As an Ark Academy, we have a lot of flexibility with our curriculum – the subjects, learning methods, levels of study and qualifications that students pursue.

We have a broad academic curriculum, emphasising the importance of intellectual study and focusing on traditional learning. We believe that this is the best way to equip our students for university, and/or the professions and careers they eventually choose. We are determined that our students will compete on equal terms with students coming from the most privileged backgrounds. In an ever-competitive global community we have provided an academic curriculum that gives your child the best possible chance to succeed whilst ensuring that they have the opportunity to demonstrate their talents and express themselves through expressive arts.

Additionally, we know that the curriculum is more than just the subjects that are taught in school. The table below highlights the elements that we believe are crucial to delivering an effective curriculum, preparing our students well for the challenges of the 21st Century.

Academic Attainment Habits, Skills and Mindset
Our students make exceptional academic progress, opening up the range of options available to them at the end of Key Stage 4. Our students are confident and compassionate communicators, literate and curious about solving problems as they navigate the unknown.
Access and Exposure Pathways and Guidance
Our students have the opportunity to engage with inspiring role models and activities as they explore the full range of post-academy options. Our students and their families receive the individualised guidance required to make ambitious and informed decisions about their future pathways. 


Educational Excellence, Academic Rigour and the English Baccalaureate (EBacc)

Academic subjects leading to the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) are at the core of our curriculum. Subjects include: English, Mathematics, the three main sciences, languages, humanities, and arts. The content is driven by the syllabus and specification of national examinations.

Most of Ark Boulton’s students can study towards the EBacc. The English Baccalaureate, though not a qualification in itself, is a measure of success in core academic subjects; specifically English, Mathematics, History or Geography, the sciences and a language. These are the subjects most likely to be required or preferred for entry to university degree courses and that will open vast opportunities in the future. Universities like to see that a student has a broad range of subjects and would want students to achieve at least a grade 5 in most of the EBacc subject areas. The award is highly regarded and certifies the academic credentials of the students that achieve it. The EBacc is also a method by which an Academy or school is judged. It will be one on four performance measures used from 2016. Whilst it is not compulsory, Ofsted will take it into account when inspecting schools and academies. 

For more information regarding the EBacc or our curriculum offer please feel free to contact our Acting Vice Principal Ms F. Ahmed - 


The delivery of the entire range of subject areas and student support is the responsibility of our seven faculties, with each faculty taking responsibility for its subject provision.

Our faculties and the subjects that they teach are:

  • Faculty of English Language and English Literature
    • KS3 English Mastery Curriculum
    • GCSE English Language
    • GCSE English Literature
  • Faculty of Health and Wellbeing
    • GCSE Physical Education
    • GCSE Food and Nutrition
    • Core PE (KS3/KS4)
    • Health and Nutrition
  • Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
    • Mathematics Mastery (KS3)
    • GCSE Mathematics
  • Faculty of Science and Innovation 
    • GCSE Physics
    • GCSE Chemistry
    • GCSE Biology
    • GCSE Science (Trilogy double award)
    • KS3 Science
  • Faculty of Humanities
    • GCSE Religious Studies
    • GCSE History
    • GCSE Geography
    • KS3 History, Geography and Religious Studies
  • Faculty of Creative and Performing Arts
    • GCSE Art
    • GCSE Drama
    • GCSE Music
    • KS3 Art, Drama, Music
  • Faculty of Modern Foreign Languages
    • GCSE French
    • GCSE Arabic
    • KS3 French
  • Faculty of Enhanced Provision (SEND, reading and inclusion)
    • Fresh Start Phonics Programme
    • Transitional Learning Classroom (TLC)

Our Virtues Curriculum

At Ark Boulton Academy we believe that preparing students for life in modern Britain includes providing opportunities for students to develop morally, socially, spiritually and culturally. These themes run throughout the formal curriculum; students learn about themselves, others, the local and global society in which they live and about democracy, tolerance, diversity and the rule of law.

Additionally, the academy runs a number of ‘Rights & Responsibilities’ days where external agencies are welcomed to the academy to deliver sessions that include advice regarding career choices and mock interviews. Participation in these days ensures that students explore themes relating directly to their personal, emotional, mental and physical health and wellbeing as well as positive relationships and how to keep themselves and others safe.

To enable the spiritual and moral development of students the academy’s values are predicated on ten virtues which we seek to make explicit and relate to day to day life in the academy and the wider world. In order to complement this approach each week there is a specific virtue theme and related ‘key question’. During assembly and form time students consider the impact of these virtues on their own lives, their community and wider world.

Students demonstrate their understanding of these themes and issues through group discussion, personal reflection, written reflections and by composing expositions.

Virtue Curriculum From SUM2 2016/7 the academy will seek to give even more focus to development of students as young citizens and to help prepare them for life in modern Britain by introducing the Virtue Curriculum. This approach allows for daily exploration, discussion and reflection on a wide range of spiritual, moral and personal development themes across each year group. The assessment of student understanding for the Virtue Curriculum will be based on student expositions and use a speaking and listening assessment rubric to grade student understanding as being: emerging, expected or exceeding.


Acting with bravery in fearful situations.


Acting with fairness towards others by honouring rights & responsibilities.


Being truthful & sincere.


Exhibiting care & concern.


The ability to control one's feelings & overcome one's weaknesses.


Feeling & expressing thanks for benefits.


Estimating oneself within reasonable limits.


A humble generosity of time, thought & spirit.


A determined & gracious resolve in the face of challenges.


A giving heart, a generous way of viewing others & caring for their needs.

Table 1: Ark Boulton Virtues


There can be no under-estimation of how important it is for students to be able to read well and the impact that this can have on their engagement with the curriculum and future academic attainment and success which is why, each day, every student receives 20 minutes of ‘Lead Learning Time’ (LLT). The programme is delivered at the start of the academy day and is designed to support improved reading and foster a love for books. 

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10

Autumn 1

Millions Roll of Thunder (6)        


Wonder (1)

Noughts & Crosses Heroes (6)        


OMAM (1)

Autumn 2



A Monster Calls (3)

Wonder Noughts & Crosses OMAM (4)        


Lord of the Flies (4)

Spring 1

A Monster Calls (5)        


Refugee Boy (1)

Wonder (1)        


The Other Side of Truth (5)

Noughts & Crosses (5)        


The Curious Incident (1)

Lord of the Flies (5)        


Rani & Sukh (1)

Spring 2

Refugee Boy The Other Side of Truth The Curious Incident Rani & Sukh
Summer 1 Refugee Boy (4)        


Coraline (2)

The Other Side of Truth (2)        


Maggot Moon (4)

The Curious Incident (1)        


Orange Boy (5)

Rani & Sukh

Summer 2

Coraline (7) Maggot Moon Orange Boy Rani & Sukh

Table 2: Reading Schedule 2017-2018

The World Literacy Foundation note; “reading that takes place outside the classroom is vastly beneficial, but children don’t get nearly enough of it.” We therefore encourage students to read stories that interest and engage them and that they will continue to enjoy at home. We would ask families to support this by ensuring that their child has their reading book every day; by asking our students about what they are reading and ensuring that they have reading opportunities at home.

We also provide additional curriculum time for students with reading ages that are well below their chronological age. During these lessons student will complete the ‘Fresh Start’ phonics programme a highly regarded course that is proven to rapidly improve a child’s ability to read.

Further Curriculum Support

Acts of collective worship

Students receive regular acts of collective worship through daily year groups briefings (held during line-up), whole school assemblies and form time. There is a scheduled weekly theme which promote British Values (democracy, the rule of the law, individual liberty and tolerance) and broadly follows the Christian principles of love, tolerance and forgiveness.


The academy has planned for wide-ranging promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and their physical well-being enables pupils to thrive. This is to be audited at the end of every term. 


Character development is continued through the academy’s rich comprehensive enrichment programme which includes: sporting, cultural, creative and other activities. This helps them develop key personal skills and aptitudes such as communication, leadership, team work, and problem-solving that are so sought after by today’s top universities and employers.

Literacy and Numeracy

There is the opportunity for additional literacy and numeracy lessons for pupils for whom the EBacc may not be appropriate, these students will also have the chance to complete the Duke of Edinburgh Award through our enrichment programme however all pupils are expected to pursue a curriculum with a strong academic core. We believe that educational excellence can only be guaranteed when what is studied is tailored to each individual student.

Health and Nutrition

To support our students in making sure that they make healthy lifestyle choices and to give them the knowledge and skills needed to contribute to their physical and emotional well-being, our Key Stage 3 students are all required to take part in Health and Nutrition Lessons.

Progress 8

Progress 8 (explained in 3 minutes)