Our curriculum

Whole-School ‘Big Picture’ of Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum is a journey. All subjects continue to work on developing the curriculum design in their own subject disciplines, but there are underpinning principles that run through the core.

Our curriculum planning follows a two-step process:

Step 1:

All subjects have an ‘Intent Statement’ and a ‘High Level Plan’ (HLP), that outline:

  • What the ‘big ideas’ that our curriculum will tackle.
  • What knowledge is chosen and why.
  • What the cohering strands that hold the curriculum together are.
  • How the ‘blocks’ (composites) are sequenced over the year and key stage.

Our curriculum is primarily ‘vertically integrated’, the content is chosen and sequenced to allow pupils to ‘master knowledge’ and support progression through subjects over time. We want our pupils to learn new knowledge and in order for this learning to have occurred, there must be “an alteration in long term memory” (Sweller et al.). Our pupils will experience frequent low-stacks assessment to ensure they over-learn the key components of each topic. This will help the pupils’ develop their schema, which in turn will allow the knowledge to ‘stick’.

Step 2:

The second step of our curriculum development is the ‘Medium-Term Plan’ (MTP) and it is here that the detail of curriculum takes place. If ‘blocks’ (composites) are the ‘wall’ of knowledge that we are trying to build with our students, components are the ‘bricks’ of this wall. Within each MTP you will see: 

  • How the composites outlined in the higher-level planning are broken down into clearly defined component parts (the core knowledge that pupils will need to know).
  • How each component will be taught, practiced and the assessment that will serve as a knowledge check.
  • How teachers will support or ‘scaffold’ for students with less developed ‘schema’ or background knowledge and how to support of ‘deepen’ for students with more developed ‘schema’ or background knowledge.
  • How the final composite will be assessed (requiring all of the components to be completed successfully).

All these documents are working documents as we constantly strive to improve our curriculum and aim to do something transformational as a school to ensure all students receive the first-class education they deserve.

Our curriculum can empower students and give them the best possible life chances. Whilst at the same time preparing our students for the ever-changing world around them. We strongly believe in the transformational power of knowledge. It is our aim that by ensuring an ambitious curriculum for all learners, we will be put our pupils in the best possible position to overcome any hurdle they face.  Our curriculum will strive to narrow gaps between pupils who join us with differing experiences and opportunities. It will also, enrich our pupils with awareness of dangers and knowledge of strategies to keep them physically safe, healthy and mentally well.

DSLV Pillars

 Our values run throughout our DSLV curriculum, they underpin all areas of academy life and are embodied by both staff and students alike.

Be proud

“having a feeling of pleasure or satisfaction especially with a person’s own achievements or with someone else’s achievements”

We believe that learning has no limits, we want our pupils to set goals and work hard to achieve them. The learning and mastery of ambitious and demanding knowledge instills pride. Through our carefully sequenced curriculum and planned assessment, our pupils have their pride validated. We aim to develop our pupils communication skills throughout all lessons and for them to be proud of their achievements.

Be confident

“feeling or showing confidence in oneself or one’s abilities or qualities”

Within lessons we encourage our pupils to never give up, no matter how hard things seem and have belief in their own ability. At DSLV learning is sequenced to allow pupils to master knowledge and this gives them confidence. Through our assessment we are able to demonstrate learning and allows pupils to confidently recall knowledge from their long-term memory. As our pupils are preparing for the ever-changing world around them, we believe that developing effective communication skills spreads confidence and helps our pupils reach their aspirations.

Be successful

“accomplishing a desired aim or result”

We believe that attitude to learning matters, school is here to open doors to the future, we encourage our pupils to take up the opportunities available. We understand that the more knowledge pupils have, the more they will successfully learn (knowledge is like ‘velcro’ the more you have, the more will ‘stick’). Our curriculum is designed to ensure successful assessments lead to empowered pupils with enriched experiences that ‘know more and can do more’. Our curriculum places communication through oracy, literacy and numeracy at its core, they are the foundation stones of academic confidence. Having a good level of knowledge and vocabulary will enrich our pupils experience and empower them to access, the next stage of their life whether it be further education or employment. ​ ​

Curriculum Outline Per Year Group:

Year 7 & 8

Students in Year 7 and 8 will study the following subjects.

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • PE
  • Humanities – History & Geography
  • Creative Arts – Art, Music & Drama
  • French
  • Technology (to include ICT)
  • Life and Society (to include RE, Citizenship, PSHE and RSE)

Year 9

Students in Year 9 will study the following subjects.

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • PE
  • ICT & Computing
  • Humanities – History & Geography
  • Creative Arts – Art, Music & Drama
  • French
  • Technology
  • Life and Society (to include RE, Citizenship, PSHE and RSE)

Year 10 & 11

Students in Year 10 and 11 will study the following subjects.

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • PE
  • ICT & Computing
  • Life and Society (to include RE, Citizenship, PSHE and RSE)

Our students also have the chance to choose from a range of options subjects including:

  • History
  • Geography
  • French
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Art
  • Psychology
  • Health and Social Care
  • Business Studies
  • Food
  • Textiles
  • Graphic Media
  • Resistant Materials.

If you would like further information on what is taught each year in each subject area, please click on any of the subject links below: (Work in progress – this will be updated shortly)

 

Subject Intent Statement Higher Level Plan
Art

 

Art Intent Art HLP
Business Studies

 

Business Intent Business HLP
Computing & ICT

 

Computing Intent Computing HLP
Drama

 

Drama Intent Drama HLP
English

 

English KS3 Intent & HLP

English Year 10 Intent & HLP

English Year 11 Intent & HLP

French

 

French Intent French HLP
Geography

 

Geography Intent Geography HLP
Health and Social Care

 

HS Care Intent HS Care HLP
History

 

History Intent History HLP
Life and Society

 

Life & Society Intent L & S HLP
Maths

 

Maths Intent Maths HLP
Music

 

Music Intent Music HLP
PE

 

PE Intent PE KS3 Core HLP

PE KS4 Core HLP

PE Year 10 GCSE HLP

PE Year 11 GCSE HLP

Psychology

 

Psychology Intent Psychology Year 10 HLP

Psychology Year 11 HLP

Science

 

 

Science Intent Science Year 7 HLP

Science Year 8 HLP

Science Year 9 HLP

Science Year 10 HLP

Science Year 11 HLP

Technology Technology Intent & HLP

 

If you have any questions about our curriculum please contact Kelly Brewster, Assistant Headteacher – Curriculum, at kelly.brewster@dslv.e-act.org.uk

 

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