Langley Mill Academy is part of Djanogly Learning Trust.
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Langley Mill Academy

  Langley Mill Academy Curriculum

The Big Picture: An aspirational &  contextualised curriculum 


a curriculum to inspire lma big pic.pdf

 At Langley Mill Academy, our curriculum  has been specifically built on the essential base-knowledge from the National Curriculum, to ensure the needs and interests of all our children are addressed and identified barriers to learning from our context are overcome. An ambitious, aspirational curriculum will open doors for the future success of all of our children to fulfil their potential through purposeful and rich learning  that broadens their perspective on life. 

Contextual Curriculum Design Principles 


Curriculum Design Principles: Curriculum Threads Rationale 

Langley Mill Academy teaches all subjects from the National Curriculum discretely, in regular timetabled lessons. This allows for sequenced progression and ensures children can build on and revisit key knowledge. We use key knowledge progression documents in all subjects to ensure that children build component knowledge, recognise each subject discipline and, ultimately, are better prepared for secondary school.

We also recognise that children gain understanding by making connections and we have carefully selected 'curriculum threads' so that we are able to connect ideas, design meaningful links between subjects and enrich children's personal development. Our threads are Sustainability, Diversity, Community and Creativity. 

curriculum threads.pdf

 Vocabulary Rich:  Vocabulary plays a fundamental role in communication and the reading process: it is critical to reading comprehension. We know that our pupils require a curriculum that provides explicit instruction in vocabulary, to support their verbal and written communication allowing all students to access technical language in wider curriculum subjects and facilitate their comprehension of increasingly complex texts. We have designed our curriculum to ensure that vocabulary is taught & learnt as essential knowledge by ensuring the following:

  • Each term children share a high-quality text, read to the pupils as a class novel. The books are selected to reinforce our school values or to give knowledge and purpose to the enquiry and provide stimulus for linked English teaching and outcomes.
  • Daily 'Themed reading' lessons provide linked reading themes, to pre-teach and embed vocabulary within and across texts, as well as embedding and expanding knowledge in other curriculum areas.
  • Explicit teaching of new vocabulary as 'sticky knowledge' that is reinforced through dual coding and BSL. 
  • Using the classroom environment to showcase key vocabulary on enquiry 'working walls' which display and share work that pupils have produced. We dual code vocabulary with images and its sign in British Sign Language. This helps us to infuse rich and sophisticated vocabulary from Year Three to Year Six into all areas of the curriculum. 
  •  'Knowledge Organisers' are used as working documents throughout the enquiry theme. They include the ten sticky knowledge questions, vocabulary for enquiry subjects, which pupils must define, and a selection of supporting visuals. 
  • Reading is interweaved into all aspects of the enquiry to encourage reading and language development and promote reading for pleasure, with '100 books' to read in each year group identified. 

Experiential: We ensure that all children gain a wealth of experience beyond the learning in the classroom.  We want our wider curriculum to inspire children to want to learn more, to provoke curiosity and to create experiences that are memorable. It is the experiential knowledge that we must foremost consider when planning our units of work and lessons so that we provide pupils with real experiences to blend with their knowledge. It also enables our pupils with Special Educational Needs & disabilities full access to our curriculum: we know that every lesson within subject disciplines must not be based around PowerPoint presentations and written outcomes and part of our staff professional development has focussed on 'Mode B' teaching and learning opportunities in which pupils work hands-on and collaboratively, making,  exploring and remembering knowledge through experiences. 

Aspirational to empower: We design our lessons so that pupils can achieve success and move toward  deeper understanding, and teachers plan for these opportunities.  Current affairs,  British Values and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) are taught throughout our curriculum and the academic year; every term pupils will be read one 'values based' class novel.  As a result of this, our children recognise the impact that 'living our values' has: they develop understanding of the world and know that they are empowered to play a part in changing it for the better.

Meaningful: Our learning at Langley Mill Academy is purposeful and children know that what they learn will have an impact. Our curriculum reinforces our school values and British Values. Pupils learn how these values have become embedded in our way of life.  Termly 'Learning Looks' with parents encourage the sharing of learning to all stakeholders and the pupils recognise that their learning matters. The knowledge and skills taught have a clear progression through the use of our progression planning documents ensuring that the learning builds upon what has been previously taught, allowing children to embed knowledge by creating schemas and transferring their ‘sticky’ knowledge to their long-term memory.




We recognise that knowledge matters: the more children know, the more they can learn. We have thought carefully about designing a knowledge-rich curriculum and  the types of knowledge that our curriculum must deliver: 

  • Substantive knowledge: The key facts that we want our children to know and recall – we call this 'sticky knowledge' because it is the acquired knowledge our children will always remember and build upon.
  • Disciplinary knowledge: The knowledge of how we know and the methods that are used to establish substantive facts. 
  • Experiential knowledge: The knowledge that can only be gained through first-hand experience – we consider this to be experiences such as feeling the repelling force of magnets, the momentum of a basketball or the sensation of power when observing a working water wheel. We recognise that children cannot gain this knowledge through classroom based learning only. Therefore, we have carefully mapped experiences and visits to support our wider curriculum. 

Key Knowledge: Ensuring progression

We know that our children need a curriculum that embeds knowledge to be remembered – not merely encountered – and that feeding previous topics into current topics, supported by practice and retrieval strategies, is essential to our pupils accumulating substantive knowledge over time. We have designed our curriculum so pupils can make meaningful links across the knowledge they learn in subjects. We have considered the disciplinary knowledge of the subjects we teach and what it means to work as a designer or a historian. 

 History KKPD Geography KKPD 

 Maths: White Rose Maths National Curriculum Progression #MathsEveryoneCan 

 Science KKPD Physical Education KKPD Music KKPD 

 Design & Technology KKPDArt & Design KKPD 

Spanish KKPD 

 Computing KKPDReligious Education KKPDBritish Sign Language KKPD

 Relationship, Sex and Health Education KKPD 

Curriculum Overview: Discrete subjects & learning through enquiry

We recognise that tenuous links between subjects can undermine the integrity of disciplines; therefore we have chosen to teach all subjects discretely, whilst also recognising opportunities for meaningful connections. For history and geography we have developed our own units so that we can plan for opportunities to utilise  the local area and museums. 

We have planned and mapped sequences of lessons from our Key Knowledge Progression Documents (KKPD) which ensure knowledge to be learnt is sequenced and progressive throughout Years 3 -6. All subjects are discretely taught and timetabled weekly, except for History & Geography which are taught through an enquiry approach across terms. 

Year 3 Curriculum Overview Year 4 Curriculum Overview 

Year 5 Curriculum Overview Year 6 Curriculum Overview 

Our enquiry-question based strategy, which requires pupils to embed knowledge to answer questions, takes children on a journey of memorable and meaningful learning culminating in authentic outcomes - which leave a legacy. We have designed an enquiry question, within themes for each term, that introduces pupils to their history & geography enquiries. 


Every week, within a term, will have a history or geography 'sticky knowledge' question that all pupils will learn to answer. Teacher's medium term planning, detailing the ten questions, will use our Key Knowledge Progression Documents to build knowledge across a topic and relate back to prior learning in order to form a fully cohesive unit of learning, which will be assessed through the ten sticky knowledge questions. Tier 3 vocabulary will be taught, acquired & then required to answer the sticky knowledge question.

We  display the ten questions in every classroom and add work and comments as pupils move through the sequence of learning. We quiz our pupils on these questions during the term, checking at the mid-point that pupils have acquired and retained knowledge from the first five weeks. This allows teachers to assess for learning, and adapt teaching if required.


A curriculum with reading at its heart

We recognise that fluency in the core subjects, with a carefully designed reading curriculum at the heart, enables all pupils to become confident, competent readers. We have considered carefully how we structure and teach our lessons, enabling all children to acquire vocabulary, through rich, diverse experiences and reading experiences which fire imaginations. Teachers plan linked, themed reading which both develops pupils’ fluency in reading and their knowledge of a subject: the two are mutually reinforcing.

English, as a subject, will be taught discretely. However we recognise and plan for meaningful links so that pupils' reading and writing opportunities may also link to their curriculum enquiry theme. We have identified up to two supporting class novels per term to support the wider-curriculum and enquiry questions. Additional, daily, themed reading lessons, can  also support the wider-curriculum, and teachers identify these opportunities in their medium term planning. We have also ensured that our '100 books' to read in each year group contain wider-curriculum supporting novels and non-fiction materials. 

Think Deep: Home Learning Discovery Task 

 We have designed 'Knowledge Organisers' that pupils use as working documents throughout their enquiry theme. It includes the ten sticky knowledge questions, vocabulary for driver and enhancer subjects, and a selection of supporting visuals. A key component of the Knowledge Organiser is the 'Home Learning Discovery Task' which is set to the children at the mid-point of the enquiry, in week 5.

This is an opportunity for pupils to pursue further learning at home from three suggested points of enquiry or tasks, in which they will be thinking deeply about a particular subject area and working creatively to produce a quality piece of homework. This work will be valued in school and displayed alongside our classroom enquiry display,  shared in our Friday 'Values Awards Assembly' & shared with our parents and families at our end of term 'Show Case Events', in which we invite our community into each year group to celebrate the children's learning. 


As part of the curriculum we also use the  Djanogly Dozen – twelve opportunities that we believe every pupil should experience whilst a pupil at Langley Mill Academy. This includes a visit to the seaside,  growing our own food, star gazing, a night away from home and a visit to London. All pupils are provided with a Djanogly Dozen Passport on entry in which they can record their experiences. 

enrichment at langley mill.pdf


The theme of values is continually built upon and developed within our curriculum. British values are planned for through our Key Knowledge Progression and our English Curriculum ensures pupils share a class novel reading book that fosters and explores our school values every term. 


We have tailored the implementation of our curriculum to ensure that it meets the needs of all learners whatever their starting point may be.  We recognise that some of our children have significant barriers to learning, whether they be physical, emotional, social or cognitive and we work hard to ensure that these barriers are removed or their impact lessened.

English and mathematics are taught daily. Children take part in themed reading sessions  and listen to the class novel daily.  Individual reading is also completed – the frequency is based on a need basis. Phonics, where needed, is taught daily via targeted interventions.  Spelling is taught weekly.

Dedicated lessons in PE are taught twice a week, BSL and science once a week, RE, RSHE and computing weekly or for an extended lesson once a fortnight.

The three themes teach the skills and knowledge of the history, geography, design and technology, and the art & design curriculum. These topics have links to Values for Life in Modern Britain, outdoor learning, the Djanogly Dozen and offsite learning.  They are taught throughout the term several times a week grouped by teachers either by subject, or theme where appropriate. 

Theme days are marked and celebrated each term such as online safety, Show Racism the Red card, Anti-Bullying and Children in Need.




Assessment: Age Related Expectations & Working at Greater Depth

 Children at Langley Mill are assessed as working at Age Related Expectation (ARE) if they learn and can then recall the identified key knowledge within that subject. Some children will not be able to recall all component knowledge in a subject and will be assessed as working just below or below age related expectations. In these cases, opportunities, including interventions will be used to help children catch-up; however, every pupil at Langley Mill will continue to experience the age - related content of the National Curriculum in all subjects and will be supported by carefully selected learning scaffolds from our Special Educational Needs Core Offer. 

It can be hard to identify a greater depth pupil in history as mastery in history does not look like mastery in maths. It does not simply mean knowing more about a topic. Greater depth has several characteristics that we want all our pupils to achieve and we teach these learning behaviours through the 'Creative Habits'.

greater depth.pdf


We measure the impact of our curriculum using a variety of methods to build a balanced and broad overview: 

  • Attainment outcomes in all subjects
  • Standard of learning in books evidencing pupils end points
  • Pupil voice
  • Destination data
  • Attendance data
  • Behaviour data
  • Parent / Carer learning looks, voice & surveys

Our children have a broad, balanced, relevant and rich curriculum that develops their knowledge, skills and experiences to thrive as lifelong reflective learners. Our children have the strategies that they need to facilitate their own learning and achieve their full potential in the next phase of their education. They feel empowered, have high self-confidence, are able to follow areas of interest and have the skills and disposition to thrive in the challenging global environment of the 21st century.

The social and moral threads in our curriculum and our school values that run throughout our school life result in children recognising that they can make a change in communities and help others. Our children’s vocabulary significantly increases and high-quality work displays echoes progress for all learners throughout school.