Rationale

At Da Vinci we believe all pupils have an entitlement to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum. We recognise the diverse needs of our pupils whilst enabling all of them to have access to a core curriculum.

The curriculum is designed to:

  • broaden pupils’ horizons and aspirations and open their minds
  • help pupils to make a positive contribution to modern British society as active citizens
  • actively promote British values
  • encourage an interest in learning that will last a life-time
  • equip pupils with the skills, knowledge and qualifications needed to progress to further and higher education, apprenticeships or
  • work-based training
  • enable pupils to make positive choices about their futures
  • prepare pupils for the world of work
  • help pupils become healthy and active adults

Our curriculum reflects the needs of our community, our local area and national priorities. All courses cater for individual needs, abilities and interests, thus ensuring well motivated young people with good outcomes.

Our curriculum is designed to provide opportunities to continue learning beyond age 16 via academic and/or vocational routes. It is broad enough to enable pupils to change direction in the future without being hampered by choices made at 14.

To aid transition to further education or employment with training after Year 11 (age 16) we work closely with local colleges, sixth forms and training providers. Whichever route our pupils choose to take when leaving Da Vinci our transition programme ensures that no-one leaves Da Vinci without having a positive and appropriate post-16 destination.

Core Curriculum Years 7 to 11

Our curriculum provides a core of essential skills, knowledge and understanding.

English, Mathematics, Science

The Core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science comprise at least 50% of lesson time in all years for all pupils from Year 7 to 11.

Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship and Economic Education (PSHCEE)

All pupils are taught PSHCEE where pupils have opportunities to discuss, listen and explain their beliefs and opinions on a wide range of topics and to develop the life skills they need to be healthy, safe, active and responsible British citizens.

pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural education at Da Vinci is essential to their development as young people. All curriculum areas contribute to this programme, alongside specialist provision within Religious Education and through the PSHCEE curriculum. pupils have opportunities to discuss, listen and explain their beliefs and opinions on a wide range of topics and to develop the life skills they need to be healthy, safe, active and responsible British citizens.

At Key Stage 3 and 4 we provide a dedicated programme of specialised events and opportunities. Across the whole school, the pastoral system also performs a vital role in contributing to this provision and providing for the needs of individual pupils.

Careers

PSHCEE also includes a careers programme in years 8 to11 and careers guidance is supported by our specialist careers adviser and many external agencies.

Religious Education (RE)

RE follows the local agreed syllabus. It is taught to all pupils and reinforced through assemblies, tutor time and the enrichment curriculum.

Physical Education

All pupils take part in two hours of PE every week, which provides opportunities for exercise and the development of teamwork, leadership and sporting skills as well as the opportunity to try and learn new sports and activities.

Computing (Computer Science)

Computing, which is taught as a separate subject in all years, introduces pupils to computer programming and teaches an understanding of how computers work.

Information Communication Technology (ICT)

ICT is an important tool through which pupils learn and communicate. pupils’ ICT skills and e-safety awareness are developed in all areas of the curriculum.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9)

In addition to the subjects detailed above; French, History, Geography, Design & Technology (comprising Food, Resistant Materials and Textiles), Drama, Music and Art are studied by all pupils at Key Stage 3, ensuring a broad, balanced and wide ranging education up to the age of 14.

 

Year 7

Sets 1-4

Year 7

Set 5

Year 8

Sets 1-4

Year 8

Set 5

Year 9

Sets 1-4

Year 9

Set 5

English 8 9 8 9 8 9
Mathematics 8 9 8 9 8 9
Science 8 8 8 8 8 8
Humanities 8 8 8 8 8 8
MFL 4 2 4 2 4 2
Art, Design and Technology 5 5 5 5 5 5
Computing 1 1 1 1 1 1
Drama 1 1 1 1 1 1
Music 1 1 1 1 1 1
PSHCEE 2 2 2 2 2 2
PE 4 4 4 4 4 4
TOTAL (per fortnight) 50 50 50 50 50 50

Options at Key Stage 4

In Years 10 & 11 pupils continue with the Core Curriculum and choose 3 - 4 additional subjects from around 18 options which build on knowledge, skills and understanding developed in the KS3 curriculum.

All options subjects are taught over 5-6 hours per fortnight.

We provide each pupil the opportunity to follow individual subjects at the appropriate level for them, including the full range of subjects required to achieve the English Baccalaureate. Courses normally lead to qualifications at GCSE or BTEC level 1 and level 2, but in addition, we offer a small number of externally accredited foundation level non GCSE courses for pupils for whom a full set of GCSE courses is not appropriate.

Careful guidance is provided to all pupils with the support of parents and carers through a supportive guided option choices and transition process.

Specific courses are drawn from the following broad subject areas: Sciences, Humanities, Arts, Languages, Sport, and Design and Technology.

  Year 10 Year 11
English 8 8
Mathematics 8 7
Science 9 8
Computing 1 1
PSHCEE 2 2
PE 4 4
Option 1 6 5
Option 2 6 5
Option 3 6 5
Option 4 N/A 5
TOTAL (per fortnight) 50 50

Grouping

In all years 7 to 9 we set pupils in to classes based on their prior attainment. Sets are decided initially through Key Stage 2 SATS and baseline tests in year 7. Sets are reviewed each term using tests and regular teacher assessment so that pupils can move between sets depending on their progress. This ensures that pupils are working at a pace and level that is most appropriate for them ensuring they are challenged to learn and improve but are not overwhelmed or left behind.

At Key Stage 4 core subjects retain sets but as most option subjects comprise only one group they normally cover a mixture of levels of attainment.

Extra-Curricular

At Da Vinci we believe strongly in the importance of providing pupils with a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities. These include clubs and teams across the Arts and Sports, as well as additional Academic clubs and pupil-led groups with particular interests. We strongly encourage pupils to participate in such activities both within and outside school, in order to achieve an effective work-life balance.