The curriculum at Acklam Grange is implemented via careful sequencing of lessons using spaced practice and interleaving of content to promote long term learning through retrieval practice. Staff take time to design effective assessments to make inferences about deep learning and not just short term performance. These carefully designed diagnostic assessments inform responsive teaching in the classroom and also serve as great opportunities for students to practice knowledge recall and strengthen their knowledge of key subject matter.

This process of developing long term learning increases students’ fluency, freeing up working memory so that they can successfully connect and apply these facts to a range of diverse contexts. Within day to day teaching, staff utilise opportunities for low stakes quizzing to promote knowledge recall, together with elaboration to deepen students’ knowledge of why specific knowledge is important in the wider world, rather than just having to remember a series of unconnected facts.  This is an approach we expect to see across the whole curriculum.

Acklam Grange Cycle of Outstanding Teaching


The Department for Education states that Teaching, Learning and Assessment “introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said; and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement”. It also clearly identifies four key principals:

  1. Teachers should set high expectations for every student.
  2. Teachers should plan challenging work for students whose attainment is significantly above the expected standard.
  3. Teachers have an even greater obligation to plan lessons for pupils who have low levels of prior attainment or come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  4. Teachers should use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious.

It is these key principals that are at the heart of the Acklam Grange Cycle of Outstanding Teaching which ensures Schemes of Learning and Progress (SOLPs) across the school are focused on the progressive development and mastery of skills from KS2-KS4, specifically building in time spaced repetition and quizzing to ensure learning ‘sticks’. 

  • The initial pre-assessment component of the cycle ensures teaching is personalised and differentiated according to the individual needs of the students. 
  • The model of excellence increases challenge as it highlights the mastery needed to make rapid progress whilst also demystifying destinations.
  • The deconstruction of this model ensure students are supported in how to achieve excellence in terms of the skills they need to display and is referred back to frequently throughout the teaching cycle
  • DIRT time ensures specific and focused time is given to acting upon feedback and therefore progressing both skills and confidence
  • Frequent and timely quizzing strategies are built into lessons and SOLPs to ensure learning ‘sticks’ as “New concepts and important information need to be revised regularly.  Spacing learning allows time to forget” (Didau).