Curriculum Statement

Teaching & Learning at RSD

Learning is the primary objective of the school, and teaching is the principal means of securing that goal.

The focus at RSD is on learning. We value knowledge and help all pupils to have a sound understanding of the subjects they study. From this starting point pupils develop the skills and habits necessary to be successful in their studies and examinations and in their life beyond RSD.

Strong teacher and pupil relationships are a feature at RSD. The teachers are all subject specialists and there is an emphasis on making subjects come alive and sparking pupils’ curiosity. We want to tap into pupils’ natural interests in particular areas and help them to develop a real interest in their favourite subjects.

Learning extends therefore to outside the classroom. There are a large number of trips for all year groups and across a broad range of subjects. Many of these are local but there are also a number each year to Britain and continental Europe. In addition, pupils enjoy visits to RSD by guest speakers and organisations, attend conferences and enter competitions. New technologies and the School’s Virtual Learning Environment provide further opportunities for pupils to explore and learn.

The overall aim at RSD is to inculcate a love of learning and the good habits which enable pupils to take forward their learning both during their time at school and thereafter. There is a focus upon understanding how learning takes place. For teachers, this provides a structure for planning schemes of work and lessons. For pupils, it provides a rationale for how best to approach their studies. A shared understanding helps pupils and teachers to share the responsibility for ensuring that effective learning takes place.

There is a commitment at RSD to:

  • Creating positive pupil/teacher relationships.
  • Providing a good learning environment where pupils feel comfortable contributing and are stimulated by the resources on offer.
  • Encouraging positive pupil behaviours and correcting disruptive behaviours.
  • Providing clear and precise knowledge in a sensible sequence so that pupils’ understanding can develop over time.
  • Providing opportunities to practise key skills within and across subjects.
  • Building pupil engagement by requiring pupils to think about the precise issues which need to be understood, linked together and remembered.
  • Creating high expectations by stretching and challenging pupils in their thinking and understanding.
  • Encouraging pupils to accept that mistakes and faulty thinking are a natural part of learning and that taking risks in their thinking is worthwhile.
  • Encouraging pupils to take responsibility for improving their understanding by working hard and using teacher feedback.
  • Helping pupils to develop effective study skills and the capacity to learn independently.

The curriculum at RSD is challenging and deliberately so. Pupils are taught that achievement comes through effort and hard work. There are no shortcuts and along the way there are bound to be setbacks. Success comes to those who develop a sense of resilience, those who can bounce back. Teachers provide feedback for pupils and indicate how they can improve. There is a sense of teachers and pupils working together, sharing responsibility for the learning which takes place.

The school week is divided into 50 periods, each 30 or 35 minutes long.  The general curriculum structure for Years 8 to 14 is set out below.  The Cross-Curricular Skills and Thinking Skills & Personal Capabilities are infused throughout the subjects.

Pupils entering the School in Year 8 are placed in one of four mixed ability classes. The subjects studied at Key Stage 3 include: English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, French, Art & Design, Music, Design & Technology, Food Technology, Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Religious Education, Spanish, Physical Education and Learning for Life and Work (LLW). In Years 9 and 10 pupils remain in their original classes for most of their lessons but are occasionally placed in different teaching sets for some classes to allow for work at an accelerated pace and to provide opportunities in practical subjects. In Years 8, 9 and 10 Learning for Life & Work (LLW) will be delivered in a carousel covering Citizenship, Employability and Personal Development, along with a Drama module.
Area of StudySubjectsYear 8
Periods
Year 9
Periods
Year 10
Periods
Total
Periods
Language &
Literacy (12%)
English66618
Mathematics and
Numeracy (12%)
Mathematics66618
Modern Languages (9.33%)French
Spanish
4
0
2
2
3
3
9
5
The Arts (10.66%)Art & Design
Music
3
3
3
3
2
2
8
8
Environment and
Society (13.33%)
Geography
History
3
3
3
3
4
4
10
10
Science and
Technology (17.33%)
Science
Technology & Design
6
2
6
3
6
3
18
8
Learning for Life
and Work (9.33%)
Food Technology
LLW
3
2
3
2
2
2
8
6
Physical Education (8%)PE & Games44412
Religious Education (5.33%)Religious Education3428
Other (2.66%)Information Technology
Form Period
1
1
114
Totals (100%)505050150
All pupils in Years 11 and 12 study English (7 periods) and Mathematics (7 periods) for examination at GCSE level.  These subjects are taught in 4 streamed classes.  In addition, pupils in the top two English Classes (approximately 55% of the year group) study English Literature (1 extra period), and those in the top two Mathematics classes (approximately 55% of the year group) study Additional Mathematics (1 extra period).  Pupils in the 4th Mathematics class (which is normally smaller than the others) will study a reduced amount of the Higher Tier material and will be able to achieve grades in the range A – D.  It is generally the case that the level of Mathematics reached by pupils in the 4th set would not be considered suitable for progressing to A Level Mathematics.

 

All pupils will study one of the following Science options:

  • Three sciences (pupils study Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate sciences, also known as Triple Award Science),
  • Two sciences (pupils study two of Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate sciences),
  • Double Award science (pupils study reduced content in Biology, Chemistry and Physics with the examinations resulting in two GCSEs graded as A*A*, A*A, AA, AB, BB, etc.)

Depending on their Science choice, pupils select either three or four optional subjects (5 periods) from the following list:

Art & DesignDigital TechnologyGeographyPhysical Education
Business StudiesFood TechnologyHistoryReligious Studies
Computer ScienceFrenchMusicSpanish
Design & Technology

Pupils who do not study English Literature study a Short Course (½ a GCSE) in Religious Studies (2 periods).

Non-examination subjects taken by all pupils include: Religious Education (1 period); Careers Education (1 period in Year 12 only); Learning for Life and Work (1 period); and Physical Education & Games (2 to 4 periods depending on subject choices).

Year 13 pupils have the choice of studying either three or four subjects at AS Level.  In Year 14 pupils have the option of either continuing with all four subjects at A2 Level or dropping down to three subjects.  In exceptional cases it may be possible to arrange for a pupil to take two A Levels and one or more AS Levels in Year 14.  The subjects offered at Advanced Level are:

Art & DesignEconomicsLife & Health SciencePolitics#
Biology English LiteratureMathematicsPsychology#
Business StudiesFood TechnologyMedia Studies#Religious Studies
ChemistryFrenchMusicPhysical Education
Computer ScienceFurther Mathematics*GeographyPerforming Arts#
Design & TechnologyHealth & Social CareHealth & Social CareSpanish
Digital TechnologyHistoryPhysics

*  Depending on interest and teaching resources and only available as an AS in Year 14.

#  These subjects are taught in St Patrick’s Academy through our partnership with them.

Non-examination subjects taken by pupils include: Religious Education, Careers Education, Physical Education and Games.

At Key Stages 4 & 5, it may be possible to arrange other educational pathways to meet the specific needs of a small number of individual pupils through collaboration with other local education establishments.

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Royal School Dungannon

Telephone No.
+44 (0) 28 87 722710

General
info@rsd.dungannon.ni.sch.uk

Headmaster’s Secretary
acullen583@rsd.dungannon.ni.sch.uk

2 Ranfurly Road, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, BT71 6EG

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