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At South Pennine Academies, we want every student to have the best possible chance to achieve in school.

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Orchard Primary Academy

Our Curriculum Rationale and Aims

Curriculum Aims

At Orchard Primary Academy we have developed our knowledge-rich curriculum in a way that meets the current needs of our children, the community that they live in and to give them every opportunity to succeed in life.

Our curriculum is built on rich, purposeful knowledge, carefully planned enrichment, wider-world experiences and fundamental learning behaviours and skills.

The curriculum is built on our 3 core values: Respect, Resilience and Aspiration. These values underpin each curriculum design and decision and ensure that our high proportion of disadvantaged children leave Orchard with not only the knowledge and skills to be successful, but as well-rounded global citizens.

Our curriculum aims are:

  1. To ensure that every child is able to confidently read across a wide range of rich texts and genres within the curriculum for different purposes.
  2. To ensure that our children can communicate in different ways effectively to be heard in their world.
  3. Help children develop an understanding and appreciation for the wider-world around them and how to be an active, global citizen.
  4. Ensure our children respect themselves, others around them and those who are different to them.
  5. To make sure that our children experience and broad and balanced curriculum which ignites passion and enthusiasm for life-long learning.

Curriculum Intent

At Orchard Primary Academy, the development of our basic skills in Literacy, Numeracy and Communication is critical to opening doors to the rest of our vibrant and knowledge-rich curriculum. As the majority of our children enter with extremely low starting points in these areas, our basic skills curriculum and pedagogy must ensure that children’s education is not narrowed due to deficiencies in these areas.

We believe that children must be able to orally communicate effectively, accurately write for a range of purposes and apply their knowledge of mathematical patterns and concepts. When this is achieved, children can then access a wide range of new knowledge that will then build over time as our curriculum progresses. Children must be able to hook new knowledge onto existing prior knowledge to fully appreciate and understand the subject of study. Ensuring these building blocks are carefully planned and revisited over time, along with our commitment to mastering basic skills, will ensure that our children are successful throughout their journey with us at Orchard.

All children will access our curriculum and will experience success, no matter their barriers or starting point.

Breadth and depth

Our curriculum is structured to meet all of the requirements and objectives within the National Curriculum.  Our children have access to all subjects through a curriculum which is precisely sequenced and builds on prior knowledge. In an area of high deprivation, it is vital that our children experience a range of learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom. We believe that learning through experiences and through opportunities that may otherwise be inaccessible, along with increased confidence in basic skills, will open doors for our children. Helping them understand, appreciate and access the wider world through our curriculum underpins our whole curriculum approach.

Social and emotional development

Until our children are socially, emotionally and mentally ready to learn, the quality of educational outcomes are negatively affected.  We place a huge emphasis on ensuring our children feel safe enough and regulated to take chances, try new things and be in a position to make rapid progress academically.  

Through a strong commitment to our pastoral offer and a well embedded PSHE/SMSC/RSE curriculum, we are able to meet the specific needs of our children and work through their issues and concerns to ensure they are ready to learn. We are committed to child and staff mental health and wellbeing and believe that this is a barrier that we must help to remove for our children. 

Curriculum Implementation

Our core subjects of Reading, Writing and Mathematics are taught everyday. Where topics link to our foundation subjects e.g. History,  Art, Geography, carefully planned cross-curricular activities are delivered. These links are mainly through the high-quality texts that have been chosen to broaden children's understanding of subject areas.

Reading is the curriculum driver that runs through and interlinks the whole curriculum. Our aim is to expose children to books and authors that they would not usually access or 'that they could purchase in a supermarket book isle'. Our books meet the needs of our children, inspire a love for reading and cover many aspects of wider-world issues such as : race, religion, LBTGQ+ and disability. 

Teachers deliver their lessons both inside and outside of the classroom. As we are an active school, staff are encouraged to teach outside of the classroom and use the outdoors whenever the learning lends itself to this. Lessons are also taught within our new immersion room, which gives children real-life and interactive experiences through sight, sounds and scents.

We also understand that our hidden curriculum is vital for the community that we serve. Through our curriculum drivers of: Respect, Resilient and Aspiration, we have created an ethos of acceptance and curiosity of those who are different to us and the wider-world. Our theme-days, awareness days and carefully planned personal development calendar creates a curriculum that enables children to develop into well-rounded individuals. 

To see our exciting curriculum at Orchard, please click this link to view our curriculum overview

Here is an example of the knowledge that our children learn and examples of the fantastic work that they produce on our classroom and corridor working walls below.


If you require any further information regarding our curriculum please speak to your child's class teacher.

Alternatively you can contact the school office on:

Telephone |  01924 469578 
Email |  office@orchardprimaryacademy.org.uk