Curriculum Aims

Ark Burlington Danes Academy offers a broad and balanced curriculum built around the core disciplines of English, mathematics, science, humanities and languages. We believe that students perform best when working with peers of a similar ability in core subjects, and as such our classes are set, with opportunities for scholars to change classes according to the progress they are making. Our house tutor groups are mixed and allow students of all abilities to work together collaboratively, we also offer opportunities for students to work vertically with students outside of their year groups for our cross-curricula project week and create opportunities for our 6th formers to work with younger students through the ‘give back programme’. Our primary phase benefits from the specialisms in the secondary phase where subject expertise is shared, for example, in physical education and modern foreign languages to ensure stretch and challenge is provided.

Assessment plays a key role at BDA. Frequent formative assessment advises students on how to improve their work and make progress: while summative assessments every term allow students and staff to measure progress against national standards and inform our interventions. We assess 3-weekly at A-level to ensure students are on track and books are marked fortnightly for KS3/4 in accordance with the department marking policies. In Year 11 we have 4 key summative assessment points to track progress.

KS3 Curriculum Offer:
Spanish (sets 1&2)
Creative Design (Art, Catering)
Literacy (sets 6&7)

All students take English Language, English Literature, Maths, Science (either Double or Triple) and RE. All students do core PE.  Please see options booklets for details of all other subject offers.


We offer a full enrichment programme to students to supplement the core curriculum.  Please see our enrichment booklet for details.

We run an extensive range of trips in all curriculum areas to support and enrich curriculum learning.  We utilise all the capital has to offer such as The Imperial War Museum, Keats’ House, The Houses of Parliament, The National History Museum, Barclay’s HQ, The Old Vic Theatre, The Tate Modern and many universities.  We also offer residential visits to Athens, Rome and Amsterdam, Lille, Barcelona and Paris to stretch our students’ horizons so they can apply their knowledge and skills in different contexts.


The English department offer students a critical insight to both the modern and historical world via a diverse spectrum of texts and platforms. We encourage creativity and provide students with the opportunity to express themselves and to progress academically in a supportive and challenging environment.  English at Burlington Danes Academy is both challenging and rewarding. Students are taught to engage with texts analytically and to express themselves in a manner befitting the professional world. They access a variety of contexts and cultures while exploring a wide range of modern and historical texts of varying mediums. The department strives to make the course of study as stimulating as possible, identifying and accommodating the needs of every student.


Mathematics is one of Burlington Danes Academy's specialist subjects in the 6th form. The department's dedicated teaching team implement a course of rigorous and demanding study.  Mathematics is an essential aspect of everyday life and is fundamental to a successful career in a variety of industries, including engineering, economics, business and technology. We aim to accommodate the needs of all students and to ensure they achieve their full potential.  We follow the mastery curriculum in KS3.


The study of science is an essential aspect of a prosperous and healthy society. At Burlington Danes we aim to foster in students a curious and enthusiastic approach to the wide of range of topics that we cover. From the study of electricity in Year 7 to that of further mechanics in sixth form, we strive to provide all students with a thorough understanding of the necessary material and a confident grasp of practical procedures and exercises. We adapt to the needs of each individual and ensure that all are well equipped to fulfil their academic potential.


The Humanities Faculty at Burlington Danes Academy rigorously and meticulously plan courses that address a wide range of topics and disciplines, it is our aim to provide students with a catalogue of skills essential to academic success. The breadth of knowledge and enthusiasm of our excellent teaching team ensure that humanities subjects at Burlington Danes are always an interesting and enriching challenge.


The History Department aims to equip students with a well-rounded knowledge of important people and events spanning a variety of historical contexts. We encourage students to treat history as an academic discourse and they will be taught to discuss, persuade and respond appropriately to relevant texts. They will also encounter a wide variety of cultures and will develop an appreciation of the diversity of experience. Students will learn to express themselves effectively and convey ideas in an accurate and professional manner in preparation for all forms of assessment.


The Geography Department at Burlington Danes Academy provides academy students with a thorough knowledge of the natural and human processes that shape the world as we know it.

The course stimulates an interest in their surroundings and sense of wonder about the world, encouraging students to become global citizens - engaging with the past, present and future issues facing our planet. They will be introduced to, and familiarised with, a variety of critical and practical approaches that ensure an enriching transition to further education and life beyond Burlington Danes.


Studying government and politics at Burlington Danes Academy is proving to be a popular option for sixth form students. The course focuses on the structure, ideologies and impact of the UK government and opposition both at home and abroad. We aim to promote in students an interest in current affairs and to provide them with a good understanding of how society has evolved. We believe that studying politics makes for well-rounded individuals, well-equipped for life after school.

Health and Social Care

Health and social care is a vocational subject where students learn about the skills, procedures and legislation involved with working in the health or social care sector. This course is 100% coursework based and allows students to demonstrate their understanding through essays, work experience and presentations.

Key Stage 4 pupils complete the Level 2 First Diploma in Health and Social Care, which is the equivalent to four GCSEs. Key Stage 5 pupils complete the Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care, which is equivalent to three A Levels.


Psychology is the study of people, the mind and behaviour. It is a popular subject at Burlington Danes due to its real world applications in education, health, the economy, industry and crime.

The course considers social, developmental, cognitive, physiological and individual perspectives. Students will develop an understanding of numerous psychologists and research methods, such as self reports, experiments, observations and correlations. Students will be able to consider related issues, debates and perspectives within each topic, as well as how to conduct psychological research.

In the A2 course students are able to specialise in health and clinical psychology (such as healthy living, stress and dysfunctional behaviour) and forensic psychology (including reasons for turning to crime, psychological elements of a court case and the psychological effects of a guilty verdict).


Sociology provides students with a broad perspective of the societies that we live in, how they have evolved and where they are headed. It is a discipline concerned with the forces that influence our behaviour, our interactions with one another and our identity. When studying sociology at Burlington Danes, students will focus closely on how the family unit, education and crime affect social inequality and political conflict.

This interesting social science is taught in a challenging and supportive environment. An A level in sociology is very useful for careers in government, charity, education, human resources, welfare services and much more.


The Media Department at Burlington Danes is committed to providing pupils with a current and in-depth understanding of the workings of world media. We aim to impart a comprehensive knowledge of audience, production and technologies that span an extensive range of formats. Pupils will acquire a confident grasp of creative and critical techniques which will carry them smoothly through their assessments. Students will also plan and create their own media products. They will emerge from the course with an awareness of how we construct, receive and digest media texts in the modern world.

Religious Studies

Burlington Danes Academy is proud of its Church of England status and throughout all key stages we promote the Christian ethos and values whilst engaging with all other world religions, spiritualities and worldviews through this core curriculum area.

Modern Foreign Languages

Welcome to BDA's Modern Foreign Languages Department. Languages are a major part of the cultural wealth of our international society. Learning different languages promotes a strong sense of global citizenship, fostering a healthy interest in the wider world. Students of MFL learn to communicate effectively with people from different countries and will have the opportunity to explore a vast array of fascinating cultures. By drawing comparisons between these different cultures, students will be able to reflect on their own society and way of life. Language education provides a lifelong skill that is not only beneficial for employment purposes but can make travelling a far more enriching experience.

French and Spanish

In French and Spanish lessons at Burlington Danes, students are taught through a communicative and interactive approach. They explore the contemporary culture of France or Spain and other francophone countries, encouraging them to engage with the wider world and to take an interest in our global society.

During the course, students achieve a confident grasp of the language associated with self and personal relationships, and progress to include language associated with the outside world. Students also develop a critical approach to analysing texts and acquire a sound knowledge of a wide spectrum of social, technological and cultural phenomena that will support their personal and academic development.


Latin is the basis for many of the world’s languages and provides students with an in-depth understanding of vocabulary and grammatical structures in English. Latin literature has influenced international culture for more than 2,000 years and the study thereof has been a tradition in UK schools for centuries; we are proud to offer students at BDA the opportunity to access this rich and interesting subject.

In addition to providing students with a range of skills applicable to a cross-section of academic disciplines, Latin offers a window into a vastly influential period of world history that is sure to engage and enlighten.


Sport and PE at Burlington Danes Academy is a defining feature of the school. Students are taught to develop and refine their physical skills alongside enhancing their evaluative and decision-making techniques in increasingly complex situations. This is underpinned by an emphasis on the importance of a balanced, active and healthy lifestyle and the life-long benefits thereof.

Specialist coaches enrich the curriculum through the delivery of boxing, rugby and table-tennis, complimenting a diverse and comprehensive extra-curricular programme where BDA compete at a London, regional and national level. At Key Stage 4 students have the opportunity to follow a range of certificated courses as part of their GCSE and core PE lessons.

Art and Design Technology

How the course is structured:

Students study five Art and Technology projects in a year, all assessed in the same way - with the same conceptual, theoretical, and technical skills - but through different disciplines of design. They study one fine art project, one in digital arts and a cookery course during the school year.

In all projects students are assessed in the same way, with marks weighted equally between four overarching skills. These are matched to the GCSE courses to ensure students are well prepared for entering Year 10 should they choose Art and Design options.

The four assessment objectives are:

  • AO1: Analyse the work of artists and designers
  • AO2: Develop and test ideas through experimentation
  • AO3: Drawing and recording ideas
  • AO4: Create a final outcome

We are fortunate to have a staff with a wide range of experience and specialisms, including photography, illustration, painting, printmaking, sculpting, carpentry and ceramics. Most teachers run classes in several disciplines to ensure a regular flow of ideas, with a spirit of development present in each project.


Cooking at Burlington Danes sits within the Art and Technology Faculty.  Our course seeks to teach students to cook healthy food in their home and adult lives, and to teach this in an applied and practical manner. We want our students to learn a range of recipes and cookery skills that will enable them to cook responsibly and economically in adult life. Students are then well prepared to take GCSE Hospitality and Catering.

Performing Arts

The Performing Arts Department at Burlington Danes is devoted to encouraging creativity and confidence, while imparting the necessary practical and analytical skills that students require to succeed. We are very committed to an extensive extra-curricular programme and have been responsible for a number of successful music and drama productions, including this year's Guys and Dolls.

It is our aim to challenge and support all students, helping them to produce the dynamic and orginal work that we have come to expect at the academy.


Our music department offers a creative but disciplined approach to the study of music. We adapt to the requirements of a wide range of abilities and nurture the talents of all students. Our course of study spans a vast landscape of genres, periods and specialities, including reggae, the blues, African music and film soundtracks. We aim to offer students an interesting insight into a variety of cultures and to foster a love of music that they will carry for the rest of their lives. We offer both music GCSE and Music BTEC courses in KS4.


As well as being a fun and active subject for students to study, drama helps to develop an appreciation of character, culture, confidence and creativity. Our curriculum plan is demanding and diverse, and the skills taught can be applied to other academic disciplines, particularly English, media, music, art and the humanities.

We aim to make the course as engaging as possible. From studying The Twits and silent movies in Year 7 to looking at Woyzeck and Shakespeare's performance conditions in sixth form, we are sure that all students will find dance and drama at Burlington Danes a wholly enriching experience. All students will be expected to wear full PE kit and take part in bare feet for the dance units.

Business Studies and Economics

 It is our aim to provide students with the knowledge and skills essential to making a successful transition to further education and the world of employment.

Our courses explore the workings of modern society and how business and economics affect our daily lives. Students will be taught the importance of communication, creativity and an ambitious outlook in preparation for the challenges of their chosen career paths. They will acquire a strong understanding of how businesses function and the key elements of world economies. The courses are well suited to students pursuing careers in business, accountancy, law, marketing, banking, human resources and much more.

Business studies

Business at Burlington Danes provides students with both a practical and theoretical understanding of the world of business. By the end of their study at the academy, students will have acquired strong communication and organisation skills, and will have an in-depth knowledge of how a range of businesses function on a national and international scale. They will be well prepared to study business at college or university. We offer Business GCSE and Business A-level and Business BTEC Level 2 and 3 courses.


The study of economics is concerned with forces and factors that influence the way in which we operate as a society, such as unemployment, growth and government decision making; it is important that students develop clear knowledge of how these issues effect our everyday lives. In sixth form the course is divided into two main areas: macroeconomics, which looks at wider issues affecting the economy, including growth and inflation, while microeconomics is concerned with smaller issues such as supply and demand.

Studying economics is particularly beneficial for students with an interest in business and politics, but can be applied in a vast array of professional disciplines.

IT and Computing

IT and computing are disciplines very much like history, science or Mathematics: students develop an understanding of a variety of practical and analytical techniques and learn to apply them in a manner suitable for the professional world. As well as being taught how to programme, handle data and create their own websites, students will be provided with key knowledge about the IT industry, learning to communicate effectively, understanding the important role that IT has in supporting business activity in the Digital Age.


The aims for PSHCE at Burlington Danes Academy from the point of view of the National Agenda are to enable pupils to become:

  • Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  • Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
  • Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society

Within this department we teach 100% of the students at Burlington Danes Academy from Year 7 through to Year 11.

In both key stages the courses are developed with student need our main priority, which is why, throughout the units, there are opportunities for student voice regarding not only the type of activities they take part in but also the content of the course and what is most relevant to them and their lives.