Curriculum

At Ormiston Denes Academy, we are passionate about ensuring students leave us having fulfilled their potential in a broad range of subjects. As such, the curriculum we offer gives the balance of a wide curriculum base in Year 7 and 8 before allowing students to start to specialise in the subjects they enjoy the most in Year 9, whilst retaining academic rigour and providing them with a broad curriculum from which to choose their Year 10 option subjects. PSHE and SMSC are ingrained throughout the curriculum as well as having elements in the Skills for Learning section of registration.

Year 7 and 8

Year 7 and 8 are organised so that all students cover a broad range of subjects. There is a standard core curriculum of English language and English literature, mathematics, science; biology, chemistry and physics; praxis, and physical education. Geography, history and philosophy are covered under the umbrella of humanities, and technology works on a rotation through design and technology, textiles with fashion design and catering. Finally, all students study three languages in Year 7 on a rotation through French, German and Spanish and make a selection for their language of choice in Year 8; although in year 8 some students may be withdrawn for additional literacy. Students have one period of enrichment a fortnight.

Year 9

The curriculum in Year 9 begins to allow students to specialise in the subjects they enjoy the most, whilst retaining academic rigour and providing them with a broad curriculum. There is a standard core curriculum of English language and English literature, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, praxis and physical education. In addition, students select from their Year 7 and 8 courses, four option subjects to continue into Year 9, at least two of which will be EBacc* subjects. Students have one period of enrichment a fortnight.

Year 10

Students in Year 10 continue the core curriculum of English language and English literature, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics and physical education. They now refine their options, following three or four subjects chosen from those they took in Year 9, plus specialist two year key stage 4 courses. At least one or two of their options will be an EBacc* subject, depending on students ability.

Year 11

Students in Year 11 continue their curriculum from Year 10. As they selected three option subjects in Year 10, they will all opt for an additional specialist key stage 4 course. Some will also pick up extra qualifications such as ICT or finance.

Subject time allocation (number of lessons per fortnight)

2018–19
Subject Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
English 6 6 9 10 10
Maths 6 6 6 8 8
Science 6 6 6 6 6
PE 4 4 4 3
PHSE and Praxis 1 1 2
Enrichment 1 1 1 1
Art and Design 2 2
Drama and Music 2 2
Computing 2 2
Humanities (Ge, Hi, RE) 6 5
MFL 2 3
Technology 2 2
Option 1 3 3 4
Option 2 3 3 4
Option 3 3 3 4
Option 4 3 3 4
Total hours 40 40 40 40 40

The Physical Education lessons are timetabled during Period 5 on Fridays.

Curriculum and assessment overview

Curriculum reform

There has been a great deal of publicity recently about the changes to the National Curriculum, and GCSE courses in particular. A summary of these changes can be found here.

  • Click here for grade descriptors for GCSEs graded 9-1
  • Click here for a three-minute video explaining Progress 8

* The English Baccalaureate (EBacc)

The EBacc is a measure of success in a range of academic subjects. To meet the EBacc measure, in addition to English, mathematics and two sciences, students need to pass geography or history and a language. Meeting these criteria does not gain students an additional qualification as such, therefore there is no requirement to take this exact selection of subjects. However, success in the EBacc subjects has been linked to a wider range of options at university for academic students.

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