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Denmark Road High School

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Curriculum Statement

 

The Curriculum at Denmark Road High School

At DRHS, our aim is to provide a well-rounded education that enables our students to acquire the skills, knowledge and qualifications they will need for their future.

Therefore, we have designed and planned a broad, balanced and challenging curriculum experience to match our students’ ability, interests and aspirations.

Through a wide range of engaging and exciting learning opportunities, we want to create confident, successful and ambitious students who will be the leaders, movers and shakers of the future.

Only high-quality learning experiences, that engage and excite, will ignite a passion and secure a love of learning in our students that we want to last their whole lifetime.

So, our whole curriculum consists of three elements:

Exciting and engaging learning experiences as the foundation of a challenging and inspiring Academic Curriculum and DRHS+

 

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A range of opportunities to enable student to take risks and develop different skills through our Enrichment Curriculum

 

+

Preparation of life throughout and beyond school with our Personal Development and Wellbeing Curriculum

 

  1. Academic Curriculum and DRHS+

At all key stages we offer an academic curriculum to match the calibre and aspirations of our students.

  1. Key Stage 3

In Years 7, 8 and 9, our students will study:

  • English Language, English Literature and Drama
  • Mathematics
  • Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • Computing
  • History, Geography and Religious Studies
  • Two languages out of French, German and Spanish
  • Art, Textiles, Food & Nutrition, Music and Product Design

All of our courses at least cover the requirements of the National Curriculum for each subject area and also provide additional stretch, depth and challenge through DRHS+.

  1. Key Stage 4

In Years 10 and 11 our students study a Core Curriculum of:

  • GCSE English Language and English Literature
  • GCSE Mathematics
  • GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • Microsoft IT
  • GCSE Religious Studies

We add Level 2 Further Mathematics alongside the GCSE Mathematic course for some students who relish the additional depth and challenge.

In addition, we provide two routes in science – three separate sciences for the majority of students and combined science for some who are going to be more successful with a slightly streamlined course.

Our KS4 students also choose four GCSE option subjects, to study throughout Year 10 and 11, from the following:

  • Art – Fine Art
  • Art – Art Textiles
  • Drama
  • Computing
  • Economics
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Music
  • PE
  • Product Design
  • Sociology
  • Spanish

Our option blocks are not fixed – each year we create them specifically to suit the students’ combination of choices.

We do provide support and guidance but, ultimately, we allow our students to be able to choose the subjects that they want to study, enjoy and feel they will do their best in.

It is rare that a student does not follow our full academic curriculum of Core + Four GCSE Option Subjects. However, modifications are made in exceptional circumstances; for example, to support a student who is playing sport competitively at a national/international or where there is a significant wellbeing issue.

In KS4, all of our courses at least cover the requirements of the relevant GCSE/exam specification and are designed with intent to build on the learning in KS3. Additional stretch, depth and challenge are provided through DRHS+.

 

 

  1. Key Stage 5

In Years 12 and 13 our students can study a combination of AS and A levels from a choice of the following:

Art – Fine Art

Art – Art Textiles

Biology

Business Studies

Chemistry

Computing

English Literature

Economics

EPQ

French

French

Further Mathematics

Geography

German

History

Mathematics

Music

Physics

PE

Politics

Philosophy & Ethics

Psychology

Sociology

Spanish

 

All of our courses at least cover the requirements of the relevant AS/A level specification and are designed with intent to build on the learning in KS4, where appropriate. Additional stretch, depth and challenge are provided through DRHS+.

Students who join the Sixth Form having achieved at least 7 GCSEs at grade 7+ are strongly recommended to maintain breadth, along with depth, by studying four subjects.

For example:

 

 

  1. Our Enrichment Curriculum

In addition to a full academic curriculum and DRHS+, we have developed our Enrichment Curriculum to support students’ development of other skills and attributes and to provide them with as many different opportunities as possible.

  • SHAPE – a bespoke course in Year 7 specifically designed to develop lifelong skills of organisation, communication, teamwork and leadership as well as resourcefulness and independent learning.

 

  • DISCOVER – students in Years 7, 8, 11 and 12 have a timetabled weekly or fortnightly opportunity to explore different areas such as CREATE, Cooking, First Aid, Italian, Mandarin, STEM and Yoga.

 

  • DRHS Challenge – initially introduced to KS3 students during Lockdown, the Student Senior Team created a range of different activities for students to tackle at home. The aim is to take students away from their ‘screens’ to do something different, like writing a letter to an elderly relative, ironing a shirt, stargazing on a clear night, building a fort or making a cake.

 

  • DEAR and the Reading Marathon – to encourage reading for pleasure, we have created a reading marathon (26 books) for students and welcome their feedback and reviews to help other students choose what to read as well as DEAR time during Tutorials.

 

  • INVEST Days – where we collapse the timetable to be more creative. This means we can have a whole day for each year group focusing on a particular theme. Examples include STEM activities, supported by the Smallpeice Trust, for Year 7 and Year 10, a Maths Fair for Year 8, Humanities Diversity workshops for Year 9 (during Black History Month) and an introduction to UCAS/Apprenticeships and preparing for Future Choices in the Sixth Form.

 

  • Trips and events that enable students to experience learning in a different way and outside the classroom; such as History at the Black Country Museum, Mathematics through Inspiration lectures, understanding more about Islam with a guided visit to a local mosque or carrying out fieldwork for Biology/Geography at coastal and river locations.

 

  • Activity Days in Term 6 to encompass wider learning skills and take students out of their comfort zone. For example, Year 8 have a cultural trip to Normandy and Year 10 take part in a week’s work experience

 

  • Extra-Curricular activities and clubs take place during lunch and after school to promote engagement beyond the school day – for example various sports teams and music groups as well as Debating, Christian Union and Chess.

 

  • Additional enrichment opportunities – we are very lucky that we have staff who are willing to spend weekends and holiday time enriching students’ learning and experiences in other ways. This includes an annual Ski Trip, Textiles Trips (e.g. Thailand and India), Geography Trips to Iceland or South Africa, Economics Trips to Brussels and New York, a Mathematics Trip to Pisa (birthplace of Fibonacci) and Florence and a STEM trip to Orlando as well as the Duke of Edinburgh Award and bi-annual World Challenge Expeditions.

 

 

  1. Personal Development and Wellbeing Curriculum

 

In order to fully support our students’ development, we have also structured elements of Personal Development and Wellbeing within our curriculum.

 

  1. Learning for LIFE

At DRHS the Learning for LIFE curriculum takes our students on a journey which enables them to cultivate confidence, the skills essential for personal wellbeing and the ability to act as responsible members of society.

 

It encompasses:

        • Personal, Social, Moral, Spiritual and Health Education
        • Relationships and Sex Education
        • Citizenship and British Values
        • Financial Awareness

 

Learning for LIFE is mainly delivered through Tutorials in Years 7 – 13 as well as the timetabled Learning for LIFE lessons in Years 7 – 11 and SHAPE in Year 7. In addition, some aspects of financial awareness are included within mathematics for Years 7 – 11.

 

We also use make use of INVEST Days, where the timetable is collapsed for the whole school, to deliver some aspects of Learning for LIFE:

 

        • Drug Education and Awareness for Year 9
        • Mental Health and Wellbeing for Year 10
        • Human Rights for Year 11
        • Managing Stress and Wellbeing for Years 12 and 13
        • Financial Awareness, Student Loans and Fraud for Year 13

 

  1. Careers

 

We have planned a comprehensive journey from Year 7 to Year 13 that requires students to think about their skills, interests and attributes as they learn about the choices and options at each stage of their life.

 

  • Careers Education – delivered mainly through Unifrog in Year 7 – 13 Tutorials

 

  • Experience of the workplace is in place for Year 10 and Year 12 who have a full week’s work placement in Term 6. In addition, Year 12 students can also gain a further weekly work experience through the INVEST programme. KS4 and KS5 students are also able to carry out additional actual or virtual work experience during holidays.

 

  • 1:1 Careers Advice is provided by an experienced and qualified independent careers advisor for students in KS4 and KS5. Students have at least one 30minute session in KS4 and again in KS5, with additional sessions available if required or to follow up any action points.

 

  • Encounters with employers occur through practice interviews for all students in Year 11 and Year 13 as well as some additional opportunities, such as through STEM and Cyber workshops, as part of the INVEST Day programme, for students in Years 7, 8 and 10.

 

  • Experience of HE also takes place in Year 11 and 12 through our STEP Up (to Oxbridge) programme and the UCAS fair in Year 12.

 

  • We are planning to introduce a Careers Fair to our programme in 2021/22 to increase students’ encounters with employees, employers, HE and Apprenticeships

 

  1. Physical Exercise

 

We think it is very important to include physical exercise in the timetable of all students and give them options that will encourage them to make sport and exercise part of a healthy lifestyle choice in the future.

 

In Years 7 – 11, students have three hours of core PE over the two-week cycle and experience a range of sports and physical activity including athletics, dance, netball, rounders, tennis and trampolining.

 

In Year 11, the focus is on developing healthy lifestyles and the course includes Zumba and kickboxing.

 

Sixth Form students are encouraged to take part in team sports on Wednesday afternoons, such as football.

 

An interest in sport is also combined with the development of other life skills as students in Year 11 and 12 can choose Sports Leadership, as part of the DISCOVER programme, and work with peers and primary pupils to improve their team building, communication and leadership skills.

 

  1. Mentoring

 

The Tutorial Programme has been developed to enable all Tutors to spend some time every week mentoring students in their tutor group. This could be as a result of specific wellbeing concerns or as a general check in on progress and to see how they are doing.

Timetable Structure 2021/2022

We have a two-week timetable (Week 1 and Week 2) that provides the structure we need to deliver our curriculum.

There are five one-hour lessons and a thirty-minute Tutorial lesson each day.

 

 

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

1

 

 

English

 

 

English

 

 

 

English

 

 

 

 

English

 

 

 

English

 

 

 

 

Option A

Or EPQ

& Directed Study

 

 

 

 

Option A

2

3

4

5

6

 

 

Mathematics

7

 

 

 

Mathematics

 

 

 

Mathematics

8

 

 

Mathematics

 

 

 

Mathematics

9

10

 

 

 

Option B

Or EPQ & Directed Study

 

 

 

 

Option B

11

 

 

 

Science

12

13

 

 

Science

 

Biology

14

 

 

Biology

 

 

Biology

15

16

 

Chemistry

17

 

Two Languages from French, German and

Spanish

18

 

 

Chemistry

 

 

Chemistry

19

 

Two Languages from French, German and

Spanish

 

Physics

 

 

 

Option C

Or EPQ & Directed Study

 

 

 

 

 

Option C

 

20

21

22

 

French

 

 

Physics

 

 

Physics

23

 

Geography

 

24

25

 

Geography

 

German or

Spanish

26

 

History

 

Religious Studies

 

 

Option A

27

28

 

History

 

 

 

 

Option D

Or EPQ & Directed Study

 

 

 

 

Option D

29

Religious

Studies

 

Geography

 

IT

30

31

 

Art

 

Religious Studies

 

Option

A

 

 

Option B

32

 

History

33

34

Music

 

Art

35

 

Religious Studies

 

Option

B

36

Drama

 

 

Music

 

 

Option C

37

Computing

 

 

 

Option E

Or EPQ & Directed Study

 

 

 

 

Option E

38

 

Art

39

Design

Drama

 

Option

C

40

 

Computing

 

Music

41

Textiles

 

 

Option D

42

Food & Nutrition

 

Design

Drama

43

 

Core PE

 

Computing

 

Option

D

44

Textiles

45

Food & Nutrition

Design or

Textiles

46

L4L

 

Core PE

 

Core PE

Core

PE

Core

PE

47

DISCOVER

 

Core PE

 

Core PE

48

 

SHAPE

 

DISCOVER

Study

49

L4L

L4L

Study

50

DISCOVER

L4L

L4L

DISCOVER

Study

Study

 

 

Curriculum Accessibility

 

The school is committed to supporting students to reach their full potential and enabling them to become confident

individuals living fulfilling lives.

 

In line with the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 we work hard to make the curriculum accessible for those with disabilities or special educational needs.

 

To ensure access to the curriculum for students with a disability we aim to ensure:

  • We use resources tailored to the needs of students who require support to access the curriculum
  • Providing worksheets in a format/colour of paper for all students as required
  • Ensuring that exam question papers are enlarged (if student is entitled)
  • Curriculum resources include examples of people with disabilities
  • The curriculum is reviewed to ensure it meets the needs of all students
  • In addition, we encourage all students to access extra-curricular activities and participate in leadership opportunities.

From time to time students have a temporary need – for example using a wheelchair for 6 weeks. In these circumstances we re-room lessons so that all subjects are accessible.

 

Curriculum Review and Development

 

 

A formal curriculum review takes place every three years and in 2019/2020 we focused on reviewing our Curriculum Intent right across Years 7 – 13 in all subject areas.

 

The full review process actually started with Year 7 in Terms 5 and 6 of 2018/2019 when Subject Leaders worked with KS2 colleagues to look at the attainment and experiences of the highest achieving Year 6 pupils and used these as a starting point.

 

Subject teams developed an engaging and challenging Year 7 course, with an emphasis on Metacognition and Thinking Hard, which was trialled, reviewed and adapted during 2019/2020. The next stage was to focus on Curriculum Intent and Implementation for Year 7 – Year 13 ready for September 2020.

 

Subject Leaders worked with their teams in Lockdown during Terms 5 and 6 in order to establish the vision for their subject area and agree the Year 7 to 13 curriculum plan, in terms of intent and implementation.

 

During 2020/21, all subject teams will have a termly opportunity to review and amend their curriculum plan as they go through it for the first time this year as well as some additional curriculum review and development time as part of INSETs and in place of Open Evening.

 

 

  • Curriculum Change

 

The Senior Leadership Team continually reflect on the whole curriculum in terms of staff deployment, value for money and student need and make appropriate changes to the curriculum offer as a result.

 

In 2018/2019, we:

- established a need for PSCHE to be included in Year 7 from September 2020.

- developed a new DISCOVER course for Year 7 and 8 which was launched in September 2020 and included different aspects of STEM, art/creativity, first aid, self-defence, writing/journalism and yoga

 

In 2019/2020, we

 

In 2020/2021

  • continued to develop new Schemes of Learning across all subject areas
  • introduced Italian and First Aid  as part of our Year 11 DISCOVER programmes from September 2021 to offer new breadth to this course
  • changed our KS5 model to increase time for EPQ within option blocks

 

For further information about the curriculum or timetable you can contact Jane Steele, Deputy Headteacher: Curriculum steelej@denmarkroad.org