The Springfields Academy

Reach South Academy Trust

Our central mission is for Reach South pupils to aspire to achieve beyond the expectations that others place on them.

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COgnition and learning

The Cognition and Learning thread of our (semi - formal) Discovery curriculum provides our learners with a strong foundation for their life long learning journey. 


Our Discovery learners develop knowledge in:

  • Early Reading 
  • Early Writing
  • Early Maths
  • Creative arts: Music, Drama, Dance 
  • Knowledge and understanding of the world e.g. Science, Humanities  
  • Physical Education
  • Personal, Social and Health Education
  • Play

Our Discovery Pathfinder learners develop knowledge in:

  • Functional Reading
  • Functional Writing
  • Functional Maths
  • Knowledge and understanding of the world e.g. Science, Humanities  
  • Creative arts: Music, Drama, Dance 
  • Functional Life Skills
  • Preparation for Adulthood

Learning Skills:

Working Memory 

Our Discovery learners learn best when learning is related to their own experiences. A key fundamental of their curriculum and provision is the development of the working memory. Our Discovery learners require additional support to develop working memory to help them with the demands of the learning environments. 

Dr Joni Holmes (Working memory and learning difficulties 2012) states that “working memory enables us to store information in our minds for short periods of time and use it in our current thinking. It is a kind of mental workspace that we use for many aspects of our everyday life, including reading comprehension, mental arithmetic and planning a series of thoughts or actions. For children, it appears to play a crucial role both in supporting learning and in maintaining focused behaviour in the classroom.”

Memory loads within our Discovery classrooms are reduced by breaking tasks and instructions down into smaller steps, frequently repeating important information in a way that makes sense to the learner, re-presenting information and by encouraging the use of memory aids.


We place emphasis on opportunities to overlearn key concepts in a range on contexts to ensure that knowledge and skills are generalised and secure in our learners long term memory. 

Problem Solving:

We teach problem solving explicitly to our Discovery learners to enable them to develop the ability to generalise a skills and develop and understanding of where to use it with other skills to solve a problem.

We use the following process in our teaching to promote generalisation skills to a cariety of contexts:

  • Perception of problem
  • Thinking about a problem and its solution
  • Action trying out a new strategy
  • Evaluation of the strategy adopted


Teaching Thinking:

Our Discovery learners have opportunity to:

  • Focus on general thinking skills
  • Access subject specific learning e.g. Maths, phonics
  • Have the opportunity to transfer and use learned skills across the curriculum in a variety of different situations

Discovery staff explicitly model the thinking process and use talking and thinking vocabulary to support the development of thinking skills in our learners.