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PAJ 9701

Curriculum Intent

The intent of the curriculum here at The Academy is simple : We believe that the curriculum is the vehicle to change lives, enabling children to know more, remember more and in turn be able to do more.  This is supported by the four foundational pillars that underpin our curriculum rationale: Ambition, Breadth, Knowledge and Quality. 




Our curriculum has been designed to be fully inclusive to enable all our students to achieve excellence. This means providing our children with an ambitiously academic curriculum; one that is knowledge-rich and which introduces students to ideas and concepts which align closely with the National Curriculum and feed into the prescribed examination specifications.  

Our knowledgeable and enthusiastic teachers have designed the curriculum to ensure that students will learn about the greatest ideas, writings and discoveries of the past and present alongside giving them opportunities to access and participate in a wide range of enrichment activities.

This ensures that all our students, regardless of ability or background, leave The Macclesfield Academy not only well qualified but as confident individuals and responsible citizens who can make a positive contribution to any part of society and who can live rewarding and fulfilling lives.


Students at The Macclesfield Academy will be appropriately challenged by a broad and balanced curriculum. The subjects taught at Key Stage 3 are English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Spanish, French, Physical Education, Dance, Information and Communications Technology, Music, Drama,  Art and Technology, as well as Personal, Social and Health Education and Careers guidance.

The taught curriculum is enhanced by learning experiences outside the classroom through school trips and visits and extra-curricular clubs and groups.

At Key Stage 4, students continue to study the core curriculum but with four chosen pathway subjects.  We encourage students to continue with a broad and balanced curriculum, and the vast majority of our students currently opt to take the English Baccalaureate route (EBacc) meaning two of their choices consist of a modern foreign language and a Humanities subject (History or Geography). 

The other pathways currently taken by our Key Stage 4 students are:

Art,  Business Studies, Computer Science, Drama, Hospitality and Catering,  Physical Education, Religious Studies , Music, Photography. A range of qualifications are achieved by students as a result of their studies including GCSEs, BTEC National Awards and Technical awards.


Subject Leaders lead their teams to plan their curriculum by carefully sequencing the knowledge and concepts to be taught to ensure that prior knowledge is built upon and higher order skills such as problem solving and critical reasoning are developed. Students are given an ‘Essential Knowledge and Vocabulary’ sheet for each unit of work in every subject and this outlines the key knowledge.

The curriculum is planned to ensure that the knowledge and concepts in all subject areas taught are carefully sequenced to allow students to make progress and the development of, literacy (through identified key vocabulary in each unit of work), and numeracy are key components of this.

Our students will develop confidence whilst at The Macclesfield Academy because our purposefully ordered curriculum will enable them to know more and remember more over time. Our curriculum aims to develop memory and recall in order to equip our students with the factual knowledge they require to be able to confidently problem solve, critically reason and apply knowledge through practice.

We believe that the acquisition of key knowledge is fundamental to the development of higher order thinking skills and that knowledge and skills exist in a symbiotic relationship to facilitate deep, long-term learning.

The curriculum is well-resourced through access to textbooks in every subject area as well as a wealth of additional resources, including access to digital and online applications.  Specialist rooms and facilities broaden pupils’ experiences of how certain subjects work beyond education.


As an Academy we pledge that no child is left behind.  Therefore senior leaders and middle leaders quality assure through the school’s own self-review processes.

Subject leaders and senior leaders meet routinely to review the curriculum and to ensure that there is no disparity between the planned and delivered curriculum. This will involve looking at a wide evidence base consisting of schemes of work, knowledge organisers, students’ self-quizzing books, other student work and key assessments and we gather student views regularly.

Lesson reviews focus on the taught curriculum as well as the aspects of pedagogy which best implement our knowledge-rich curriculum in the classroom, for example the use of recall and retention strategies and deliberate practice.

Essential Knowledge and Vocabulary (EKV) ‘Red Dot Sheets’ (Implementing our ambitious curriculum )

Subject teachers have produced ‘Red Dot Sheets’ that identify the essential knowledge and vocabulary that a student must learn. This enables students to focus essential knowledge that in turn will help students to know more, remember more and do more over time.

Curriculum Overviews 

Below are the curriculum overviews for each year group.  This is designed to allow parents to see the order knowledge is taught in across each subject in each year group.  These can help with conversations at home, and supporting students with past, current and future work.

Year 7 Curriculum Overview

Year 8 Curriculum Overview

Year 9 Curriculum Overview

Year 10 Curriculum Overview

Year 11 Curriculum Overview