Our Curriculum Rationale


  • At Connor Downs Academy, we deliver an exceptional curriculum which is knowledge rich, established and embedded. It inspires enthusiasm for learning, ensures progress and attainment and supports children’s health and well-being. The ambitious curriculum is underpinned by a drive for pupils to be inquisitive and to encourage independence. The curriculum is designed to enable children to know more, remember more and understand more across a range of subjects, taking into our account our unique local context.
  • The curriculum is carefully designed with clear sequences of learning which ensure pupils learn and remember more and that knowledge and skills are embedded. A well established leadership team ensure that high standards are maintained and the curriculum is embedded. Discreet subject books are used to capture learning outcomes.
  • Our curriculum is broad, balanced and substantially enriched by a wide and extensive variety of extra-curricular visits, as evidenced in our weekly and termly newsletters.
  • Curriculum leadership is a strength of the school. Leaders accurately evaluate their subject, knowing its strengths and next steps working on these as appropriate. Leaders work alongside Trust and external experts to continually refine and review their curriculum offer.
  • The schools curriculum places a key focus on the development of vocabulary. This is to develop the children’s cultural capital and better equip them to access the vast array of learning experiences on offer.  
  • We are committed to providing access to a first-class education for all pupils, which is highly ambitious for those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and other vulnerable groups. 


Curriculum Leadership 

All National Curriculum subjects are coordinated and managed by an allocated teacher; each teacher plans development, monitors coverage and standards, offers support and advice and initiates experience rich opportunities to celebrate learning. They also monitor standards termly using assessment information, through sampling of work in books, as well as talking to the children and gathering their views.

Parents/carers receive a termly curriculum update providing information on themes and areas of study ensuring that this crucial parent/carer/teacher partnership, impacts positively on the development of their child.

English and Mathematics  


 Our English statement of intent is;

‘To deliver an exciting, immersive English curriculum, which inspires a love of reading and enables and empowers children’s written and oral creativity.’

Our motto for English teaching is;

Immerse     Understand      Imagine   Create

Our Maths statement of intent is;

‘For every child to develop a sound understanding of Maths, equipping them with the skills of calculation, reasoning and problem solving that they need in life. ‘ 

Our Motto for maths teaching is: 

Teach    Learn    Challenge   Understand

There are further details on core subjects within the Curriculum web section.

How pupils learn - not just ‘what’ they learn 

We encourage creative thinking across the curriculum using a ‘growth mind-set model. We focus not just on what children learn but crucially on how they learn, not least in the developing knowledge of how our brain works. We understand the varied preferred learning styles of our children and ensure that themes are planned with the children and delivered in a way to engage all learners.

Our teachers ensure that creative, challenging work is planned and that skills, concepts and knowledge are transferred between different areas of the curriculum. The themes selected for study are balanced both across the year and key stage. Links are made to ensure that children develop the self-confidence to move from the familiar to the unknown and challenge themselves in a secure and supportive learning context. We develop a range of personal learning and thinking skills (PLT’s). 

The six personal learning and thinking skills are: 

·       Independent Enquiry

·       Creative Thinking

·       Reflective Learning

·       Teamwork

·       Effective Participation

·       Self-Management

Developing inspirational ‘Citizens of the future’ 

We create a culture of aspiration for our pupils from Reception class throughout their time with us. We believe it is never too early to foster a sense of self-motivation and to think about the future. We provide many opportunities for ‘real life’ experiences through day visits, professional partnerships and workshops. 

We hold annual career assemblies and workshops where professionals from a diverse range of industries and professions come into classes and talk to the children about their job and what skills, they need to fulfil their role.


We ensure that all children have the same entitlement to the full range of the school curriculum; we are inclusive in our practice and appropriate accessibility is assured through differentiation and by adopting a range of teaching and learning strategies to cater for individual learning styles. All parents should feel confident that their child's progress is being carefully monitored. If staff feel additional support would be helpful for a pupil - either because they are exceptionally able, experiencing a plateau in their learning, or because they are facing difficulties in a particular area - we will consult you at an early stage.

We strongly believe in early intervention to address the needs of individual children and our SENDCo, Mrs. Eddy, is available via appointment each week. Our school building is fully accessible for pupils with a physical disability, with easy access for wheelchairs and disabled toilet facilities. 

The 'Special Educational Needs Code of Practice' is central to our policy of support for children with SEND. If appropriate, and after a full consultation with parents, we will seek advice and support from the LA and other outside agencies.

Community Engagement 

We believe our academy has a key part to play in promoting excellence and partnerships in our community through our approach to:  

  • Equity and Excellence: removing barriers to access and participation, offering equal opportunities to all our pupils to succeed at the highest level possible.
  • Engagement and Ethos: providing opportunities for children, young people and our families to interact with others from different backgrounds.
  • Equality and Diversity: It is our intention to ensure that every member of our community, child or adult, is given their opportunity to shine regardless of age, gender, culture or background. 
  • Teaching and Learning: Teaching pupils to listen and understand others, promoting discussion and debate about common or differing values thereby developing a strong understanding of fundamental British values and social/cultural/spiritual diversity.


At Connor Downs Academy, we aim that:


  • Our children will be kind, respectful and honest, demonstrate inclusive attitudes and have a sense of their role in our wider society.
  • They will take pride in all that they do, always striving to do their best. 
  • They will demonstrate emotional resilience and the ability to persevere when they encounter challenge. 
  • They will develop a sense of self-awareness and become confident in their own abilities. 
  • Our children will acquire strong communication skills, both written and verbal and will listen respectfully and with tolerance to the views of others. 
  • All children, from their unique starting points, will make good progress academically, emotionally, creatively, socially and physically. 
  • Our children leave our academy, ready for their next steps in their learning journeys.

Connor Downs Academy
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