Applied Trains-disciplinary Learning (ATL) is designed to equip students with the skills and experience needed to flourish in modern society.

This style of learning blends academic rigour with an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning which bridges the gap between primary and secondary teaching methodologies. ATL teaches topics by interleaving content and allowing students to make their own enquiries, creating a thirst for knowledge.

Students are encouraged to work collaboratively, developing core skills such as team work, work ethic, creativity and productivity. Students learn how to be imaginative, experimental and innovative within the context of a set project. In addition, students’ oracy skills are enhanced through group presentation, further developing student confidence and charisma.


Applied Trans-Disciplinary Learning (ATL) involves different disciplines working jointly to create new innovations. In ATL, exciting and current topics integrate to move beyond discipline-specific approaches, addressing a common problem, or ‘driving question’.

Transdisciplinarity gives students an ability to access, analyse and synthesise information across several disciplines or subjects. Students improve their general understanding of core areas and revisit previously acquired knowledge to enable better recall of information. ATL aims to provide students with the core skills needed in order to continue to be confident and capable young people.

ATL also has a strong influence on developing students for a digitally advanced world; one that will in no doubt expect many young people to be completely equipped to take on any challenge that they might face. An example project is called ‘Tomorrow’s World’ during the which students look at the technological advances experienced by Mankind in the last 50 years and during which students present a revolutionary prototype of a product. They learn how to be creative and innovative and ultimately begin to think outside of the box, considering how the world around them could further develop beyond imagination.


ATL involves subject specific input to allow for a rigorous, academic approach to each assignment.

This supports strong knowledge acquisition and understanding which in turn drives successful application, evaluation and creation of new ideas and innovations. There are a variety of projects in both Years 7 and 8. Each project has a driving question and every assignment has clear links with different subjects across the curriculum.

In addition to this, some areas outside of the normal curriculum are addressed at an early stage. Students gain valuable experience of understanding topics like Media, Business, Healthcare and Product Design. This will no doubt ignite a flame of interest within students. Some students may find that they excel in this subject and then choose to go on to study this later in their career. ATL provides students with the opportunity to experience learning topics that they may have otherwise never have tried. Links with Personal Development and The Futures Programme enhances students’ social capital and better prepares students to become well rounded individuals.

ATL Curriculum Overview
ATL Age Related Expectations
ATL Assessment Journey


In 2008, three large technology corporations (Cisco, Intel and Microsoft) were alarmed that graduates entering the workforce did not possess skills that prepared them for employment in a digital age.

They identified a need to focus on twenty-first century skills because of shifting workplace requirements. The ATL curriculum reflects the knowledge and skills that students need in order to take advantage of opportunities, responsibilities and experiences in later life. Applying knowledge to real-world situations and creating solutions to complex problems, help to develop twenty-first century skills; preparing students for an evolving world and a bright future.

Students who are taught ATL leave Magna Academy having acquired a rich, deep and relevant curriculum that engages students by providing them with a strong sense of purpose.

Where next

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