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Curriculum Intent 

The curriculum should inspire and challenge all learners and prepare them for the future. The school’s aim is to develop a coherent and challenging knowledge rich curriculum that builds on students’ experiences in the primary phase and that helps all students to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. The curriculum aims to give students an ambitious, broad and balanced learning experience, through the development of linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technological, human and social, physical and creative skills. Wherever possible, the curriculum aims to support the teaching of the British values of democracy, the rule of law, mutual respect, tolerance, and individual liberty. 

At Dormers Wells High School, it is expected that the curriculum will:  

  • lead to qualifications that are of worth for employers and for entry to Higher Education. 
  • fulfil statutory requirements. 
  • provide challenge for all. 
  • enable students to fulfil their potential. 
  • meet the needs of students of all abilities. 
  • provide equal access for all students to a full range of learning experiences beyond statutory guidelines. 
  • prepare students to make informed and appropriate choices at the end of Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, and beyond. 
  • ensure continuity and progression within the school and between phases of education. 
  • ensure parity in the achievement and progress of disadvantaged students when compared to their peers. 
  • provide teaching and learning opportunities relating to careers and labour markets in subjects across the curriculum (Gatsby Benchmarks 2 and 4) 



Curriculum Implementation 

The whole school curriculum encompasses a wide range of subjects including English, mathematics, science, computing and technology, religious education, citizenship, at least two foreign languages, geography and history, the arts, drama, music, and physical education. Each student is taught for 25 hours during a normal school week. Students are taught in set or mixed ability groups. Extra help is given where appropriate to those who need it, to those whose first language is other than English and to those with learning difficulties. Some students are withdrawn for additional tuition from some subjects. 

Personalised attention is also given to those students assessed as more able. Those students whose abilities develop at a later stage are also given personalised attention. To continue to encourage high achievement and a rigorous programme of challenging work, the school runs a system of accelerated groups in core subjects. These are designed for those who have already demonstrated the ability to work faster or the need to work at a higher level earlier in their school career. 

  • The curriculum is delivered in well planned and engaging lessons which challenge all students whatever their starting point. 
  • Assessment is integrally linked to our curriculum planning and is both formative and summative recognising pupil progress is not always linear. 
  • Mastery and metacognition are both fundamental to our curriculum planning preventing “cognitive overload” and developing strategies for breaking down and recalling prior learning. 


Curriculum Impact 

The impact of the curriculum isreviewed on an ongoing basis and includes the analysis of GCSE, A Level and BTEC results. A termly analysis of in-school data also takes place in each year group to support in reviewing the impact of the school curriculum. 


It is important to recognise that the impact of the curriculum is wider than just academic results. The impact of the curriculum can also be seen through participation in extra-curricular activities and events.   Through a wider contribution to the school and to the community, and through success in non-examined opportunities such as the DofE scheme, residential trips, house activities, and a range of extra-curricular activities that develop students’ cultural capital. Integral to our development of cultural capital is our House System. We will use the analysis of students’ successes in these areas to further review the impact of the curriculum. 


Governors monitor the appropriateness and success of the curriculum, measuring the impact, taking into account the levels of achievement; engagement and pupil destinations at KS4 and KS5, both overall and breaking down into groups.