Trust Curriculum Intent

Trust Curriculum Intent

Zenith Trust’s mission is to provide a quality education and experience for all, underpinned by our core values of dignity, collaboration, positivity, and aspiration.


Our vision is for all learners, regardless of background or need, to achieve highly, and have high levels of well-being and autonomy/independence.  They will be well prepared for their next steps, and go on to lead happy, purposeful, rewarding lives, making a positive contribution to the world as global citizens.  Key to this vision is the curriculum, which ultimately determines what our learners will learn and experience during their formal education at school with us.  All our Trust schools have their own curriculum intent statements, which reflect their own individual contexts and reinforce their school values.  Each school’s curriculum intent statement is therefore unique, but aligns with Zenith’s overarching key principles and approaches to curriculum design


All our schools are committed to raising aspirations and to ensuring the highest quality education, which is both rigorous and ethically constructed.  Our learners experience a broad, balanced curriculum across all our schools, and our school curricula meet statutory requirements.  Crucially, curriculum aims are adapted, not diluted, to meet the need of learners with SEND, and/or who are disadvantaged.  In our mainstream secondary schools, students do not specialise too early, only choosing their GCSE options once they are in year 10, and EBACC subjects are strongly promoted.  In addition, a full range of national curriculum subjects are studied and both academic and vocational subjects are equally valued including at Key Stage 5.  From EYFS onwards, there is a strong emphasis on core subjects and key skills, in particular literacy and numeracy, and life skills form a vital part of our special school curriculum offer. 


Underpinning our curriculum vision is a strong focus on reading.  This is so that all learners can access the curriculum, are well-prepared for life beyond school, and love reading for pleasure.  A well implemented phonics provision underpins the intent, and reading runs as a golden thread throughout all our schools curricula, supported by targeted interventions as required.   Developing strong communication skills is also vital to success, and high levels of oracy are developed in all our schools.  In our special school, a dedicated speech and language therapist provides training and advice to ensure communication is a strength across all aspects of school life.  


The academic rigour of individual subjects is central to everything we do.  In constructing subject curriculum plans, great care is taken to ensure that there is always a clear subject intent, as well as a curriculum overview to map out progression and make valuable cross-curricular links.  This helps to ensure a coherent logic to what is taught, reflecting what we know about how students learn and remember best.  Our subject curricula are designed to ensure the highest levels of progress and achievement, and our subject curricula are ambitious in terms of what we want our learners to learn. 


Our Trust schools are all committed to ensuring students know how to stay safe, and that they apply this knowledge.  Our Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE)/Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) curricula give learners the knowledge and skills they need in this regard.  Crucially, the content is agile and responsive to local context, whilst still meeting statutory requirements.  Both physical and mental health and well-being are actively promoted across our schools, and there is a strong emphasis on the Arts.  This is both to support well-being, and to develop students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding.


As a driver for social equity, building cultural capital is a key focus for all our schools, ensuring all our students experience the very best that has been thought and said.  We are determined that our learners will leave school as empowered, educated citizens.  Regardless of background or need, we want all our learners to experience a wide range of enrichment opportunities, be it going on trips and visits, forest school, learning a musical instrument, visiting the theatre, or participating in a range of sports.  To this end, our extra-curricular offer complements, and is integrated into, the formal curriculum, making it “come alive” by experiencing it first-hand.  It also gives learners the chance to try new things and explore new interests and hobbies, whether it be as a beginner or at elite level. 


Our schools operate at the very heart of the local communities they serve, and as such we endeavour to incorporate community into our curriculum offer wherever possible, for example visits to local sites of historic interest.  Looking more widely, our school curriculum offers are also carefully constructed to explore life in modern Britain, educating our learners to be kind, tolerant, and morally principled - diversity is strongly promoted and celebrated.  Underpinning all our curriculum offers is an emphasis on developing character, including attributes such as resilience, independence, and creativity.  Teaching learners how to think about learning (metacognition) is also a focus across our schools, and there is a strong emphasis on careers education, both to raise awareness of and to prepare for destinations and next steps, but also to nurture the behaviours necessary for different jobs.    


Our learners only get one chance at their education.  Through our curriculum approach, we are determined to provide a truly quality education and experience for all.