Scroll to content
Burnside Academy home page

Burnside Academy

Curriculum Values


What is learning at Burnside Academy and why is this important for the design of our curriculum?


Learning is a change in long-term memory. We agree that knowledge is not just information. A key fact can be remembered as a piece of information, but the depth and thinking around it is the ‘knowledge’. The more we remember, the easier it is to understand things later on as our knowledge grows. Therefore, we have designed our curriculum to be progressive and repetitive through key concepts, to allow our pupils to build upon their prior knowledge and develop their understanding further and deeper as they move through the units of a subject, and through year groups.


You can’t think about things, unless you know about them….we want to expose our pupils to things they might not otherwise have been exposed to. Our curriculum provides children with powerful knowledge, which gives them:


  • Access to new opportunities
  • Intellectual power
  • More reliable explanations
  • New ways of thinking about the world
  • Language for engaging


Each of these contribute to High quality CULTURAL CAPITAL

(which can be looked upon as the currency for social mobility; providing more opportunities for academic success)


We aim to make learning as varied, meaningful and relevant as possible so that children engage with it and feel successful through their learning. As children (and grown-ups!) are engaged by success through a chemical response of increased dopamine, our theory is that helping them to feel successful by providing opportunities to repeat their knowledge through a variety of key concepts, they are more likely to remain engaged, ensuring learning is more effective.




We deliver our curriculum discreetly in specific subjects and take our breadth of study from the National Curriculum, which is mapped out in year groups. We do this in order to provide children with the specific subject content and ‘powerful knowledge’ in the first instance so that they can develop their depth of understanding within that subject. When this understanding is embedded, pupils can then begin to make relevant links across other areas of the curriculum, as well as using their transferrable skills.



Daytoday, on-going assessment is a crucial method of assessment which provides instant feedback to the teacher and ensures progress within every lesson. AfL strategies are used in all lessons. These strategies provide a clear picture of a child’s level of understanding and, ensure that teachers can quickly assess when a child does not understand and needs greater support. Lessons should be flexible enough to allow teachers to adapt to the needs of the child. AfL should also be used to inform planning for subsequent lessons.


Progress is assessed regularly. At the end of each term, assessment data is gathered and progress is checked by leaders. Children are expected to make good or better progress in all subjects and this individual progress is tracked. In cases where children are identified as making less than expected progress in English or Maths, rapid interventions are put in place to address gaps in learning.


Should you require any additional information regarding our curriculum, please do not hesitate to contact us:



By Post:


Burnside Academy Inspires
Brinkburn Crescent


By Phone:


T: (0191) 512 0466


By Email: