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Curriculum > Curriculum Design

Curriculum Design

Curriculum Statement

West Derby School will provide opportunities, encouragement and guidance which enables every pupil to develop their abilities and achieve their potential within a safe and secure learning environment. The school aims to promote and support the personal growth of its students towards physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual maturity within a structured, profitable and enjoyable environment. Provision will meet statutory obligations and be responsive to both local and national agendas.
The curriculum we offer for all our pupils enables them to:
  • Access a curriculum that is broad, balanced and appropriate with flexible pathways throughout the key stages.
  • Have personalised support and guidance to help them progress throughout their time with us and onto the next stages of their education.
  • Have high aspirations, resilience and independence which enables them to maximise the opportunities they are given and further develop their skills and talents.
  • Access a range of enrichment opportunities to enable them to become responsible citizens who can make a positive and creative contribution to society.
West Derby School recognises that we are preparing our students to live in a rapidly changing world where the skills of independence and resilience will be key to future success. We want our students to be challenged to think about why they are learning as well as what they are learning. There is a high focus on developing children’s moral, spiritual, social and cultural understanding and we strive to ensure that children are well prepared for life in modern Britain.
Curriculum development is always carefully designed to provide pupils with memorable experiences, in addition to diverse and rich opportunities from which children can learn and develop a range of transferable skills.  Those who are most able are challenged and supported through appropriate extension activities. Those who struggle are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
The children's own community, its heritage, history and characteristics are frequently used as a starting point for engaging interest. A primary focus of our curriculum is to raise aspirations, engender a sense of personal pride in their achievement and the reputation of the school, and providing a purpose and relevance for learning.
We are proud to offer our students extended school provision; a range of clubs gives learners an opportunity to access a wide variety of opportunities after school hours and during lunch times to promote physical and mental wellbeing.
Subject leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review. The curriculum is structured around a two-year key stage 3 and an enriched three-year key stage 4, followed by a sixth form curriculum offer that will be planned to meet the needs of West Derby School students. Students will follow the National Curriculum but the approach will be enquiry based, with a strong emphasis on understanding and the development of skills within a real context.
Students will sit nationally-recognised examinations and gain nationally-recognised qualifications at the end of key stages 4 and 5, with the aspiration at all times for students to achieve their target grades as a minimum. Where students are significantly below age-related expectations, the core disciplines of English and Mathematics will be prioritised in their timetable until they have “closed the gap”. The identification of students who will benefit from such a strategy will commence during the primary school transition programme and will be supplemented with baseline testing once the student has joined the school. We will use specific Government funding to focus our support on those who need it most. A priority will be the provision of catch-up opportunities in English and Mathematics, where it is identified that a need is present. Additional targeted strategies in order to raise aspirations will be employed across Departments.
In all cases, the school will seek to access the expertise of external agencies to provide specialist input related to the needs of individual students and families.
The innovative practice across the school provides a strong foundation and opportunities for children to work collaboratively and develop social skills. This curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual and small groups of children can be met within the environment of high quality first hand teaching, supported by targeted, proven interventions where appropriate. Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Our pupils feel safe to try new things. High quality visits and visitors into the school enhance the curriculum considerably.
West Derby School has an ‘open access’ sixth form, meaning we not only look at a student’s academic performance at GCSE, but also their attitudes, aspirations and ambitions. Information about the nature of the sixth form offer is published annually following consultation with our Year 11 students.

Our Sixth Form offers a wide range of academic and vocational qualifications across multiple subject disciplines. We strive to start learners on their journey to the world of work. We use our expertise and local, national and global contacts to build positive links for our learners, to ensure that they are career ready. Each year, our Year 12 students embark upon a work experience programme. We have a strong tradition of preparing students for both a university or apprenticeship route, by offering lessons that are stimulating and challenging, delivered by experienced and dedicated staff.

Our record of student destination and NEET figures reflect our endeavours to move our students on to either Further/Higher Education, employment or Training /Apprenticeships.

Our students’ Future
The aim of West Derby School is to help students develop the skills and confidence to make realistic and informed decisions about their futures and to manage the transitions from one stage of their education, training and work to the next. Above all, we work tirelessly as staff to develop their independence and aspirations so that they will know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society. 

Year 7 Curriculum (Key Stage 3)

Subject Hours Subject Hours
English 5 History 1
Maths 5 PE 1
Science 3 Art 1
Spanish 2/1(Oracy) RE 1
Music 1 Drama 1
DT 1 ICT 1
Geography 2 PSHCE 0.5

Year 8 Curriculum (Key Stage 3)

Subject Hours Subject Hours
English 4 History 2
Maths 4 PE 2
Science 3 Art 1
Spanish 2 RE 1
Music 1 Drama 1
DT 1 ICT 1
Geography 2 PSHCE 0.5

Year 9, 10 & 11 Curriculum (GCSE/Level 2)

Subject Hours
English 5
Maths 5
Science 4
PE 2
At the end of Year 8 students select their 'Option Subjects'. These are the subjects that students will study for their GCSE's.
Art (GCSE) Media Studies (Level 2)
Business Studies (Level 2) Music (GCSE)
Catering (GCSE) Photography (GCSE)
Computer Science (GCSE) Resistant Materials (GCSE)
Drama (GCSE) Physical Education (Level 2)
Geography (GCSE) Separate Science (GCSE)
History (GCSE) Spanish (GCSE)

Year 12 & 13 Curriculum (A Level/Level 3)

Please visit the Sixth Form pages of our website for full subject overviews. All students complete five hours per subject, per week. Students are also timetabled with three hours of supervised study, one hour of enrichment and one hour of IAG (career preparation).
Applied Science (Level 3) Further Maths (A Level)
Biology (A Level) Geography (A Level)
Chemistry (A Level) Government & Politics (A Level)
Computing (Level 3) History (A Level)
Core Maths (AS Level) IT (Level 3)
Digital Media (Level 3) Maths (A Level)
Digital Media & Film (Level 3) Photography (A Level)
Drama (A Level) Physics (A Level)
English Language & Literature (A Level) Product Design (A Level)
Fine Art (A Level) Psychology (A Level)
Food Science & Nutrition (Level 3) Sports & Exercise (Level 3)


West Derby School
364 West Derby Road
Liverpool L13 7HQ
Headteacher : Sian Graham Contact Member of Staff : Lorraine Rigby
Chair of Governors : Karen Callant SENCO : Helen Howe



How do you find us?

Travelling By Car: Visitor parking is off Bankfield Road
Travelling By Train: Broad Green/Wavertree Technology Park.
By Bus: From Liverpool city centre – Numbers 15, 13 and 12 routes

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