engages and inspires the pupils through a series of learning journeys that we have titled ‘mini-adventures’. All of the curriculum areas are then delivered through this adventure. The beginning of each adventure is designed to hook all pupils in and acts as the ‘launch’ to the learning. Pupils are also made aware of what the ‘landing’ for this adventure will be so that they can always put their learning into context across the mini-adventure.​

The learning journey that the pupils go on, covers all subjects and are captured in one book.  The adventures allow for clear coverage of the National Curriculum. Coverage of curriculum areas is evident in the schools’ curriculum coverage grid.

Teaching and learning is underpinned by cognitive challenge. Teachers use the model of ‘Basic, Advancing, Deep’ to ensure differentiation is appropriate and does not place a glass ceiling on learning for any pupil.​

Differentiation occurs by careful and strategic task matching and questioning and staff create the correct conditions for learning by delivering learning centralising around an Essential Learning Objective and providing opportunities for depth within this.

The environment engages and inspires pupils but is also language rich to support the pupils’s oracy and writing development throughout the mini-adventure.

A focus for our adventures is to prepare our pupils to be ‘secondary ready’ by the time they leave Lower Farm. This is achieved by providing contextualised, purposeful learning that develop ‘life skills’ and focusses on pupils’ development in becoming writers, mathematicians, historians and geographers etc.

At Lower Farm Academy, we do not show the pupils our essential learning objective or any success criteria, as we encourage pupils to be able to articulate this as we journey through the learning session. Teachers ask three questions as they embark on their journey to know that learning is secure and purposeful: What are we learning about? Why are we learning about it? How will we know if we have been successful? Pupils then return back to these questions during the learning sessions to allow them to reflect on their learning.​

At Lower Farm Academy we believe the bridge between teaching and learning is assessment. Therefore, our feedback policy is an integral aspect to the curriculum. The feedback policy ensures that learning is addressed and celebrated or moved forward in accordance to the essential learning objective where the planning has been derived from. Pupils are given time to reflect on the feedback that the teacher gives and the expectation of this reflection is of the highest standard across the school. Feedback at Lower Farm is positive, reflective, challenging and provides opportunities for a teacher to communicate how successful a piece of work is and how this can be further improved.

Lower Farm Academy utilises a range of assessment information in order to assess and track pupils’ current progress and cumulative progress across their primary experience.​

Key Principles of our curriculum:

  • Raises aspirations for all pupils
  • Is purposeful and relevant and ensures that learning is contextualised
  • Inspires and immerses pupils in their learning
  • Underpinned by our school values
  • Develops a growth mindset
  • Celebrates the process of learning rather than just the product and ensures that failing is seen as an opportunity for new learning
  • Ensures that they are secondary ready by being heavily based on skills
  • Is memorable and experiential – ensuring that all pupils have opportunities to experiences that will enrich
  • Develops strong relations with the community; the school, local and wider community
  • Promotes SMSC and British Values throughout their learning journeys