Castle Hill Academy Castle Hill Academy

A Platanos Trust School

Castle Hill Academy - Curriculum Intent


"Intent is all the curriculum planning that happens before a teacher teaches the knowledge that pupils need to learn the next thing in the curriculum. "


Ofsted, 2019


At Castle Hill Academy our curriculum is ambitious, coherently planned and sequenced. It is broad and balanced. Long term plans for each academic subject maps out all knowledge and skills to be taught in each academic year. Teachers review the sequence of knowledge across year groups and key stages to plan lessons that deepen and secure subject knowledge for every child. 


Five Broad Principles that underpin Castle Hill Academy’s curriculum approach (Percival, 2020)

  1. Acquisition of knowledge and cultural literacy is at the heart of the curriculum
  2. Knowledge is specified in meticulous detail
  3. Knowledge is acquired in long term memory
  4. Knowledge is carefully sequenced over time
  5. Knowledge is organized in clearly defined subject disciplines

When planning a sequence of lessons for a curriculum subject it is imperative teachers consider the following: 


  • Broad - how much of the domain will pupils experience?
  • Culturally rich - Does the selected content conform to shared cultural agreements of what is valuable to know?
  • Powerful - Does the selected content allow pupils to think in new and unexpected ways?
  • Coherent - Does the content link together in a way which builds schemas and allows children to think increasingly effortlessly?

Why knowledge?


From David Didau’s ‘Making kids cleverer’


  • Knowledge is more than just facts - it includes procedural knowledge (skills) as well as tacit knowledge (things we can either can’t put into words or don’t know we know).
  • The more we know, the better we can think; knowing more changes us.
  • Learning propositional knowledge (facts) is vital for academic success.
  • Knowing the names of things allows us to think about and discuss them.
  • Thinking about procedural knowledge as ‘skill;s makes it harder for us to understand how to help children become more skilled. Thinking in terms of procedural knowledge makes it easier.
  • All procedures can be practised; some can be practised to the point where they become effortless and automatic.