Castleford Academy Trust

Curriculum Policy

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Curriculum Intent

At Castleford Academy Trust, our core values of care, aspire, succeed are at the heart of everything we do. We set high expectations to ensure that every pupil excels across all stages of their education. The trust recognises that each academy within the trust is working under a unique set of circumstances. As a result, each academy delivers a bespoke curriculum to meet the needs of the community they serve whilst being aligned to a set of guiding principles.

Our intention is to ensure that all pupils, at each stage of their education, make outstanding progress and that the curriculum removes any potential barriers to learning.

We want our pupils to leave with knowledge which will not only create excellent life opportunities but will also prepare them exceptionally well for life beyond the academy.

At Castleford Academy Trust, pupils will,

Pupils experience a broad, deep and knowledge rich curriculum

Each academy will implement an ambitious curriculum that helps pupils to achieve high standards and make excellent progress. The curriculum is designed in a way to ensure that pupils develop a deep understanding across a range of subjects and align fully with the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. Learning will be sequenced in such a way that pupils are provided with opportunities to recall and retrieve previous learning so that knowledge is fully embedded in their long-term memory. The curriculum will be enriched and will ensure that the pupils build the cultural capital they need to become successful and well-educated citizens

Pupils will be literate and numerate

It is vital that pupils are literate so that they are able to flourish, thrive and access the next stage of their
education, employment or training. At primary level, a strong emphasis will be placed on the teaching of
systematic synthetic phonics and the development of early reading through the selection of bespoke resources and interventions. In addition, a clear emphasis on the teaching of fluency as well as word recognition and comprehension will support pupils to become fluent and confident readers. All pupils are expected to read widely and access a diverse range of high quality and aspirational texts through carefully planned curriculum mapping.

The curriculum focus on writing across all subjects encompasses a range of purposeful texts and genres so that pupils are exposed to the best that has been thought and said. Pupils will be taught to write clearly and contently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

Pupils will also build confidence in communication skills, not only for their time in school but also to prepare them for life beyond school. The development of pupil language and oracy is at the forefront of the curriculum. Each academy will ensure pupils have opportunities in all subjects to discuss, challenge and build on other points of view and to develop their formality of language to ensure they can have the confidence to speak to different audiences.

Age appropriate numeracy skills are embedded across the curriculum with bespoke intervention in place for pupils who make below expected progress in maths. The maths curriculum is built in such a way that pupil revisit knowledge and build mathematical fluency over time. Where appropriate, mastery curriculums support pupils to develop number fluency and a depth of understanding.

Pupils will have high expectations for their behaviour and achievement

The trust is inclusive and ambitious for all. We have high expectations of all pupils and provide opportunity for pupils to learn what is expected of them morally. Individual academy behaviour policies ensure that pupils learn that actions have consequences and they can accept and appreciate differences between people. Whilst pupils gain knowledge through all key stages, they also become learners who are enquiring, enthusiastic, engaged and mannerly. Pupils develop high expectations of themselves and are committed to their education.

Pupils will build their character

The trust is totally committed to improving the life chances and aspirations of pupils. With a focus on building character and resilience, we ensure pupils have access to a wider curriculum which provides numerous opportunities in sport, creativity, performing, world of work/enterprise, volunteering and membership. An extensive enrichment and extra-curricular programme supports the development of pupils into well rounded citizens.

Pupils will develop their cultural, moral, social, mental and physical development

At Castleford Academy Trust, we pride ourselves on delivering a curriculum which champions SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural), British Values, PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) and RSE (Relationships and Sex Education). Pupils are not just developed academically but as a whole, to ensure that they are fullyprepared for life in modern Britain. Pupils are able to envision ‘The Bigger Picture’ and show that learning is linked to the real world and experiences and are encouraged to take part in a range of sporting, cultural and charitable activities. Links with local and national business enrich the curriculum offer and help to contextualise learning.

Pupils will secure foundations for progression

It is our intention to ensure pupils have secure foundations for progression at each stage of their education, whether that be demonstrating readiness for school in early years or access to further education and apprenticeships at KS4 and KS5. Over the course of their education, pupils receive a rigorous and bespoke aspirations program that exposes our pupils to a huge range of voices and experiences. Secondary academies are fully compliant with the Gatsby benchmarks.

Curriculum Implementation

Castleford Academy Trust believes that a carefully planned and structured curriculum is the foundation upon which excellent learning and development is built. The curriculum is designed and implemented in such a way that it builds on prior knowledge and prepares pupils for the next stage in their education. This is complimented by a learning philosophy that ensures that lessons are engaging and suitably scaffolded so that all pupils are able to access the curriculum content and are able to spend the large majority of time in lessons working independently at or above their level of ability.

Development of language and building knowledge are integral to curriculum planning. Subject Leaders, who are experts in their subjects, carefully construct a curriculum that promotes a deep understanding of a wide range of topics. Teachers plan learning that allows pupils to embed and recall knowledge through techniques such as interleaving of topics and spaced practice. This builds firm foundations for progression to the next level and exam success.

Early Years

In early years settings across the trust, the curriculum followed is as outlined in the latest version of the EYFS statutory framework that applies from September 2021. The EYFS framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. 3 areas are known as the prime areas are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

Within the curriculum in Early Years, there is careful sequencing in order for pupils to build learning overtime. A range of pedagogical approaches are used including children learning through play, by adult modelling, and by children observing each other. Group work and guided learning is planned within a well-planned learning environment both indoors and outdoors. Within planning and guiding what children will learn, the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are incorporated, these being playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically.

Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

At Key stage 1 and 2, pupils are immersed in thematic based learning, with themes often based around science or humanities. Each academy interleaves the curriculum with opportunities to apply knowledge and skills in a range of rich, memorable experiences and meaningful contexts. ‘Hands on’ learning opportunities are a key element which is supported by exploration and investigation. An essential component of each curriculum the development of vocabulary and language and high-quality texts enhance the curriculum with a high priority placed on reading.


At KS3 the curriculum is designed around ‘Big Ideas’. This encourages pupils to focus on deeper learning to ensure real understanding of key concepts. Each big idea topic has a planned learning journey with clear statements setting out what pupils need to know, understand and do at each stage of their learning. Lesson planning incorporate links to prior learning and is explicit about the expected knowledge to be learned, ensuring that pupils know more and remember more so that they can do more. The National curriculum content is carefully tracked to ensure that pupils have covered all areas of non-statutory KS4 subjects by the end of Year 9.


Options are structured in such a way to allow pupils a free choice. This ensures equity of delivery, with all pupils having equal access to subjects. The options are designed to stretch and challenge pupils and to meet the demands of the local labour market. Pupils are offered a mixture of practical and academic subjects from all areas of the curriculum. Within the option subjects, the academy offers a range of different accreditation routes including academic and vocational options. This gives every pupil a broad and balanced curriculum, but still offers a flexibility to maximise the outcomes achieved by each individual. This model also maintains the widest possible choice for progression routes Post 16 as every pupil will have a greater range of subjects on which to choose future opportunities for education and training.


Castleford Academy Trust offers a small and bespoke range of vocational courses at post 16. The course offered meet the needs of the local labour market and are offered alongside the opportunity to re-take English and maths, if needed. The sixth form offers a structured support programme and acts as a springboard to future opportunities for those pupils who need additional pastoral support in the transition to higher education, employment or apprenticeships.

Curriculum Impact

At Castleford Academy Trust, our curriculum will:

Curriculum Equality and Diversity

At Castleford Academy Trust, equity and diversity is promoted through a fully inclusive curriculum. This is achieved by:

Curriculum Review