Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Overview (2023-2024)

At Don Valley Academy we follow a 3 year Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 & 9) and then a 2 year Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11). Students have the opportunity to opt and specialise at the end of Y9 in the humanities and open basket subjects taking these to the end of Y11.

In Years 7, 8 & 9 students follow a core curriculum of English, Mathematics and Science. They also study both History, Geography and an MFL of either French or Spanish and then on rotation enjoy a wide range of creative and technical subjects. In addition, they study Ethics, Philosophy and Citizenship (EPC) and finally computing and core PE. The allocated amount of time is shown in the table below.

Depending on need, we also offer several alternative support packages. For example, we have the ‘Diamond’ cohort where some students have a different distribution of time allocated to subjects to allow for literacy and/or numeracy support or are identified as needing extra support in transition as well as curriculum intervention. These programmes include Accelerated Reading, Reading Recovery and Reciprocal Reading, as well as vocabulary building and cursive handwriting. Within numeracy, Sparx and are being used.

The diamonds groups are closely monitored throughout the year to ensure their curriculum offer is well suited to their needs. Students may be added to the groups if their needs change; this could be because of results from reading or numeracy assessments.

Below is an overview of the diamonds curriculum in each year group:

At the end of Year 9 students opt for 3 subjects that they will study in key stage 4 and certificate by the end of Year 11 (the list of all the current option choices is in the table below). Students all opt from either History or Geography to enable our students to maximise their attainment scores in the second Attainment 8 ‘basket’. During Year 9 students will also discuss the possibility of studying triple science.

We are continuing with our exciting Year 10 curriculum, where over 50% of students will be studying the EBacc pathway. We strongly believe that studying a language is an important part of creating the ‘whole child’, learning to appreciate different people and cultures, whilst improving communication skills, metacognition, and life chances.

We offer a wide range of both subjects and qualifications which will cater for all needs from creative and technical qualifications to more academic and health related courses. We design our curriculum around each individual child, and it is, therefore, a bespoke curriculum. We work with students and parents/carers to ensure their choices will best match their enjoyment and potential in each case. Students will follow a course that best suits their abilities and could include: GCSEs, BTEC and Cambridge National or Technical certificates.

The full list of qualifications and time allocation for Year 10 are in the tables below.

The curriculum for Y11 is outlined in the table below.

Students that choose to study separate GCSE Science will take an additional 2 hours of science and will study each of their Open Basket options for 1 hour per week.

Updated September 2023

Our curriculum: (Intent)

  • is sequenced to enable pupils to build their knowledge and skills over time
  • provides deep, sustained and valuable learning for all pupils, including those with SEND
  • provides opportunities to develop levels of literacy and numeracy across all curricular areas
  • promotes opportunities across the curriculum for the development of good student health and well being
  • recognises the importance of digital literacy and provides opportunities for the development of
  • the skills pupils need to function safely and responsibly in a technological world
  • provides a range of academic, technical and vocational courses which challenge, engage and motivate pupils
  • develops cultural capital across a wide range of contexts and experiences
  • ensures that all pupils make good progress irrespective of their starting point and those young people facing disadvantage are lifted from educational poverty

How to obtain further information

If you require further information about the curriculum, please contact us by emailing