At Denefield we believe that students are well prepared for future success in all aspects of their lives. Our school is committed to developing a learning environment which is safe, purposeful, challenging and fosters mutual respect between all of its members. High quality teaching and our CHARACTER programme enables our students to enjoy their learning, achieve their potential and develop as individuals for ‘success for life’.
Our curriculum aims to provide a broad and balanced educational experience for all students to enable them to develop knowledge, understand concepts and acquire skills, and be able to choose and apply these in relevant situations. Supporting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development as well as the physical and psychological development of our students is an important part of the curriculum as we believe that this allows young people to take the responsibility for their own physical and mental wellbeing.
The wide range of subjects on offer together with enrichment, CHARACTER and PHSE develop students’ independent learning skills and resilience, to equip them for further/higher education and employment. Our curriculum promotes positive attitudes and ensures equal access to learning, with high expectations for every student. Appropriate levels of challenge through all subjects provides choices and supports students’ learning and progression, enabling them to work towards achieving their goals.
The curriculum at Denefield runs on a two week timetable of one hour lessons; five lessons per day. Students experience a wide range of subjects across both core and foundation.
During Years 7 and 8 the curriculum offered is not dissimilar to the National Curriculum in that the full range of subjects are taught to enable students to gain the vital knowledge and skills required to move into KS4 and cope with Level 2 study. The proportion of curriculum time allocated to each subject is largely based on the demands of each subject being taught as well as ensuring that there is a clear balance between academic, pastoral and enrichment opportunities.
The curriculum is skills and knowledge based in Year 7 and 8 to help students achieve their potential. It has been designed to ensure that all students have the necessary skills to access the curriculum throughout their education. Baseline and end of year assessments together with external English, maths and science tests will identify where students may require additional support and this information will then be used to place students in the most appropriate groups to ensure that the most effective curriculum can be delivered.
Students study a common curriculum comprising timetabled lessons in religious education, physical education and information and communication technology. Students will also study a range of different design and technology disciplines, art, a modern foreign language, humanities, music and drama as well as the core subjects of English, mathematics and science.
CHARACTER is taught through the tutor group or in years in sessions off timetable throughout the year. A wide range of topics are covered to enable students to develop the CHARACTER values we uphold as a school.
Students embark on GCSE/Level 2 qualifications in Year 9 and have the opportunity to choose four different courses. Student data is used to recommend one of three different learning pathways to each student and this will determine the potential range of subjects chosen. For example students who embark on the Ebacc pathway will choose a language, a humanities subject (geography or history) and two further free choice options. Denefield has high expectations of all of our young people and shares the government’s desire to work towards as many students achieving the Ebacc suite of qualifications as possible.
All students will begin their GCSE or equivalent courses in core and optional subjects at the beginning of Year 9. This will allow students to build on their interests and areas of the curriculum that they excel in. Students will be able study both academic as well as vocational courses. All students will continue to study English, mathematics, and science at GCSE and physical education will also be studied.
All students during their final year of GCSEs will focus on the examinations skills required to complete their courses. Students will be given support and guidance to perform to the best of their examination element.
CHARACTER is taught through the tutor group or in years in sessions off timetable throughout the year. A wide range of topics are covered to enable students to develop the CHARACTER values we uphold as a school. Students also experience aspects of a wide range of subjects through our CHARACTER and enrichment programme.
Students must study all core subjects and physical education -
Students can then choose options from the following:
*Languages work on a rolling programme of two subjects out of three being taught each year and so the modern foreign language options for students change to reflect what they have been learning in Year 7 and 8.
Students who have achieved the entry criteria for Sixth Form at the end of Key Stage 4 will be given the opportunity to study for A Levels and/or Level 3 vocational courses. Denefield offers a wide range of courses that can lead to a wide variety of careers Post 18. Teaching and learning within Key Stage 5 is designed to promote self-study and independent learning whilst still providing a supporting framework that will help each learner achieve.
In the Sixth form all students are expected to study a minimum of three Level 3 courses, although some of the most able students embark on four options. As well as choosing their Level 3 courses students are also expected to engage in non-qualification activity such as community service and independent study. It is important for students to develop really effective study habits and so a programme of PHSE & critical thinking is part of study programmes so that we continue to develop well rounded individuals.
Students will also be encouraged to take a leading part in the School Council and take an active part to support younger learners.
CHARACTER is taught through the tutor group and covers a very wide range of topics including money management, tax, mortgages, enhanced drugs awareness, careers, next steps application processes and mental health awareness.
KS5 courses offered:
We also run a football coaching and player development programme as a fourth enrichment offer where students achieve a level 1 coaching qualification as well as the Level 3 Sports Leaders qualification which carries UCAS points.
Finally, students who wish to take on a fourth qualification, but not a full A Level, can opt to complete a Level 3 Extended Project Qualification. Again, this qualification develops a wide range of skills such as data handling and analysis, refined researching skills and enhanced report writing skills. This qualification carries valuable UCAS points for any students needing a few extra points to aim for the best universities.
The curriculum is planned in a coherent manner ensuring it meets legal requirements, including those of the National Curriculum, and embraces cross-curricular themes (including careers education and guidance, CHARACTER, citizenship, economic and industrial understanding, environmental, health and sex education) and cross-curricular skills, in particular those of literacy, numeracy and ICT.
The development of students’ personal and social skills and their spiritual and cultural development are addressed specifically through the CHARACTER programme and house assemblies, as well as permeating the whole curriculum, both formal and hidden.
The importance of developing ICT, literacy and numeracy is recognised by the allocation of discrete lesson time in Year 7 and 8 and a continuing emphasis on the further development of these skills across the whole curriculum.
CHARACTER sessions and vertical tutor time activities support students in reflecting on their learning and developing strategies to make that learning more effective.
For further information on our curriculum provision please contact Mrs K Davis, Assistant Head - DAV@denefield.org.uk.