Foundation Subjects

Foundation Subjects

Design Technology 

Design and Technology provides the pupils at Springfield Academy with an opportunity to tackle problems of a practical nature.  The cross curricular nature of Design and Technology offers a setting for the children to apply knowledge and skills from a number of other subjects including engineering, maths and science. Skills are developed using tools and techniques in designing and making artefacts and food products with an emphasis on healthy living. Working with a variety of materials aims to help children learn important life skills. Children learn independently and in groups, learning to co-operate, plan, design and make and evaluate their work. They learn to make their own decisions with help and encouragement.

In Key Stage 1 the children will learn to design purposeful, functional and appealing products that are based on design criteria. They will make products by using a wide range of materials and develop the use of tools to cut, shape, join and finish. They will learn to evaluate products and suggest how it could be improved to be stronger, stiffer and more stable. They will learn to cook simple food with an emphasis on savoury dishes.

In Key Stage 2 the children will learn to design purposeful products that are aimed at particular individuals or groups. They will develop their ideas through detailed planning, evaluating product design, observational drawings and making prototypes. They will make products and learn how to use a wide variety of tools, equipment, materials and components. They will learn to design and cook food with an emphasis on savoury dishes.

Strong links with Haughton Academy are forged within Design Technology with KS2 children accessing provision and specialist teaching.

Links are also made with the wider community with engaging engineering projects being run by Cummins.


At Springfield Academy we focus on French throughout Key Stage 2. We believe that it is important that the children gain experiences of other languages. We aim to heighten their awareness of these through the teaching of various topics throughout the school year. European days and Inter-cultural celebrations take place to support this ethos.

The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:

understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.


Our PSHE curriculum aims to give the pupils at Springfield Academy the knowledge to understand the choices they face as they grow up and the skills to make safe choices as they prepare to become adults.

Our curriculum aims to develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, team work and critical thinking in the context of learning grouped into four core themes: Citizenship and Economic Well-being, Relationships Education / Growing Up, Healthy Lifestyles and Staying Safe.

Healthy lifestyles include being prepared for puberty, drugs education (especially smoking and alcohol) and sexual health.

In relationships we look at positive friendships but also explore bullying/controlling behaviour and what to do if they are being treated in a way they do not like.

Staying safe includes staying safe online.

Pupils also study citizenship issues to help to develop and express their own opinions. Topics include understanding and tolerating people who are different from them and developing a basic understanding of our political system and British values.

Across the school, topics and lesson content are adapted to the needs of each group and the school is skilled at making sensitive issues accessible to pupils in a safe and supportive environment.


In the Foundation Stage, history is part of Development Matters learning objectives for developing children's understanding of the world, so our children will learn through experiences that introduce the concept of time and change. Children are encouraged to investigate how things change over time - including how they have changed since being a baby. Children will also take part in exploring patterns, routines and events to celebrate time.

In KS1 and KS2 History is taught through our cross curricular topics.  At Springfield we ensure the objectives for the National Curriculum for history are covered in a stimulating, challenging and engaging way. The past comes to life when children use a variety of sources of information to find clues and evidence and take part in discussions with their peers. Through History, children learn to make comparisons and links between the past and modern times and discover how and why things have changed.  They learn about people and events in the past, in Britain and the wider world, and realise that these have influenced our lives today. Children are taught how to investigate and record their findings in interesting and creative ways including writing, art, drama and ICT.

We aim to provide first hand experiences with role play, class visits, workshops and visiting experts playing an important part in all our topics.


At Springfield Academy we teach art through topic based learning. Nursery and Reception focus on exploring and using media and materials through play, which means we can follow the children’s interests. Art materials are always available for the children to use when they choose to direct they learning in that way. Due to the Nursery and Reception children working within the same EYFS unit the children have the opportunity to learn from each other as well as from staff. This means that the children develop their skills throughout their time in the EYFS unit because the art materials are part of our continuous provision. 

Key Stage 1 and 2 have a topic each term. This topic based learning in Key Stage 1 and 2 enables the children to have a focus and a purpose to their art. To look at different artist's styles and techniques and to combine art with other subjects such as Design Technology or History. This interwoven approach to learning enhances the children's work and inspires them to create something that is exciting while acquiring new technical skills.

Religious Education

Religious Education at Springfield Academy is exciting and covers a variety of World Religions.
Key Stage 1 and 2 follow the Darlington Agreed Syllabus (2015). The children learn about Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam. Each religion is looked at through probing questions such as, What can we find out about religious communities in our local area? The children are challenged to learn through different formats such as writing reports, giving presentations, drawing and acting out as well as visiting religious places of worship and meeting people of different faiths. We also aim to promote British Values through our lessons. In Early Years they celebrate their differences and similarities through learning about People and Communities. Early Years also learn about religious festivals such as Christmas and Diwali through practical workshops and performing the Nativity.


Computers are essential to children’s lives at school and at home. Computational thinking is a skill which children must be taught so they are ready for the future workplace and to take part in the rapidly changing digital world. It is so much fun and allows our children to solve problems, design systems and explore and understand the endless possibilities of today’s computer based technology.

At Springfield Academy, our children are given the opportunity to develop their computing skills using a range of IT equipment and software to provide them with the knowledge and skills they need for the rest of their lives. It is no longer enough to learn how to use a computer and stay safe, but our children need to adopt an attitude of readiness for change in computer science, information technology and digital literacy. Digital literacy is the foundation to real life computing; therefore, it is a key focus within the curriculum at Springfield Academy. The learning, within computing, at Springfield Academy is the first steps and foundation for our children to build their confidence for the future!


Geography inspires curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, within children.  Springfield Academy aim to equip our children with knowledge about people, resources and natural and human environments, in and around our local area of Darlington and the wider world. We do this using a cross-curricular approach, which is relevant, engaging and interesting for our children. As children progress, their growing knowledge will help them deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and the of the formation and use of different landscapes. Children leave Springfield Academy, with geographical knowledge, understanding and skills, which will allow them to explain how the earth’s features, both in their local area and the wider world, are shaped, interconnected and change over time.


PE and sport have always been an integral part of our learning at Springfield. Through high quality PE lessons ensuring National Curriculum coverage, children are inspired to succeed and, at times, excel in competitive sport and physical activities.

PE and sport are differentiated in school, with key skills that can be transferred between a range of sports being learnt in curriculum PE, and sport-specific skills learnt in after-school clubs, or discrete sessions held in the run-up to a particular sporting event.

Curriculum PE

Curriculum PE provides all children with opportunities to become physically confident, to develop competence to excel, to become physically active and to engage in a wide range of activities. PE lessons focus on developing transferable skills, which can then be applied to a number of different sports, and activities as the children develop.

Through the year groups, children will cover the following units: games, invasion games, gymnastics, dance, striking and fielding games, athletics and outdoor and adventurous activities. These units cover a half term each. Within each unit, sessions are broken down so that children progress through ‘Developing Skills’, ‘Making and Applying Decisions’ and ‘Developing physical and mental capacity’ activities. Each individual session shows children, and allows them to lead, warm-ups and stretches, whilst ensuring that pupils are made aware of the importance of these. The sessions enable all children to be physically active for at least 75% of the time, and skills are built up until they can be demonstrated in various situations at the end of a lesson. A cool-down then takes place, and children are constantly reminded of the benefits of this part of the session.

Springfield follow the core tasks for PE, provided by the PESSCL (Physical Education School Sport and Club Link).

In Key Stage 1, there is a focus on developing fundamental movement skills; increasing competence and confidence in agility, balance and coordination. Children are encouraged to work individually, in pairs and in small groups to apply their skills in different contexts, and are given opportunities to engage in competitive and co-operative physical activities. These activities will increase in challenge as the children work their way up the school. Through PE lessons, children are taught how to master basic movements, such as running, jumping, throwing and catching, and they begin to apply these in to game situations. They participate in team games, with the aim of developing simple tactics for attacking and defending, and also perform simple dances, with a focus on the creation of basic movement patterns.

In Key Stage 2, pupils continue to develop a broader range of skills, and apply these in more challenging activities. There is an increased focus on communicating, collaborating and competing with each other, and they are given increased opportunities to evaluate their performances and identify how they could improve, as well as celebrating their own successes. Pupils further their running, jumping, throwing and catching skills and use them in combination in more complex activities. In Upper Key Stage 2, children begin to apply learnt skills to more competitive games, and may play different versions of games such as basketball, cricket, hockey, rounders and tennis. In gymnastics, children are taught how to develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance, and in dance are taught how to use different movement patterns. In better weather, children take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges, within a team.

PE lessons are usually taught by the class teacher. However, Springfield do utilise PE specialists from Middlesbrough Football Club in each week to teach PE. They are currently working in Year 5 and Year 6. At different points within the year, some classes also receive professional coaching in some units, provided through our link with Darlington School Sport Partnership.


As part of our link with Darlington School Sport Partnership, we are automatically entered into a number of competitions and festivals throughout the school year. These are mainly focussed on Years 5 and 6; however, there are some events for the younger children to take part in, too. Teams are chosen based on skills shown in PE lessons, or in trials put on for some events. There are also after-school clubs that focus on a sport which is upcoming on the competition calendar. These competitions are friendly, and promote team skills and sportsmanship. We celebrate our success at these events at our annual Sports Presentation evening, which is held every July. Sports which Springfield Academy children regularly compete in include tag rugby, cross-country, sports hall athletics, table tennis, basketball, football, swimming, dance and athletics. Following sports competitions, the school actively encourage children to join local sports clubs to further their skills in particular activities.

Extended Schools

Springfield’s extended schools programme has always been extensive, and there are a range of sports which are included within the weekly timetable. These clubs allow staff to select children for teams, whilst also ensuring that skills levels are maintained at a high level to give children the best chance of success at the competitions and festivals. Sporting clubs include swimming, football, dance, basketball, cricket and netball, and are often rotated according to the competition calendar.