Key Stage 4 and FE Curriculum

Students are supported to to develop skills in the three focuses for learning:

  • Attitudes and Attributes – becoming determined, adaptable, confident risk taking and enterprising
  • Skills – literacy, numeracy, ICT, personal learning and thinking skills
  • Knowledge and Understanding of the big ideas that shape the world.

By adopting such an approach we believe students will achieve high standards and make good progress in all subjects including the skills necessary around their SLCN. They will be supported to develop and apply high-quality personal, learning and thinking skills; high-quality functional skills to remain engaged, motivated and committed to their learning to the age of 19 and beyond thus fulfilling their potential.

The 14-19 curriculum will support students in developing their ability to:

  • interact and communicate with a wide range of people.
  • express preferences, communicate needs, make choices.
  • make decisions and choose options that other people act on and respect.
  • prepare for an adult life in which they have the greatest possible degree of autonomy 
  • understand and develop relationships with others based on mutual respect and dependence on each other.
  • develop an awareness and understanding of their environment and of the global community
  • explore, to question and to challenge.
  • develop an awareness of the world of work.
  • provide a wide range of learning experiences for students in each key stage suitable for their age
  • through the curriculum students will have the functional opportunity to continually develop the specific areas of identified SLCN

Making learning more personalised, engaging and motivating

We accept that the curriculum will only seem coherent to learners if they can see its relevance to them. We appreciate that the curriculum will need to reflect students’ diverse interests and needs and that students should be given opportunities to specialise and to make choices. By providing a more personalised approach to the curriculum we aim to:

  • develop students’ aspirations to succeed
  • achieve higher levels of attainment
  • motivating students to become life long learners

To achieve such aims we:

  • aim to involve students in the co-construction of personalised programmes
  • make learning more interesting by taking it out of the study centre
  • make assessment part of the learning experience encouraging self and peer assessment activities
  • instill the belief in students that they can make a difference to what they achieve through effort and a positive attitude
  • make the most of teachers strengths by building on their enthusiasm for their subjects

The curriculum is constructed to make full use of the flexibility offered to address the differing needs of our students whilst ensuring, at the same time that all students have maximum opportunities to realise their potential, particularly with regard to external accreditation. Opportunities for accreditation reflect the diverse range of attainment levels of our students ranging from Entry Level; discrete Level 1 qualifications such as ALAN literacy and numeracy, Step-Up and B Tec, to GCSE.

Accreditation for vocational options may also include the NOCN STEP UP Award and the Sports Leadership Award

Cross Curricular Dimensions

The Cross Curricular Dimensions are unifying areas of learning that help students make sense of the world and have been identified as being:

  • identity and cultural diversity
  • healthy life styles
  • community participation
  • enterprise
  • technology and media
  • global dimension and sustainable development
  • creativity and critical thinking

When planning the curriculum the school aims to develop the dimensions across subject domains, creating links where appropriate and calling on the expertise of experts from outside the school to support us in our work, particularly those provided through partnerships with Portland and Vision West Notts FE Colleges.

A high priority is given to the development of personal learning and thinking skills (PLTS) across subject areas as they provide the framework for the development of the qualities and skills needed for success in learning which will enable students to enter work and life as confident and capable individuals who can make a positive contribution to society.

The six groups of PLTS built into the curriculum aim to develop:

  • independent enquirers
  • creative thinkers
  • reflective learners
  • team workers
  • self managers
  • effective participators

PLTs support and complement National Curriculum programmes of study whilst encouraging students to see the relevance and interconnectedness of their learning, encouraging them to develop and transfer skills across a range of contexts

Work Related Learning

Dawn House School is committed to maximizing the benefits for every pupil in the development of a whole school approach to work based learning.  Work related learning is available for all students. 

Some students will have more opportunities for work related learning in the nature of and duration of work experience than others. Within the curriculum we wish to promote work related learning as part of a learning entitlement for all students and as a means of learning about work, learning through work, and learning for work.
In addition, all students will be provided with opportunities to acquire, develop, practise, apply and extend their employability skills in a range of contexts across the curriculum. These skills will also be relevant to life and learning outside and beyond the school.

Such skills include:

The key skills of communication (including literacy), application of number, information technology, working with others, improving own learning and performance and problem solving, thinking skills (including information processing, reasoning, enquiry, creative thinking and evaluation).

The development of these skills is an important part of our curriculum. Opportunities for the development of these skills are addressed across all subject areas.

We recognise the positive benefits of extended work experience opportunities as and when appropriate.

Students are offered work related learning through two dedicated placement blocks, one in year 10 and one in yr 11. Further extended Work Related Learning is offered in FE when learners can also study for relevant NVQ awards.