Skip to content ↓

Our Trust of Schools

Curriculum Overview

At the core of our ambitious learning culture is a broad, knowledge-rich curriculum, which is cohesive, cumulative and effectively sequenced. Our curriculum is academic, rigorous and challenging, and designed with long-term memory in mind; students’ knowledge, skills and understanding are cemented by frequent and systematic revisiting.

The following central principles underpin our approach to the curriculum and planning at St James and in the Ted Wragg Trust:

  • Academic excellence
  • Robust research
  • Coherent sequencing
  • Effective assessment
  • Rich knowledge
  • Inspired choices


Academic excellence

Our curriculum is academic, rigorous and challenging: tier two vocabulary and complex concepts are taught from year seven.

Robust research

Our learning model and sequenced learning are underpinned by the cognitive science work of Daniel T. Willingham. Designed with long-term memory in mind, our curriculum ensures that students’ knowledge, skills and understanding are cemented by frequent and systematic revisiting.

Coherent sequencing

Our curriculum is based on the understanding that students arrive with significant prior knowledge, a foundation that we build upon from day one.

Effective assessment

we believe that assessment is an intrinsic part of successful curriculum planning and effective teaching and learning. We use frequent, efficient assessment both to empower students to become highly effective independent and resilient learners and to reduce teacher workload. We use data and assessment systematically to inform planning to ensure rapid and sustained progress for every student. Through regular retrieval practice, spaced learning and interleaving, we embed knowledge into the long-term memory.

Rich knowledge

We believe that our high-quality curriculum ensures that our students learn both declarative (what and why) and procedural (how) knowledge. Declarative knowledge includes the substantive knowledge required to connect prior learning with new, as well as the contextual disciplinary knowledge which leads to their ability to connect learning between subject domains.

Inspired choices

We provide a curriculum which rich and varied, allowing students to specialise in their foundation subjects, fostering that passion early, whilst providing additional time for Geography and History, subjects pivotal to learning about our place in the world around us