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Curriculum Vision

Our vision for Deanery Church of England High School pupils, and students within our Sixth Form, is for them to experience a curriculum which promotes ‘a delight in wisdom and a passionate pursuit of it’, leading to an understanding of God’s creation, and of human culture and history. We define the curriculum as everything pupils learn within their schooling. The overarching aim of our curriculum is to provide an ‘Education for Life’, enabling all of our school community to flourish and experience ‘life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10).

This means:

  • A curriculum that builds cultural capital, facilitates progression, broadens pupils’ horizons and is ambitious, liberating and aspirational for all pupils
  • A curriculum that is focused on the pursuit of powerful knowledge and understanding of academic disciplines
  • Consistency in the quality of teaching of the curriculum across all subjects and year groups
  • Meaningful assessment and reporting of pupils’ progress through the curriculum

An Excellent Curriculum for all

In order to fulfil our vision, our curriculum is designed to be engaging, broad and ambitious for all pupils, with high value placed upon the development of a deep knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of subjects and a rich experience of co-curricular activities. Current curriculum development is focussed on ensuring effective sequencing of the curriculum to ensure progression within each discipline and encourage subject mastery. At the heart of our curriculum design and implementation is the promotion of our school’s Christian values of Faith, Hope, Love, Courage, Wisdom and Integrity, and our commitment to fulfilling the Church of England’s vision for education1. These Christian Values underpin all aspects of school life, so that pupils gain a distinctively Christian education, with a sense of hope and aspiration for the future from their schooling.

Alongside the study of traditional academic subjects, we place great value on the study of creative subjects such as Art, Music, Drama, and Technology, and ensure that pupils can study a wide breadth of subjects for as long as possible before specialising to make individual curriculum choices. Music and performance skills are celebrated during our annual shows. Pupils experience a range of technology disciplines, including electronics, graphics, textiles, food and resistant materials. Uptake of engineering is strong at KS4 and within the Sixth Form, leading to successful destinations beyond the Deanery. Sport holds a firm place within the curriculum at the Deanery, with many pupils involved in sports teams and clubs. Central within our curriculum is the study of Religious Education for all pupils at key stage three and key stage four. We firmly believe that pupils benefit greatly from an understanding of Christianity and other faiths in the development of cultural capital, tolerance and respect for others. Opportunities for worship, as part of religious education, are built into assemblies and form tutorial periods. The development of reading and literacy skills takes place throughout the curriculum so that pupils will learn to write fluently, read well and articulate themselves clearly; all essential skills in the preparation for life after school.

PSHE and RSE are delivered primarily during 5 drop down days which feature regularly during the academic year for all key stages. This coherent programme allows our pupils and students the opportunity to explore relevant, contextual issues relating to their personal development, learn how to keep themselves safe and healthy, and understand their role within society as a good citizen. Local case studies are used to ensure relevance and to improve pupils’ knowledge of their local setting within Wigan. Careers education is also incorporated into this programme to enable pupils to explore future opportunities and receive appropriate advice and guidance.

We recognise that learning also takes place beyond the classroom, and we are proud that The Deanery Church of England High School and Sixth Form College offers pupils and students a vast array of co-curricular opportunities to further their experiences, enjoyment and skills. Residential visits to Berlin, Auschwitz, and Paris have given pupils wider cultural experiences. Visits to local sites improve pupils’ knowledge of their local environment and issues Theatre visits, field trips, and guest speakers enrich the curriculum in many subject areas. Pupils have the opportunity to complete Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards as they progress from Y9 to Y12 and we have enjoyed increased uptake and success within this programme in recent years. Team and individual participation within local and national events and competitions further enhances the curriculum for our pupils.

We ensure that our curriculum is inclusive, to broaden the horizons of pupils from all backgrounds, and it is our aim for all pupils to experience the full curriculum wherever possible. Where this may not be possible due to a particular SEND need, pupils may follow a tailored curriculum with access to alternative provision, and additional support for numeracy and literacy for example. Pupils are given thorough guidance when making the transition to GCSE, and from GCSE to Post-16 subjects, to ensure decisions are ambitious, relevant and appropriate to individual needs.

Key Stage Three

Our aim is for pupils to enjoy learning and to develop a lifetime love for learning. At key stage three pupils study a broad and balanced curriculum, which builds upon their prior knowledge and skills gained at primary school. The further development of Maths and English is an important part of the curriculum, but during key stage three pupils also study Science, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Computing, Digital Literacy, IT, a language (currently Spanish, French or German), Physical Education, Technology, Drama, Music and Art. These subjects are complemented by the key stage three PSHE programme and the additional co-curricular opportunities on offer, including a rich offer of STEM related activities, including a STEM club.



all subjects studied in Y7,8 and 9



Maths Science Religious Education IT & Digital Literacy
Computing History


Geography Languages Technology
Art Music



Key Stage Four

Pupils choose their GCSE subjects during Y9 from a broad range of option subjects, which include GCSEs and vocational subjects. Pupils are encouraged to consider their choices carefully to ensure they are ambitious, that their curriculum remains as broad and balanced as possible, and that they link to future career intentions (if known). Most of our pupils follow a broadly academic curriculum at key stage four; we believe that pupils should be ambitious and pursue a deep knowledge of academic subjects to prepare them well for a range of future career choices. Pupils have the opportunity to select a combination that will provide them with the EBacc suite of subjects (English, mathematics, two sciences, a language and either history or geography); the pathway recommended by the Department for Education. We value the benefits of a strong grounding in the STEM subjects, and have the aim for as many pupils as possible to study all three sciences.  Single sciences are therefore available within the science curriculum where appropriate, without the need for selecting the single sciences as an option choice. As a Church of England High School, and in line with our vision for education, all pupils study GCSE Religious Studies. Some pupils select vocational subjects, equivalent to GCSEs where relevant to their future interests and aspirations. The range of subjects on offer at key stage four are shown here:

Core Subjects studied by all pupils


GCSE English Language GCSE English Literature GCSE Mathematics GCSE      Religious Studies GCSE





GCSE Subjects

GCSE         History GCSE    Geography GCSE         French GCSE       German GCSE        Spanish
GCSE Computer Science GCSE Business GCSE Art: Craft and Design GCSE Art: Textiles GCSE Design Technology: Graphics
GCSE Design Technology: Electronics GCSE Music GCSE Media Studies GCSE Physical Education

Vocational Subjects

BTEC Engineering Hospitality and Catering BTEC Performing Arts: Dance


BTEC Performing Arts: Drama BTEC Health and Social Care
Creative iMedia Child Development


Functional Skills in ICT*


BTEC Home Cooking Skills* ASDAN*
Travel and Tourism L1* *Alternative Provision: Only available on recommendation

Key Stage Five

Many of our students continue with their studies in our highly successful Sixth Form. At key stage five, students select three or four subjects from our curriculum offer which includes a wide range of A-Level subjects, level three BTECS, and other level three qualifications such as Technical Certificates. Students are able to combine A-Level subjects with vocational subjects in order to suit their abilities and personal career aspirations. A small number of level two qualifications are also on offer for students to study as a foundation year, before moving on to level three qualifications, apprenticeships or employment. The key stage five curriculum is designed to allow progression from many of our key stage four subjects, and prepare students well for the next stages of their education or career.





Biology Chemistry Physics Maths Design Engineering


Geography History Religious Studies Psychology Sociology



English Language Media Studies Art Computer Science  





Engineering Business Studies IT: Cyber Security Sound Engineering Performing Arts


Health and Social Care Sport Applied Law Children’s Play Learning  & Development


Childcare  Public Services GCSE English GCSE Maths  

Applied Science


Alongside their selected subjects, students also follow an Enhancement Programme within the Lower Sixth, allowing them to select further qualifications or experiences to complement their studies and provide additional knowledge, skills and experiences. The Enhancement Programme includes the opportunity to complete an Extended Project Qualification (equivalent in size to a AS level), gain Work Experience in a relevant field, follow the Teachers of Tomorrow Programme in association with Edge Hill University, or follow the College Programme, to study units of work including Safe Driving, Cooking on a Budget, Finance and Health.

PSHE, RSE and Careers education is provided within tutorial sessions and drop down days which take place regularly through the year. Careers advice is also available to students via our impartial post-16 careers adviser. The Sixth Form curriculum is further enriched by the vast number of co-curricular opportunities available for students, including STEM trips, visits and recruitment days, summer schools across a wide range of subject areas, Higher Education mentoring programmes, university visits, and sessions delivered by guest speakers. The positive impacts of the curriculum are demonstrated within our very successful student outcomes and destinations. Most of our students continue with their studies at university. In 2019, 93% of our students who applied for university gained their first choice place.

For further curriculum information across all three key stages, please see the individual subject sections within the curriculum area of the website. If you  require any further information, please email and mark the email FAO Mrs A Friend.

Mrs A.C. Friend: Deputy Headteacher Curriculum and Standards

 1Church of England’s Vision for Education: Educating for wisdom, knowledge and skills, educating for hope and aspiration, educating for community and living well together, educating for dignity and respect.

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