Glossary & Abbreviations

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A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z


Assistant Curriculum Leader – Assist in each subject faculty at DHFS.


Attention Deficit Disorder A condition whereby a child has a short concentration span and is unable to stay on task. See ADHD.


A condition whereby a child has difficulty in maintaining concentration and is unable to stay on task due to hyperactivity. See ADD. More information from the Mental Health Foundation.

A-level points

Exam grades expressed as numbers to establish whether or not the requirements for a university place have been met. An A scores 120 points, B 100, C 80, D 60 and E 40. Use the UCAS points calculator.

A-levels & AS levels

Advanced Level qualifications – A-levels are made up of the AS level and the A2. Each part makes up 50 per cent of the overall A-level grade. The AS level can either be a free standing qualification or can be valued as the first half of the full A-level. In year two of a full A-level you take the A2 – this is not a separate qualification but the second half of the A-level. The A2 is designed to deepen the knowledge gained during the AS level. Read more on the Directgov site.


ALPS (A-level Performance System) is a system that allows schools to get a measure of the value they add to a pupil’s A level performance compared to what might be expected of them following their previous academic performance at GCSE.

Ambitious curriculum

The Subject and Wider Curriculum are ambitious for all students. We aim high and scaffold down only when necessary in order for all students to access the curriculum


Auditory Processing Disorder. A condition which impairs the way auditory information is processed by the brain. APD can exist in those with perfect hearing or with hearing loss and can co-exist with any other disability, condition or learning difficulty. It is not curable but can be helped by development of individual coping strategies. Find out more on the APD support website.

Asperger syndrome

Asperger syndrome is an autistic spectrum disorder. The National Autistic Society says: “People with Asperger syndrome find it more difficult to read the signals that most of us take for granted. As a result they find it more difficult to communicate and relate to others.”


Weekly House based assemblies take place for all students, as well as termly year group assemblies (Y7-11) and bi-weekly sixth form assemblies (Y12 and Y13 alternate weeks). A full assembly calendar is displayed in each mentor room. Assemblies focus on developing students’ Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Education, and feature a range of guest speakers from across the school and wider community.


Autism is defined by the National Autistic Society as: “A lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to others in a meaningful way, people with autism can often have accompanying learning disabilities but everyone with the condition shares a difficulty in making sense of the world.” It mentions problems with social interaction, social communication and imagination.

Autistic spectrum

An autistic spectrum disorder is a complex lifelong developmental disability which affects the way a person communicates and relates to those around them.


Age-Weighted Pupil Number. The sum of money allocated to the school for each pupil according to age. This is the basic unit of funding for the school.

Big ideas

A selection of key concepts, strands or themes which are stitched through the curriculum in each year and Key Stage. They provide the backbone structure to learning in a given subject.

Chartered College of Teaching

The professional body for teachers.


Careers Information, Education, Advice and Guidance.


Curriculum Leaders – The leaders of each of our 10 subject faculties at DHFS.

Core Subjects

The compulsory national curriculum ‘core’ subjects are English, Maths and Science. For more details please see the government website.

Curriculum map

A single sided document that provides the overview for a given unit and the key features within it.


A DBS check is a way for employers to check your criminal record, to help decide whether you are a suitable person to work for them. This includes deciding whether it is suitable for you to work with children or vulnerable adults. For more details please see the government website.

Defined end point

What the agreed knowledge and skills (knowledge application) are within the planned curriculum for a given lesson, unit, year group or Key Stage.

Design rationale

A written statement that clearly establishes what the curriculum area intends to achieve through the delivery of its curriculum.


The Department for Education is responsible for education and children’s services in England.


Dyscalculia affects the ability to acquire arithmetical skills. Sufferers may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts and often have problems learning number facts and procedures.


A learning difficulty of which the chief manifestation is a particular difficulty with reading and spelling. For more information go to the British Dyslexia Association.


Dyspraxia is generally recognised as an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement. Associated with this may be problems of language, perception and thought.


Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. Children who display these problems may be placed on the Special Needs Register and given extra support. See SEN.


Early Careers Framework.


Early Careers Mentor.


Early Careers Teacher.


Education Welfare Officer. These people work with schools, pupils and families to find solutions to poor school attendance. They are also known as education social workers.


Free School Meals.


General Certificate of Secondary Education. Academic examination of basic secondary education generally taken by 14-16 year olds but are available to anyone who would like to study a subject that interests them. GCSEs are available in a wide range of academic and work-related subjects. The government is currently in the process of revamping the GCSEs.


House Academic Mentors.


High attaining students. DHFS does not use the term ‘more or less ability students’. All students are able, some simply have higher or lower prior attainment.


His Majesty’s Chief Inspector is statutorily responsible for Ofsted’s inspection and regulatory work. Currently it is Amanda Spielman.


House Progress Leaders – The leaders of our six houses: Baggaley, Buxton, Fanshawe, Gosforth, Millican and Spaven


House Support Managers.


Indicated Admission Number – a mathematical calculation based on the net capacity of the school. It is the overall number divided by the number of teaching year groups to give a school an indication when setting the Published Admission Number.


This guide gives an overview of the inspection data summary report (IDSR) for primary and secondary schools, along with information to help interpret the charts.


Individual Education Plan Identifies the special educational needs of a child and outlines targets and strategies to support their learning. Usually completed by teacher in consultation with SEN co-ordinator.


The authentic links between different subject curricular, the wider curriculum and the hidden curriculum.

Interconnected Curriculum

The entire DHFS curriculum that connects the planned, taught and learnt curricula of (1) the wider curriculum, (2) the hidden curriculum and (3) the subject curriculum.


Initial Teacher Training. Most people need to take an ITT course in order to gain qualified teacher status (QTS). For more information visit the Teaching Agency pages on the DfE website.

Keeping Children Safe in Education

Statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment.

Key Stages

The National Curriculum is organised into blocks of years called key stages. There are four key stages as well as an Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Key Stage 1 = Infants –5 -7 years old

Key Stage 2 = Juniors – 7 – 11 years old

Key Stage 3 = Lower secondary school – 11 – 14 years old

Key Stage 4 = GCSE – 14 – 16 years old

Key Stage 5 = A Level – 16 – 18 years old


Local Authority is the local government with responsibility for education.


Looked After Children – Children who are in care or looked after by foster parents.


A core text we use for making learning stick on a lesson-scale

List 99

List 99 is a confidential register of both men and women who have been barred against working with children by the Department of Education.


Modern Foreign Languages.


National Association of Head Teachers – Professional association for school leaders.

National Curriculum

Originally intended by Margaret Thatcher to ensure every child was taught the basics, with regular national tests to monitor progress. Grew into ten-subject curriculum and complicated testing regime. Now, the national curriculum outlines what children should be taught from their first days in school to the onset of GCSE courses.


National Professional Qualifications. A suite of qualifications for middle and senior leaders and head teachers.


Ofqual regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.


The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills is an independent organisation which reports directly to Parliament. Ofsted inspects and regulates services which care for children and young people and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages. Ofsted sets out to raise standards in British schools through regular inspections. Ofsted also regulates childminders, adoption and fostering agencies, pupil referral units, further education, initial teacher training and learning in prisons.


Physical Education. Taught as part of National Curriculum – includes competitive games.


The art of teaching

Performance Tables

Performance Tables are published annually and list the results of a school or college’s performance based on national tests.


Personalisation is the term used to describe the way in which teaching methods and the curriculum are adapted to meet the individual learning needs of learners.


Professional Learning – These include activities that enable the sustained improvement in the quality of learning, teaching, pastoral care and other standards in schools, for support and teaching staff.


Pupil Referral Unit – established and maintained by an LA to provide education for pupils who would not otherwise receive suitable education because of exclusion or other reasons.


Personal, Social and Health and Economic Education.

Pupil Premium

Additional funding allocated to schools per free school meals pupil. Schools are able to decide how the Pupil Premium is spent.

Retrieval practice

The concept of forcing learners to extract prior learning and apply it to new and more complex situations, strengthening schema (the webs of knowledge in the brain) over time.


A core text used for making learning stick on a lesson-scale.


KS2 tests taken in Y6 (Primary School) in English grammar, punctuation and spelling, English reading and mathematics.

Scheme of Learning

A breakdown of a planned curriculum for a given unit of learning into smaller componenets within a sequence which provides a guide to staff with lesson planning and resourcing.


Special Educational Needs. Provision to support pupils with learning disabilities – may be provided through mainstream or more specialised education.


Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. Teacher responsible for ensuring that children with learning difficulties and emotional/behavioural problems receive appropriate support, overseeing the completion of IEPs and liaising with external agencies.

Sixth Form

Used to describe the final two years spent in secondary school. Students usually take A-levels, but increasingly are also being offered more vocational qualifications such as BTECs. There are also sixth form colleges, not tied to schools, which are much larger and offer a wider range of courses.


Specialist Leaders of Education.


Senior Leadership Team. This consists of Headteacher, Deputy Head and possibly other senior teachers.


This cryptic acronym stands for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development in schools. Try the SMSC Online site for lesson advice and ideas.

Spiral sequence

The concept of returning back to key themes or strands but at a deeper more sophisticated level after some time (spaced learning) has passed since prior learning in this area was made. Faculties have shown this in simple diagrammatical form.


Science, technology, engineering and maths.

Subject expertise

The term we give to the subject knowledge that our staff possess. CLs strategically identify and coordinate learning and teaching time within their faculties in order to strengthen this, alongside curriculum design evaluations and on-going refinements.

Subject or curriculum vision

A short written statement that outlines the curriculum area’s desired end point or what they are trying to achieve.

Supply teacher

Staff who provide cover for absent teachers.

Teaching Assistants

Teaching assistants support teachers and help children with their educational and social development, both in and out of the classroom. In secondary schools, teaching assistants are often known as learning support assistants.

Three Rs

Responsibility, Resilience and Reflection – the key character traits that staff model and students develop at DHFS.


UCAS is the organisation that handles university applications


University Technical Colleges are academies for 14-19 year olds which focus on providing technical vocational education. They offer technical courses and work-related learning, combined with academic studies. For more information visit the DfE UTC pages.


Virtual Learning Environment – a virtual classroom that allows teachers and students to communicate with each other online.

Wider Curriculum

The curriculum that enables DHFS students to access a broad range of experiences and knowledge that develop their moral compass, interpersonal skills and social awareness empowering them to build safe, happy and fulfilling lives.

Year One to Thirteen

Year GroupAge
Reception4-5 year olds
15-6 year olds
26-7 year olds
37-8 year olds
48-9 year olds
59-10 year olds
610-11 year olds
711-12 year olds
812-13 year olds
913-14 year olds
1014-15 year olds
1115-16 year olds
1216-17 year olds
1317-18 year olds
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