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Discovery Curriculum

Discovery is a bespoke curriculum that DBIS has developed to meet the learning needs of our students. It is a concept based curriculum that is rooted in an enquiry approach to learning. Concept based instruction results in higher level integrated thinking. It requires students to think about topics and facts in terms of their transferable significance, which results in greater cross curricular integration.

Each Discovery Unit of Enquiry that forms the curriculum is based around a Conceptual Understanding, which is driven by Key Concepts and Understanding Goals. The learning focuses on building an understanding of the Concepts and the Conceptual Understanding, developing a mastering of learning skills and dispositions as well as acquiring essential knowledge. Discovery focuses on key learning skills and knowledge within Science, History, Geography, Art/DT, Learning Technologies and it is anchored by Internationalism. English and Maths skills transcend each unit and in turn the units themselves will often provide a contextual learning experience for the development of skills in these curriculum areas.


Each Discovery Unit of Enquiry is structured in the following way:


Conceptual Understanding

This is a broad statement that brings together the understanding goals. It includes most or all of the concepts. It will be complex and will have global significance.



These represent the big, abstract ideas that underpin the unit.


Understanding Goals

These are derived from the body of knowledge. The understanding goals are the most significant and intriguing aspects of the unit for our learners. This is what our students will understand as opposed to what they should know or be able to do.


The Enquiry Learning Skills

These underpin learning and skills development in Discovery and transfer to all areas of learning. These are laid out progressively in learning ladders for each standard within the primary school. They provide a focus for the students within Discovery learning engagements and at DBIS our students will aspire to show these skills within other areas of the curriculum.



Students can formulate questions and locate and use a wide range of sources and techniques to investigate problems, interests and issues. Students can think critically about the information they gather and they are careful to acknowledge our sources.



Students can think logically, creatively and reflectively. They think about how we use our thinking and have different strategies for making our thinking visible to others. They remain open minded and know that their thinking changes as they learn.



Students can work with each other on shared goals, questions and challenges. They know how to be a constructive part of a team, to use different roles for different tasks and to actively listen to and respect other people’s views. They understand how their behaviour affects others.



Students can communicate ideas confidently in different ways and for different purposes. They listen thoughtfully to what others communicate to them. They can adapt their communication style to different contexts.


Self Management

Students can learn independently and can make wise decisions about their learning. They know themselves as learners and can set and work towards personal goals. They know they can continually improve as learners.


Learning for Life -  Personal Goals

The personal qualities and dispositions that are incorporated into the Learning For Life programme help our students develop their character through their learning. Students’ efforts towards achieving these goals are reflected in the Discovery Curriculum and in all aspects of school life.



Students try new things and explore different strategies that will help their thinking, learning and understanding. Students are able to change their behaviours and ideas to suit different situations within their learning. Being able to accept change and welcome new ideas is always encouraged.



Students make themselves aware of the needs and feelings of others and take action to help them. They are encouraged to show concern and compassion to help comfort someone and so make a difference. A simple act of kindness can inspire others to act in a similar way.



Students work alongside other people, understanding that everyone has a role to play within the group, as well as respecting each other’s views and ideas.



Students think about choices, making decisions and doing the right thing. They know the difference between right and wrong and show this through their actions.



Students keep on trying even when they find something difficult. Being faced with a challenge is a good thing and shows they are encountering new learning. Using a Growth Mindset can help students to keep on going even when they want to give up.



Students care for and respect the needs of other people, living things and the environment. Students act in a way that shows they care about the feelings and well being of others.