SEND information report

Curriculum overview

A carefully planned and structured curriculum is the foundation upon which excellent learning and development is built. At Ashington Academy, we believe our curriculum has the attributes to deliver this. The curriculum is broad and balanced and carefully planned to ensure that content is thoroughly revisited so that learning ‘sticks’ and students know more and remember more over time.

Whilst it undoubtedly prepares students well for external examinations, there is also a strong emphasis throughout our curriculum on developing: 

  • a ‘love of learning’. 
  • the transferrable skills required to be a productive member of the workforce. 
  • an understanding, through the Careers programme, of the opportunities available to students once they leave school. 
  • an understanding of ‘British Values’ and the implications for life in modern day Britain. 
  • Students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural learning.

Our curriculum is constructed on the following principles: 

  • Acquiring subject-specific knowledge is key for students to be able to solve complex problems.
  • Students need to practice the knowledge and skills they have learnt in lessons so that they become fluent and can use them when they need. 
  • Many opportunities are built into lessons to secure the need to systematically recall and retrieve previous learning so that it can be embedded. This enables students to apply knowledge with increasing confidence. 
  • An increasing proportion of students should be entered for the English Baccalaureate, as this provides an appropriately broad and balanced academic curriculum. 
  • Curriculum sequencing is crucial to ensure that component knowledge is developed before composite tasks are introduced, and so that linked content is taught in a logical order which enables pupils to form meaningful schemas of knowledge. 
  • Development of language and disciplinary literacy are the remit of all subjects. 
  • All students should experience a careers education based on the Gatsby benchmarks. 
  • The British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect of those with different faiths and beliefs are taught explicitly and reinforced in the way in which the school operates. 
  • High-quality SMSC, Health Education and SRE are fundamental to students’ personal development and are embedded into pastoral and curriculum programmes. 
  • A three-year Key Stage 4 is a deliberate action to enable students to really enjoy their subject and learn to a depth and breadth that is beyond the published specification. There is time to study and follow students’ interests which would be more limited if a two-year programme was followed. 

At Key Stage 3, students study the full range of National Curriculum subjects.

Our Personal Development curriculum additionally covers citizenship, sex and relationships education (SRE), health education and SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development). 

At Key Stage 4, students study a core curriculum consisting of:

  • English language
  • English literature
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences (triple or trilogy science)
  • Physical education 

Students also select four option choices to study. Students, therefore, study for nine or ten GCSE qualifications.

Our curriculum is currently structured as follows to meet our aims as outlined above:

Subject (KS3) 

Hours per week in KS3 

Subject (KS4) 

Hours per week in KS4 




English Literature (Core) 


All students study English Language and Literature. 

English Language (Core) 




Students are entered for either Higher or Foundation maths. 




Students study either separate sciences in Biology, Chemistry and Physics or a Trilogy Science course 




Option 1 

3 / 2 

All students study either history or geography as their first Option Choice (they can study both). 




Option 2 

3 / 2 

An increasing proportion of students study a language in this Option Choice 



Option 3 


3 / 2 


Free Option Choice from a wide range of GCSE and BTEC qualifications 

Design Technology 



Option 4 





 Free Option Choice from a wide range of GCSE and BTEC qualifications 






All students engage in a range of physical activities during their core PE time.







Delivered through tutor time and a Drop-Down Day programme. 

The teaching of all subjects within the curriculum is fully compliant with our duties under the Equality Act 2010 and Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 as exemplified in the  NELT Equality and Diversity statement and objectives, the Academy SEND Policy and reported through the SEND Information Report.

To find out more about our curriculum, please contact the school office.