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CURRICULUM RATIONALE

St Dunstan’s School offers a broad and balanced curriculum throughout Key stage 3 (Years 7 to 9) and Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11). Throughout, we offer support and guidance to help students follow a pathway that will help them access the next stage of their education. In Year 9, all students are supported in the choice of their options with a consultation evening, a subject handbook and a dedicated member of the Senior Leadership Team.

All students have an opportunity to take part in creative enrichment activities in addition to the curriculum, as we believe that these experiences are an integral to improving students’ skills.

The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of students at St Dunstan’s School (SMSC)

At St Dunstan’s School we recognise that the personal development of students spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, plays a significant role in their ability to learn and achieve.

We therefore aim to provide an education for students with opportunities to explore and develop their own values and beliefs; spiritual awareness; high standards of personal behaviour; a positive caring attitude towards others; an understanding of their social and cultural traditions and an appreciation of the diversity and the richness of the cultures.

The school will ensure that students’ SMSC development will take place across all curriculum areas, within activities that encourage students to recognise the spiritual dimension of their learning, reflect on the significance of what they are learning and to recognise any challenges that there may be to their own attitude and lifestyle.

This reflection will take place during Curriculum Enrichment days, subject lessons, tutor time and assemblies.

The spiritual development of students is shown by their:

• ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religions or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respects for different people’s faiths, feelings and values
• a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
• use of imagination and creativity in their learning
• willingness to reflect upon their experiences

The moral development of students is shown by their:

• ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong, readily apply this understanding in their own lives and, in so doing, respects the civil and criminal law of England
• understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
• interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues and being able to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues

The social development of students is shown by their:

• use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with students from different religions, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
• willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
• acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance for, those with different faiths and beliefs; the students develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in, and contribute positively, to modern life in Britain.

The cultural development of the students is shown by their:

• understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others
• understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within the school and further afield, as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
• knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values and in continuing to develop Britain
• willingness to participate in, and respond positively to, artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities
• interest in exploring, improving understanding of, and showing respects for different faiths and cultural diversity, and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religions, ethnic and socio-economic groups.

For details of where SMSC is delivered in the curriculum Click Here

INFORMATION, ADVICE AND GUIDANCE

Students are given many opportunities to decide which subjects are best for them at Key Stage 4. Tailored sessions are run during tutor time, assemblies take place, an options evening is held and 1:1 sessions are offered with all staff.

The school employs a dedicated careers advisor who offers impartial advice on careers. They also signpost opportunities for visiting higher education establishments and career events. The school also holds an annual post 16 information evening to which local colleges and businesses are invited.

During options evening, the option process is outlined and the students and their parents/ carers are given the opportunity to visit each subject and talk directly to each member of staff. There is also the option of follow up appointments if necessary. Year 9 parents’ evening follows the options evening, allowing another opportunity to discuss potential choices.

REPORTING

Students receive two progress reports each year and one full school report. Parents/ Carers also have the opportunity to attend a parents’ evening. The dates for each year group can be found on the notice board section of the school’s website. However, all subject teachers and pastoral staff are available throughout the year to deal with any issues or concerns should they arise.

ASSESSMENT AT KEY STAGE 3 AND 4

Students are regularly assessed in both key stages.

During Key Stage 3 assessment takes place both formally via testing and informally via classwork and homework. For each progress report and full school report, student progress is determined by their progress towards internal targets. Students will be judged using three different grades; T+, currently working above target, T, currently working on target, or T-, currently working below target.

During Key Stage 4, students are again assessed formally and informally which allows teachers to give them a ‘working at’ grade for each of the progress reports and full school report. This grade will be fine lined to determine the security at which the teacher currently believes that the student is achieving that grade. More details of the fine grading system will be available with the reports when they are issued. Each student is also given a ‘target grade’ for the end of the key stage which is aspirational and should challenge them.

All students will have their work regularly assessed via teacher marking. On each occasion, students will be given a challenge to improve one or more aspects of their work. They will then use green pens to indicate where they have responded to this challenge within their work.

KEY STAGE 3 AND 4: Allocation and setting arrangements.

Year 7

We work closely with the primary schools to determine the initial setting for all students in each subject. Throughout Year 7 (and in subsequent years) there are opportunities for students to move between sets after we receive Key Stage 2 levels and more assessment takes place.

In Year 7, the sets are as follows:

Maths and Science choose their own setting arrangements and the subsequent movement between sets is dependent upon the performance in that subject.
All other subjects (except PE) are set together. The setting in these subjects is primarily determined by the students’ level of literacy.

Year 8

In Year 8, the sets are as follows:

Maths and Science have separate setting with the sets being determined by a students’ individual performance within that subject.

Students are placed in the same sets for English, Geography, History, RS, Philosophy and Technology. These sets will primarily be determined by the pupils’ level of literacy.

Students are also placed in the same sets for Languages, Drama, Music and Computing. Setting within these groups will be primarily determined by their level of expertise within Languages.

Year 9

In Year 9, the sets are as follows;

Maths and Science are set together. The setting of each student is determined mainly by their level within Maths due to the numeracy required within Science. However, each department consults each other to make sure the setting takes each students strength into consideration.

English is set with History, Philosophy and RS. These sets will primarily be determined by the students’ level of literacy.

All the remaining subjects are set together with again levels of literacy being the main factor for determining which set a student will be placed into.

Year 10 and 11 – Key Stage 4

In Year 10 and 11, all students will study English, Maths, Science, RS and PE. Students will also opt to study a maximum of four other subjects.

These option subjects are displayed within the table below.

Curriculum_table_2016-2017

To download the Curriculum Table 2016-17 Click Here

CHANGES TO THE GRADING SYSTEM AT KEY STAGE 4

Between now and 2018, the Department for Education is introducing changes to the grading of exam at Key Stage 4. The current A*- G grading system for GCSE and the Distinction* – Pass grading system for BTECs will be replaced with a number from 9 to 1. Students sitting their Maths and English exams in 2017 will be graded 9 to 1, the majority of other subjects will be grades from 9 to 1 from 2018 onwards.

PROGRESS 8: The new school measure

The new measure that the Department for Education will use to judge the success of schools is called Progress 8. This will replace the 5A*-C which measures the number of students gaining a C grade in five subjects including English and Maths. Instead, Progress 8 will track how much progress students make from Key Stage 2 to the end of Key Stage 4. This will not affect how the students are taught or which topics they cover in their exams. However, it will mean that schools will need to ensure that all students are making progress, rather than focussing on the minority of students on the C/D borderline. At St Dunstan’s we have been reporting our excellent ‘value added’ score for several years now and welcome a government measure which allows us to continue our best practice and make sure that we focus on the needs of each of our students.

This Progress 8 measure was used to report our results in 2016.

THE EBACC: Valuing the academic, and encouraging the vocational

At St Dunstan’s we continue to offer a broad range of subjects which gives students the opportunity to study a curriculum containing the EBACC subjects. This enables them to gain a suite of qualifications which are admired by colleges and universities for their robustness and ability to reflect the ability of the students.

KEY STAGE 3 AND 4 SUBJECTS

Please click on each subject for more information

GCSE Courses
Art and Design
Business BTEC
Business Studies GCSE
Child Development GCSE
Computing
Drama
English
Food and Nutrition
French
Geography
German
History
Mathematics
Media Studies
Music
Physical Education
Philosophy
Resistant Materials
Religious Studies
Science
Textiles