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 QE Day 2 30

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum provides the best opportunity to improve the life chances of our students. What students know, understand and can do, will directly influence their future. All students regardless of their starting points, whether they are SEND or experiencing disadvantage are supported by quality first teaching to access and progress through the curriculum.

This page outlines the nature of the curriculum at Queen Elizabeth’s including the intent, design and the principles underlying curriculum delivery. Further details of the curriculum for each subject can be found on the subject pages.

The curriculum has three interconnected and interdependent parts:

The macro-curriculum – the subjects we choose to teach, the allocation of time to each subject and how it is timetabled.

The formal curriculum – the defined learning that makes up the curriculum in the subject disciplines, the material that has been chosen to be taught, how it has been ordered and sequenced. This encompasses the knowledge, concepts, skills and vocabulary which we intend students to learn, demonstrate, apply and retain long term.

The extended curriculum – this is the learning and experiences that take place beyond the classroom. It includes participation in creative, cultural, social, sporting and enrichment activities. These are chosen by students and support their personal growth and connection to wider learning and life.

Curriculum Intent
The curriculum at Queen Elizabeth’s aims to ensure that every student is empowered. We want our students to:

  • Develop curiosity, critical thinking and creativity
  • Develop an outward looking view, understanding the world, our role in it and in shaping it
  • Develop the skills to thrive in the 21st Century – economically and in terms of wellbeing, resilience and sense of self worth

Through all aspects of life at Queen Elizabeth’s students learn the values of Respect, Resilience and Reflection. 

Curriculum Design
The curriculum at Queen Elizabeth’s provides breadth and depth for all students.
Years 7-9 are the foundation for future learning. The curriculum in each subject is carefully sequenced and planned in detail using Curriculum Unit Plans outlining the knowledge, concepts, skills, and vocabulary to be learnt, an example is here.

All students study:

  • English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Religious Studies and Modern Languages
  • Technology – including Computer Science
  • Art, Drama, Music in discrete lessons each week
  • Physical Education
  • Personal Development – with a tutor every morning and in discrete lessons

Students have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of academic and technical courses to study from Year 10, choosing two free choices. Here students can begin to develop interests and passions both in their option choices and the extra-curricular opportunities available. A student may choose additional science and yet maintain their musical interest and learning through membership of the Jazz Band. Another might choose Sports Studies and add to this experience by taking part in Ten Tors and sports teams. The formal curriculum and the extended curriculum together provide a wide range of challenging, enriching learning. Many of the activities in the extended curriculum are mixed age and ability, students learn from and through each other.

In the Sixth Form each student follows a stretching, structured study programme from a combination of A Levels/ Level 3 BTEC, Extended Project Qualification, GCSE retakes plus the Diploma Award which is made up of a variety of enrichment activities, Careers Education and independent study. The Sixth Form curriculum is designed to equip students with the learning and skills necessary for progress to successful and rewarding destinations after Queen Elizabeth’s.

All students are supported to overcome barriers and to succeed in all aspects and stages of the curriculum at Queen Elizabeth’s.

Curriculum Delivery
The curriculum is planned and delivered in three Learning Cycles per year. Each cycle begins with a baseline assessment. Teaching is supported by frequent assessment for learning and by mid cycle formative assessment. In week 10/11 of the cycle there are knowledge and an applied assessments. These are followed by a super-teaching week in which gaps and misconceptions are addressed and key learning consolidated.

Running throughout, learning is underpinned by retrieval practice, interleaving questions from recent learning with synoptic questions. Through the use of frequent low stakes tests students learn to recall important content easily. The acquisition of disciplinary knowledge is further supported by Home Learning in Years 7-9. Students study using Knowledge Organisers containing key knowledge from the current learning cycle. Through regular revisiting of subject content and use of retrieval techniques, students strengthen their knowledge, improve their learning skills and habits, they also develop self-reliance. Knowledge Organisers also include and teach students sections of Tier 2 vocabulary and record independent reading. For Maths homework students complete weekly sections of the individualised SPARX programme.

Effective lessons are created guided by the QE Principles of Teaching and are characterised by:

  • High Expectations for behaviour and routines.
  • High quality and expert teacher instruction.
  • Deliberate teaching of vocabulary, reading, oracy and writing.
  • Strategies to make learning stick.
  • Inclusive teaching – being ambitious for all students, including those experiencing disadvantage and those with SEND. Supporting with literacy, scaffolding, warm calling, crystal clear instructions and individualised support to ensure that all students can succeed.
  • Effective feedback.

For further information about the curriculum at Queen Elizabeth’s please contact reception@qe.devon.sch.uk and your query will be forwarded to the relevant subject leader.

For further information on how the curriculum is accessible for those with disabilities or special educational needs and complies with our duties under the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 please see our SEND page or contact lucy.jones@qe.devon.sch.uk.

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