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Ofsted Good Rating

Curriculum Statement

For information on any aspect of our curriculum, please contact Mrs Grace (Vice Principal)



The curriculum and the effective implementation of that curriculum is at the heart of The Sutton Academy.  All students, whatever their ability, need or starting point are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum rich in knowledge and experience. Students at The Sutton Academy are supported to achieve their full potential and beyond through the provision of a cohesive but diverse curriculum.  We make this possible by placing great emphasis on an orderly and happy working environment where high expectations are the norm. Our lessons are challenging, engaging and inspiring.

Through a well-crafted curriculum and evidence informed approach to implementation, students learn effectively and are academically successful.  They develop into students who are kind, resilient, reflective and part of a community.   

We provide a curriculum built on five pillars with the aim to equip students with the skills and knowledge to succeed in life.

The five pillars include:

  • Systematic building of knowledge sequenced to aid understanding
  • Retention. Lessons taught in a way to ensure knowledge is retained in long term memory and then can be used in the future
  • Vocabulary to access the curriculum is explained and students are supported in developing their range of vocabulary
  • Links are made to cultural capital so the curriculum is made relevant and students are engaged with topics from all walks of life. Links are made across different subject areas
  • Students are taught the skills to apply the knowledge they have learnt

Consideration has been taken when developing our curriculum to ensure that:

  • We celebrate students’ uniqueness and we promote respect for other cultures and religions.
  • We value the spiritual and moral development of each student, as well as their intellectual and physical growth.
  • We organise our curriculum to promote inclusion, co-operation and understanding among all members of our community.
  • We value the individual needs of all of our students and strive to meet them.
  • Topics are relevant to life in modern Britain so students are prepared to be good human beings and citizens when they leave the academy.
Key Stage 3 – Years 7, 8 and 9:

In Key Stage 3, students follow the National Curriculum ensuring a broad and balanced range of subjects with an emphasis on developing literacy and numeracy.

The Wasted Years document has influenced the development of our PACE (Progress Against Challenging Expectations) curriculum which was introduced in September 2016. Our curriculum in Key Stage 3 is designed with an academic focus on knowledge and skills needed to succeed in Key Stage 4 and 5 but also in life after leaving the academy. This curriculum was written having worked collaboratively with other schools across the North West and is designed to meet the needs our students.

The Maths, English and AEN team have designed their curriculum having worked with our feeder primary schools as part of the Bridging the Gap project established by The Sutton Academy. This meant the academy can build on the foundations laid in Key Stage 2. Other faculty areas also work with our partner primary schools in their curriculum development in areas such as IT, Humanities and Languages to ensure students are well prepared for secondary education.

A personalised AEN curriculum is in place for those students who need extra support to access mainstream learning. The breadth of the National Curriculum is still covered but lessons are also dedicated to Social Skills, Organisational skills and Numeracy/Literacy.

PACE incorporates summative assessment to support ongoing formative feedback and has a consistent principle, to be used across subjects, but the flexibility to be suitable for all.

Further details of the structure of the curriculum and subjects allocations in Key Stage 3 are available in the Curriculum Plan document.

Key Stage 4 – Years 10 and 11:

Key Stage 4, studied in Years 10 and 11, offers students a diverse choice of subjects to study for 2 years. These subjects are selected to further diversify the curriculum they studies in Key Stage 3 and allows students to study subjects in further detail for which they have a particular passion or interest.

We highly value a robust academic curriculum so Key Stage 4 is centred on the English Baccalaureate.  When selecting their GCSE options, students are guided to select from one of three differentiated pathways; Purple, Green and White.

All students have the opportunity to study both a Humanity and a Language, leading to completion of the English Baccalaureate. We believe strongly that the pathways are used to support students in the option process, and guide student choice rather than dictate it.

The personalised AEN curriculum continues in Key Stage 4 and students within this pathway, have access to all Key Stage 4 options plus two additional subjects which are only available to this pathway if they wish to choose them.  As well as studying the National Curriculum, these students have curriculum time dedicated to social skills and numeracy, literacy development.

Further information regarding the pathways is available in the Curriculum Plan and in the Options section of the website.

Key Stage 5 – Years 12 and 13:

As an 11-18 academy, our Sixth Form offers continuity from Year 11 with clear progression pathways to further study. We offer a wide range of academic and vocational courses, with students able to choose a blend of qualifications to suit their aspirations.  The curriculum is built with our students' aspirations in mind, giving students the opportunity to study complementary qualifications preparing them for future careers in a variety of different settings such as STEM or Clinical Care.  Students who wish to opt to study a more diverse range of subjects are able to do so.

In addition to high quality delivery of qualifications, our Key Stage 5 students benefit from an enrichment programme ensuring they leave us prepared to face the challenges that lie ahead. This includes working with partnership agencies such as Shaping Futures and Realising Opportunities. For our highest achieving students, the curriculum is enhanced even further with the opportunity to study the Extended Project Qualification as well as a bespoke package of support, aiming to secure the highest grades possible.


Clear regular target setting, assessment and reporting systems underpin all aspects of learning throughout the academy so that students understand the progress they are making and how to make further improvements.

Academic data is collected 3 times a year to “Track” how well students are achieving against their targets. More importantly the assessments are then used to assess gaps in knowledge so teachers can then intervene to plug these knowledge gaps through a range of strategies such as targeted intervention and the SSS feedback model.


"The curriculum from key stage 3 to key stage 5 is meticulously planned."

- Ofsted