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Our Curriculum

At Seahaven Academy our curriculum is academic, rigorous, and challenging. It is designed with long-term memory in mind and provides students with skills and experiences that develop character, in preparation for life beyond school. 

Our ambition for our students; how we achieve the ‘best in everyone’: 

Our aim is to deliver a knowledge-rich curriculum that is cohesive, cumulative and purposefully sequenced. Our curriculum is designed to provide students with the core they need for success in education and later life, to maximise their cognitive development and develop the whole person and the talents of the individual. We want our students to become engaged, happy and economically self-sufficient citizens benefitting from and contributing to society when they leave Seahaven. We make it our mission to foster a love learning, bringing out ‘the best in everyone’, whatever their background or starting point. For our most disadvantaged students we focus on removing barriers to enable access to the full curriculum and secure good progress, learning without limits. 

The Seahaven Curriculum represents the highest standards in educational practice using the ‘United Learning Core Curriculum’ as its basis, developed with the support of hundreds of teachers across our group of schools. The United Learning curriculum is founded on six key principles: 

  • Entitlement: All pupils have the right to learn what is in the United Learning curriculum, and schools have a duty to ensure that all pupils are taught the whole of it. 
  • Coherence: Taking the National Curriculum as its starting point, our curriculum is carefully sequenced so that powerful knowledge builds term by term and year by year. We make meaningful connections within subjects and between subjects. 
  • Mastery: We ensure that foundational knowledge, skills, and concepts are secure before moving on. Pupils revisit prior learning and apply their understanding in new contexts.  
  • Adaptability: The core content – the ‘what’ – of the curriculum is stable, but schools will bring it to life in their own local context, and teachers will adapt lessons – the ‘how’ – to meet the needs of their own classes. 
  • Representation: All pupils see themselves in our curriculum, and our curriculum takes all pupils beyond their immediate experience. 
  • Education with character: Our curriculum - which includes the taught subject timetable as well as spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development, our co-curricular provision, and the ethos and ‘hidden curriculum’ of the school – is intended to spark curiosity and to nourish both the head and the heart.

Our organisational structures are designed to ensure we are constantly improving provision for all our students with the Deputy Head Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Deputy Head Attainment and Progress, Director of Learning Support and Head of Literacy working as a team to lead the school strategy in collaboration with our Heads of Department. 

How we expose our students to powerful knowledge and provide education with character: 

The curriculum in each subject can be accessed here.

The curriculum overviews provide detailed information regarding the curriculum aims and purpose of the subject, how this is planned and taught and the intended outcomes including knowledge and skills developed for each subject.  

Subject specialism is at the heart of our curriculum and you will see differences in the way that the curriculum is constructed and assessed in different subjects. Standardised written assessments, for example, play less of a role in performance subjects such as music, drama and physical education. The stability of our curriculum allows subject expertise to develop over time.   

Further subject specialism is provided by United Learning’s subject advisors. These advisors are subject experts who help teachers link the subject discipline to our students’ daily experience in the classroom. Subject advisors meet regularly with Heads of Department across United Learning and facilitate the collaborative development of curriculum resources that enables the implementation of the subject curriculum.   

As a mastery curriculum our students study fewer topics in greater depth. Our Key stage 3 curriculum provides students with the time and space to gain secure understanding of these topics. In our lessons we expect to see all students grappling with the same challenging content, with teachers providing additional support for students who need it.  Rather than moving on to new content, our higher attainers produce work of greater depth and flair.  

Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning and provide sufficient opportunity for guided and independent practice. We use Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction to develop our teaching practice. At the heart of Rosenshine’s principles is a simple instructional core:  

  • Demonstration (explanation and modelling) of new material in small steps (I)  

  • Guided practice with prompts and scaffolds (we)  

  • Independent practice with monitoring and feedback from teacher (you)  

At each point in this instructional core, teachers check understanding of all students by asking lots of questions and providing feedback.  

The Rosenshine principles support the implementation of the curriculum by ensuring that students regularly recall prior learning. You will often see this at the start of our lessons, through low stake quiz starters and knowledge tests. When prior learning is committed to long term memory it becomes fluent or ‘automatic’, freeing space in our working memory which can then be used for comprehension, application, and problem solving.  

In order to allow the mastery approach to be effective (i.e. students learn what they are expected to in the year they are expected to), early catch-up is essential: we promptly identify and support students who start secondary school without a secure grasp of reading, writing and mathematics so that they can access the full curriculum. We provide a safe and secure disruption free learning environment with supportive approaches that ensure students are able to thrive because their learning needs are known.   

Everything from which students learn in school – the taught subject timetable, the approach to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, the co-curricular provision and the ethos and ‘hidden curriculum’ of the school – are to be seen as part of the school curriculum.  Our principle of ‘Education with Character’ is delivered through the curriculum in this broadest sense. 


How we measure and secure continuous improvement for all: 

To ensure that all students achieve mastery in the specified knowledge outlined in our curriculum, regular formative assessment guides responsive teaching. Summative assessment allows gaps to be closed through timely re-teaching of specific knowledge. Our assessment data is used to evaluate the strength of the curriculum as students progress towards mastery and allows for an opportunity to adapt the curriculum for the needs of our learners. 

With thousands of students across United Learning following the same curriculum, we have been able to develop common assessments in most subjects.  These are summative assessments which allow students to demonstrate their growing understanding of their subjects and teachers to assess the impact of their teaching. These summative assessments are typically taken once or twice a year, enabling teachers to focus on formative assessment from lesson to lesson. 

Our formative assessments are designed to support students in achieving fluency in each subject. This means that in lessons students are quizzed on prior knowledge in order to embed this knowledge in their long-term memory. This frees up their working memory to attend to current learning. We are particularly conscious of the role that literacy and vocabulary plays in unlocking the whole curriculum. Our teachers explicitly teach the meaning of subject-specific language, and we expect lessons to contain challenging reading and writing. Knowledge organisers provide students with key information in each subject, enabling them to develop their understanding of key concepts outside of their lessons. We also encourage all students to read widely. 

Every child has an equal right to a challenging and enlightening curriculum. By teaching this curriculum well, and developing effective habits in our students, we bring out the best in everyone. 

Key Documents: 

Seahaven Academy Curriculum Policy 

Seahaven Academy Literacy Policy 

Seahaven Academy SEND Policy 

Seahaven Academy Catch – Up Strategy 

Seahaven Curriculum Structure 

Individual Subject Information 

Staff Contact:

Ms M Christodoulou christodouloum@seahavenacademy.org.uk 

United Learning comprises: United Learning Ltd (Registered in England No: 00018582. Charity No. 313999) UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.

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