The De Montfort School Curriculum
The prime aim of TDMS is to support successful futures. Our vision is that all students should have the opportunity to attend the top universities and we believe the best way to do this is to offer a curriculum that:
- supports students' academic success by promoting knowledge based learning;
- is academically challenging and rigorous;
- is broad and balanced offering both breadth and depth; and
- promotes students' social, moral, spiritual and cultural development
Our courses in Years 7 to 11 comply with the requirements of the National Curriculum. The curriculum is reviewed each year.
KS2 (Year 6)
In Key Stage 2 students follow a broad and balanced curriculum. We follow a typical primary model, where most lessons are delivered by the students’ class teacher. As Year 6 pupils within a secondary setting, students benefit from a huge variety of specialist facilities for their lessons, including for Drama, Sport, Science and Computing. Further details for each subject can be found within the curriculum plans for each subject.
Further details for each subject can be found within the curriculum plans for each subject.Curriculum Plans for Year 6
We operate a one-week timetable based on 30 lessons. The table below shows how this provision is divided up across all the subjects:
|Physical Education||2 Lessons|
|Design Technology||1 Lessons|
|Computer Science||1 Lessons|
Students gain new skills in a wide range of subjects and welcome the challenging learning opportunities that open up for them.
When students begin their educational journey at TDMS in Year 6, this eases transition into Key Stage 3 and beyond. In fact, our Key Stage 4 results for 2019 show that students that join us in Year 6 have an average Progress 8 score of +0.68, well above the National Average.
Key Stage 3
- All subjects promote a knowledge approach to the curriculum. The knowledge students are expected to know is specified in all subjects. This knowledge forms the foundations for curriculum planning including the schemes of work, the knowledge organisers, homework and assessments.
- We do not explicitly teach 21st century thinking skills (creativity, collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking and communication). Every student naturally develops these skills within the school environment. Furthermore, these skills can only be applied to 21st century problems if children have a broad base of academic knowledge.
- The National curriculum content is carefully tracked to ensure that pupils have covered all the necessary content by the end of Year 9.
- We will not cover GCSE material, or use GCSE style assessment, in Years 7 or 8 as we believe this reduces the quality of the provision.
- A knowledge-based approach to the curriculum is accessible for all learners and therefore we do not expect to see differentiated tasks or objectives in lessons. Instead we keep scaffolding in place for longer whilst maintaining our high standards so that the students can master the essential elements of the curriculum.
- We firmly believe that improving students' reading, building their vocabulary and their knowledge of language is a prerequisite of success. If students cannot read to a minimum of their chronological age then they are not able to access the curriculum in its entirety. Literacy is a focus across the curriculum through being promoted in all subjects as well as explicitly during reading lessons and tutorials.
- PE is taught in single-sex groups.
- The PSHE programme and is designed to develop students' social, moral and cultural development as well as understanding British values and culture.
- The extra-curricular programme enriches students learning, opening opportunities to experiences that broaden students' horizons.
- At Key Stage 3 we do not narrow the curriculum. We expect students to learn arts and technology based subjects alongside the core curriculum offer. The timetable for Key Stage 3 is based on a two-week cycle and comprises of a 25 period week with 5 periods per day (3 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon). Each period lasts one hour. Lessons are scheduled as one hour sessions.
Key Stage 4
- At Key Stage 4 all our students study the core academic subjects at GCSE: English, English Literature, mathematics, sciences (combined or separate awards), history or geography and a modern foreign language. Achieving good passes in these subjects keep students' options open, and allow them to enter the widest ranges of careers and university courses.
- At Key Stage 4 students study a minimum of 9 subjects: the core academic subjects, and two option subjects. This is both academically challenging as well as offering a wide breadth of study.
- No subject at Key Stage 4 is constrained by the examination specification. Each subjects' curriculum offers a deeper approach to the subject, offering a wide range of content that we deem is important for life-long learning. Appropriate time is given to these subjects to allow for the full delivery of the syllabi and wider subject content to all students.
- All subjects continue to promote a knowledge approach to the curriculum. The knowledge students are expected to know is specified in all subjects. This knowledge forms the foundations for curriculum planning including the schemes of work, the knowledge organisers, homework and assessments. In Key Stage 4 students develop how to apply their knowledge with more extended writing or problem solving tasks.
- Students are well supported through the option process to ensure they are on pathways that allow the greatest chance of academic success. We design the option blocks so that there is maximum flexibility of choice.
- Students are appropriately guided to whether they study combined science or separate science. Both science pathways are delivered within the allocated core lesson time.
- Physical education (PE) and personal, social, health and religious education (PSHRE) teaching continue to promote students health and wellbeing.
- Students' spiritual development and understanding of British values and culture is delivered through PSHRE.
- The extra-curricular programme continues to enrich students learning, opening opportunities to experiences that broaden students' horizons. The programme also includes GCSE support and exam preparation after term 1 in Year 11.
- The 2-year KS4 is to support students' academic success on a very challenging pathway whilst maintaining a breadth of study. The timetable for Key Stage 4 is based on a two-week cycle and comprises of a 25 period week with 5 periods per day (3 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon). Lessons are scheduled as one hour sessions and are taught as mix of double or single periods where appropriate for the subject.
Key Stage 5
- At Key Stage 5 we have a wide curriculum offer enabling students the opportunity to continue to study in subjects of interest to them. We design the option blocks so that there is maximum flexibility of choice,
- At Key Stage 5 students are offered information, advice and guidance for their option choices but will not be segregated into curriculum pathways.
- The curriculum continues to be taught by promoting the mastery of knowledge through interleaving and regular formative assessment. At Key Stage 5 teaching also focusses on the development and mastery of applying knowledge to a broad range of contexts.
- All courses at Key Stage 5 are challenging and rigorous following, and extending on, the awarding bodies specifications.
- Students are offered high quality enrichment that is designed to prepare students for future pathways, broaden their horizons and enhance their academic programme of study.
- Students social, moral, spiritual and cultural development is promoted through the 6th form enrichment programme.
- Students will sit terminal exams at the end of Year 13. Students will not be entered in Year 12 on AS courses.
- Study programmes require students that do not have a GCSE 9-4 in English and/or maths to work towards the achievement of these qualifications.
- Programmes also include work experience and other non-qualification activity to develop students' personal skills and prepare them for employment, training or higher/further education.
The timetable for Key Stage 5 is based on a two-week cycle and comprises of a 25 period week with 5 periods per day (3 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon). Courses are allocated 8 hours a fortnight. Lessons are scheduled as one hour sessions and are taught as mix of single, double or triple periods where appropriate for the subject.
Please see more information on the Sixth Form here.
Curriculum Plans and Assessment - Summer Term
Alongside the academic curriculum, we really value the development of the whole person and offer great opportunities to broaden students' social skills and confidence.
The personal development curriculum incorporates PSHRE (personal, social, health and religious education), sex and relationship, drugs education, religious education and citizenship education. It is taught through discrete curriculum provision in Years 7 to 11 and PSHRE focus opportunities throughout the academic year.
Religious Education is taught in accordance with the Worcestershire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. All our students are encouraged to participate in lessons, although individuals may be withdrawn. Any parent/carer wishing to withdraw their child is asked to make an appointment with Claire Watson (Deputy Headteacher) to discuss the matter.
Sex and Relationship & Drugs Education
We aim to provide students with accurate information, to help them clarify their own values and attitudes, to help them practice skills in communication and decision making, and to recognise the value of family life and parenthood. In accordance with the Sex Education Act parents/carers have the right to withdraw their son/daughter from non-statutory aspects of sex education. Any parent/carer wishing to withdraw their child is asked to make an appointment with Claire Watson (Deputy Headteacher) to discuss the matter.