Academic Curriculum

Our curriculum is designed to encourage a love of learning in pupils and to offer a breath of subjects, allow pupils to find those that fire their imaginations and inspire their interests.

The Fourth Form curriculum is deliberately broad with pupils initially studying twenty subjects in order for them to be able to identify the option subjects that they would most like to pursue at GCSE.

At GCSE, nearly all pupils study English, English Literature, Maths, a Modern Foreign Language (MFL) and either dual or triple Science, leaving them four option subjects which they tend to choose based on their interests and enthusiasms in the Fourth Form. The key to our approach is to find the right curriculum for each child: for the vast majority of pupils, this is taking ten subjects as outlined above, but in other cases this might be taking additional subjects to challenge a particular aptitude for languages, for instance. Similarly, if there are sound educational reasons for a child to study fewer subjects, this will be implemented, often with support from the Learning Support Department. Departments also offer regular weekly ‘clinics’ to provide drop-in assistance for any pupils who require support in their subject area.

At A Level, is important for pupils to study the subjects that they most enjoy; we offer 28 subjects, so the majority of pupils can find areas of the curriculum that really appeal to them. Small class sizes for A Level enable excellent levels of interaction between teachers and pupils, fostering strong working relationships. Complementary qualifications are offered such as the Extended Project Qualification or the prestigious Leiths Food and Wine Qualification.

We constantly encourage pupils to broaden their academic interests beyond the curriculum, with opportunities including the Junior and Senior Bowden Societies, critical essay competitions and the Flecker Project Challenge. Pupils are supported in every options process throughout their time at Dean Close through regular assemblies, presentations, option evenings, taster days and ‘Futures’ events.