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Curriculum & Research

Curriculum Framework

Our curriculum framework places a high value on research evidence and school best practice. Our leaders understand the concepts behind effective curriculum design. Curriculum content is sequenced to ensure that components of knowledge lead to conceptual understanding. Our teachers are experts whose methods maximise learning and the retention of knowledge and skills. This ensures that every lesson counts, and over time, this provides an exceptional curriculum for every student. Schools provide for the Personal Development of all pupils.



  1. CONTENT (Knowledge)
  • Curriculum content is knowledge-rich, tackles misconceptions and builds prior knowledge, across phases.
  • Curriculum content combines knowledge and skills effectively.
  • A series of clearly specified components are taught to high levels of retention and joined together as composite activities.
  • Curriculum content is stimulating and engaging, providing powerful, relevant learning for all.
  • Homework is used to consolidate and embed knowledge and skills
  • Tier 1, 2 & 3 vocabulary is taught as part of the curriculum that encourages pupils to become word curious.
  • Etymology / morphology is taught explicitly.
  • Teachers ensure that their own speaking, listening, writing, and reading of English support pupils in developing their language and vocabulary well.
  • The introduction of new knowledge and skills is logical, introduced progressively and develops challenge for learners as they move through the curriculum.
  • Teachers understand cognitive load theory and the impact of over-loading short-term memory.
  • Retrieval practice strategies are used effectively.
  • Knowledge is spaced and / or interleaved to ensure retention and understanding.
  • Pupils have time to develop fluency through deliberate practice.
  • Teachers capitalise upon opportunities for transferable knowledge
  • In primaries, there is a rigorous approach to phonics teaching so that pupils have the language comprehension required to read.
  • Texts are chosen for use in the classroom because they introduce students to the best that has been thought, said and done throughout human history or engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.
  • Texts will be carefully sequenced throughout the curriculum, including within individual subjects.
  • Teachers will model the reading of texts, ensuring that students read clearly with fluency and expression.
  • Teachers will regularly question students as texts are read to ensure they have knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.
  • Reading is prioritised so that all students read at an age-appropriate level.
  • A love of reading is promoted by encouraging library use, events, and teacher passion.
  • The four pillars of assessment are always considered: purpose, validity, reliability, and value.
  • The most effective assessment tool is always used by staff.
  • Assessments provide valid and useful information for teachers and inform subsequent planning and feedback.
  • Feedback is purposeful and impactful.
  • Data collection for summative purposes, is proportionate and considerate of teacher workload.
  • Staff recognise the difference between marking and feedback, giving priority to effective, timely feedback.
  • Curriculum models are dynamic documents which are constantly reviewed and updated.
  • Curriculum models consider the needs and intended outcomes for students at all levels.
  • Curriculum models are under-pinned by long, medium, and short-term plans.
  • There is a clear aim and intent for each subject, unit and learning section.
  • Curriculum plans are built around the principles of deliberately sequenced learning to support the development of ordered schema.
  • All pupils have planned access to a wide range of enrichment activities which support the development of their social, cultural, and economic capital.


  • All staff have high aspirations for pupils both in the curriculum and the co-curriculum.
  • Disadvantaged pupils are given primary consideration and have an ambitious and equitable curriculum offer.
  • Staff are well trained to deliver an ambitious Personal Development curriculum.
  • All pupils are self-reflective, have the opportunity to succeed, and strive to do so.
  • The school ensures that there is equality of opportunity so that all pupils gain cultural capital through the curriculum and co-curriculum.
  • There is a well sequenced, age-appropriate careers programme, linked to curriculum, that helps pupils to expand and realise their ambitions.
  • Schools provide multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and skills that are valued in the workplace.


  • The school’s ethos and curriculum help to develop a strength of pupil character that is in line with the Trust values of ASPIRE.
  • Pupils have a strong sense of identity and belonging to their communities; local and global.
  • There is a strong system of pastoral support that improves pupils’ mental health, self-esteem, and wellbeing.
  • Schools teach pupils how to care for themselves so that they have a good understanding of how to initiate, develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle, including physical and mental health.


  • Schools have a co-curriculum that is equitable in supporting pupils to discover and develop their talents.
  • Extra-curricular opportunities are organised in response to pupils’ interests and are well attended by disadvantaged and SEND pupils.
  • Pupils enjoy school and are happy and well-balanced individuals.
  • Celebration is an integral part of school life.
  • Teachers instil in pupils an enthusiasm and passion for the curriculum.


  • The curriculum supports pupils to find their own sense of identity, celebrating diversity and difference.
  • The school supports pupils to be confident, independent, and resilient.
  • Pupils can identify their own strategies for effective learning.
  • Pupils know how to stay safe on and offline, knowing how to seek help when necessary.
  • Pupils are given opportunities to debate and listen to the views of others.
  • Schools provide opportunities for pupils to contribute to charitable events, fundraising and volunteering.


  • The curriculum deliberately develops pupils’ understanding of diversity and difference, so they demonstrate tolerance and respect for others.
  • As a result of clear routines and expectations, pupils conduct themselves with manners, courtesy, and respect, both in and out of school, understanding the consequences of their behaviour and actions.
  • There is an age appropriate and effective programme of British Values, SMSC, PSHE and SRE.
  • Pupils show respect for the natural world and an understanding of climate change and its consequences


  • School values drive pupils’ motivation, commitment, and attitudes to learning.
  • Pupils work hard, improve on their best efforts and show a commitment to learning.

Teaching & Learning Principles

All of our schools will provide leaders and staff time to concentrate their focus and efforts on the successful implementation of the curriculum, using the following Teaching and Learning principles to secure strong pupil learning over time, especially for our most vulnerable pupils.

The school has a deep and shared understanding of highly effective pedagogy, so children know more and remember more.
Teaching staff own and understand the curriculum.
Teachers are experts and seek to improve their subject knowledge.
Teachers provide feedback to pupils which impacts on their learning.
There is a professional learning culture and climate for learning in school.







Evaluation of teaching and learning is part of the expected culture in our schools

Self-evaluation is developmental and non-threatening, whilst demanding, in tone and execution. Staff are empowered to critically reflect and strive for continuous improvement of knowledge and practice.

"Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better." Dylan Wiliam

Evaluation will include:

Frequent low-stakes lesson drop-ins

Frequent low-stakes lesson drop-ins

Regular work scrutiny alongside staff and pupil voice

Timely and impactful feedback delivered with sensitive candour.

Senior leader and subject leader quality assurance of the curriculum and its implementation through ‘deep dive’ activity

External scrutiny to validate school self-evaluation and to provide challenge to drive further improvement

Analysis of pupil outcomes and end points to steer school improvement

As a result of self-evaluation, targeted and tailored CPD opportunities are provided for all staff.


Research, and the work of leading educationalists, underpin all of our approaches to school improvement. Most recently this has informed the development of our Trust Curriculum Framework, Personal Development Framework, Safeguarding Gold Standard, and latterly our strategy for re-opening in September 2020 and the home learning offer.

Keeping abreast of research, and educational thinking, is a core expectation of every member of staff.