Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum starts with our pupils - their well-being, knowing and understanding themselves and their impact on the world. Our approach develops every pupil socially, emotionally and academically, preparing them for success in whatever they do.

The Ark Castledown Curriculum is designed around three aspects - Think, Feel, Create, with Oracy being the glue that binds the elements together. What we teach needs to stick, knowledge and skills are remembered and not just encountered.

Everything that we do is anchored by our Learning for Life Values - Grit, Responsibility, Confidence, Kindness and Curiosity.




  •  Applying and combining knowledge and skills   
  • Cultural literacy 
  • Big ideas and concepts 
  • Character development and wellbeing   
  • Building relationships 
  • Personal ethics and values 
  • Expressing thoughts, ideas and feelings eloquently through speech  
  • Crafting and presenting beautiful work – that has real value beyond the classroom
  • Problem solving and making a difference in the community and beyond










How we approach learning at Castledown

Our approach is thematic, building links across subjects around a central topic.  Driver questions lead children on a path of discovery- building knowledge, curiosity and igniting excitement.

Castledown’s curriculum balances the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum within a broad, engaging and exciting framework that meets the unique needs and interests of our pupils.  Research studies have proved the importance of a high quality, knowledge rich curriculum that we, at Castledown, strive towards.  Our ‘Ark Castledown Plus’ Curriculum is progressive; building upon the foundations taught in the previous year group.  It ensures that cross-curricular links are made, expanding childrens’ depth of understanding contextually, as well as in their application of skills.  Research-based programmes of study support teachers in achieving a high-quality delivery of all subjects and provide our children with opportunities to Think, Feel and Create Talk.

At the heart of each subject is the knowledge of how talk aids analysis and understanding of key learning.  We want our pupils to find their voice, both metaphorically and literally.  We are dialogic school that harnesses and makes sense of the curriculum through rich conversations, discussions, listening and purposeful classroom talk.  In addition, our pupils benefit from a range of Castledown opportunities outside of the classroom.






5 BY 5



Enrichment is woven into the very fabric of the Castledown curriculum and our pupil's benefit from a wealth of trips, visits and experiences, supporting their cultural development.  Our 11 by 11 enrichment programmeme extends opportunities for pupils to broaden their horizons, take on challenges and deepen their knowledge and understanding.  Pupils participate in a wide range of extra-curricular clubs and activities.

Our curriculum supports every child to grow as human beings, intellectually, in maturity and character.  We believe that if a child feels well inside themselves, they achieve more.  To support our pupils to be successful we teach a comprehensive programme of PSHE and wellbeing which are underpinned by the Castledown Learning for Life Values.

We fundamentally believe in preparing and empowering our pupils to act and make a difference in their own community and the world beyond.  The Castledown Community Projects enable every child in the school to solve a community problem and make a difference; from litter picking on the beach to making and serving afternoon tea for elderly residents living in the town.




Assessment of the curriculum

Underneath this learning sequence sits on-going formative assessment of knowledge, skills and processes, ending with a summative assessment against the core knowledge.