Curriculum Overview

    … and let / Thy feet, millenniums hence, be set / In midst of knowledge, dream’d not yet.

    Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1842

    At Dover Grammar School for Girls, we seek to promote the highest standards of academic achievement.  We are committed to providing an exceptional education for every student throughout the school, and we aim for all our students to be fully equipped with the knowledge, skills and understanding to achieve as highly as possible at Key Stage 4 and beyond. 

    Yet our curriculum is not set in the past, rather it is based on constantly evolving the processes of teaching and learning in which rigorous self-evaluation plays a key part.  Every student should be empowered by our curriculum which will be constantly reviewed so that no student feels excluded and the talents of every individual are recognised and brought to fulfilment.

    We also aim to provide a broad and challenging curriculum with a clear focus on academic excellence.  Moreover, our curriculum aims to motivate students and to provide enjoyment, boost self-esteem and raise aspirations.

    Key Stages 3 and 4

    The National Curriculum is followed at Key Stages 3 and 4 with every opportunity being taken to enrich and enhance students' learning.  Furthermore, teachers know their students well and can therefore plan for their individual needs.  This includes careful monitoring of each individual student’s progress and the provision of structured support when needed.

    GCSE Examinations have been reformed and new specifications created for the different subject areas.  The main features of the new GCSEs are:

    • New, more demanding content
    • Courses designed for two years of study
    • Assessment will be mainly by examination.  Controlled Assessment (coursework) has been removed or reduced in the majority of subjects
    • New grading scale of 9 to 1, with 9 being the top grade

    The Department of Education advises schools not to make direct comparisons between the new and old grading systems.  However, we can say that a grade 5 will be positioned in the top third of the marks for a current grade C and bottom third of the marks for a current grade B.  This will mean a grade 5 will be of greater demand than the present grade C.

    Key Stage 5

    We aim to offer courses in a wide range of different subjects.  All students study three A Levels and then opt for a ‘Personal Enrichment Pathway’.  This could include a fourth A Level option, an AS Level course, the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification), or a STEM Access course.  Students also have the opportunity to be involved in a range of different ‘Co-curricular Electives’ which include Sport and Exercise, Leadership and Mentoring, and Work Experience.

    A Level Examinations have also been reformed and new specifications created for a range of different subject areas.  Each A Level’s content has been revised, but the major change comes with the examinations, which will be ‘linear’, i.e. taken at the end of the course.

    Planning for Learning

    All departments have Programmes of Study (long-term plans) in place. These should give a fairly detailed indication of the work that is to be covered throughout the academic year.

    All teachers are expected to follow schemes of work.  Schemes of work outline topics to be covered and show how progression is planned to take place.  Within such schemes of work, specific assessment opportunities are identified along with more generic ones, such as the possible types of homework that could be set.  Schemes of work and lesson plans should have clearly defined learning objectives and learning outcomes that can be used to assess whether or not students have successfully met them.  Note that there is an expectation that lesson planning will be adjusted by individual teachers in light of assessment evidence.

    Specific details about the curriculum are contained within each subject area on the website.

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