At Dormers Wells High School we offer a balanced curriculum that will help students to:

  • Achieve high standards and make excellent progress
  • More easily make progress based on ability not age and to be able to enter students for public examinations when they are ready rather than being dictated by age
  • Have and be able to use high quality functional skills, including key literacy, numeracy and ICT skills.
  • Be challenged and stretched to achieve their potential
  • Celebrate human achievements in the creative arts, science, sport, technology and computing, literature, languages, and the humanities
  • Understand and value the interdependence of individuals, races, religions and countries
  • Prepare for adult life at home, at work, at leisure and in the community to which they belong
  • Develop self-respect, a tolerant attitude, a set of moral values and beliefs that includes respect for others
  • Have a sense of adventure and purpose and an ability to deal with failure and success

All students have access to a similar course of study. The hours per subject per fortnight are as follows:

English  8
Mathematics 7
Science  7
Modern Foreign Languages (French or Spanish) 4
Physical Education    4
Geography 3
History 3
Music 2
Art  2*
Drama  2*
Design and Technology   2*
Religious Education 2
Computing 2

Year 7 Art, Drama and Design and Technology are taught on a rotation in for one term at a time for 6 lessons a fortnight. This equates to 2 lessons a fortnight over a whole year.

A literacy based curriculum is also offered for targeted students in year 7. These students study a core of English, mathematics, science, games, the arts and technology. In addition they follow an enhanced literacy course through the medium of foundation subjects.

KEY STAGE 4 - YEARS 9, 10 AND 11

During the spring term of years 8 and 9, students in those year groups are given careful guidance in helping them decide which subjects they wish to study for the next year. Students in year 9 receive similar guidance to decide their courses for years 10 and 11. The guidance students receive on their choice of courses involves parents, teaching staff, tutors and careers advisers. Most subjects lead to the GCSE examination, but there are some vocational courses at a comparable level.

Year 9 students study the core subjects of English language and literature, mathematics, science, computing, PE, RE and CPSHE.

In addition, students choose two from the following option subjects:

Art and Design Computer Science Design and Technology
Food Preparation and Nutrition Geography History
Academic Physical Education Performing Arts (Drama and Music) Photography

Years 10 and 11 students study the core subjects of English language and literature, mathematics, science, PE, RE and CPSHE.

In addition, students choose three from the following option subjects:

Art and Design Business Studies Citizenship Studies
Computer Science Design and Technology Digital Information Technology (BTEC)
Drama Food and Nutrition French
Geography Health and Social Care (BTEC) History
Media Studies Music Photography
PE Religious Studies Sociology
Spanish Separate Sciences Sport (BTEC)

If you wish to find out more about the curriculum that the school is following then please contact Mr Fenlon, Head of School, at

The school’s philosophy as outlined in Section 1.1 of the SEND SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS AND DISABILITY POLICY (March 2020) stipulates that all…

teachers are teachers of Special Educational Needs. Every teacher at [Dormers Wells High school] is responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all students in their class even where students access support from learning support assistants or specialist staff. Central to the work of every teacher and subject is a continuous cycle of planning, teaching, assessment and evaluation that takes into account the wide range of abilities, aptitudes and interests of the students. Teaching and supporting students with SEN/D is therefore a whole school responsibility requiring a whole school response. Meeting the needs of students with SEN/D requires partnership working between all those involved – Local Authority (LA), school, parents/carers, students, children’s services and all other agencies.

All members of staff in conjunction with the authorities (Governing Body and Local Authority) have a responsibility to ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to reach their potential in all aspects of the curriculum. Students are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum, including the National Curriculum (incorporating personalised provision), and their relative progress will be recorded, valued and reviewed. Special Educational Provision may be triggered when students fail to achieve adequate progress in the classroom, despite having had access to differentiation in the classroom. Parents and staff therefore work collaboratively in ensuring that the appropriate provision is identified to meet the student’s individual need(s). The SEN Code of Practice (2014) highlights the following good practices, which are evident across the curriculum at Dormer Wells High School;

  • appropriate curriculum provision and delivery clearly stated in all schemes of work.
  • devising strategies and identifying appropriate differentiated methods of access to the curriculum.
  • planning, teaching, assessing and evaluating that takes account of the wide range of abilities, aptitudes and interests of the students in class.
  • setting clear progress targets for all students with SEN/D that focus on their potential to achieve at or above expectation.
  • monitoring progress of students with SEN/D
  • be fully aware of the school’s procedures for SEN/D.