As a Dixons academy, our curriculum is aligned to a common set of Trust-wide principles which are underpinned by our mission to challenge educational and social disadvantage in the North. We believe all students are entitled to an ambitious, knowledge-rich curriculum which will open doors and maximise life chances.
At Dixons Trinity Chapeltown, we challenge social inequality by instilling shared powerful knowledge through an academic curriculum which is broad and balanced. Each subject specifies, in detail, the knowledge (both substantive and procedural) students will remember, underpinned by the National Curriculum and wider subject domains. As such, in each discipline, students are prepared for national assessments, and importantly, acquire knowledge from all cultural domains that builds wider cultural capital.
As an all-through school, we have considered the knowledge and skills we want our students to have mastered in each academic field so that they achieve our aspirational mission of ‘succeeding at university, or a real alternative, thriving in a top job and having a great life.’ High-quality subject specialists then plan backwards from this end point to intelligently sequence the curriculum so that each phase builds on what has come before and prepares for what comes after. It is this careful and meticulous consideration of what students learn and in what order that provides the richest narrative possible for our students.
Our curriculum is informed by the latest evidential research from cognitive science about memory, forgetting and practice in order to help students remember more, and apply, the best of what has been thought and said. By employing our curriculum as progression model, we make knowledge stick so that it can be flexibly applied in a variety of different contexts and situations.
Our sequential knowledge curriculum begins in ‘Base Camp’ (EYFS – Year 1 curriculum) so that students can successfully access a broad and balanced curriculum throughout their all-through education. This is underpinned by structured phonics, writing and mathematics lessons in EYFS to ensure core procedural knowledge is secured and that the transition into ‘Lower Peak’ (Years 2-4) is successful. Continuous provision extends into Year 1 and forms part of the curriculum for as long as students benefit from independent play-based learning in the classroom.
During Lower Peak, focus is placed on reading, writing and mathematics. We ensure all students are reading by the age of six so that they can successfully access an ambitious curriculum. Through the Mathematics Mastery programme, we ensure core mathematical knowledge is mastered and practised. Music, PE, art, French and computing are taught by subject specialists, whilst humanities and science are carefully planned with specialist support to ensure students are making links across and throughout the curriculum.
Throughout Middle Peak (Years 5 – 8), students continue to benefit from schemes planned, resourced and delivered by subject specialists. This serves to develop fundamental knowledge learnt during their primary education and to build schemas in our students’ minds. During this Peak, we enable pupils to begin to think more coherently, critically and creatively.
Our Upper Peak (Years 9-11) curriculum is designed to be as broad as possible for as long as possible so that all students can continue to engage with ‘the best that has been thought and said’. This is evidenced in our commitment to ensuring Year 9 pupils continue with a range of ‘Options’ such as Humanities, Music, Art and Computing. This means they acquire powerful knowledge that builds wider cultural capital. Our curriculum is also designed to prepare students for success in high currency qualifications which will ultimately improve their life chances. Our GCSE offer is broad and balanced with a strong core in the EBacc - English, mathematics, science, French and history or geography. All students also study RE and can choose two further options from a range of high value subjects such as: computing, art and design, music and PE. It is this balance, of examination preparation coupled with teaching to the domain, which will equip our students to not only compete nationally but, more importantly, change the world for the better.
Running alongside our subject specialist curriculum are our stretch and co-curricular programmes. From Lower Peak all the way through the school, students have the opportunity to learn beyond the formal curriculum in their PDS lectures and Seminars, as well as electing to study a discipline from the arts, sport or science. They develop resilience and confidence, as well as new skills through a diverse range of electives such as rowing, chess, public speaking and gardening. In Upper Peak there will also be plenty of opportunity preparatory study to support revision.
At Dixons Trinity Chapeltown, we teach our students powerful knowledge so that they can understand and interpret the world and to think in new and unexpected ways. With the democratisation of knowledge, our students will be incredibly successful in high stakes examinations and will go on to use this understanding to achieve great things in the world.
Our curriculum principles are available to read in full in the 'Why Dixons? section of the Dixons Academies Trust website.
Subject overviews from EFYS to Year 11 can be found in the Downloads section below.
Reading plays a vital part in the curriculum. We use Read Write Inc. as our synthetic phonics programme and all EYFS and KS1 students have discreet phonics lessons every day:
In our primary phase, we use the Mathematics Mastery programme to ensure deep understanding of key mathematical concepts: