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Curriculum overview

Learning year-on-year  

Each year is designed to build to the next. Curriculum planning focuses on key subject content knowledge, understanding and skills to aid students’ recall, build their subject and vocabulary fluency and deepen their understanding.  

Subject specialists plan across all subjects and PSHE aspects for personal development. Students are given independent advice and guidance for their futures at key points throughout their school experience, ensuring they receive greater rewards in health, happiness, and social mobility. 

Our ambitious curriculum  

We address the requirements of the National Curriculum so that our students can meet and exceed age-related national expectations.Our teachers effectively adapt learning schemes to meet the needs of all.  

Our seven curriculum principles


Promotes intellectual, moral, spiritual, aesthetic, creative, emotional and physical development as equally important. 

  • Each subject area understands its role in student personal development and promotes this actively in lessons.  
  • Split screen teaching helps students learn the what, why and how of what they are learning – seeing the bigger picture.   
  • The school learner dispositions ensure good learning habits are promoted at the same time as good values. 


Seeks to develop intra-disciplinary habits of mind; the subject matter is taught is a way that is faithful to its discipline.   

  • Subjects link to the world of work and offer field trips and cultural visits to relate the content to life outside the classroom.   
  • Subject specialists deliver lessons, promoting a love for their subject and holding high aspirations for students to continue into the Sixth Form.   
  • Regular formative and summative assessments inform of any gaps and allow teachers to plan appropriately.  


Makes explicit connections and links between the different subjects/experiences encountered.   

  • Extra-curricular provision allows students to go beyond the National Curriculum and build links with their classroom learning.   
  • Outside of the National Curriculum, vocational subjects at KS4 and KS5 are present to support students entering the local labour market.   
  • Focusing on literacy across the curriculum allows students to see the similarities and differences in language between different subjects. 

Vertically integrated  

Focuses on progression by carefully sequencing knowledge; provides clarity about what getting better at the subject means.   

  • Mental models are built with new knowledge linked to existing knowledge to progress the understanding and development of skills.  
  • Each subject is mapped at KS3, KS4 and KS5 to ensure knowledge sequencing supports student progress.   
  • High-quality questioning techniques are deployed in lessons, ensuring students have mastered concepts and knowledge before moving on. 


It seeks to avoid making unreasonable demands by matching the level of challenge to a pupil’s current level of maturity/knowledge.   

  • The school follows the National Curriculum to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum structure.   
  • Students follow a three-year KS3 curriculum in mixed-ability groups, which allows them to find out what they enjoy and excel at.   
  • Strong teacher-student working relationships allow for an understanding of need and our curriculum is adapted to meet all student needs. 


Seeks to keep the curriculum manageable by teaching the most important knowledge; identifies the big ideas or key concepts within a subject.   

  • Each subject area identifies the core concepts at their subject’s heart and embeds them through detailed curriculum maps.   
  • Teachers anticipate what students are likely to think about and plan for student misconceptions; identify the ‘big pitfalls’ within each subject.   
  • A focus on disciplinary literacy is present to improve students’ access to learning and opportunities beyond school.   


Seeks to connect the valued outcomes of a curriculum to the pupils being taught it; provides opportunities for pupils to make informed choices.   

  • Students are given the opportunity in Years 9 and 11 to continue their preferred subjects at a further, more in-depth level of study.   
  • The local labour market informs our delivery of vocational subjects at key stages 4 and 5.   
  • Careers provision and personal development lessons provide students with independent advice and guidance to make informed choices. 

You can learn more about Why we teach what we teach for each subject in key stages 3, 4 and 5.  

This explains how we: 

  • Assess their knowledge, understanding and skills. 
  • Stretch and challenge students. 
  • Adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of all students. 
  • Link subject knowledge to the world of work and further study. 
Dallam School Branding
Dallam School
Milnthorpe, Cumbria, LA7 7DD
Mr Steven Henneberry
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