Learning at Burnage (Curriculum Overview)

As a result of our context, our curriculum aims to:

  • embed a culture of high expectations and aspirations which supports pupils to achieve outstanding outcomes; ensuring they have a full range of opportunities available to them in the future which is vital in a community which has high levels of deprivation and unemployment.
  • ensure that all pupils make rapid and sustained progress, irrespective of their academic ability or starting points which are often significantly lower than the national average.
  • provide pupils with a curriculum that is ambitious and broad, ensuring they are able to study a full range of subjects in depth for as long as possible, to inspire pupils and broaden their horizons in a community with high levels of deprivation.
  • provide an engaging and enjoyable curriculum that inspires a love of learning, not just at school but as life-long learners, ensuring they have the necessary skills and understanding required to make a positive contribution to a 21st Century global society.
  • develop independent and resilient learners who have the skills and confidence required to think critically, make informed decisions and face all challenges in life with determination and self-awareness.
  • provide a curriculum that is rich in cultural capital and SMSC experiences, promoting British Values and proudly celebrating the diversity within our community.
  • develop literacy and reading skills in response to the low levels of literacy pupils arrive with and to support our high proportion of EAL pupils allowing all pupils to engage with the wider world around them.

Curriculum Intent

  • Our curriculum is designed to build independent and resilient learners; ensuring they have the skills, knowledge and understanding to be successful learners and responsible citizens who can make a positive contribution to society. In doing so, we are supporting our pupils in achieving positive outcomes and making a real difference to our pupils by, ensuring they have a full range of opportunities available to them post-16.
  • Our curriculum is inclusive and designed to celebrate our diverse community and rich wealth of backgrounds and beliefs within our school. We want all of our pupils to be aspirational and our curriculum enables all learners to experience success, irrespective of academic ability and starting point. We want our learners to enjoy their learning, feel enthused by the ambitious, broad and balanced curriculum content, and engage with their own development in a meaningful way; supporting all pupils to be the best they can be.
  • The skills, knowledge and content within each subject area has been coherently planned and sequenced to ensure all pupils have the sufficient knowledge and skills required for future learning; building on prior learning and able to make rapid and sustained progress over time.

Our Curriculum intent:

Examples of how we achieve this:

To provide an ambitious, broad and inclusive curriculum for all pupils, irrespective of their ability level or starting point. This curriculum will be engaging, enjoyable and inspire a love of learning.



  • Providing a three year KS3 curriculum.
  • Covering the full range and depth of the national curriculum.
  • Including KS3 subjects beyond the national curriculum i.e. Drama & Food Technology.
  • Offering pupils a wide range of GCSE and vocational courses at KS4.
  • Offering the same courses to all pupils at KS4.
  • Ensuring our curriculum reflects our local context.
  • Continually reviewing our curriculum to ensure it is engaging and enjoyable.

To provide a challenging, rigorous and well sequenced curriculum which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills learnt previously to ensure pupils are successful learners.



  • Curriculum in each subject areas is mapped out to ensure progression and sequencing from KS2 through to KS4.
  • Curriculum plans explicitly outline the key knowledge, content and skills developed over time.
  • Curriculum plans continually reviewed and discussed with school leaders to ensure rigour.
  • CPD supports teaching and learning.

To ensure pupils leave with the best possible outcomes across a range of high quality qualifications; ensuring they have high aspirations and are able to succeed in their future education or employment.



  • Progress 8 score of 0.9.
  • Offering pupils a wide range of GCSE and vocational courses at KS4.
  • A 5 year careers programme which builds links with FE, HE and industry.
  • Aspirational trips to colleges and universities.
  • A dedicated revision programme for Year 11 pupils; Lesson 6.

To develop independent and resilient learners who have the skills and confidence required to face the challenges of their future education, employment and beyond.


  • Embedding a culture of high expectations and standards.
  • Core values embedded across the curriculum and within teaching & learning.
  • Core values embedded within the behaviour policy.
  • Development of independent study skills to ensure pupils know and remember more.

To broaden pupils’ horizons and their awareness of the world we live in through a range of opportunities and experiences; embedding of cultural capital throughout to give them the general knowledge they need for the future.


  • 10% of KS3 curriculum time dedicated to SMSC experiences and activities (including local parks, walking tour of Manchester architecture, RHS Bridgewater, Buxworth Base train trip, Manchester Airport, historical cinema, Debdale Park watersports experience, Bridgewater Hall orchestra experience)
  • Cultural capital embedded within all subject areas.
  • SSCC Smart School Council Community: student-led school council, all students are members.
  • Bespoke extra-curricular timetable including archery, climbing, badminton, handball, Debate Mate.
  • Participation in British Youth Council/UK Youth Parliament national Make Your Mark vote.
  • Duke of Edinburgh programme.
  • Specific 8-week programme around sexism and misogyny.
  • George House Trust Y10 form group sessions on AIDS and HIV
  • Brook (sexual health clinic) deliver Y9 form group sessions on consent and healthy relationships
  • Onsite allotment and school community garden including hens and fishpond.

To improve levels of literacy and numeracy across the curriculum. This includes significantly increasing their vocabulary, improving their application of mathematics across the curriculum and providing a rigorous and systematic approach to reading development which allows pupils to access the full curriculum.


  • Delivery of reading and numeracy interventions.
  • Whole school focus on reading across the curriculum via disciplinary literacy.
  • Whole school focus on extended writing.
  • Specific literacy initiatives: KS3 reading programme, Accelerated Reader, dedicated library.
  • Subject specific vocabulary mapped within the curriculum.
  • Cross faculty support between Maths and Science for numeracy.

SMSC Curriculum

We offer all young people in year 7 to 9 at least one opportunity per half term to experience the rich culture which Manchester has to offer linked to one of their subjects. From visits and day trips the best of the city’s Museums, Art Galleries and local community engagement projects, we aim to ensure that our students grow up being able to fully embrace the cultural opportunities which Manchester has to offer them, ensuring they become a full part of the city.

Sports and Outdoor Pursuits

From inter-house competition to full year group teams, we offer sports clubs and societies in many sports such as football, cricket, badminton and basketball. We are also one of the only schools in Manchester to have a climbing wall, as well as opportunities for boys to try out sports such as badminton, weightlifting, wrestling and table tennis. We have one of the biggest Duke of Edinburgh Award offerings in Manchester and regularly take boys to our very own outdoor centre at Buxworth in the Peak District, as well as offering boys trips to outdoor residential centres such as Ghyll Head and Castle Head.

Clubs and Societies

Our enrichment offer extends beyond the sporting to include all interests. We have a number of lunchtime clubs and after school societies in subjects such as Art, Lego, Debating and a variety of sports. Boys are encouraged to be independent and take ownership of these clubs, with opportunities to set up and lead clubs and societies which reflect their own interests.

We use an online booking system called Evolve Clubs to ensure families can engage fully with our after school offer. Parents and carers can create an optional free account to manage their bookings and keep updated with any changes. All information about our extracurricular offer and use of Evolve Clubs will be emailed directly to parents and carers.


Inter-house Competitions

Our House system offers pupils the opportunity to take part in Maths competitions, Spelling Bees and Art challenges, ultimately competing nationwide against other schools in many of these areas with great recent success

Our bespoke personal development offering meets the needs of boys, focussing on our three key values. These are resilience, independence and care.


The school is relentless in ensuring that boys become resilient young adults by the time they leave the school. We understand that boys need to be taught to deal with the ups and downs of daily life, to be guided to make the right choices and taught the key skill of responding well to challenging situations.


At the heart of our personal development offer is teaching the boys independence, both of thought and action. We encourage debate in our classes, teaching boys to be independent critical thinkers. Our team works tirelessly to ensure that boys have the independent skills to fully look after themselves in the world beyond Burnage Academy for Boys.


At Burnage Academy for Boys, we realise the importance of working with you to ensure your child is safe, cared for and has a clear set of morals to go out into the world with. Our personal development curriculum is fully focussed on developing boys’ interpersonal skills on their journey from Year 7 to Year 11, giving them the confidence to thrive in life after Burnage Academy. All this is led by a caring and experienced Pastoral Team who will work closely with you and your child to achieve the best possible outcomes for all boys over their time here.

At Burnage Academy for Boys, we know that to be the best they can be, boys need an inclusive education; one which occurs inside and outside the classroom which builds resilience, promotes independence and shows care. To achieve this, we offer a dedicated SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) enrichment curriculum as well as multiple opportunities in sport, clubs and societies.