We allow our pupils to choose their options from a wide range of creative, vocational and academic subjects in Year 9 allowing them to personalise their learning and choose subjects which engage and enthuse them.
In addition, all pupils currently follow a programme of Sports Studies for three hours per week in Year 9 & 10. This is crucial in our community as the programme of study addresses a range of PSHE strands pertinent to local need including health and wellbeing, relationships and careers and the world of work, as well as the role of the media in influencing belief and the theme of diversity through the paralympics. A focus on leadership also encourages pupils to seek out positive role models in their lives as opposed to negative ones found in the community.
Pupils studying humanities plus a language continue their pathway into Year 11, whilst others can complement their academic studies in Year 11 with an additional option, providing an important creative outlet at a potentially stressful time in their academic career. The benefit of this curriculum model is that it enables pupils to focus on fewer subjects at a time, developing resilience, ambition and supporting mental well-being. Pupils can access additional support where needed which is not available at home, and over the five years they can study a wide range of subjects, keeping their future career options open and supporting them into further employment, education or training.
The early entry option in Year 10 for English literature for our lower ability learners means that throughout Year 11 they can access an intensive personal development programme (mental health, finance, RSE, ethics, crime, governance) preparing them for life after De Warenne when they will undoubtedly have far less, if any support in these areas.
The impact of this model on the most disadvantaged has been overwhelmingly positive, with disadvantaged pupils making more progress than “other” children in Doncaster in 2018 and closing the gap with national others to perform in the second quintile for disadvantaged nationally. From September 2020 we will introduce a two year key stage 4.