Archway Learning Trust – Curriculum Intent

Curriculum Intent

The Intent of the Archway Curriculum is to empower our pupils to flourish academically, socially, linguistically, morally and spiritually. The Archway Curriculum is the single best opportunity that we have to help our pupils flourish and improve their life chances.

The Archway Curriculum is the embodiment of the transformative vision of the Trust ‘to transform the lives of all through the power of working together’. It is rooted in the Trust’s values of Excellence, Inclusion and Collaboration in the firm belief that all our pupils deserve an excellent, inclusive education. It is expertly designed, carefully curated and precisely sequenced by expert teachers working in collaboration with colleagues across the Trust and incorporating best practice from across the sector.

It is an ambitious, knowledge-rich curriculum, empowering our pupils with the ‘best that has been thought, said and written’. As they progress through the curriculum, our pupils know more and remember more of the powerful knowledge they need to succeed in school, in examinations and in the next steps in their educational journey.

It is an inspiring curriculum, engendering curiosity, enthusiasm and a love for learning and investing pupils with the values, confidence and resilience to contribute positively to their community, to society and to modern Britain.

It is a text-rich curriculum, enabling our pupils to communicate critically and confidently through reading, oracy and writing, delivering on the Trust’s ambition to ensure ‘every child in an Archway school will become a fluent reader’.

It is a diverse curriculum, promoting inclusion, empathy and community cohesion, acting as a window to the full wonders of the world and a mirror in which our pupils can see their own lives and experiences represented, valued and respected.

It is an enabling and equitable curriculum, carefully meeting the needs of every pupil, regardless of prior experience or attainment and overcoming any educational, linguistic, socio-economic or demographic barriers to learning.

Archway learning Trust – Curriculum overview

The Archway Curriculum is carefully designed, curated and sequenced to provide the breadth and depth of knowledge which covers in full the content of the National Curriculum and goes significantly further adding breadth, depth challenge and wonder. Our pupils learn powerful substantive and disciplinary knowledge which is carefully sequenced and systematically revisited across all key stages to ensure retention and increase depth over time, developing secure schemas of knowledge.

Curriculum Design – the Archway Curriculum Cornerstones

The Archway Curriculum is designed and continuously developed within these agreed Curriculum Cornerstones:

The Curriculum is POWERFUL
Pupils acquire and retain knowledge that takes them beyond their own experiences

The curriculum is CONNECTED
Creating schema within and across subjects, with careers and personal development

The curriculum is SEQUENCED
Knowledge is thoughtfully sequenced and deliberately mapped

The curriculum is INFORMED
Embracing research and evidence of how children learn and remember

The curriculum is CONTEXTUAL
Using local values, expertise and experiences to bring the curriculum to life

The Archway Curriculum includes three ‘framework’ concepts:

  • The Macro Curriculum – the model of timetabling, including decisions about the subjects taught and the configuration of allocated time. These decisions are made at a Trust level to ensure equitable experiences and enable the sharing of subject-expert schemes and resources.
  • The Archway Curriculum – (see above) the substantive and disciplinary knowledge taught within and across subjects.
  • The Extended curriculum – the broader learning experiences which develop pupils’ character, leadership, virtues, resilience and personality beyond the taught curriculum. This involves exposure to cultural capital, spiritual and moral awareness, sporting and creative opportunities and deeper personal enrichment beyond that taught within curriculum subjects. These include, but are not limited to, theatre and museum visits, public-speaking or computer-coding competitions and opportunities to represent the school on a regional or national basis, such as the Word Class Schools awards.

The Macro Curriculum (KS3 and KS4)

Across Key stage 3 – Year 7-9 inclusive – pupils study a broad and balanced curriculum meetings all requirements of the National Curriculum (hours per fortnight):

  • Art (2)
  • Music (2)
  • Drama (2)
  • Design Technology (4)
  • Physical Education (4)
  • Religious Studies (2)
  • Spanish (4)
  • History (3)
  • Geography (3)
  • Science (6)
  • English (8)
  • Maths (8)

In year 10, at the start of KS4 and following a programme of support and guidance, pupils personalise their curriculum and choose three subjects from a range of GCSE and vocational subjects. These are studied in addition to their core curriculum of (hours per fortnight)

  • Maths (8)
  • English (10)
  • Science (11)
  • Religious studies (4)
  • Physical Education (2)

As one of their options, students must choose from the following subjects (all 5 hours per fortnight):

  • Geography
  • History
  • Computer science
  • Spanish

Students can then choose their remaining two options subjects from the list below (all 5 hours per fortnight):

  • Geography
  • History
  • Computer science
  • Spanish
  • Art
  • Business Studies
  • Drama
  • Hair and Beauty
  • Health and Social care
  • Hospitality and Catering
  • Sport


Whilst the curriculum is broadly referred to in key stage phases (KS3 and KS4), the curriculum is designed as one journey for pupils. Learning is sequenced carefully within and across years, to ensure that students acquire both disciplinary and substantive knowledge.  Pupils also engage with a wider curriculum to support their personal, spiritual, moral and cultural development – including an immersive PSHE and RSE programme. This is delivered across the curriculum and through the morning tutor programme. The PSHE program follows the statutory guidance for Relationships and Sex Education and Mental Health and Wellbeing which became mandatory in September 2020.

Personal development (PD) is at the heart of our inclusive trust ethos and we ensure each area of the PD curriculum delivers all aspects of the statutory guidance and reflects our specific needs as a school community. This allows pupils to develop into resilient, informed individuals who positively contribute to their community, to society and modern Britain.  The program includes topics such as: bullying, crime, cultural diversity, drug and alcohol education, healthy eating, online safety, road safety awareness, prejudice, social & emotional health, wellbeing, sex & relationships and peer pressure.

For further information on any aspect of the curriculum, please contact Mr Freestone at

Contact Us

Bluecoat Beechdale Academy
Harvey Rd
NG8 3GP (for Sat Nav purposes please use: NG8 3BB)

Tel: 0115 913 5211

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