Life@DWA is a five-year curriculum offer, tailored specifically to meet the needs of the school’s local context whilst at the same time equipping pupils with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to play their full part in an ever changing world of the 21st century. Our programme includes the delivery of RE, RSE, PSHE, CEIAG and fundamental British Values, delivered through a combination of discrete timetabled lessons, our curriculum for life tutorial and assembly programme, plus a series of progressive "Personal Development" days, as well as emphasising a number of cross curricular links across a wide range of subjects.
Students visited Skills Fest to try a number of careers paths
Life@DWA places social and personal development at the heart of its design, with group discussion, self-expression and the promotion of tolerance & respect towards the opinions of others assessed in each unit of work. Providing opportunities for pupils to develop confidence, resilience and knowledge to stay mentally and physically healthy are also included and developed in topics such as ‘Physical health and fitness’ and ‘Healthy relationships’ and OCR Sport.
At Key Stage 3, pupils explore an array of pertinent issues such as online and offline risks, including gangs, radicalisation and extremism through half-termly topics such as Me and My World, War, Conflict, Peace & Religion and Fitting in & Speaking out. The inappropriate use of mobile technology and social media is also reinforced through the ICT curriculum as well as being emphasised and revisited in our tutor time and assembly programme, promoting for example national ‘Safer Internet Day’ across the academy and key stages.
Religious Studies is also embedded throughout Key Stage 3, as pupils are able to explore the religions of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism through the lens of ‘What would a religious person do in this situation?’ in order to develop skills of reflection, respect and tolerance. Religious quotes are woven into schemes of learning such as Evil and Suffering and are interpreted alongside some religious practices and core beliefs. A key question approach, as referenced in the Doncaster locally agreed SACRE, is also adopted where possible to allow pupils to engage in an enquiry-based approach to learning; appraising varied responses to key questions such as, ‘Why is there suffering?’ ‘Is death the end?’ and ‘What is good and challenging about being a teenage Sikh/Buddhist/Muslim in Britain today? as well as allowing pupils to develop responses of their own.
With income deprivation and unemployment levels in the local area significantly above national averages, we are fully committed to ensuring that our Life@DWA curriculum provides sufficient time to achieve all eight of The Gatsby Benchmarks, working alongside organisations such as The Prince’s Trust and The National Citizenship Service. This year classes 7e and 7f will access the Junior Citizenship Programme run by the local Stronger Communities team with a focus on early intervention, prevention and resilience. A mixture of tutor time activities and progressive step up days provide opportunities for work experience, employer contact and Enterprise Education to allow the following targets to be met:
- A stable careers programme
- Learning from career and labour market information
- Addressing the needs of each pupil
- Linking curriculum learning to careers
- Encounters with employers and employees
- Experiences of workplaces
- Encounters with further and higher education
- Personal guidance
Our RSE curriculum provision gives due regard to the DfE’s statutory guidance on sex and relationship education as well as focusing in more detail on issues most relevant to pupils in our local context. Specific needs, as they arise are responded to and incorporated into our planning. We are keen to use parental surveys to ensure that contextual issues are quickly addressed. Our RSE programme has been mapped across year groups and curriculum subject areas to ensure full coverage. Years 7 and 8 learn about elements of RSE in life lessons. Years 9 to 11 participate in RSE personal development days and the weekly tutor programme which ensures RSE themes and topics are covered in detail. A five-year RSE learning journey can be found on the academy website. RSE curriculum content is sequenced to ensure that key issues are revisited in later years and in greater depth.
So that we can prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain we ensure that our personal development curriculum reflects the full diversity of the world we live in. This includes teaching about LGBT people and themes. We do this through tutor sessions, assemblies, and the Life curriculum. Pupils learn about sexual orientation and gender identity, same-sex relationships, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and gender stereotypes. Staff are trained to sensitively deliver lessons on these themes to our pupils. We celebrate LGBT+ History Month every March and use Stonewall resources to support learning.
Students work with Hallam FM to raise awareness of 'Sexting'
The Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development of our pupils has always been at the heart of the education offered in Delta Academies. The Academy’s approach to SMSC is embedded in the Delta ethos of mutual respect, partnership working and collaboration; an approach that we believe is fundamental to a full and positive participation in life in modern Britain.
Broad PSHE themes are allocated throughout each academic year and revisited so that they can be reinforced and developed over the years:
- Half term 1: Relationships and Risk
- Half term 2 and 3: Diversity, Identity and Careers
- Half term 4 and 5: Rights & Responsibilities, Aspirations and Power
- Half term 6: Healthy Lifestyles and British Values
Examples of how fundamental British Values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs are actively promoted across the Academy and include:
- Weekly year group assemblies led by academy leaders or guest speakers
- Student Voice activities
- Student Council and Doncaster Youth Council.
- Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) lessons and Step up Days e.g. First Aid training.
- Religious Education and life topics such as ‘A brave new world’
- Healthy schools’ initiatives
- Cross curricular initiatives
- After school clubs and enrichment activities
- Charity work
- Sporting events
- Links with the wider community including ‘Plastic Free Friday’
- Educational trips and visits and other opportunities for learning outside the classroom.
Pupils visited The Deep to learn about how plastics are harming the environment