What is meant by ‘curriculum’

The curriculum should be viewed as including both the formal timetabled curriculum and all the informal learning and development that occurs outside the timetable. It is a plan or strategy for progression for our students: how we move them from a state where they have not acquired specific knowledge, skills, experience and dispositions, to a state where they have acquired these. It encompasses everything that students acquire: what they know, what they can do, what experiences they have had and how they are likely to behave. It involves a deliberate choice to select, from all the possible knowledge, skills, experiences and dispositions, those which we believe students should acquire. It is responsive through well-designed assessment as to whether students have acquired what was intended. 

This curriculum intent statement outlines why/how the DCHS curriculum has been created/enacted, as well as the benefits it will bring to students’ learning and self-improvement. 

The core statements of the DCHS curriculum

Our Curriculum is in a period of review, however, the three statements below are fundamental to further curriculum development:

At DCHS we have designed our curriculum with student’s learning at the centre. We recognise that a curriculum has to be broad, balanced and offer students opportunities to grow as individuals as well as learners. 

Through the DCHS Teaching Principles, we aim to ensure students enjoy learning and feel prepared for life after school. We also intend to offer our students new and exciting experiences through extra-curricular activities that are designed to build resilience, confidence and self-esteem. 

We recognise that students should be challenged in their schooling; learning from failures and celebrating successes. We intend for our curriculum to be empowering, enabling students to develop their interpersonal skills, creativity and independence. 

Curriculum Intent Statements

Art, Art Textiles and Photography

“Culture and Arts are the best tools we have to understand ourselves and others, to comprehend humanity as a whole, to appreciate its beauty and forgive its weaknesses” -Tamara Rojo

To place Arts, Culture and Creativity at the heart of all children's life learning, to inspire, challenge and move beyond the ordinary to give opportunity to develop extraordinary young people. To empower all young people to recognise, value and have faith in their opinions, voice and self-worth across all aspects of their life. 

The development and promotion of the Creative Arts is central to our collective belief of raising achievement through curriculum and extra curricular creativity , enrichment , cultural opportunity and engagement for all through inspirational cultural, artistic and performance experiences regardless of starting point, gender,  socio economic circumstance or location. This commitment to the shared ethos of the Creative Arts Faculty provision is mirrored within our Artsmark Platinum, & Trinity College London Arts Award Champion School status. 


Biology: Why?

The word ‘why’ is one of the most important and commonly used words by children.

Why do animals behave the way they do?

Why has a global pandemic occurred?

Why are bacteria seen as a potential solution to plastic pollution in our oceans?

Children want to understand the world around them and, in particular, the living world. Understanding the living world opens doors into varied and exciting careers such as medicine, zoology, scientific research and many more. Students studying Biology will be helped to discover the answers to questions like these through investigation, discussion, research and explicit instruction. They will be encouraged to be critical and independent thinkers, capable of analysing the vast amount of information that bombards them every day. This understanding will be underpinned by a firm grasp of key concepts such as how all living things (organisms) are organised by tiny structures called cells, how organisms interact with their environment and how they interact with each other. Through learning Biology students will be encouraged to become global citizens who can contribute to the wider community. Students will also be motivated to remain curious about the living world around them, and never be afraid to ask the question: why?


The aim of this Business curriculum is for students to be passionate about the subject and to develop a knowledge of business and how they operate. 

Not everyone will want to own or run a business but they will be part of a business by either being an employee or a customer. By studying business this will enable students to understand the economy, business concepts and how it impacts them now and in the future.

In society businesses can behave unethically and we have a duty to educate young people in order to protect themself and others.

Business students can gain more than just a qualification; they gain skills and knowledge that will set them up for life.


Why is Chemistry Important?

Everything around us is made of atoms and molecules. Chemistry is ultimately about how these substances behave and interact with each other. 

A knowledge and understanding of Chemistry allows us to gain an understanding of the world around us and gives us the ability to make new materials to meet our changing needs. During the last century chemists have produced new materials that have changed our lives and have had an extraordinary impact on everyday life, ranging from plastics and detergents to contraceptives and anticancer drugs.

Chemistry is an exciting, interesting and challenging subject. It does require hard work and commitment but offers many rewards including excellent career prospects. It will help you to develop skills in problem solving, data analysis, practical work and numeracy. Through its study it will challenge you to think and it will help you to develop a better understanding of your environment and the world around you.

Child Development & Care/ Child Care & Education 

Preparing students with the key knowledge and transferable skills required for life beyond the classroom, enabling individuals to appreciate the transitions that may be encountered in every stage of life. Our curriculum offers students opportunities to develop an understanding of how to provide care and support for themselves and the wider community.

Classical Civilisation

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel” - Socrates c470-399 BC 

In Classical Civilisation at the DCHS we wish to foster an appreciation of the literature, society and history of the Greeks and Romans. We also want you to develop an awareness of the influence of this classical culture through subsequent ages and of the similarities and differences between the classical and modern world. Through the study of classical culture, thought and texts in translation we will endeavour to enhance your analytical, debating and writing skills and encourage an appreciation of the cross curricular links that the subject affords, recognising that there is no academic or life pursuit which a knowledge of the Classics does not enrich. But above all through studying a subject, which has fascinated and inspired generations of scholars throughout the millennia, we hope that you will be fired with a life-long interest in, and enthusiasm for, every aspect of the classical world. 


“To develop confidence and intrigue in ICT and Computer Science to leverage its use safely, effectively and responsibly for life, enjoyment, work and study” 


‘We must all do theatre, to find out who we are, and to discover who we could become’  - Augusto Boal

In Drama we aim to provide students with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to express themselves both physically and vocally on and off the stage. Curriculum development and delivery is centred around students having the most supportive and creative platform where they can explore a range of characters, settings, themes and issues. Therefore at the heart of our curriculum is developing an increased awareness of the performing arts as a creator, performer and critical commentator. We want to nurture inquisitive learners who question- ‘‘What influences theatre today?’ drawing together their understanding of how theatre may reflect society’s views and opinions, applying their knowledge of how different art forms can be used to tell a story.

The Drama Department works collaboratively as part of the CREATE faculty (Art, Textiles, and Music) focusing on popular, classical, and traditional styles of creative, musical and dramatic art. We, the CREATE faculty, look to develop the inner skills/habits of mind needed to allow individuals to express themselves within and across various art forms. 

Involvement in Drama at all levels whether that be as an actor, stage or lighting  technician and an audience member is and should be a shared learning and enriching experience. We want our students to know that Drama can make a difference to themselves and the world around them and encourage them to reflect on the issues that are or were relevant to people. 

“Nothing is as it seems. Seeing is not believing. Sometimes... you have to feel, touch, experience... and use your intelligence.” -  Benjamin Zephania

DT & Engineering

To understand the importance of design in connecting science, maths, art and computing in the creation of solutions that solve problems for people in an efficient, creative and  sustainable way.

English & Reading

The DCHS English department seeks to develop worldly thinkers, deep readers and perceptive communicators. Our curriculum is a chronological and genre organised sequence of powerful knowledge and provides a firm foundation for further GCSE and ALevel study. We begin in year 7 with an exploration of our literary ancient origins and build to the end of year 9 when we evaluate contemporary protest speeches. This model supports students’ understanding of how literature reflects and influences the world, so in turn our learners might also make their voices heard.

Supported development of each skill strand is embedded within the curriculum framework. Bespoke intervention and differentiation supports every child’s development regardless of starting point:

Food Preparation & Nutrition/ Food Science and Nutrition 

To inspire a passion for food. Our curriculums provide students with key knowledge and skills required for life beyond the classroom, such as preparing nutritious food safely and understanding why we need food, where it comes from and how ingredients work. Students develop a holistic understanding of food and nutrition through a combination of investigation, planning and application.


“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”  – Nelson Mandela

Our curriculum is designed to take students on a learning journey of the language studied, in order to encourage and nurture an appreciation of communication as a life skill.  Students are taught to understand the significance of languages and to demonstrate linguistic skills and empathy for other cultures. Such expert knowledge allows students to progress to fluency during their language journey.

 To achieve this, students cover topics ranging from self, home and school, to the world around them including the environment, social issues and technology. Students can apply this learning to underpin and further develop their understanding in English, Humanities and even Maths and Music!  This enables them to apply their knowledge and skills in real life in a wide variety of environments both now and in the future, such as further education, industry and the business world- and not just whilst they are on holiday!


The aim of Geography at DCHS is to create global citizens who are passionate about the physical and human world around them. They are able to make judgements about contemporary issues, analyse multiple data sets, sequence physical processes, empathise with marginalised communities, make links between human and physical concepts, conduct geographical field work and become life-long environmentalists. 

Hair & Beauty

The hair & beauty industry encourages many transferable skills, for example creativity, teamwork, confidence, planning, development and resilience. Practical skills gained in this area will also see you through many aspects of life. This can take you into a career in hair & beauty where you can work locally or globally. 

Health and Social Care

Preparing students with the key knowledge and transferable skills required for life beyond the classroom, enabling individuals to appreciate the transitions that may be encountered in every stage of life. Our curriculum offers students opportunities to develop an understanding of how to provide care and support for themselves and the wider community.


The DCHS curriculum is rigorous and highly challenging, helping pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Each lesson has enquiry at its core, thereby inspiring pupils’ curiosity of the past. The history curriculum will equip pupils with the skill to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement. Social, political, economic and cultural history are at the core of the curriculum and is a subject that is guaranteed to make pupils think about the world and changes it has experienced. History helps pupils understand the complexities of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies; as well as helping pupils develop an understanding of their own identity and challenges of their time.

Here at DHCS the history department seek to:

Maths, Further Maths & Statistic

Maths, where everyone counts

Our aim is to inspire students to have a love of Maths. The department are ambassadors of this and we want to show students there is no stereotype of someone who has a love of Maths and solving problems. Anyone can become successful with a dose of aspiration and inspiration. We want students to become confident problem solvers who think, reason and analyse but more importantly are resilient. We create a culture where it is Ok to fail, as long as we learn from it. We want all students to have that elation from solving a problem.

“Your best is always good enough”


At DCHS we pursue excellence in every aspect of school life, and in Music it is no different. We aim to develop every student’s potential as musicians by supporting them through their musical journey as we believe everyone is inherently musical, given the right conditions. 

Musicality, the ability to express oneself freely and confidently in music, is at the heart of everything we do. Whether that be performing in our lessons/shows/events/groups, composing the next hit song, or appraising various pieces of music to discover why they are significant today, musicality is at the core. 

We work collaboratively with the CREATE faculty (Art, Textiles, and Drama) to look at popular, classical, and traditional styles. We, the CREATE faculty, look to develop the inner skills/habits of mind needed to allow individuals to express themselves within and across various art forms. We want to enrich everyone’s quality of life and understanding of the world we live in. 

We want our students to be not only musically adept but to have also developed the resilience, confidence, and discipline to help them in their future career path whatever that may be. 

PE & Sport Studies

Developing the confidence to try, to fail and to achieve through the promotion of Physical, social and mental well-being. 


Physics is all about understanding the world around us. It involves the study of the Universe, from huge galaxies to the smallest subatomic particles and everything in between. Physics builds on great discoveries and underpins the technologies which change our lives – from treating cancer to developing sustainable electricity generation and from powering our mobile phones to guiding the most distant spacecraft.

Physics students meet new knowledge and explore new ideas, reinforce their understanding through practical work and investigations, enjoy the challenge of problem solving and consider the impact of Physics in today’s world. Every topic allows students to develop their key literacy and numeracy skills and develop their digital literacy; transferable skills that empower their future school and career choices. Whatever level of Physics students chose to study, the aim is for them to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to not only be academically successful but to also be confident in their understanding of the modern world in areas such as energy security, environmentally sensitive transport and the impact of emerging technologies.


In an age of misinformation and polarisation the politics curriculum will help students to form a well-balanced and highly informed understanding of the world in which they live. 

Students will learn to scrutinise political processes and structures in detail. They will develop the skills of critical source evaluation. They will be able to make well evidenced comparisons between the political systems of the US and UK. Finally students will gain an understanding of a broad range of ideologies underpinning the study of politics. 

Through regular discussion and debate, politics students will be given the opportunity to develop, articulate and defend their political opinions. Alongside this they will be able to listen to, understand and appreciate the different views of others. They will form the habit of always asking critical questions of the information they receive. Our curriculum and teaching aims to produce politically aware, informed and engaged citizens who understand and promote the importance of democracy. 


Studying PSHCE helps our children become well-rounded citizens with important knowledge of the wider world that will help them stay healthy, safe and prepare them for adult life and work in modern Britain. 

Visit our dedicated PHSCE page to find out more.

Religious Studies

The principal aim of religious education is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living. We want to give pupils a thirst for knowledge and understanding that will stay with them beyond their time spent at DCHS. Our goal is to maximise cultural capital to enable pupils to flourish within their communities and wider society, and to challenge intolerance and prejudice. Pupils should be able to see a situation from religious and secular point of view and understand the motivations behind why people hold certain beliefs. Pupils will learn to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their own ideas and the beliefs of others with honesty and respect whilst recognising that alternative views are equally valid. They will practise justifying their moral stance and consider the meaning of moral language, giving a basis to understanding the justification of their own views on morality. 


As a department we aim to support students to develop as well rounded individuals with the following positive attributes associated with being a scientist; Ambitious, Curious, Motivated, Ready (Conscientious, Organised, Prepared), Respectful, Resilient, Safe. We aim to ensure students leave DCHS with;

● The Scientific knowledge relevant to life

● Outcomes that enable them to access the further study or career they aspire to

● Awareness of their transferable skills

Social Science

“Don’t become a mere recorder of facts, but try to penetrate the mystery of their origin.”  - Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936)

In Social Science at DCHS we encourage you to look beneath the surface, to penetrate the mysteries of behaviour and explore what is going on around you in society.

We want you to be curious about human social interaction - from large scale, institutional and global interactions to small, daily interactions between individuals. We want you to develop a passion and interest for the natural and social sciences, gaining scientific understanding of the complex nature of the human mind and society.

We want you to become active, critical thinkers and responsive members of the community. We want you to leave our course(s) with the necessary analytical, oral and written skills required to succeed in the workplace and in life.


Learning another language is a great way to connect to the world and add a new skill to your list of talents. We live in a global world where businesses are desperate for employees who can speak a second language. The UK loses out on billions of pounds every year through lack of people knowing a second language!

One of the top second languages for English speakers to learn is Spanish. The best reason to choose Spanish as a second language is its widespread use across the globe, it is the third most spoken language in the world. 

Learning Spanish will also allow English students to appreciate and understand the best of Spanish language cinema, music, books and cuisine. At school students learn to express all about themselves and their family and friends, their town, school life and career plans, holidays, discuss new technology and global and social issues, and learn about important issues in the Hispanic world. 

Students of Spanish can go into an exciting array of career paths- from translating and interpreting, to travel and tourism, to journalism and working for multinational companies! 

There has never been a better time to start learning the Spanish language!

Uniformed Services

The Uniformed Services course is valuable both to students with an interest in a career in the military, Police, Fire, Ambulance etc… and those who want to get ready for leaving school. We provide our students with skills to  prepare them for the job market by giving accurate and useful information enabling them to make informed decisions with confidence.

Course Aims

"Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking." William B. Sprague 

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Key Stage 4 Curriculum (Year 10 & 11) 

selecting a subject will link to more information

Key Stage 5 Curriculum (Year 12 & 13)

selecting a subject will link to more information

How the school intends to deliver the curriculum throughout the school

As briefly mentioned above, we intend to deliver the curriculum through a variety of methods that are both classroom-based and extra-curricular. Below, we have outlined how we intend to deliver this promise. We promote equal opportunities to all of our students in line with the Equality Act 2010 throughout our practices. 

Classroom-based learning: Our staff value the different ways in which students learn and plan lessons to account for these differences, this includes the use of PSHCE drop-down days. We encourage teachers to make cross-curricular links where possible within their planning so that students can draw upon knowledge from different subjects and understand how each topic plays a part in everyday life. 

The school carries out one-to-one teaching sessions for students who require additional support. Parents can request this, but the school prioritises students who need the most help. We also carry out interventions for small groups of students with LSA’s. Within these interventions, LSA’s breakdown of the content of the lesson in a more digestible way for students. The sessions can last between 30 minutes to one hour and groups are no larger than six students to every LSA. This allows students to get dedicated one-to-one time with the LSA, ensuring any questions that students may have, get answered in a way they understand. It is important to note that these interventions supplement the work of the teacher and do not replace it.

Extra-curricular activities: We believe we provide an extensive list of extracurricular opportunities that cater to all of our inquisitive minds. Sessions are run both after school and over lunch in order to cater to those students for whom transport home is an issue. Extra-curricular activities are designed to enhance students’ learning experience, form personal connections between students and their peers, and teach skills essential for life after school. We encourage staff and students to engage with activities that may take them from their ‘norm’


How the school involves parents, students and the local community in curriculum planning and delivery

Our school values the input of its students, parents and the local community with regards to the planning and delivery of the curriculum. We believe students get a well-rounded education if everyone is involved in shaping it. This is why we will aim to send students and parents questionnaires on a termly basis. These questionnaires ask questions about factors such as what students enjoy about learning and lessons, what they find challenging, and whether they feel well informed on attainment.

We have a named person in charge of Community and cultural engagement. We believe this is central to what we do. We engage with the wider community by ensuring there are opportunities for students to participate in community projects, e.g. litter picking. We embed each project within the curriculum into the relevant subjects, e.g. creating art out of litter and investigating the effects litter has on the environment. This shows students the value of protecting and being involved in their community and establishes a link between the theories they learn in the classroom to practical examples in real life.  


How the curriculum benefits students’ learning and personal development

Our curriculum has been designed for a range of learners, providing equal opportunities for all – by doing this, students will benefit in the following ways: 


Curriculum Construction

Our taught curriculum is delivered through a two-week timetable with each day divided into 5 periods. The timing of the day is as follows:

More Information

If you would like to find out more about the curriculum that we offer, please get in touch with the school. You can contact Mrs Claire McDade via email: or tel: 01665 602166.