Our Curriculum Journey


Why change our curriculum at Charlton Park Academy in 2021?


We wanted to ensure that:

  • The curriculum places greater emphasis on personalisation and relevance for all learners. The profile of students coming to CPA has changed over the last number of years, the level of SEN has become increasingly complex.
  • We acted upon feedback from our teachers and support staff, where they have indicated that parts of the curriculum were not always meaningful for individual students.
  • The Academy strives to ensure that, wherever possible, recognised barriers are either partially or completely removed for students from their point of entry to ensure that their journey with us provides for improvement and progress no matter how limited.
  • Our curriculum strives to meets the needs of our students regardless of staring points, we ensure that lessons are well planned, differentiated and student focussed underpinned by a relentless drive to meet the needs of each individual learner.
  • Based upon effective assessment we will ensure, wherever possible, that communication and preparation for adulthood reflects and meets their identified needs/diagnosis.
  • Our curriculum prepares each individual student for the next stage of their education.
  • The curriculum in each pathway reflects the cognitive ability of that student and their destination. Each student needs a rich curriculum, all our students have different starting points and will develop at different rates of progress.
  • The curriculum leads assessment, assessment outcomes are not the curriculum. We wanted our students to engage with their learning, ensuring that teaching is coherent & creative, with well-planned lessons that excite and motivate our students.


How did we change the curriculum?


  • The curriculum changes were made on the principle of co-production and co-construction. This means that we gathered the views of the most important people that shape our work and used their feedback to inform the curriculum design.
  • Namely parents and carers, staff, students, and Governors. Different methods were used to capture their views to ensure that the reviewed curriculum provided personalisation, relevance, and appropriateness.


Parents & Carers:


Questionnaires were carefully designed and sent home to parents and carers.

A sample of the questions that were used to review the curriculum offer and the reason for asking the question. (Question/reason)


  1. What aspirations do you have when your child leaves Charlton Park Academy? (Aspiration and potential)
  2. Is your child happy at Charlton Park Academy? (What they enjoy about school/what is their lived experience)
  3. Which parts of the curriculum and teaching and learning strategies do you like that we currently offer? (Level of engagement and strategies that engage and motivate)
  4. What would you like us to include in the curriculum that we do not already offer? (Breadth of curriculum offer & Cultural Capital)
  5. Are there any other experiences you would like us to consider in helping to improve your child’s well-being, safety, and overall experience at CPA?


Our students:

All students were supported to answer the questions below:

(For example, using, AAC devices, Symbols, pictures, PECs, Makaton, LSA & teacher prompts)

  1. What subjects do you like? (Provide examples that match communication and cognition abilities)
  2. Are there subjects you would like more time studying at school? (What are they/why)
  3. What subjects do you not like at school? (If possible, provide a reason)
  4. How do teachers and LSAs help you with learning? Do they model answers, link learning between subjects? (Sequence learning, repeat learning, overlearn important skills in different places – functional/life skills)
  5. Where do you do your best learning? (Think about trips out, local walks, use of the school building and grounds as well as classrooms etc)
  6. What else can we do to help prepare you for your future/next steps?
  7. What do you want to do when you are an adult? (College, work, where to live)


Training for Teachers & Learning Support Assistants


‘The lived daily experience of young people in and out of the classroom’ – Dylan William

Curriculum is the lived experience of our students, both formal teaching and informal education such as educational experiences that promote Cultural Capital, for example beekeeping, yoga & residential experiences. All staff reviewed the current offer. Emphasis was placed on interconnected learning, sequential learning, composite and complex tasks that build and consolidate learning.

  • Staff received training based on the Dylan Williams seven principles of curriculum design, Ofsted briefings & SSAT four pillars of successful curriculum design.
  • What educational purposes is CPA seeking to obtain?
  • What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes?


This is a summary overview of how we engaged with all our community to develop our curriculum at Charlton Park Academy.