Our philosophy is to create and deliver a challenging curriculum which ensures all students acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in qualifications and to become responsible and respectful individuals, leading to happy and successful lives.
In the Athelstan Trust our curriculum will:
· Be exciting and stimulating.
· Enable every learner to leave school with the confidence, ability & ambition to improve themselves with the help of excellent careers information advice and guidance.
· Give students opportunities to achieve a broad range of high quality qualifications recognised both nationally and internationally to enable them to become truly global citizens.
· Be rooted in its own locality and context to raise aspirations and encourage our young people to contribute to and explore the local and wider community
· Provide students with the skills to form and maintain positive relationships and to respect themselves and others.
· Maintain a rich extra-curricular offer to ensure students have access to exciting learning outside the classroom.
· Enable students to value intellectual challenge and the acquisition of knowledge, and give them the skills to seek this out.
· Be inclusive and comprehensive so that all students thrive regardless of their ability and background.
· Include a rich and diverse range of subjects and ensure that all students have access to the arts and physical education.
At The Dean Academy we are committed to ensuring our curriculum offers all of the above. Particular to The Dean Academy, our curriculum will:
· Offer flexibility at Key Stages 3 and 4, by allowing for the needs of the individual to be met, as far as is reasonably possible, in terms of courses on offer and number of subjects
· Ensure that students study for an academically rigorous curriculum
· Develop a foundational knowledge base and focus on knowledge retention, to build on the knowledge students learn independently
· Ensure that skills and concepts are taught thoroughly and mastered at each stage of the curriculum to enable progress between and through Key Stages
· Offer a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities for students to develop cultural capital and become active members of the local and wider community
· Provide students with the guidance and support to develop an understanding of what it takes to be a reflective and well-rounded member of our community
· Provide for the personal, social, health and citizenship education of students including the preparation of students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life
· Encourage students to be inquisitive and curious about careers open to them, while providing rigorous and wide ranging careers advice and experience through all areas of school life, not just as a “bolt-on” Careers Education
· Embed restorative practices by ensuring all students know and understand the impact positive relationships have on their lives. Ensure all students are aware of how to build, maintain and rebuild relationships when they are damaged and encourage the whole community to value strong, successful relationships.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)
In order to deliver the aims of our curriculum we ensure all students in Key Stage Three study 3/4 lessons of English, Maths and Science per week, 1/2 lessons of Geography, History, French, Spanish, DT, PE and 1 lesson per week of Drama, Art, Music, Values & Society. We pay careful attention to the sequence of when knowledge is taught and subject leaders work actively to review this aspect very regularly so that our students are well placed to access GCSE exams and content. We believe it is our responsibility to develop strong literacy and numeracy skills for all of our students given their context.
Knowledge and understanding KS3
The focus is not on moving on to new topics or concepts too quickly but to deepen and strengthen understanding and application in a variety of contexts in order to be able to assess mastery over time. Teachers will understand what pupils’ needs are in relation to supporting them to deepen their knowledge and understanding and provide the right differentiated activities that can support mastery over time for all pupils.
Emphasis is placed on extended writing practice in all subject areas. Numeracy requirements of the science curriculum are developed through KS3 maths and KS3 science focuses on essential practical skills, critical analysis and working on problem solving.
Literacy and numeracy are incorporated into all subjects throughout the curriculum. The more that students practise speaking, writing and listening in a variety of contexts, the better prepared they will be for the schemes of work for the next key stage. This approach also allows application of knowledge, ensuring that pupils are not simply memorising facts.
It is a key responsibility of each curriculum area to build in explicit opportunities to discuss aspects of personal, social, moral, cultural and health education, as well as an increasing discussion surrounding the skills and awareness of CAIG within their curricula.
Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)
As most students have not yet mapped out their future with any degree of certainty it is important for them to try to maintain a broad and balanced curricular experience. Guidance surrounding Options choices in Year 9 will focus on the continuation of a broad curriculum and discussions in lessons, tutor and through bespoke support for students will encourage them to continue to study a wide range of subjects. At KS4, students will study 4/5 lessons of English, Maths and Science per week. They will choose 4 option subjects and will study these for 2/3 lessons per week. They will also receive 2 lessons of PE a week and be taught CPSHE through tutor time and dropdown days.
Tutor Time at The Dean Academy
Tutor time is seen as the main opportunity for students and staff to build successful, open and respectful relationships in school, with tutors being the first point of contact for students and parents alike throughout a student’s time at the school. The use of Tutor Time for the delivery of the PHSCE curriculum is key, although this does not mean that no other member of staff is responsible for contributing to the many topics under the PHSCE umbrella.
Tutor time, including a fortnightly Extended Tutor of 30 minutes, allows students to develop their knowledge and understanding of a wide-range of curriculum areas, including (but not exclusively) mental health and wellbeing; internet safety; drugs, alcohol and smoking; basic First Aid; the changing adolescent body as well as relationship and sex education.
Our morning tutor time programme also aims to explore British values including the importance of mutual respect and showing kindness, the rule of law, democracy and individual liberty. We aim to develop positive attitudes, tolerance and understanding of all cultures and communities. We celebrate success and achievement in a number of public ways, aiming to encourage all students to take pride in their successes and to strive to achieve more than they thought possible.