Our Curriculum

Year 7

  • READY TO LEARN (Focus on reading, literacy & numeracy, organisational and learning skills)

  • SENSE OF BELONGING (Developing friendships, teamwork, feeling safe, ambassadors for TDHS)

  • MEETING HIGH EXPECTATIONS (Producing quality work, wearing the uniform with pride, positive attitude to learning)

Year 8

  • READY FOR THE FUTURE (Continued focus on reading, literacy & numeracy, wider world, independent reflection)

  • SENSE OF EXCITEMENT (Learning through experiences, growing curiosity, awe and wonder)

  • EMBEDDING HIGH EXPECTATIONS (High standards for all, social responsibility, producing quality work)

Year 9

  • READY FOR CHOICES (Future needs, wants, ambitions and prospects, world of work, further education, understanding of self)

  • SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY (Mentoring peers, leading on projects, active citizen)

  • SETTING HIGH EXPECTATIONS (Sense of ambition, empathy and support, challenging yourself, effort and purpose)

Year 10

  • READY TO SUCCEED (Focus on study skills, clear of goals, awareness of what needs to be achieved) 
  • SENSE OF OWNERSHIP (Self-drive and initiative, self-awareness, motivated to succeed)
  • HIGH EXPECTATIONS OF ALL (Holding others to account, awareness of development needs, positive influence on others, leaving a legacy) 

Year 11

  • READY TO SUCCEED (Focus on study skills, clear of goals, awareness of what needs to be achieved) 
  • SENSE OF OWNERSHIP (Self-drive and initiative, self-awareness, motivated to succeed)
  • HIGH EXPECTATIONS OF ALL (Holding others to account, awareness of development needs, positive influence on others, leaving a legacy) 

What? How? Why?
Embed ‘real world’ learning within all areas of the curriculum to ensure that students understand how their skills are applicable in the wider world. Within subject curricula, knowledge and experiences are designed to raise the cultural capital of all students and there is a significant focus on communication skills and potential career pathways. • Staff make explicit links between classroom learning and real-world application
• Staff expose students to a wide range of ideas and concepts to develop their understanding of the wider world
• Staff have ambitious goals for the students they teach and regularly discuss ways in which career aspirations can be achieved
• Staff reference current affairs and relevant issues within their teaching
• Students adhere to high standards and expectations preparing them for employment
• Students have a greater awareness of current affairs and the impact this has on society
• Students understand how their learning in school links with the world of work
• Students have ambitious career aspirations and an awareness of how to achieve them
• Students partake in a healthy and active lifestyle

What? How? Why?
Develop a curriculum which teachers feel passionate about, inspiring students to approach their learning with enthusiasm and a positive mind-set. Classroom environments inspire and support students and there is a focus on broadening student horizons through experiences and extra-curricular opportunities. Learning is varied, while still being under-pinned by consistent expectations. • Staff are passionate and enthusiastic about their subject and inspire a love of learning
• Staff strive to engross all students in their learning
• Teaching strategies are varied, well-chosen and inspire students to want to learn
• Resources are carefully selected to interest students
• Students are focused, keen and eager to learn
• Students are excited about their learning
• Students take an interest and are often curious to find out more
• Regular experiences broaden students’ horizons
• There is a high level of student involvement in class discussions
• Learning environments inspire students
• Students regularly engage with extra-curricular opportunities

What? How? Why?
Foster a culture where all students are given regular opportunities to develop skills which will help them to succeed in life. Literacy and numeracy skills are the cornerstone of learning across every classroom and students are encouraged to become independent learners through consistent opportunities to build communication skills. Staff regularly discuss the purpose of learning and students are explicitly coached on how to transfer skills across the curriculum and outside of school. • Staff model good thinking and problem-solving skills to allow learners to tap into their expertise
• Staff utilise the learning environment to ensure that students are provided with supportive materials which allow them to succeed in lessons and outside of school
• When formulating overall ‘lesson expectations’, staff ensure that there is a focus on literacy and numeracy alongside any other learning that needs to take place
• Staff liaise with colleagues to identify and embed transferable skills and learning in a cross-curricular capacity
• Students take pride in all aspects of their work
• Students are organised and ready to learn
• Students are equipped with relevant skills for the workplace
• Students possess the literacy and numeracy skills necessary to thrive in life
• Students have the capability to transfer skills across the curriculum
• Students are able to clearly communicate their ideas
• Students can work effectively as a member of a team

What? How? Why?
Establish an inclusive and equitable curriculum that delivers parity for all by providing high quality education, reinforcing students’ access to the full curriculum and ensures they look out for each other and those in the school community. • Staff use their excellent subject knowledge to progressively build up student knowledge, understanding and skills
• Appropriate intervention strategies support underachievers
Staff draw on advice from other colleagues to inform their planning and teaching
• Staff direct other adults effectively to support learning
• Staff structure group tasks to ensure that students are supported, as a result there is less sense of individual failure
• Students of all abilities are stretched and supported to reach their potential across the curriculum
• The special educational needs of all students are planned and catered for
• The content of lessons meets the needs and interests of all learners
• Students support each other and work together in collaboration

What? How? Why?
Create opportunities to develop personal responsibility for continuous improvement; support for peers; and, a commitment to taking on leadership roles to enhance the profile of The Derby High School. • Staff plan for students to lead peers in order to encourage engagement with higher level answers and ambitious questioning
• Staff encourage students to voice their opinion and, in a safe and supportive environment, allow opportunities for peers to challenge the views of others
• Staff plan group work with clear aims in mind and consider which roles each students needs to perform to achieve these aims
• Staff provide leadership opportunities for all students both inside and outside of the classroom
• Students take responsibility for their own development and that of their peers
Students are able to lead the learning of themselves and others
• Students show initiative and can find solutions to problems
• Students are articulate and confident communicators
• Students contribute to the life of the school
• Students are positive ambassadors and help to enhance the profile of The Derby High School

What? How? Why?
Develop a culture of independent learning through self-regulation, goal setting, and reflection so that pupils become self-motivated and accept responsibility for their own academic development. • Staff build students’ confidence and encourage them to persist and persevere
• Staff encourage students to feel relaxed about making mistakes
• Staff are prepared to watch (and encourage) students to struggle in order to reach their goal
• Where questioning is a central feature of the lesson, staff ensure that students have the opportunity to develop confidence in their own knowledge and understanding during this aspect of the lesson
• Staff plan for students to lead their own learning and try to ‘step back’ into a facilitator role
• Students take responsibility for themselves and their learning
• Students are self-reliant
• Students are equipped with the appropriate strategies to deal with challenging situations
• Students complete all homework set to the best of their ability
• Students self-direct their learning outside of the classroom

What? How? Why?
Incorporate a reflective approach to all aspects of learning and interactions with others through providing structured opportunities to improve and develop. Staff and student voice are used to develop pedagogy and practice. • Higher order questioning is used effectively to stimulate thinking
• Time is used effectively to ensure students learn well
• Staff have high expectations of behaviour and conduct
• Staff encourage students to set goals to ensure that they understand the purpose of what they are doing
• Metacognition is embedded within learning to ensure that students reflect on how they learn as well as what they learn
• Staff actively model positive language at all times
Staff ensure that verbal feedback provides opportunities for students to think and develop rather than simply celebrating success or highlighting failure
• Various forms of data (including progress scores, ATL, student voice) are frequently evaluated
• Teachers reflect honestly on the effectiveness of their teaching and continually strive to develop their practice
• Staff are open to advice and support from colleagues
• Students instinctively look for opportunities to improve and develop
• Regular, meaningful and personalised feedback allows students to reflect on their work
• Feedback challenges students to think more deeply about the subject
• Marking and feedback serves to improve standards in presentation, literacy and numeracy
• Students are self-assured and less likely to repeat their mistakes

What? How? Why?
Ensure plans and resources constantly evolve in order to respond to the needs of students. Staff ensure that students are routinely improving their learning through the bespoke guidance provided. • Modelling is used effectively to clarify what success looks like
• Staff interleave important topics and skills to ensure that students retain and revisit learning
• Staff place a greater emphasis on students having to struggle in order to make further progress
• Staff provide targeted feedback to enable students to implement the necessary improvements
• Staff ensure that students have access to a wide range of model responses to outline the skills and knowledge needed to succeed during future assessment opportunities
• Regular opportunities are provided to action teacher feedback
• Students are provided with opportunities to practise and consolidate their learning
• Teachers adapt their planning and delivery in response to the needs of students
• Teachers take responsibility for improving their practice
• Students have a clear understanding of the steps they need to take in order to meet and exceed expectations
• Students are able to successfully transition through the various key stages

What? How? Why?
Communicate high expectations of all aspects of the work of the school community alongside a determination that all can achieve. Learning is demanding and stretches students to fulfil their potential. • All staff have high expectations for students
• Staff constantly strive for students to reach their full potential
• Staff provide demanding work that stretches and challenges students
• Staff embed an understanding of ambitious vocabulary and specific terminology to ensure that students have a foundation on which they can build during more advanced tasks
• Staff plan for students to have a secure understanding of the basics before attempting to stretch and challenge
• Students react positively to challenge
• Students and staff embrace opportunities that take them out of their comfort zone

What? How? Why?
Embed an ethos heavily centred on the 7Rs addressing social, cultural and economic issues. Develop student principles and ideals so they grow into young adults who have a sense of what is right and wrong and appreciate the feelings and views of others. An extensive range of experiences and opportunities within the school and the wider community motivates students to be active and compassionate citizens who help those less fortunate than themselves. • Students are encouraged to make good choices and helped to put mistakes right
• Staff are consistent and fair in their approach to behaviour management
• Disrespectful behaviour is addressed and followed-up
• British values are promoted
• Full use is made of assemblies and ‘R Time’ to address students’ spiritual, social and moral development
• Students are provided with regular opportunities to debate and discuss topical and thought provoking issues
• The school has active links with a number of local, national and international charities and encourages all students to support them
• Staff model the behaviours expected of students
• Students and staff work in a happy and caring environment where all feel valued
• Students are well-mannered and polite
• Students are respectful of others’ views, beliefs and opinions
• Students have a sense of fairness and justice
• Students are supportive and help each other to learn
• Students look after their school environment
• Students are compassionate and positively engage with charity work taking place within the school and beyond
• Students are active members of the community


Our School Staff








Highlight a subject area to explore

Our aim is to equip every student with a deep understanding and enjoyment…
English will enable you to enjoy and explore thousands of incredible books…
We aspire to to produce learners who are skilled critical thinkers…
Our role is to develop the visual language techniques and experience of students…
In Business, you will gain a theoretical and practical insight so you will not only…
Creative Digital Media
Media plays a huge part in our lives and in this department we aim to give students…
Dance aims to inspire students to believe and achieve their full potential…
Design & Technology
Our role is to encourage, inspire and challenge our students, to better equip…
Through Drama we enable students to use dramatic techniques, including…
Food Studies
Food studies is an important life skill relevant to all, and is a key subject…
Geography is a vital topic to study because it allows every student to gain…
Within History, students learn the skills needed for future careers, for example…
Integrated Humanities helps students to understand some of the important…
ICT & Computer Science
We aim to allow all learners to develop their capability, creativity and…
Modern Foreign Languages
In MFL, French is taught from Year 7 and German is taught to top sets…
Music aims to develop all pupils' creativity, confidence and ability…
Physical Education
Our aim is to inspire a love of sport and exercise, instilling self confidence…
“R” Time
Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is an important…
Religious Education
The course aims to give students a sense of identity and a real understanding…

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If you would prefer a paper copy of this information, you can request it by contacting the main school email address.

Further Information

For any additional information regarding our curriculum, please contact the main school email address and they will be able to forward your query to the relevant member of staff.