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Curriculum

Curriculum Vision and Intent

Please click here to see the introduction to our School Development Plan 2021-2022. This helps provide a context for what follows.

Underpinning all learning at Dene Magna is our central aim: ‘That each and every learner shall achieve their maximum potential and enjoy the process’.

We also set each student a challenge:

1.   Work as hard as I can to gain the very best qualifications

2.   To learn from people of different cultures and from different countries

3.   Use this knowledge to be the best version of myself that I can be

4.   Return to the Forest of Dean to pass this on to future generations.

All learning is focussed on achieving our central aim and challenge. These are reinforced across all our planning and processes and deliver an ambitious, broad and balanced curriculum. Every member of staff, student and parent has a clear understanding of these objectives. They are set out in documentation, shared through the tutor programme, assemblies and parent/carer meetings. They set an aspiration for a curriculum that meets the needs of each and every learner and ensures that every learner, including all staff, have the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential, within a framework of ‘enjoying the process’. We strongly believe that effective, purposeful and enjoyable learning are mutually inclusive aims and this drives everything that we do at Dene Magna.

Dene Magna’s Curriculum Plan ensures that all students receive a broad and balanced curriculum, with an emphasis on developing a range of skills. The coverage of subjects gives due weight to the core subjects of English, Maths and Science, whilst delivering high-quality subjects across the Humanities, Languages and Arts. 

Each subject is resourced and staffed so as to ensure high-quality delivery, which leads into valuable and meaningful exam courses at KS4. We have a clear distinction between KS3 and KS4, however there is a flow through both topics and skills, so that all students are well prepared to take a broad and balanced KS4 curriculum, leading to high value qualifications.

The Options process for KS4 is detailed and thorough. Each student takes four options and all students, for whom it is appropriate, are strongly encouraged to develop their skills in Modern Foreign Languages and the Humanities. 

The options process also emphasises the importance of subjects outside of the EBacc net and Dene Magna offers very successful courses in Art, Drama, Technology, Computing, Business Studies, PE and also vocational courses both in house and with external partners.

Subjects follow different strategies for delivering content and skills, within a common framework across the school. Teachers have a clear focus on pedagogy and our Reflective Practitioner Programme (RPP) enables staff (teaching and support) to observe and coach each other to ensure teaching and learning is of the highest standard.

Dene Magna  serves a rural area. This is typically defined as small settlements with poor transport links and minimal resources. There are a wide range of industries with an emphasis on engineering and tourism. Although rural students at Dene Magna have easy access to major centres of Industry and learning e.g. Gloucester, Hereford, Worcester, Cheltenham and further afield, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff.

Running through our curriculum and highlighted through RSHE, Careers and enrichment, is a focus on building an outward looking and aspirational approach to the wider world as well as a pride and investment in our local area.

Covid 19 and the two lockdowns have had an impact on teaching and learning. Dene Magna quickly moved to online learning and there was comprehensive coverage of subjects and content in both lockdowns. However, there is acknowledgement that there was a certain amount of ‘lost learning’ and also that some students found engagement in remote learning difficult.

Subjects have made use of catch up provision to close the gaps in provision. This includes P6 lessons for all Year 11 students from September to December, both in 2020 and 2021, followed by more targeted interventions in P6 from January to July. The success criteria for P6 is judged on outcomes in Y11 Trial Exams taken in November/December.

Subjects have taken into account changes to Ofqual/JCQ guidance and information and have ensured that students are prepared for NEA, exams and Teacher Assessed Grades.

Each subject has looked at the impact of remote learning on their Curriculum Intent and sequencing to ensure that there is effective progression in each subject area.