School Alerts
Home / Denaby Main Academy curriculum aims and intent.​ 

Denaby Main Academy curriculum aims and intent.​ 

Curriculum Intent at Denaby Main.

  • Our curriculum is underpinned by our core values -scholarship, tenacity, curiosity, aspiration and empathy. An understanding of these is taught throughout the discrete subject areas as well as through our shared activities and assemblies. Each week at our celebration assembly we highlight children who have demonstrated an understanding of these values.​
  • We are proud to be a primary academy which has strong links with the local community. Many of our children’s parents attended Denaby Main Academy and there is a rich history surrounding the school.​ Therefore, we believe that our curriculum should educate all children about their role within the world and the positive impact they can have on their own lives and those around them. Our curriculum aims to develop curious, resilient learners who are well rounded members of society.
  • We believe that all children should have access to as many opportunities as possible so that they develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the world and their role within it. We encourage our children to develop independence and resilience and to have high aspirations for themselves.
  • We believe that all children should be exposed to activities and situations where they develop a broad range of interpersonal skills and an understanding of diversity and tolerance. We teach children to develop a sense of responsibility
  • We teach children the importance of being both a good listener and a good communicator. We emphasise team working and the growth in confidence to feel proud.
  • All subject leaders are given training and opportunities to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding so that they can support ongoing curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school.​
  • Theme weeks, whole school activities and opportunities within and outside school all enrich and develop the children’s learning. After school clubs and events extend these opportunities further. Additional whole school programmes and approaches support quality teaching and learning.​

Curriculum Drivers

At Denaby Main Academy we believe that our curriculum should offer children not only the National Curriculum but life skills and experiences beyond this. With this in mind; we have worked to prioritise the things we want our children to experience during their time with us. We use these ‘drivers’ to underpin all the work we undertake in all areas of school life and to ensure our curriculum offer is enriched and personalised to our children and their families. We have 5 drivers that underpin every decision we make regarding our children’s learning and experiences in school, these drivers are personal to our school and reflect the social and educational needs of our local area.

Our drivers are:  Scholarship, Curiosity, Tenacity, Empathy and Aspiration.



We will be informed by the best academic and organisational thinking and research, using this where we can and expanding it where possible.


We will ask searching questions; not take things on face value, seek out the best of what is known and engage in appreciative enquiry.


We will deliver on our promise and see things through to completion. We will embody pace, urgency and determination in our focus on improving outcomes for children and our own performance.


Empathy means the ability to share another person’s feelings or experiences by imagining how it would feel to be in their situation. We aim to develop children’s empathy by encouraging them to talk about and express their emotions in a positive manner. Throughout the curriculum we aim to shine a light on other people’s feelings and situations.


Aspiration is the hope or ambition to achieve something.  We believe that the development of aspirations encourages children to take pride in themselves and be the very best they can be. It is essential that our children are made aware of the range of possibilities that are available to them during their time with us, and beyond. We therefore seek to understand, recognise and promote the skills, qualities and capabilities of each child.

Our Curriculum Implementation.

  • The curriculum at Denaby Main Academy is built upon the primary National Curriculum 2014 and the Primary Knowledge Curriculum for Science, Geography, History and Art.
  • Termly plans are created and knowledge organisers are shared with parents. These highlight key skills, knowledge and vocabulary which the children will learn as part of the subject. These are placed on our website.
  • We recognise that the impact of Covid 19 has led to some children having gaps in key skills and knowledge. Teachers plan to close these gaps throughout their daily teaching as well as in the provision for intervention.
  • Our  next step is for each theme to be have a launch event which will hook the children in to the learning for the term.
  • Each theme will also have a “landing” which parents can share.
  • We also invite parents to share in the curriculum by attending key events and activities such as an Art gallery or a performance.

Reading at Denaby Main Academy

Our Intent

The teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. Our reading curriculum strives to foster a lifelong love of reading.  We cultivate the behaviours that they will need to be discerning readers as they read frequently and widely using self-regulation strategies and discuss what they read. This curriculum is delivered through synthetic phonics, a linked approach to shared and guided reading, home reading, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality texts read aloud every day. All of these are essential components as they offer the range of opportunities needed to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers.

It is important that children are motivated to read at home regularly; when their reading opportunities increase, so does their fluency and stamina which in turn increases their enjoyment of reading.  Thus, we work hard to foster a love of independent reading and build communities of engaged readers. We understand the significance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills so we endeavour to build a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to have the confidence to support their children with reading at home.

Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum. We are committed to promoting a love for reading and not only giving children opportunities to read in English lessons, but in the wider curriculum too.

Our Implementation.

We use a range of reading strategies to support your child on their journey to becoming a fluent reader. We use Read, Write Inc as our core reading scheme but we also encourage the children to choose from our library as well as read books from home.  We want our children to practise reading so that they develop this important skill. Every child who reads 4 times each week adds a sticker to their reading journey card. At each milestone the children choose a reward from the School Council shop and have their photo added to our Reading Champions board.

Our older pupils read with our younger pupils on a regular basis. This supports both age groups to enjoy reading and to value this important skill.

In year 3, the majority of children will be secure enough in their phonic ability to move on from the Read, Write, Inc. programme. 

The Big Five – National Reading Panel Report tells us that the 5 pillars of how children learn to read are: 

  1. Phonemic awareness (covered in nursery) 
  1. Phonics (FS2 – Y2) 
  1. Fluency 
  1. Vocabulary 
  1. Comprehension 

At Denaby Main, our approach to reading has been developed with these concepts in mind. 

Reading, spelling and vocabulary is taught daily 9:00am to 10:00am from FS2 – Y6. 

FS2 – Y2 follow Read, Write, Inc spelling (see phonics policy) 

Phonics teaching at Denaby Main Academy

We have introduced Read, Write, Inc as our core phonics teaching programme.

FS2, Year 1 and Year 2 have a daily phonic session, Spelling is taught consistently across KS 2.

The link below will give you further information.


Parent leaflet



Children’s progress in phonics is continually reviewed through periodic phonic assessments and evidence from their reading and writing. Through these, teachers identify the graphemes that need to be addressed which then informs groupings. In June, the national Phonics Screening Check is undertaken to confirm that the children have learned to decode to an age appropriate standard and determines what level of provision they will require the following year.

Writing at Denaby Main Academy.


We believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school. We want them to write clearly, accurately, coherently, and creatively, adapting their language and style for a range of meaningful contexts, purposes and audiences.
Handwriting, spelling and grammar will be explicitly taught to ensure that children are able to understand the conventions of writing and manipulate language to create effects for the reader.

We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing. Children will learn the cursive script and will present their writing in variety of ways and write for a variety of genres for both English lessons and the wider curriculum. Through the writing process, children will acquire and learn the skills to plan, draft and refine their written work over time and are encouraged to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing.

Our Implementation

We use the Literary Tree Curriculum to support our teaching of writing across our school as we believe that placing high quality children’s literature at the core of teaching and learning really supports the children to develop into confident writers.


Children are initially taught spelling through the Read, Write, Inc programme. When they have become fluent readers spelling is taught through daily sessions and through Word of the Day. By exploring spelling patterns and rules, we aim to create confident and proficient spellers using a discrete teaching approach underpinned by phonics.

Children are also taught to

  •  Spell accurately and identify reasons for mis-spellings.
  •  Proof-read their spellings
  •  Recognise and use word origins, families and roots to build their skills
  • Use dictionaries and thesauruses.

Grammar, Punctuation and Vocabulary 

Grammar, punctuation and vocabulary skills are taught explicitly during writing lessons and the children identify how authors have used them effectively during their reading lessons. Grammar and punctuation is planned and taught using the 2014 National curriculum year group expectations and children are expected to apply their knowledge in their writing.


We are also working hard to encourage the children to develop a fluent, legible handwriting style. This is taught through the Read, Write, Inc programme from EYFS and throughout KS1.  We then use the Nelson Handwriting scheme to build upon this secure foundation. All children in Years 3, 4 and 5 are currently working towards achieving their handwriting pen licence.

In order to earn a pen licence in Key Stage Two at Denaby Main Academy, the following skills must be demonstrated consistently in all areas of the curriculum.

These are: 

  • Using a correct pencil grip 
  • Writing on the lines 
  • Joining letters correctly 
  • Starting each letter/digit in the correct place 
  • Keeping letters/digits the same size
  • Forming letter/digits with the correct shape
  • Leaving appropriate gaps between words
  • Ensuring that ascending and descending strokes are the right length.  


Teachers use assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process and link it clearly to the children’s next steps. Teachers record and track each child’s progress and use this to set future targets. They use a variety of formative assessment methods and constructive marking strategies. In addition to this, children also complete

  • Read, Write Inc Spelling Test
  • Rising Stars SPAG Assessment (End of Each Term)

The impact on our children is that they have the knowledge and skills to be able to write successfully for a purpose and audience. With the implementation of the writing sequence being established and taught in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and have the ability to plan, draft and edit their own work. By the end of key stage 2 children have developed a writer’s craft, they enjoy sustained writing and can manipulate language, grammar and punctuation to create effect. As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards are improving and skills taught in the English lesson are beginning to be transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific language, grammar and punctuation

Mathematics at Denaby Main Academy

At Denaby Main Academy we expect the highest aspirations for our pupils. We want all children to learn and make academic progress no matter their starting points. We have a clear vision for what we want pupils to achieve during their time with us and have designed our curriculum to give all pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they will need in their future years.

Our Maths Intent Statement

The value of a high-quality mathematics education is well recognised for its importance both to the individual and to society. Being competent in mathematics is key for functioning within a community and being a productive part of the workforce. The study of mathematics reaches beyond this and ‘provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, appreciation for the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.’ (National Curriculum).  We intend for our pupils to make sense of the mathematics they are learning; that they will have more memorable and enjoyable experiences that are more likely to be remembered in the long term. They will also be able to do more as they understand how to push the boundaries of what they know and apply it to solve problems.

Our Maths Implementation

At Denaby Main Academy, we have adopted a knowledge rich maths curriculum that allows for cumulative development of both knowledge and skills. We adopted the Ark Curriculum to support our delivery of a cumulative curriculum that helps learners to make connections between different mathematical concepts. It regularly encourages retrieving, using and applying concepts regularly, transferring to new contexts helps develop fluency as well as conceptual understanding.

Teachers deliver a full hour maths lesson every day and also allow 15 minutes each day for a ‘Maths Meeting’ to visit any topics they feel relevant.

Our Mastery Curriculum seeks to develop one of our key priorities – developing language because pupils are actively encouraged to articulate, justify and explain their thinking, both as individuals and in groups. Lessons provide opportunities to explore, investigate and debate ideas using objects and images, and pupils will be enabled to make meaningful connections in mathematics.

Our Mastery Curriculum is underpinned by 3 dimensions of depth: Conceptual Understanding, Language and Communication and Mathematical Thinking and these are evident through:

  • A cumulative curriculum that builds upon learning, allowing pupils to make deep connections across topics
  • Use of multiple representations throughout to strengthen conceptual understanding
  • Emphasis on learning, and confidently using language to communicate mathematical problems
  • Use of careful questioning to encourage students to build mathematical habits of mind

We also challenge the children to develop their fluency of the times tables in order to boost their knowledge.  All children have access to a fun maths practice programme can be accessed from home.

Impact of our maths teaching.

Because learning is a change to long-term memory it is sometimes challenging to see impact in the short term.  In maths,  it is expected that evidence of the children’s study will be recorded in books which can include the work, or photographs of the work they produce each lesson. These activities are all provided for in lesson to lesson planning. In maths, we will assess pupils’ work termly using a pupil tracker which contributes towards a termly summative assessment of how pupil’s responses (written or verbal) may be presented at different levels (working towards, working at or working beyond), as appropriate to children’s age and stage.

In addition, we measure impact of mathematics through:

  • lesson observations – how well children are learning and how they explain mathematical understanding;
  • learning walks – how well the curriculum intent is embedded
  • book looks – as part of triangulation with learning walks and assessments
  • pupil voice – enables us to listen to pupils’ views about their learning and how well curriculum content is taught and understood;
  • assessment data tracking by the mathematics subject leader




Translate Language »