IRIS Learning Trust was formed in June 2018 and is based in the North East of England. We are proud to serve our communities and aim to offer outstanding educational provision.
The Trust believes that to be successful and promote a culture of excellence and aspiration, we need to place improving the lives and outcomes of children at the heart of everything we do.


create a culture of high expectation and commitment to success


through our daily work secure excellent academies for our local communities

grow and learn together

work with children and families to create great places of learning for all

IRIS Learning Trust

Corporation Road





Fordfield Road, Sunderland, Tyne And Wear, SR4 0DA

01915 537655

Highfield Academy

Whole School Overview

About our curriculum

At Highfield Academy, we follow a ‘theme-based’ approach to the curriculum. This means that wherever possible, we group our subjects around a theme. The themes we choose depend on two factors: what areas of the National Curriculum we must cover and the interests and needs of the children. We want to make sure that our curriculum is relevant to our pupils and also teaches them the knowledge and skills they need for the next stage in their education and to become successful citizens of the world.

Not all subjects can naturally ‘fit’ within a theme and so these subjects are sometimes taught separately. Not everything in Maths links well with a theme and so this can sometimes run separately, but it is always taught by the class teacher and links are made whenever possible. Science can lend itself to lots of very engaging themes – space and plants both offer lots of opportunity – whereas other Science areas will be taught as ‘mini-themes.’

We also have break out weeks within the curriculum where there is a whole school focus around the same theme. These can include Science, Rights Respecting, PSHE and RSE,  Anti-Bullying and Music. These fit with National / regional events so that our pupils are aware and can contribute to topical events as they happen. We also aim to promote British values and so our curriculum is underpinned by this, alongside spiritual, moral, social and cultural development so that we develop the whole child.

We have a yearly overview and all classes from Y1 to Y6 also have different themes which will be the focus for their learning throughout the year.  These themes are shown below.

If you would like any further information about our curriculum please speak to your child's class teacher.