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How Atom School aligns with the national curriculum

By Atom | Feb 2, 2024, 12:07 PM


Introduced in 2014, the principal focus of the new National Curriculum is to ensure that children have the essential knowledge and skills they need to become educated citizens. Schools and teachers have the task of designing a broad curriculum that develops the cognitive skills of all students and supports them to meet National Curriculum objectives.

Planning for success

The 2019 education inspection frameworks from both Ofsted and the Independent Schools Inspectorate use three key areas to evaluate a school’s curriculum for ‘Quality of Education’: intent, implementation and impact.

These areas cover what is taught to students and why (intent), how curriculum plans are delivered and presented (implementation) and students’ educational outcomes (impact).

While there is no prescribed curriculum for either inspection body, developing a strong, coherent curriculum that aligns to inspection frameworks - whether Ofsted or ISI - should be considered alongside planning.

Teachers supporting teachers

When it comes to implementation, we understand the importance of having reliable resources to support your school’s curriculum. Mapped to the National Curriculum, our educational content is crafted by teachers for teachers, drawing on decades of experience in schools and within the education sector.

From our NC objective mapping through to our retrieval activities and robust learner progress data - Atom School is uniquely placed to support your school.

Each subject curriculum is organised into:

  • Topics

  • Subtopics

  • Atoms

This curriculum structure ensures that Atom School is vertically and horizontally coherent for each year group. You can easily navigate our curriculum through the Syllabus Explorer in Atom School.


Although every Key Stage has topic-related objectives for each subject, Atoms are not contained to a specific year group objective. Instead, they scaffold and extend around the core concept and objectives of the Atom. This means pupils learn topics over many years, revisiting ideas and developing a deeper understanding over time. This focus on retrieval practice supports long-term learning and ensures pupils’ skills, knowledge and understanding develop with each return to a topic.

For example, a Year 3 child learning about ‘Order and Compare’ is expected to “Compare and order numbers up to 1,000; use <, > and = signs.” While a Year 6 child learning about the same Atom would be expected to “Read, write, order and compare numbers to at least 10,000,000 and determine the value of each digit.” A pupil's skills, knowledge and understanding should develop with each review of a topic.

To support your curriculum planning, our Education Team created subject documents that outline where each NC learning objective is taught within Atom School. Each subject document can help you with planning to ensure full curriculum coverage, appropriate differentiation, and a programme of study that emphasises long-term learning.

Atom School objective mapping examples


Topic: Grammar

Subtopic: Parts of Speech

Atom: Adjectives and Adverbs

National curriculum objectives:

  • Use conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions to express time, place and cause (Y3&4)

  • Use fronted adverbials (Y3&Y4)

  • Linking ideas across paragraphs using adverbials of time [for example, later], place [for example, nearby] and number [for example, secondly] (Y5)

  • Use modal verbs or adverbs to indicate degrees of possibility (Y5&6)

Download English Curriculum Objective Mapping


Topic: Number

Subtopic: Fractions

Atom: Equivalent Fractions

National curriculum objectives:

  • Recognise and show, using diagrams, equivalent fractions with small denominators.(Y3)

  • Recognise and show, using diagrams, families of common equivalent fractions. (Y4)

  • Identify, name and write equivalent fractions of a given fraction, represented visually, including tenths and hundredths.(Y5)

  • Use common factors to simplify fractions; use common multiples to express fractions in the same denomination. (Y6)

Download Maths Curriculum Objective Mapping


National Curriculum Topic: Living Things and Their Habitats

Topic: Biology

Subtopic: Living Things and Their Environment

Atom: Classification

National curriculum objectives:

  • Recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways. (Y4)

  • Describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including microorganisms, plants and animals. (Y6)

Download Science Curriculum Objective Mapping

Planning for long-term learning

Listen to James McAdam, Assistant Headteacher at City Academy Whitehawk, discuss how Atom School is supporting their teachers and students.

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“Atom School is supporting teaching and learning through reiterating known facts that we’ve already done. It’s great for recall; for instance, we’ve not done operations in Year 6 Maths since Autumn 1. And now through Atom School, I’m able to create homework that sets recall for all the learning that they’ve done from Autumn 1 onwards.”

Six ways Atom School can support you

Here are six examples of how Atom School can support your teachers and pupils to reach their full potential:

  1. Build homework and lesson activities in seconds from a bank of content aligned to the national curriculum in England.

  2. Curriculum structure promotes long-term learning with quick retrieval practice activities, desired difficulty tasks, and clear explanations for every question.

  3. Bank of teacher-made content includes 90,000+ questions, 800+ hours of video and hundreds of help sheets across English, maths, science, verbal and non-verbal reasoning.

  4. Adaptive algorithm tailors the content and creates the optimal learning path for each individual pupil, boosting academic confidence and increasing attainment.

  5. Robust learner data allows teachers to instantly see strengths, areas for development and opportunities for intervention.

  6. Our online dashboard, Atom School Parent Portal, helps parents and caregivers engage in their child's learning and progress throughout the year.

To learn more about the ways Atom School can support you, talk to our Education Experts and book a demo today.


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