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Striving for




Curriculum Intent

Intent, Implementation and Impact


It is the responsibility of all students to demonstrate outstanding character in the classroom by engaging with their teachers, subject content and activities provided during a lesson to develop a growth mindset and be exceptional. 

It is the responsibility of all teachers to enable effective delivery of the curriculum continually reviewing, reflecting and improving on teaching practice. 

It is the responsibility of the Heads of Faculty and Faculty Leadership Teams to monitor and improve the quality of the curriculum & teaching and learning within their department, and to offer high quality CPD. 

The Quality of Education Team and the Principal are responsible for monitoring the quality of curriculum & teaching and learning across the academy, recognising and sharing effective practice, and addressing areas of development at both individual and whole school levels. 

Governors have a duty to monitor that the processes are in place and that the school is addressing students’ learning needs. 

Curriculum Intent

To provide all students with a curriculum which develops, enriches and empowers a love of learning through quality first teaching that ensures every child knows more, remembers more and can do more

All learning is underpinned by a positive culture of reading (for understanding, knowledge and pleasure) to ensure equity of access and to deepen students’ knowledge of the wider world.

All learning is systematically checked for understanding through formative and summative assessments, which informs planning and supports students in achieving their potential.

Key Principles  

Our curriculum is:  

Promotes personal development through intellectual, moral, spiritual, aesthetic, creative, emotional and physical development. Celebrates diversity and equality.  

Seeks to identify and teach the most important knowledge and skills within each subject, while remaining commensurate with or going beyond the National Curriculum.   

Is purposely structured and sequenced. A spiral and interleaving curriculum which focuses on progression by building knowledge over time. Combined with retrieval practice to give an effective and balanced learning experience.   

It links knowledge and skills both within the subject and between different subjects and other learning experiences. It develops an interdisciplinary understanding of skills and knowledge.  

Is carefully matched to the individual so that it is cognitively demanding and challenging for all learners. It seeks to develop a deep understanding of subject knowledge and skills.  

It is ambitious for all students. It allows them to broaden their Aston’s and develop cultural literacy. It develops students so they can apply their knowledge and skills to solve complex problems and think critically for themselves.   

Seeks to connect the knowledge and skills so students can understand the purpose of their learning. They can see the value of what they are learning and its relevance to their lives and future life choices.  

Subject Curricula  

Every subject has an intent statement, which summarises core principles and aims for subject staff and students.  

Subject Teams have identified the golden threads that run through their curriculum. These are a combination of knowledge and skills and allow students and staff to articulate how they are improving and building expertise across Key Stage 3 and 4. Each golden thread reflects an element identified in the subject’s intent.  

At Key Stage 4 and 5, students’ work is assessed against GCSE, A Level or Vocational Qualification criteria.  

At Key Stage 3, subjects each itemise Age Related Expectations, so staff are clear what students should know, and should be able to do, at that point in their school career.  

Content and skills for each subject have been itemised and mapped, in detail, to ensure content is covered to maximise progress and retrieval across all five years.  

Quality assured Schemes of Learning are used in day to day teaching practice to deliver each unit. These include common elements, experiences, assessment and outcomes which enable effective delivery of the curriculum.  

Teaching and Learning

Quality First Teaching: The T&L Aspects 

The aspects listed below (in no particular order), are to be used by teachers as a way of planning effective lessons to maximise the progress of students: 

  • High expectations, ambitious academic goals and positive relationships 

Clear, consistent routines foster a climate for learning in which students are able and expected to discover their true potential. 

  • Explanation and modelling 

Teachers plan opportunities to share subject-specific expertise, so that students understand and become confident to engage with new learning. 

  • Questioning, retrieval and discussion 

Dialogue is planned to support students recalling previously learned knowledge, to provoke thought and to deepen subject-specific understanding. 

  • Adaptive teaching (be ready to go back as well as forwards) 

Teachers use a variety of techniques to gauge and respond to students’ understanding within a lesson. 

  • Independent practice and scaffolding 

Learning activities are pitched to the top and designed to ensure that all students are able to achieve challenging outcomes. 

  • Growth mindset and metacognition 

Teachers provide opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and articulate their next steps, so becoming independent learners. 

Literacy, Adaptive practice and Character in the Classroom underpin each of these aspects. 

Effective literacy skills not only underpin learning but also provide a springboard for success in both career and life.

Each of the six aspects listed are adapted by teachers to meet the needs of individuals in each class. This enables all students, in all lessons, each day to reach their full potential engaging with appropriately pitched resources for their ability.  

Students are expected to demonstrate and develop positive Character in the Classroom habits to support them becoming independent learners.

What lessons at Aston may look like:

To support students and facilitate staff in the delivery of a consistent experience for students, all teachers follow a similar lesson structure model in their planning. The length of each criteria below will differ dependent on where a lesson sits within a scheme of learning. 

  1. Review prior and introduce future learning  
  1. Teacher input 
  1. Checking for understanding 
  1. Student practice 
  1. Sharing success and reviewing progress 

Continuing Professional Development Intent 

CPD for teachers at Aston aims to address areas of development at individual, departmental and whole school level in order to improve the outcomes of our students. 

Key Aspects of CPD 

CPD at Aston is: 


Through regular meeting and inset time devoted to Professional Development that responds to the developmental needs of teachers. 


Teachers have access to up-to-date educational research and an array of CPD opportunities afforded to them to ensure their teaching is as evidence-based as possible. 


Teachers are provided time to focus on the aspects of teaching & learning that they deem to be personal areas of development, in order to drive behavioural change in their classrooms.


Through Faculty Time, teaching staff collaborate on improving areas identified in their Faculty Improvement Plans. Within whole-school CPD, staff work together the develop their own teaching and learning based on focus areas and through instructional coaching.


CPD opportunities are designed to support teachers based on their career stage, experience and identified areas of development. For example, early career teachers access a large part of their professional development via the Early Career Framework Programme provided by University School London. 

Teachers at Aston are provided with the opportunity to engage in external CPD programmes, such as the range of National Professional Qualifications. 

In addition, annually teachers engage in professional development on a range of essential areas, such as Safeguarding, SEN training, and frequent briefings regarding individual students with specific needs. 

Review and Impact

In order to assess the impact of our Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, the following structures are in place as a means of informing next steps in curriculum design, implementation and CPD opportunities for the school:  

Academy drop-ins 

Led by the Vice Principal and QofE Team, subject leadership teams work alongside members of QofE to discover the student experience of the curriculum through 1-1 conversations with students. Questions are asked around key content, skills and development of students understanding across topics and year groups.

Ensure the progress of students is above that of their peers nationally. Progress is analysed at School and Subject level to identify strengths and areas for development in planning and/or implementation of the curriculum. 

Faculty drop-ins 

Focus on the quality of the curriculum and its implementation by teaching staff, offering feedback with reference to the T&L aspects. 

Work scrutiny 

Focus on the learning journey in books, pride, presentation and implementation of the assessment, feedback and response cycle. 

Faculty curricular review 

Faculty leadership teams regularly review and improve their curricula, including curriculum intent. This ensures curriculum development continues in line with the key principles above. The website is then updated to ensure accuracy of information for parents and stakeholders.  Student voice is also completed at faculty and academy level to inform the implementation and development.


CPD is responsive to the developmental needs of teachers as identified in the Academy Improvement Plan (AIP), Faculty Improvement Plans (FIPs) and regular lessons drop-ins. Training programmes are evaluated to ensure they are as effective as possible.