Curriculum Statement


The Aims of Our Curriculum

Our central purpose is to ensure that all students at Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School achieve the highest standards of which they are capable. These standards will apply to all that our students do. This may be in the classroom, on the sports field, in concert or on stage, or in the extensive range of other opportunities we offer to students at all stages of their education at DHFS.

Our curriculum aims should enable all young people to become:

  • successful students, who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve, with a fascination for the world around them
  • imaginative, creative and reflective in their learning
  • confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives with a range of social skills and the ability to interact with people of varying backgrounds and cultures
  • responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society and uphold the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law and individual liberty, and make contributions to our local community through school based and local activities
  • tolerant and respectful of those who have different faiths and beliefs

Central to that purpose is an ordered, tolerant and caring community that recognises the diverse talents and abilities of each individual within British Values. Thus, we aim to provide a secure and disciplined environment where staff and students can work together in pursuit of a common goal. The aim is to develop a coherent 11-19 curriculum that builds on young people’s experiences in the primary phase and that helps all young people to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. Our curriculum reflects values in our society that promote personal development, equality of opportunity, economic well-being, a healthy and just democracy, and a sustainable future. It will allow our students to be prepared for life in modern Britain.

Students will develop culturally by understanding that Britain has been shaped by a number of differing cultures over time. They will develop their understanding of democracy and parliamentary affairs as well as an appreciation and participation in the arts, sports and culture activities. Our young people will develop their own spirituality, reflecting on the beliefs.

All of our students, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexuality, creed, ability, background, disadvantage, or any other characteristic, will be exposed to a curriculum which is broad, balanced, relevant, differentiated and coherent and which displays continuity and progression. All students will achieve their full potential by developing into autonomous individuals, able to make valued judgments about their lives as individuals and as members of communities. The school will be an ordered and orderly community, geared to provide the support essential for students to succeed. Every student will be expected to experience success.

Our curriculum values relate to:

  • ourselves, as individuals, capable of spiritual, moral, social, intellectual and physical growth and development
  • our relationships, as fundamental to the development and fulfilment of happy and healthy lives, and to the good of the community
  • our society, which is shaped by the contributions of a diverse range of people, cultures and heritages and develops tolerance and respect for people of other faiths, cultures and lifestyles
  • our environment, as the basis of life and a source of wonder and inspiration that needs to be protected

To achieve our aims we offer:

  • proven standards of academic success over a long period of time where we constantly strive to further improve our academic success for the benefit of our students
  • outstanding modern educational resources
  • commitment to care and discipline
  • a vibrant and successful Sixth Form provision
  • enrichment through many extracurricular opportunities both in this country and globally
  • provision of opportunities in a secure, disciplined and supportive environment

We expect from our students:

  • a commitment from each student to work to their highest standard and to make the progress which their ability suggests
  • self-reliance and a sense of responsibility
  • respect and tolerance for others
  • the ability to recognise what is right and wrong and respect for the rules of the school and our society as a whole and understand the consequences of behaviour and actions

Specifically, the curriculum is intended to help young people to:

  • achieve high standards and make the progress that their ability suggests
  • narrow the gap and enable those not achieving age-related expectations at age 11 to catch up with their peers
  • be responsible, resilient and reflective so that they become independent learners
  • have and be able to use high-quality functional skills
  • be challenged and stretched to achieve their potential
  • have increased commitment to and enjoyment of learning leading to participation to 19 and beyond

The Main Principles of Our Curriculum

In particular, our curriculum will:

  • promote high standards, particularly in literacy, numeracy and computing capability
  • provide continued entitlement from the age of 11 to a coherent, broad and balanced curriculum for all students
  • provide a balanced approach to religious education which is broadly Christian but respects and encompasses all major world faiths
  • instil in our students a positive disposition to learning and a commitment to learn
  • promote and pass on essential knowledge, skills and understanding valued by society to the next generation
  • be relevant to our students and prepare them for the here and now, for the next phase of their education, and for their future
  • widen horizons and raise aspirations about the world of work and further and higher education
  • make our students more aware of, and engaged with, their local, national and international communities
  • help students recognise that personal development is essential to well-being and success
  • allow our students to make the relevant progression from the primary phase particularly in the core areas of English, mathematics and science

Curriculum Content

This content is constantly under review following Government changes and educational thinking. The new statutory National Curriculum came into operation in September 2014.

Download the National Curriculum in England Framework document (.pdf | 3MB)

Maintained schools in England, are legally required to follow the statutory National Curriculum, which sets out in programmes of study, on the basis of key stages, subject content for those subjects that should be taught to all students.

The National Curriculum states that:

Our school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which:
– promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of students at the school and of society, and
– prepares students at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life

The school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences that each school plans for its students. The National Curriculum forms one part of the school curriculum.

All state schools are also required to make provision for a daily act of collective worship and must teach religious education to pupils at every key stage, and sex and relationship education to students in Key Stage 3 and 4.

All schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice. Schools are also free to include other subjects or topics of their choice in planning and designing their own programme of education.

The curriculum at DHFS is delivered through the following curriculum area structure: These are our faculty areas: Englishmathssciencetechnologyhumanities, PEcomputing and business modern foreign languagescreative and expressive arts, and PSHE and  IAG careers education.

There are also a number of cross-curriculum dimensions within our curriculum. Students should be able to learn about the following: identity and cultural diversity, healthy lifestyles, community participation, enterprise, global dimension and sustainable development, technology and media, creativity and critical thinking.

These dimensions are delivered not only in the classroom but also through our assembly and mentoring programme as well as drop down days for personal and social development. This programme will help to develop the students’ moral, social and cultural development. We also seek to promote numeracy and literacy in all lessons.

Our overall curriculum (Year 7-13) is viewed as one entity and students develop knowledge and skills throughout this period which will allow them to make progression into the next stages of their lives.

Our curriculum is divided into Key Stage 3 – Years 7, 8 and 9, Key Stage 4 – Years 10 and 11, and Key Stage 5, known as Sixth Form – Years 12 and 13. However, Year 9 as the transition point for our GCSE and many subject areas have already started to develop the skills necessary for later study from this key year onwards.

More information about our curriculum (including lesson content for each year group)

Years 7-9 (Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum)

During Key Stage 3, we believe that our students should be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and move towards future economic well-being.

All students in Key Stage 3 will study a broad and balanced curriculum and timetable each week including the following subjects:

English Maths,  Science Technology HistoryGeography RE,  PEComputingArt, Music, Drama, a Modern Foreign Language – currently French or Spanish (with a second language, German, for selected students in Year 8).

Our enrichment curriculum is further supported via the House mentoring system and our SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development) and assembly programme during the three year period.

We believe that this curriculum not only covers the statutory requirements but is broad and balanced and prepares our students for Key Stage 4.

More information about our Key Stage 3 curriculum (including lesson content for each year group)

Years 10-11 (Key Stage 4 of the National Curriculum)

As stated earlier, the school moved to a new Key Stage 4 curriculum in September 2014 and this not only meets new government legislation but provides a broad and balanced curriculum which will provide future progression opportunities.

Our curriculum in Key Stage 4 involves two main aspects:

  • Core curriculum – all students in school follow this curriculum (unless disapplied or for specific learning reasons)
  • Optional Curriculum – student’s choice of subjects towards an interest, specialism or chosen career pathway

More information about our Key Stage 4 curriculum (including lesson content for each year group)

Core Curriculum (Year 10)

Most students follow a core curriculum which accounts for 21 periods out of the 25 periods available in the week.

This compromises the following (lessons per week are shown in brackets): Maths (4),  English (including English literature) (4),  Science (4),  RE, Citizenship, PSHEComputing (1),  PE (2), History or Geography (3) one Modern Foreign Language (2).

Students will choose at the end of Year 9 which humanities and languages they will follow in Key Stage 4.

More information about our Key Stage 4 curriculum (including lesson content for each year group)


Students have further optional choices at the start of Year 10. They are allowed to choose either two or three more options (each having two periods a week) from a wide choice that is available from each of the faculty areas. Each student’s options will be carefully considered and personalised wherever possible.

Some students will take fewer than the normal two options; this will be recommended by staff on the basis of a student’s particular needs. A small number of selected students may follow alternative curriculum programmes which may be available.

All option choices are subject to  Head of Faculty approval, timetable and staffing, and financial constraints and we will inform parents and students if there are problems with any options choices.

Options Course Resources

Sixth Form Education

We offer a wide range of A level courses in one of the largest Sixth Form establishments in the county. Approximately 300 students are enrolled at present on Sixth Form courses. Students should be mindful of their aspirations in terms of Sixth Form when making option choices.

A levels are available in over 25 subjects in the various faculty areas. In addition, a number of complimentary courses are also offered, as well as comprehensive careers, apprenticeships and university advice.

View and download information from the Sixth Form area of our website
More information about our Key Stage 5 curriculum (including lesson content for each year group)

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