Chestnut Grove Academy
45 Chestnut Grove
Balham, London SW12 8JZ

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The Chestnut Grove curriculum provides a rigorous, knowledge-rich, transformational education, encapsulated through our PROUD (Positive, Resilient, Open-minded & Determined) values, which prepares our students to succeed at university, thrive in employment and lead fulfilling lives. It is the embodiment of our ethos of a creative learning community, which marries traditional with dynamic approaches to teaching and learning.


When designing our curriculum, we start with the vision of well-rounded individuals, great writers, academics and entrepreneurs and then work backwards, mapping out students’ progression over five years (from Year 7 to Year 11) in the form of Learning Pathways. Learning Pathways consist of Step Descriptors, which break down the curriculum and create subject-specific progression maps. Whilst we acknowledge that the content and approaches to teaching and learning can differ greatly between the subjects, our underlying principles ensure the cohesiveness of our curriculum: all Learning Pathways reflect our high expectations of all students; our pedagogy based on the interrelatedness of knowledge, understanding and skills; and our focus on long term retention rather than short term performance. In September 2018 we introduced maths mastery for Year 7. Our taught curriculum is enhanced by the Enrichment Curriculum at all stages of the school, which enables all students to access a wide range of clubs, trips and visits by guest speakers.

At Chestnut Grove Academy, we pride ourselves in our tradition of nurturing arts and languages, evident in the breadth of our specialist curriculum, which includes three languages (Spanish, Italian and French) and three Arts (Visual, Textiles and Digital). We believe that both are essential in creating communicative and versatile individuals who will be able to confidently enter future job markets, as well as develop a deeper appreciation of the world around them. Each year up to 30 students are selected for Year 7 on the basis of their aptitude in each specialism and are provided with a bespoke pathway designed to bring their talents to fruition. During Key Stage 3, our specialist students receive an additional lesson per week in either Art or Italian and are placed in specialist sets to ensure their talents are stimulated from the very beginning.

At Chestnut Grove Academy, creativity is at the heart of the curriculum: we perceive it not just as a commitment to promoting creative subjects, but also as the ingenuity, imagination and enthusiasm that are integral to the process of learning. Furthermore, we believe that diligence, resilience and academic discipline – encapsulated in our PROUD values - are of vital importance in promoting attitudes to learning that will enable our students to confidently enter highly competitive job markets.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Curriculum
When designing the curriculum, the rights of the child are paramount. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that:

  • Article 28: Every child has the right to an education.
  • Article 29: Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.
  • Article 31: Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.

Highly innovative and relevant, our Health curriculum builds on the Rights Respecting Schools’ framework and ensures that our students can confidently respond to the unforeseen challenges of the world in constant flux. It has been recognised as outstanding and described as “an up-to-date and exemplary curriculum for preparing pupils for citizenship and adult life in our increasingly diverse society” (Accord’s Chair, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain MBE, 2016).