Deepings School empowers students through giving them the opportunities to grow into well-rounded individuals, equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to lead happy, meaningful lives within society. Taking the National Curriculum as a starting point, subjects extend depth of knowledge, reviewing schemes of learning to meet the needs of each cohort, ensuring appropriate stretch and challenge is in place for students of all prior attainment. As a truly comprehensive school, we have a wide curriculum offer that acts as a microcosm of society, reflecting the diverse population we have within the school.
The curriculum is balanced equally between the core, and a range of other subjects across the humanities, practical subjects and languages, giving students a broad and balanced experience. There is a strong commitment to the EBACC, with over half of the cohort taking a full suite of EBACC courses. A strong vocational offer ensures that all students access appropriate curriculum choices at both KS4 and 5. Careers Information and Guidance opportunities, including work experience, are built on throughout each year group, and we are proud to hold the National Quality in Careers Standard. Using the Career Mark approach, we are delighted to have had a successful two-year revalidation of the programme, praising us for fully meeting the Gatsby benchmarks.
We have an ambitious curriculum, delivered by skilled subject teachers, which is more than just the subjects they take. Trust values of integrity, excellence and collaboration underpin the whole curriculum. A tutorial curriculum, and assemblies support the teaching of key areas such as Fundamental British Values, diversity and an understanding of protected characteristics, promoting equality, and challenging prejudice. Academic intervention opportunities, and homework club support students in achieving the best they can. Our curriculum offer is enriched with a wide range of extra-curricular activities, with all subjects contributing, so diverse interests are catered for.
The curriculum is carefully designed around a wealth of knowledge, and the acquisition of strategies that strengthen recall, enabling students to make connections within subjects, across subjects, and even wider to the society and world they are part of. Our lessons centre learning and knowledge in ‘big ideas’ – concepts that transform the ways students see a subject – lightbulb moments. These ideas are returned to across topics, across year groups, and across subjects, to give breadth and depth. They enrich our understanding of the world by looking at concepts of gender, inequality, sustainability, power and conflict to name a few.
Reading and vocabulary are at the heart of our curriculum – the stronger these areas are, the more a student is likely to succeed. All students follow the Accelerated Reader programme throughout KS3. Our library is a vibrant hub of activity, offering creative and interactive events throughout the year. Knowledge is ‘sticky’ – ideas stick to one another, and so the more we can support widening vocabulary, and developing reading skills, the more likely a student will be able to connect ideas, stick them together, and make sense of even more knowledge. Assessment is a fundamental part of the curriculum, allowing us to identify and then close gaps, by personalising learning for individuals or cohorts. This framework, or web, provides crucial foundations for future learning and success. Home learning prioritises knowledge recall through online platforms, supported by use of knowledge organisers. Routine low stakes testing revisits learning, building confidence and success, and prepares students for more formal assessment later on.
Student voice is at the heart of routine reviews of our curriculum. As such we are confident our curriculum is one that is not just for students, but increasingly built with students. We dare all of our students to excel through a curriculum that is ambitious, engaging, and diverse.