At LAB, we seek to deliver rigorous, diverse content, carefully chosen and coherently sequenced to ensure students have the ‘best of what’s been thought and said’ in each subject stored in their long-term memory, so that they can apply this confidently and skilfully in ways recognised as valuable by each discipline. 

In order to realise this, there are three underlying principles to our curriculum design:

  1. Powerful knowledge specified in meticulous detail by each subject; 
  2. Said knowledge to be well sequenced, with clear connections between current and prior learning, routinely and explicitly drawn upon in lessons, and well understood by students.
  3. Students’ learning is to be evaluated, through carefully designed assessments that effectively test whether acquisition of said knowledge has been successful, and which allow for the identification of misconceptions and errors to be addressed in future lessons.


At LAB, we create a learning climate that allows all of our pupils to make consistent progress such that they will excel, personally and professionally, in their future lives. To achieve this, we are guided by the principles of teaching and learning set out below.

Reviewing material

  • Engaging students in cumulative recapping of knowledge through regular, low-stakes quizzing.

Sequencing concepts 

  • Presenting new material using small steps;
  • Having students engage critically with inquiry-based questions once their understanding of content is secure.


  • Employing a range of differentiated questioning techniques to check for understanding;

Stages of practice

  • Being explicit about what we want pupils to do, setting out the key steps (with worked examples) that pupils will have to repeat in order to complete a task successfully;
  • Having pupils engage in extended independent thinking and practice on a regular basis;
  • Obtaining a high success rate which meets the needs of all learners.

High expectations

  • Delivering academically-challenging content that exposes students to the best of what has been thought and said in each subject;
  • Supporting students in the self-managing of uniform, punctuality, equipment and conduct in line with the behaviour policy;
  • Supporting students in the development of strong communication skills appropriate to a scholarly learning environment; 
  • Promoting academic honesty as part of a learner profile that develops personal honesty and the responsible use of information technology.

Although many of these features would be expected to appear in most lessons, it is important to note that we are not prescriptive about either the structure of lessons or the forms these principles might take. Instead, we recognise the diverse approaches employed by different teachers and subject areas across the academy, and know that a varied diet of experience is healthy and beneficial for our broad range of learners. Our staff are expected to regularly engage in evidence-informed professional development in ways which enhance their individual expertise, flair and creativity.


At LAB, we recognise that the assessment process can help us to learn, by recapping knowledge and interrupting the forgetting process. Tracking data is also necessary to ensure that every child’s learning trajectory is noticed, but assessment is not an end in itself; rather, it is a tool. 

The role of assessment at LAB is to evaluate whether pupils have successfully acquired the knowledge and skills that we wish them to, and to facilitate responsive teaching to address misconceptions. The principles which govern assessment at LAB (for each department) can be found below:

  • Test the knowledge specified in detail on the curriculum map;
  • Ensure the assessment is valid (that it does not unfairly rely on students’ reading comprehension);
  • Ensure that each assessment tests knowledge and its extended application (in a manner recognised as valuable by each subject);
  • That assessments are used to promote targeted, responsive teaching and intervention, in both the short and longer term.

Further evidence of the impact of our curriculum will be apparent in the outcomes of bi-annual LAT assessments and the comparison of LAB results against other trust academies and educational institutions delivering the IB MYP globally.  Minimal difference between the achievement and progress levels of vulnerable groups with other students will also provide powerful evidence of a strong taught curriculum.

In addition to the above, analysis of the number of students participating in co-curricular activities and community projects, combined with the levels of attendance, punctuality and positive behaviour for learning records, as well as students’ interactions in their digital classrooms, will indicate the level of student engagement with learning and the total curriculum. At LAB, we believe that positive attitudes to learning and respect for the academy and the wider community constitute a key indicator of the success of our curriculum.