Our teaching programmes and assessments reflect the content and challenge of the National Curriculum. At Key Stage 3 pupils take the following subjects: English, mathematics, science, art, geography, history, computing, modern foreign languages (French, German and Spanish), music, PE, PSHE (delivered via form time), social studies/religious education, design and technology. Selected pupils also follow the Lexia reading scheme.


At Key Stage 4, starting in year 9 pupils follow a personalised pathway. All pupils take the core subjects of Maths, English language, English literature, PE (not examined), PSHE (delivered via form time and topic days) and Combined Science (double award) OR separate sciences (biology, chemistry, physics).


Nearly all pupils with be entered for the EBacc (English Baccalaureate); they will study the above subjects and History or Geography (or both) and French, German or Spanish. Additionally current year 9 start 2 option subjects selected from a wide variety of GCSE or BTEC subjects.


If you require any further information, please contact Mr. Waris Ali, Deputy Head

via enquiry@decschool.co.uk or on the main school number.

The start of Key Stage 3 marks an exciting phase in the lives of our pupils. It is the period when they build on their primary education and grow a body of knowledge and understanding in all their subjects. They will learn new things, and study a range of subjects in depth, over Year 7 and Year 8. In Year 8, they begin to prepare for their Key Stage 4 choices, but Year 9 is a foundation year to help them further develop and embed the knowledge and skills for GCSE prior to Year 10 and Year 11.

On entry to the school, KS2 attainment alongside baseline testing is used to determine streaming of groups. The cohort is taught in ability sets comprising of two parallel top sets, three parallel middle sets and one lower ability set to help them ‘catch up’ on, in particular, the core skills of English and mathematics.

In Year 7, as in every year, the pupils are taught a wide body of knowledge. Our curriculum is rich and broad; our expectations of our pupils are high.

The pupils study a broad range of subjects:

English language.

English literature.


Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics).

Modern Foreign Languages (French or German).



Social Studies (comprising Religious Studies and Citizenship).

Computing Science.

Physical Education.

Art and Design.


Design Technology.

Personal, Social and Health Education through form time and Topic Days throughout the year. 

This year provides the opportunity for all pupils to continue with a rich and broad KS3 curriculum. The vast majority of pupils are taught in ability groups determined by Year 7 attainment data. They study the same subjects as above, developing their knowledge and skills even further. All pupils choose options at the end of Year 8, marking the end of KS3.

Although classed as ‘Key Stage 4’, Year 9 is a foundation year to help pupils develop and embed the rich knowledge and skills for GCSE prior to Year 10 and Year 11. Our new Key Stage 4 curriculum is ample and broad, with a vast range of subjects for pupils to study.

All pupils will study the following:

GCSE English Language.

GCSE English Literature.

GCSE Mathematics Science – GCSE Combined Science or GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics.

Nearly all pupils with be entered for the EBacc (English Baccalaureate); they will study the above subjects and the following: 

GCSE History or Geography (or both)

GCSE French or German (or both) 

All pupils have the opportunity to study from the following huge range of subjects, including: 

GCSE Art and Design

GCSE Music

GCSE Drama

BTEC Performing Arts (Dance)

GCSE Astronomy

GCSE Psychology

GCSE PE and BTEC Level 2 Sport

GCSE Business Studies and BTEC Level 2 Business

GCSE Computer Science

BTEC Level 2 Media Studies

GCSE Statistics

GCSE Design Technology

Level 2 Textiles (award to be decided) 

These are the years when pupils really embed and develop the rich knowledge and skills they have grown throughout Years 7-9. All pupils will undertake their GCSEs at the end of Year 11, with the exception of very few pupils who may be entered for GCSE English Literature at the end of Year 10. 

We currently offer a good curriculum for our sixth formers, and from September 2018, we will provide an even broader curriculum offer so our pupils can keep learning and growing their knowledge here at Dame Elizabeth Cadbury.

Pupils will be able to choose a Pathway which will enable them to undertake a range of subjects that will guide them to a particular degree at university, or a specific area of employment. Pupils do not have to undertake that particular Pathway, however. Our sixth form curriculum is flexible, so if a specific Pathway isn’t exactly what a pupil would like to take, they can choose their 3 subjects from any Pathway.

Additionally those pupils who have not achieved a C or 4 grade in GCSE English or Mathematics will undertake resits in those subjects during the course of sixth form.

The Pathways are:

Psychology, Health and Sports Pathway
A level Psychology, BTEC Health and Social Care, BTEC Sport

English and Humanities Pathway
A level English Literature, A level Sociology, A level History

STEM Pathway
A level Mathematics, A level Product Design, BTEC Engineering

Business and Creative Pathway
BTEC Business, BTEC Media and BTEC Performing Arts

Coaching will also be offered for those students that want to have it as an additional sports qualification.

The content of the curriculum for each year group and how this is taught and assessed can be accessed within the faculty curriculum and assessment policies below.

FacultySubjectsCurriculum & Assessment Policy
EnglishEnglish Language KS3 & 4 (7-11)
English Literature KS3 & 4 (7-11)
English Literature A-Level
MathematicsMathematics KS3 & 4 (7-11)
Mathematics A-Level
ScienceScience KS3 (7-8)
Combined Science KS4 (9-11)
Biology / Chemistry / Physics KS4 (9-11)
Chemistry A Level
Physics A Level
Modern Foreign LanguagesFrench / German / Spanish KS3 & 4 (7-11)Download
HumanitiesSocial Studies KS3 (7-8)
Geography KS3 & 4 (7-11)
History KS3 & 4 (7-11)
History A LevelDownload
Social SciencePsychology KS4 (9-11)
BTEC Health & Social Care KS4 (9-11)
Psychology A Level (12-13)
Sociology A Level (12-13)
BTEC Health & Social Care Level 3 (12-13)
Creative ArtsArt & Design KS3 & 4 (7-11)
Music KS3 & 4 (7-11)
Design & Technology (Textiles) KS3 & 4 (7-11)
Computing & MediaComputing KS3 (7-8)
Computing KS4 (9-11)
BTEC Media KS4 (9-10)
BTEC Media Level 3 (12-13)
Physical EducationCore PE KS3 & 4 (7-11)
GCSE & BTEC Exam Groups (9-11)
BTEC Sport Level 3 (12-13)
Design & TechnologyDesign & Technology KS3 & 4 (7-11)
Product Design A Level (12-13)
BusinessBusiness KS4 (9-11)
BTEC Business Level 3 (12-13)