Charnwood College offers a curriculum, which is balanced and broadly based and which: promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
The school curriculum comprises all learning in and outside the classroom and includes school visits, curriculum enhancement days, extra-curricular activities, house competitions and work experience to name a few.
The school provides opportunity for a daily act of collective worship through year assemblies. The school teaches religious education and sex and relationship education through a combination of timetabled lessons, tutor time, and half termly events. This approach also make provision for excellent personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice.
The school curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said; and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.
There is time and space in the school day and in each week, term and year to range beyond the set curriculum. The curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupil’s knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum.
David Ross Education Trust and British Values
The Trust is very supportive of the ethos of promoting British Values, and preparing our pupils for success in a modern Britain.
A heavy reliance is placed upon broadening horizons for each and every child and this includes developing the core skills of tolerance, respect, teamwork, resilience and building self-esteem. These are all values and qualities that we feel are relevant in order to play a full and meaningful role in society, and are promoted via our extensive house system that lends itself to cultural and sporting competition, democratic principles, social mixing, the development of greater pastoral care and enhanced PSHE.
To find out more about British Values at our academy, please download the document on the left.
If you would like further information about the curriculum followed at Charnwood College please contact us.
The curriculum has been designed around the following principles:
Key Stage Three (Year 7 and 8)
On entry in Year 7: Pupils are placed into mixed ability classes with careful consideration of individual needs and levels of support required.
Moving into Year 8: Pupils are set on ability using Key Stage 2 SATs results and end of Year 7 testing in the Core subjects of maths, English, science and PE. The foundation subjects have the flexibility to teach mixed ability.
Key Stage Four (Year 9, 10 and 11)
At the start of Year 9: Time is taken to consolidate Key Stage Three knowledge and understanding before embarking on GCSEs.
Core Subjects: Pupils are set on ability. In maths and science careful consideration is made in regard to entry into either higher or foundation tiered papers.
Option Subjects: Pupils select subjects from a broad and balanced range of qualifications organised into four option blocks. Where there is high demand in Ebacc subjects, principles of setting may be used. The GCSE Option booklet, detailing specific course information can be found here
Vocational Subjects: For some pupils there is the opportunity to study vocational qualifications in PE or the Performing Arts.
Key Stage Five (Year 12 and 13)
For a sixth form pupil to be classed as a full time student in 2018/19, they will need to study 600 Guided Learning Hours (GLH).
Entry Requirements: A minimum of five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above is needed, preferably with a Grade 5 in English and maths and a Grade 6 in the subject a pupil wishes to study. The Sixth Form Option booklet, detailing specific course information, including entry requirements, can be found here
Option Subjects: All pupils will study a minimum of three ‘A Level equivalents; some of our most able pupils may opt to study four. Subjects are organised into five option blocks.
Pupils can choose to follow either a traditional academic route (A Levels) or a vocational route in either Performing Arts or PE (OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma or BTEC Diploma) or a mixed programme of the two.
For students on the Advanced Apprenticeship for Sporting Excellence (AASE) in basketball, or on the football programme, will also need to study an equivalent of three other A levels.
Students that have not yet secured either their English or Maths Level 2 qualification will also continue to formally study for this qualification until they have achieved a Grade 4 or higher.
In his seminal work, The Great Tradition, F.R. Leavis contends that great writers, "are significant in terms of the human awareness they promote; awareness of the possibilities of life”.
At the David Ross Education Trust, it is our belief that an empowering English curriculum furnishes all pupils with the chance to read and understand the stories, poems and plays that best do this. Our aim is to offer a broad, knowledge-rich and intellectually challenging curriculum that provides our students with the knowledge, language, and grammatical skills to converse intelligently on a wide range of literature with the widest range of people possible. Our aim is to instil students with a love of reading and writing, as well as the disciplinary knowledge required to be to be fluent and confident readers, writers and speakers.
We do this through a chronological, unashamedly academic literary focus, reading whole, canonical texts, and using those to access fiction and non-fiction spanning genres and eras. We teach students the substantive and conceptual knowledge required to understand the literary periods they study, but also develop their ability to link these to significant national and international issues that are relevant to today’s society. By doing this, we create confident and knowledgeable students, regardless of their starting points, who can adapt to whatever environments and circumstances they find themselves in in future. They are competitive with the best students, nationally and internationally.
At KS4 all schools follow the AQA syllabus for English Language and Literature from the start of Y10 to Christmas of Y11, with the period after this bespoke depending on students’ needs as identified through mock examinations.
Assessment of student learning is a mix of low-stakes knowledge tests, MCQ tests, and formal extended writing designed to challenge their literary and linguistic knowledge. Knowledge and skills accumulation is assessed using formative and summative assessments at regular points, ensuring that knowledge retention and recall, with the ability to apply this knowledge in more than one way, is understood to be the most important aspect of our curriculum.
By experiencing high-quality teaching and ongoing formative assessment, students are encouraged to explore English and master the concepts they encounter. These experiences are designed to secure a deeper understanding of English and secure long-term retention of their learning. Students will move from shallow learning where knowledge is generally short term and needs high levels of prompt and support through to mastery where the high levels of understanding result in students applying their knowledge and skills to a range of different situations across the curriculum with confidence.
The maths curriculum across the David Ross Education Trust is designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to approach a range of mathematical situations with confidence. It is founded at Key Stage 3 by building on their prior knowledge and developing a mastery approach, where students see the links between different mathematical concepts and create a mathematical “tool box” that enables them to solve problems and apply their knowledge to other aspects of the wider curriculum. It is underpinned by the belief that every student can achieve the highest levels of success.
In Years 7 and 8 students will build on their Key Stage 2 skills and begin to link these to more complex concepts. By experiencing high quality teaching and ongoing formative assessment students are encouraged to explore the mathematics and master the concepts they encounter. These experiences are designed to secure a deeper understanding of mathematics and secure long term retention of their learning. Students will move from shallow learning where knowledge is generally short term and needs high levels of prompt and support through to mastery where the high levels of understanding result in students applying their knowledge and skills to a range of different situations across the curriculum with confidence.
After mastering the basic concepts in years 7 and 8 students will begin to apply their knowledge and skills to the topic and concepts required to achieve the highest levels of success at GCSE. The curriculum is designed not only to enable success in GCSE examinations but also prepare all students for the next phase in their education.
In Year 9 all students will follow a common journey through the curriculum, with the most-able stretched with Higher Tier content and those students who may need more time and guidance to master the topics supported with a range of strategies.
In Year 10 students generally follow either a Higher or Foundation Tier model, although there are opportunities to change tiers when necessary. The curriculum model is designed to have covered all the GCSE content by the end of Term 2 in Year 11. From this point onwards the focus moves to reviewing areas identified by careful analysis of Mock Exam performance and high quality exam preparation.
Mathematics is examined over three 1½ papers. The first paper is a non-calculator paper and the other two are calculator papers. The Foundation Tier students have access to grades 1 – 5, and Higher Tier students have access to grades 4 – 9. Entry levels are determined early in Term 3, with the November Mock Examination being used as a weighted evidence base. Generally, students will only be entered for the Higher Tier if they have consistently demonstrated that they are capable of achieving a strong grade 5 or above, although every tier decision is made on an individual basis.
To support the retention of work completed in class and to develop greater independent study skills homework is set through Hegarty Maths. Students will be set work on concepts covered 4 to 6 weeks ago. They will have opportunities to watch video tutorials and complete a quiz. Work is completed in a separate book.
In the David Ross Education Trust, our purpose is to offer a high-quality geography education for students that not only inspires a fascination and curiosity in the human and physical world, but embeds and expands their world knowledge. At the David Ross Education Trust we believe that all students should be able to think critically about the increasingly complex and changing world around them, building a bank of knowledge that enables them to justify their views of the different places and people that they investigate.
The KS3 Geography curriculum is split into 12 key themes, within which students will investigate places at a range of scales from local to global. Through the study of place students will build up an understanding and appreciation of key geographical concepts including; place, space, scale, diversity, interdependence, physical and human processes and sustainability. The curriculum will also expose students to different geographical data (such as OS maps, atlases, globes, photographs and small data sets), ensuring that all students can read, interpret and use information from a range of stimulus by the end of KS3. Assessment at KS3 will focus on knowledge recall from the current and previous topics, the level at which students can interpret and use geographical data, alongside judging how well students justify and structure geographical discussions.
At KS4, the curriculum is designed around the AQA GCSE specification. Students will study a range of physical and human topics, building on and expanding the knowledge learnt at KS3. The curriculum is split into four larger units; living with the physical environment, challenges in the human environment, geographical applications and geographical skills. Embedded into the KS4 curriculum are two fieldwork opportunities, which allow students to develop their understanding of the interactions between both physical and human geography. Alongside fieldwork, students are also required to think critically through an issue evaluation. Here, students will have to study pre-released material, which will be full of geographical data, therefore forcing them to draw on knowledge and understanding from a range of topics to solve a specific geographical problem. Throughout the KS4 curriculum, core questions will be used to routinely test how well knowledge is ‘sticking’. Alongside the use of knowledge recall tests, end of topic assessments and mock examinations will be used to support students in their extended writing.
‘Powerful knowledge’ is powerful because it provides the best understanding of the natural and social worlds that we have and helps us go beyond our individual experiences' Young, M. (2013) (1)
At the David Ross Education Trust, our aim is to offer a broad, knowledge- rich and intellectually challenging curriculum that provides our students with the knowledge, language and grammatical skills to converse intelligently on a wide range of historical periods with the widest range of people possible. In order to achieve this, we will be base the curriculum on a foundation of substantive knowledge (key dates, figures and vocabulary) from which disciplinary knowledge (historical narrative, causation, interpretation, significance, change and continuity) will grow. In the David Ross Education Trust, we want students who are confident reading, writing and conversing about history, whatever the context or medium.
To do this, we want our students to experience 'powerful knowledge' which they may not acquire or encounter informally outside the classroom. We also want to ensure our students can readily recall this knowledge, not just when they are learning it, but at different stages of KS3 and beyond ('fingertip' knowledge). Focusing on this fingertip knowledge will also furnish students with a bank of residual knowledge of the events and periods studied. In turn, the ability to master and readily recall such powerful knowledge will provide students with empowering and emancipatory ways of analysing, explaining and understanding the historical periods they study, but also to follow and participate in debates on significant national and international issues that are relevant to society today. By doing this, we will create confident and knowledgeable students, regardless of their starting points, who can adapt to whatever environments and circumstances they find themselves in in future. They will be competitive with the best and most advantaged students at home and abroad.
Assessment of student learning will be a mix of low stakes knowledge tests and extended, discursive writing to challenge their historical and linguistic knowledge (2). The knowledge accumulation will be assessed using formative and summative assessments at regular points, ensuring that knowledge retention and recall, with the ability to apply this knowledge in more than one way, is understood to be the most important aspect of our curriculum.
To ensure that the substantive knowledge that we teach is coherently organised, the curriculum is structured chronologically. In this first version, the substantive and disciplinary knowledge shall be chronological and based on the history of the British Isles from the Anglo-Saxons to the end of the Second World War. This will be based on the following, cumulative model to assist with retention and minimise cognitive load:
Year 7 – 400AD – 1485AD
Year 8 – 400AD – 1800AD
Year 9 – 400AD – 1945AD
DRET MFL Curriculum statement
The study of Modern Foreign Languages at DRET is a core entitlement for all, and most students are supported in following a course up to the end of KS4.
At KS3, the programme of study reflects the National Curriculum, and emphasises the development of speaking, with automatisation in the recall and manipulation of the target language.
At KS4, AQA GCSE is offered in mostly French or Spanish, occasionally German. Dual linguists are supported in gaining a qualification in their mother tongue.
Rationale - Learning and Knowledge of a Foreign Language will
•Enhance students’ memory, mental agility, and ability to apply and transfer patterns to different meanings and contexts – contributing to the development of cognitive skills
•Enhance students’ understanding of the patterns and roots of their own language – contributing to the development of literacy skills
•Open students’ mind to both shared and differing cultural traditions, history, art forms and viewpoints -contributing to the development of citizen of the world
•Open more doors to higher apprenticeships and education pathways
Curriculum and pedagogical features - MFL Teaching in a DRET academy will
A-In the first two years, Years 7 and 8, place a strong emphasis on oral/aural skills and on
1-Using and developing engaging resources and activities to intensively promote the recall of core structures carefully selected
2-Delivering learning sequences to develop students’ ability to communicate in the Target Language with some degree of independence (from memory) and spontaneity
3-Nurturing excellent pronunciation (reading aloud, dictations) and use of idiomatic structures
4-Drawing periodically on original and interactive resources to open students’ mind to the culture of the Target Language and to links with British culture, history and arts
B-In the third year of study, Year 9, draw on the solid knowledge base established in order to
1-More formally and explicitly study and manipulate grammatical patterns
2-Develop more extensively translation skills from and into the Target Language
3-Develop reading and listening skills across a wider range of materials, including literary texts
4-Support the development of progressively extended pieces of writing in the Target Language
5-Create opportunities for students to explore links with other areas of their curriculum and creative contexts
C-In the last two years of KS4 study, Years 10 and 11, develop formally and explicitly
1-The vocabulary and language structures relevant to the 3 main AQA GCSE themes
2-The four skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing
Curriculum structure and content - In DRET Academies, the MFL curriculum is taught
•In accordance to Programmes of Study published on the school website, which include Core Structures for each unit of work, and which are supported by learning materials accessible to students for homework (Active Learn platform)
•At Key Stage 3 (in Years 7-8 or Years 7-9) over 2 lessons each week, in mixed ability classes
•At Key Stage 4 (in Years 9-11 or Years 10-11) over 3 lessons a week, in mixed ability classes
Curriculum Assessment – In DRET Academies, the MFL curriculum is formally assessed
•at regular intervals in reference to the DRET assessment schedule
•using centrally agreed assessment pieces which draw on the knowledge and skills
•at KS3 in reference to centrally agreed mark schemes and progress path estimates
•at KS4 in reference to formal AQA GCSE mark schemes and boundaries
Enhanced curriculum - In DRET Academies, the MFL curriculum will aim to be enriched in year of study by:
•Spelling, speaking and poetry competitions
•Foreign Language Assistants providing up to date insights into the Target Language culture
•Visits abroad linked to the curriculum (History, Geography, Arts, Sciences, Catering)
•Visiting multi-lingual speakers from the world of work