Providing an exciting, challenging and engaging education that enables all students to reach their full potential is a core strategic aim of the school and our curriculum offer plays an integral role in helping us to achieve such a goal. We are conscious that our curriculum must provide the platform to develop in students the knowledge, skills and attributes that will enable them to become active and responsible citizens within a rapidly changing global environment by the time they leave us at 16. Our curriculum model provides a framework for setting out the aims of our educational programme, including the knowledge and understanding to be gained at each stage.
School leaders are responsible for ensuring each curriculum area is well taught and contains appropriately sequenced content, is underpinned by thoughtfully designed assessment practice and consideration is given to an appropriate model of progression. We adopt an approach whereby lessons are taught within a framework where knowledge underpins and enables the application of skill. We recognise the importance of each subject as an individual discipline, providing students with subject-specific vocabulary and knowledge that allows them to build links and enhance their learning across other areas. Cross-curricular themes and opportunities are sought to enhance these links.
Throughout Key Stage 3, we deliver a broad (covers all the experiences deemed important by society) and balanced (subject areas afforded sufficient time on the timetable) curriculum whereby all students are taught English, Mathematics and Science, Spanish, Design Technology, Food and Nutrition, PE, RE, Computing, Geography, History, Music, Drama, Art and PSHE. Students are currently offered a degree of curriculum personalisation in Year 9 whilst maintaining a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum. Key Stage 3 affords students the opportunity to broaden their experience of these subject areas not only within the classroom but also beyond it, such as visiting museums, art galleries, theatres, and other relevant curriculum enrichment activities. A small proportion of students with identified needs (approximately 10% each year) are provided with additional literacy support whilst also maintaining access to a modern foreign language. This enables them to make accelerated progress with their literacy skills and improves their access to the mainstream curriculum in Key Stage 4 and beyond.
In terms of diversity, this is promoted specifically through our discrete Personal Development programme in Key Stage 3, Citizenship as a popular and successful GCSE subject in Key Stage 4 and compulsory RE lessons throughout Years 7-11, including all students sitting a GCSE in the subject at the end of Year 11, as well as through a comprehensive SAM time programme.
Careers guidance and support underpins our curriculum offer from the outset in Year 7 and we place a significant emphasis on helping students to explore and learn about their future pathways and options. Opportunities are sought to highlight career paths within lessons and discrete intervention is provided through small group and one-to-one tutorials with an external provider, annual Careers Fair and well established links with Post-16 providers. We are implementing the Gatsby Benchmarks as a framework for our provision.
Underpinning our curriculum offer is the importance of providing students with the skills, attitudes, beliefs and techniques they need to be able to acquire knowledge most effectively, and continue to learn beyond the time they spend in school. Building a strong character and a sense of moral purpose in our students is a core responsibility so that they have developed the skills necessary to embrace the challenges that lie ahead and participate in society as active citizens.
de Stafford implements a curriculum model based on:
- a broad and balanced curriculum; one which ensures students follow a wide range of subjects – from Sciences, Arts, Humanities, and Languages – for as long as possible,
- a curriculum which keeps students’ options open and is influenced by student choice
- a wider-curriculum which supports students’ personal development.
- a curriculum that incorporates a range of qualification routes and is, where appropriate, supported by technical or vocational courses.
More specific details about the subject content taught in the different key stages can be found in the Curriculum Model below, the attached Curriculum Maps or by contacting relevant class teachers and/or Subject Leaders.
Hours per fortnight
Year 9 Curriculum Personalisation
Three subjects chosen as part of a Curriculum Personalisation process from the original Year 7/8 subjects with the addition of Business Studies, Citizenship, Media Studies, Creative iMedia, Health & Social Care, and Sports Studies/PE. (3hrs each)
All students study History or Geography (they can ultimately study both).
Students follow one of three pathways for GCSE:
- Pathway 1 – study Spanish plus two options
- Pathway 2 – three options
- Pathway 3 – Additional Core plus two options
Students can only choose subjects they have studied in Year 9. (5hrs each)
Year 11 (2023/24) are following a legacy process: 4 subjects chosen (5hrs each) with one from History, Geography, Spanish, or Computer Science.