Curriculum Overview

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At Dean Trust Wigan learning is at the heart of all we do and we recognise the importance of providing a needs-led, personalised curriculum for all of our students. Everything within the organisation is based explicitly on learning and supporting all our young people to achieve their potential, through fostering high aspirations to succeed in education, work and life. Learners flourish in an environment where they are encouraged to: be reflective; take risks; try out new strategies and approaches; learn together, supporting each other; and to challenge and be challenged.

The curriculum is designed to meet statutory requirements and support the intended outcomes of the Secondary National Curriculum. It is all the planned learning experiences for students, as well as ensuring they are literate, numerate and technologically adept, with the ability to apply these lifelong skills, attributes and values that will guide their future.
We work closely with our feeder primary schools and the aim is to develop a coherent curriculum that ensures progression, building on our learner’s experiences in the primary phase and supporting their holistic development to ensure they become well rounded young people.

The curriculum is intended to help young people to:

  • Achieve high standards and make beyond expected progress.
  • Narrow the attainment gap and enable those not achieving age-related expectations at the start of Key Stage 3 to catch with their peers.
  • Develop those essential literacy and numeracy skills as they progress through school and beyond into further learning, work and life.
  • Be challenged and stretched to achieve their true potential.
  • Develop resilience and an increased commitment to life-long learning.

In addition we believe that the curriculum should:

  • Be focused around developing the core English and Maths skills.
  • Ensure an effective transition at all levels.
  • Provide curriculum enrichment opportunities beyond the classroom, to create memorable experiences for students to compliment excellent academic results.
  • Develop students personal, learning and thinking skills.
  • Be inclusive to promote motivation and engagement.
  • Provide personalised pathways for all students to excel.
  • Meet the specific needs of all students including those with disabilities and special educational needs.

Basic student entitlement at Key Stage 3

Students will:

  • Have a 31 period timetable and teaching arrangements which are flexible, to cater for individual needs.
  • Access a curriculum which is broad and balanced.
  • Access teaching within a group that provides them with both challenge and support.
  • Be taught in ability groupings to provide stretch and challenge for all, but will be taught in mixed ability groups for PE and PSHE. However, movement between classes is fluid so students can change up or down according to the progress they are making.
  • Be assessed regularly and progress reported to parent/carers every 6/7 weeks in the form of either a monitoring report or written report.
  • Receive Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) to allow them to make appropriate, informed choices about their options in Key Stage Four.
  • All Y7 pupils will receive a ‘Challenge’ Lesson. This lesson is dedicated to developing skills that will enable pupils to develop crucial skills in order to be successful in and out of the classroom. Skills developed include resilience, positive mind-set, teamwork, communication, overcoming adversity and embracing challenge.

Basic student entitlement at Key Stage 4

Students will:

  • Engage in lessons in the core subjects of English, Maths and Science for a minimum of 15 periods a week.
  • Develop their skills as a leader and team player
  • Be able to access courses which lead to a qualification at the right level, pace and mode of assessment for them
  • Be assessed regularly and progress reported to parent/carers every 6/7 weeks in the form of either a monitoring report or written report
  • Receive careers Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) to help them to plan appropriately for their post-16 future.

Key Stage 3 Overview

The structure of the Key Stage 3 curriculum is set out in the table below:

Core SubjectsYear 7Year 8Year 9
Foundation SubjectsYear 7Year 8Year 9
Art and Design222
Design & Technology222
Performing Arts111
Physical Education222

Key Stage 4 Overview

In Key Stage 4 there are three curriculum pathways:

Pathway 1 –  provides a curriculum based on traditional academic subjects and covers the EBACC requirements.
Pathway 2 –  is based on traditional academic subjects but may not cover the EBACC suite of subjects.
Pathway 3 –  is for those students who will flourish more in a vocational setting and benefit from applied study courses.

Students will spend half a day a week on a vocational course of their choice taught by a local off-site provider.

The structure of the Key Stage 4 curriculum is set out in the table below:

Core SubjectsYear 10Year 11
English (Literature and Language)55
Science (Core and Additional)66
Physical Education11

EBACC Optional Subjects (Pathway 1 and 2) Pupils will select one of the subjects and spend four periods a week in that subject.

  • Computer Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • French
  • Spanish

Optional Subjects  – Pupils will select three subjects from the options pool and they will spend four periods a week in each of those subjects.

  • Art
  • Catering & Hospitality
  • Child Development
  • Computer Science
  • Religion
  • French
  • GCSE Sociology
  • GCSE Psychology
  • History
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Resistant Materials
  • Spanish

Vocational Courses (Pathway three pupils only) Pupils will leave school at break time and spend the rest of the day on their vocational course.

  • Animal Care
  • Beauty
  • Construction
  • Hairdressing
  • Leadership Through Sport
  • Motor Vehicle Studies
  • Plumbing


Dean Trust Wigan Open Evening

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Wednesday 25th September 2019

6.30pm – 8.30pm

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