Ark Burlington Danes Academy Curriculum Intent


“I have come that you may have life and have it in all its fullness.”

 John 10:10

At Ark Burlington Danes Academy, we believe that everyone deserves to be accepted, included and empowered to live a life that is purposeful and fulfilling. Through learning to our fullest potential and living a life filled with kindness and thankfulness, we can be the ones to make the world a better place.


Our curriculum is at the heart of school life and embodies our vision and values, so that our children can become the agents of change the world needs. It is highly academic, providing our students with a knowledge-rich grounding in the facilitating subjects, enabling our students to secure the best destinations. It is holistic in approach, providing our students with the wider social, cultural, political and economic knowledge our students need to thrive in the world today. It instils the values our students need so that they can be the ones to make the world a better place.


Academic curriculum


We empower our students through a highly academic curriculum, based around the core disciplines of English, mathematics, science, humanities, languages and religious education. These subjects have a higher weighting as they are the facilitating subjects, opening the door to success in the broader curriculum as well as providing our students with high value qualifications which enable them to access the most competitive destinations.


Our Academic curriculum is designed around four key principles:


  1. Knowledge rich
    • A rich and broad body of core knowledge is clearly and meticulously specified. The knowledge possesses sufficient significance or influence in the subject discipline to support the claim that it is the best that has been thought and said.
  2. Academically ambitious
    • The curriculum provides students with knowledge that they are unlikely to otherwise encounter or understand without a teacher’s support. The content selected is ambitious in order to challenge the most able and provide a rich and empowering education to all.
  3. Logically sequenced
    • The curriculum sets out a logical journey that students need to embark on to get better at a subject. In this sense, the curriculum is the progression model, it is the selection and organisation of knowledge to form a coherent model of intended progression in the subject.
  4. Designed to support memory
    • Learning is a change in long-term memory. The curriculum is structured to help students remember, not simply encounter, the core knowledge they learn.


Non-examined curriculum

Our non-examined curriculum provides our students with learning beyond the curriculum, so they can navigate the wider world safely and successfully. It is based on four components:


  1. Our Values: Aim High, Be Brave, Be Kind, Keep Learning
  2. Careers: Ensuring our students have the knowledge and skills to access the university and career of their choice
  3. Our world: Providing our students with the political, economic and cultural knowledge to be empowered in their community and the wider world
  4. SRE/PSHCE: Delivering the knowledge our students need to maintain their safety health and wellbeing


Our curriculum has been designed backwards from university study and A-Level through to GCSE, KS3 and into the primary phase, to ensure students can reach their fullest potential. We deliver our curriculum through booklets, which are designed around our key principles and promote reading across the academy. We teach our curriculum through a pedagogically-consistent approach based on our Signature Strategies and Principles of Practice. We review and improve our curriculum at calendared checkpoints and on an ongoing basis across the academy. We ensure matters of diversity are addressed both in terms of content and delivery, by embedding UCL’s Diversity framework for Curriculum Review into our academy-wide curriculum review processes. We differentiate and adapt our curriculum to ensure that our SEND students succeed without narrowing the curriculum, and our most able are stretched and challenged. Our pastoral team works closely with parents, teachers and students, to help overcome any barriers to learning that students may face on their journey towards adult life.


As a result of our curriculum offer, students progress at or above national levels and attain aspirational destinations.

Primary reading and writing

At Ark Burlington Danes Primary Academy synthetic phonics is taught through the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme. The forty-four common sounds in the English language are taught and children learn how to sound-blend words for reading (decoding) at the same time as developing handwriting skills and spelling (encoding). Most importantly Read Write Inc. Phonics provides the children with the opportunity to read a range of exciting fiction and non-fiction books with words they can decode, so they enjoy early success in reading.