Curriculum Overview
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Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Statement

Framwellgate School Durham is large 11-18 comprehensive school of 1250 students within a single academy trust.  Although the school has traditionally served the Framwellgate Moor and Newton Hall areas of Durham, in recent years the roll has increased from 1015 in September 2017 to 1250 in September 2019 as students have joined the school from surrounding former pit villages and towns.  The school is set to grow further over the next two years.

The changing profile of the school and new leadership and governance resulted in a consultation with parents and students in 2018 and together we developed a new ethos and values statement.

Ethos and Values

Excellence, Compassion and Respect for All

Our school promotes academic excellence and embraces the shared values of honesty, integrity, respect and compassion.  We want our students to be ambitious, kind, resilient and hardworking, and have a genuine passion for learning.  We want them to change the world with the knowledge, skills and confidence they have learned here; to champion fairness, have friendships for life, and pride in our school. Above all, we want our students to be happy.

British Values

All staff are expected to uphold and promote fundamental British Values including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum has developed over the last two years and is a product of our ethos and values.

Curriculum Aims

We aim to develop confident and self-disciplined learners who follow an academic curriculum which embraces the shared values of the school and is rooted in the needs and aspirations of our community  Our curriculum:

  • supports our ethos and values, including the fundamental British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
  • is knowledge rich and provides students with the powerful knowledge from a broad range of subject disciplines
  • supports students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
  • supports students’ physical development and responsibility for their own health and well-being
  • promotes respect for other people irrespective of sex, race, religion, ability, disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic group, or age
  • provides students with an understanding of the opportunities available to them in later life.

 Our curriculum is constructed so that:

  • account is taken of prior learning at each key stage and students build on previously acquired knowledge.
  • it is ambitious, broad and balanced, and designed to give all students the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
  • it is coherently planned and carefully sequenced to provide students with the subject (domain) specific knowledge and vocabulary they need
  • lessons offer sufficient opportunities to recall and retrieve knowledge, which is embedded into students’ long-term memory, and can be applied with increasing confidence
  • students are able to practise and apply what they have learnt
  • SMSC is embedded into pastoral and curriculum programmes, and students experience a careers education based on the Gatsby benchmarks
  • a three-year Key Stage 4 (with one early entry open bucket subject) is a deliberate action aimed at providing students with the time and space to study their chosen subjects in more depth, and to cover non-examined curriculum material. The number of compulsory academic subjects ensure that there is no narrowing of breadth as a result of a three-year Key Stage 4.  The early entry option has been designed with student well-being and mental health in mind
  • the majority of students are entered for the English Baccalaureate at the end of Year 11, as part of their academically broad and balanced curriculum

Subjects Taught

The subjects we teach are a product of our ethos and values and our curriculum aims.

Nelson Mandela said that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world and our ethos statement reflects that, “We want them to change the world with the knowledge, skills and confidence they have learned here”. If we want our students to change the world, first they must understand it, so we teach them about science and maths, and the world of literature and the arts.  They will understand the community they live in but also learn about life beyond County Durham, in a multicultural Britain with and the faiths, beliefs, cultures and languages of those who live in this country and the wider world.  By learning about history our students will understand how the world they live in came to be and their geographical knowledge will allow them to understand how the natural world we inhabit is affected positively and negatively by humans.

Our curriculum, and extra-curricular and tutorial programmes, are integral to developing students who are not only “ambitious, kind, resilient and hardworking”, but who understand the British Values of tolerance, the rule of law, democracy & citizenship, are ready to learn (through an understanding of effective knowledge retention strategies) and who are prepared for the wider world (through careers and Sex & Relationships Education).

Our students study a broad range of subjects at Key Stage 3 in Years 7 and 8.  Although students make option choices at the end of Year 8, the number and breadth of compulsory subjects at Key Stage 4, and a three year programme providing depth of study, means that our students experience a rich and broad curriculum taught over five years. The overwhelming majority of our students will take 10 qualifications at the end of Year 11 in the following subjects:

  • GCSE English Language
  • GCSE English Literature
  • GCSE Maths
  • GCSE Science x 2 (some students take separate sciences instead of GCSE Religious Studies)
  • GCSE History or GCSE Geography
  • GCSE Religious Studies (separate science students will follow a statutory RS course)
  • GCSE French (students not taking French will have an additional option choice)
  • 2 Option Subjects (in sport, arts or vocational subjects, or a third humanity subject)

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Name Position

Amanda is Chair of the Excel Academy Trust Board. Amanda became a parent governor in 2009 and has enjoyed several responsibilities across this time including being Chair of the Achievement and Standards committee, a member of the Excel Academy Audit committee, and most recently has been appointed as a Member of the Excel Academy Partnership. Her career started out with the Halifax Building Society where she worked as a mortgage advisor for 20 years, before entering the political arena. Amanda is a County Councillor for Durham County Council, representing Framwellgate and Newton Hall ward. Amanda was formerly a student at Framwellgate School Durham, where she met her husband and many other friends, as well as taking on the responsibility of being Deputy Head Girl. Amanda is passionate about the school and local area and is actively involved in the school at every opportunity.

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