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Curriculum overview

At Shepherdswell Academy our ethos and values underpin all that we do, we believe that together, we learn and grow through curiosity, courage, collaboration, creativity and our community. Each day we are ready, respectful and safe. 

Every school in the East Midlands Academy Trust (EMAT) is committed to providing the highest standard of education so that all pupils are supported to be the best that can be, thought inspiration, inclusion, innovation, integrity and impact. EMAT defines the curriculum as the totality of a child’s experience of education from the Early Years to Post 16, which comprises:

  • subject knowledge explicitly taught
  • exposure to cultural capital which will support success in adult life
  • a high standard of teaching and learning
  • assessment and feedback regarding progress
  • extra-curricular activities
  • teaching of metacognitive skills and techniques to aid learning
  • development of broader employability skills and personal qualities

Shepherdswell is a two-form entry infant school in the centre of Milton Keynes, with a social communication department and pre-school onsite. We pride ourselves on being a successful, nurturing and inclusive school at the heart of our community, where we all belong.

The community that we serve is diverse, with our children entering the school from many different ethnic and social backgrounds, 70% of our pupils have English as an additional language, with a diverse range of ethnic groups represented. In the January 2020, 26% of the children had joined the school since the beginning of EYFS. Many in-year admissions occur due to new arrivals to the country or through word of mouth promoting our provision for our social communication department.

At Shepherdswell Academy, 4% of our children have an EHCP with 9% needing SEN support. Our social communication department within school means that we can meet the needs of the individual children with EHCPs, whilst providing the opportunity for them to access mainstream provision where appropriate.

Currently, 24% of children at Shepherdswell are eligible pupil premium funding, 91% of our children fall into the 50% most deprived, in the income deprivation affecting children index (IDACI). As a result of identifying needs within our community, we have additional pastoral members of staff who provide social, emotional and mental health support to our children and their families within the community.

The aim of the curriculum at Shepherdswell Academy is to provide an ambitious, motivating and enriched curriculum that meets the needs of all children, allowing them to explore and understand the world they live in. We provide opportunities for children to develop as independent and confident learners with high aspirations, empowering every child to become a responsible and successful citizen in the local and global community, becoming life-long learners.

Our curriculum incorporates the key knowledge, skills and understanding set out in the National Curriculum and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the children in our school, equipping them with high levels of literacy and numeracy and critical and creative thinking skills essential for now and in the future. The curriculum is carefully planned with high expectations to ensure clear progression within all curriculum subjects and aims to support children in gaining a deeper understanding of their learning.  Our children are provided with a firm grounding in core skills including, reading, writing, spelling, grammar and mathematics.

We recognise the importance of children becoming confident, fluent early readers and fostering a love of books.  By establishing an appreciation and love of reading, pupils develop knowledge about themselves and the world in which they live and to gaining access to a broad curriculum. Read Write Inc is well established in school as a systematic approach to teaching phonics and early reading.

We understand the importance of enrichment opportunities and experiences.Children have the opportunity to learn both inside and out of the classroom, including a Forest School, through themed days, whole school activities and opportunities within and out of school which enrich learning. We are a creative school and promote this across the curriculum.A variety of after school clubs based on interests of our children and high-quality visits and visitors extend these opportunities further. Children have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based performances, competitions and events involving other schools.

We ensure by the time children leave Shepherdswell Academy they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to continue to learn and grow independently in the next stage of their learning journey.

Curriculum overview



At Shepherdswell, we use Read Write Inc for our phonics learning.


Relationship and Sex Education

At Shepherdswell Academy, we follow the Jigsaw curriculum for Relationship and Sex Education (RSE). 

Please click on the links below for more information

RSE - A Guide for Parents and Carers leaflet

Jigsaw - Information Leaflet for Parents and Carers


Parents can find out more about our curriculum by clicking on the overview document below or by contacting the school office.


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