St Dunstan’s School is a smaller than average comprehensive school, taking children from Glastonbury and other local rural towns and villages. Most of our students come to St Dunstan’s having met or exceeded national standards at KS2 and we also serve a smaller but significant group of students who are lower ability on entry. As most of our students come to us from local primary schools, we are able to work with them to make their transition to secondary school a positive and personal experience. Our curriculum at St Dunstan’s is designed to ensure that all students can achieve their personal best and develop their individual character. We do this by quickly identifying and then addressing the specific needs of each of our learners.
We aim to exceed the National Curriculum requirements at Key Stage 3 and then provide our students with a rich and varied diet of academic and vocational qualifications at Key Stage 4 so they have the qualifications and attitudes needed to be successful in further education and ultimately, in their future lives.
We aim to foster a love of reading with our students at our school, which also allows them to develop empathy towards others whose lives are very different from their own. Ultimately, we want our students to become well-rounded members of society and have the skills and attitude needed to lead a happy and healthy life. Hence our focus on careers education and social, moral, spiritual and cultural development through our wider curriculum offer ensures that our students have a much wider understanding of the world around them, which is much more diverse than our small rural school which is ultimately predominantly white British. For details of where SMSC is delivered in the curriculum please click here
We have a larger than average number of students who are on the SEND Support Register, or are in receipt of an Education & Health Care Plame (EHCP). Teachers help SEND students to unpackage the lesson’s key learning points and adapt their teaching so that these students are supported to make the same progress as all other students from a similar starting point. If you would like more information about the work of our SEND Team please click here
Our PSHE programme is fully compliant with the most recent RSE and health education statutory guidance. It ensures that our students are kept safe online and tackles contemporary issues such as identifying and tackling harmful sexualised behaviour, prejudicial attitudes and peer-on-peer abuse. For more information about our PSHE programme and how we cover statutory content, please click here
Students make progress by learning and remembering in a more complex way as they journey through the curriculum. Thus, at St Dunstan’s we have ensured that each key stage not only builds on the former but also allows our students to build knowledge needed for their future learning, too.
Our teachers have thought carefully about the order that learning should follow by looking at the national curriculum and Ofsted’s subject research and review series as well as consulting with their professional organisations. Our subject leaders regularly meet in teams across the Trust to work together to plan sensible sequencing of learning so that students can fully grasp subject concepts by placing components of topics in a logical order. In this way, students can build secure foundations of knowledge and use these to further place new pieces of knowledge on top of another, enabling them to learn more and remember more.
We ensure that we teach our students how to recall information through a range of reinforcement techniques that help students retain knowledge they are taught and unpackage learning so that all students can achieve the learning goal set. Assessment is through low-stakes quizzes to help teachers understand how much our students have learnt and retained. Our formal assessments then help teachers to determine how well students can use their knowledge in different situations.
Key Stage 3 Curriculum Intent and Implementation
Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is intended to exceed the KS3 National Curriculum, whilst providing a smooth transition between the knowledge and skills covered in KS2 with those required at Key Stage 4.
We want our curriculum to be academically aspirational, implemented in an environment that inspires enjoyment and commitment to learning as well as developing students’ confidence to learn and resilience to overcome challenges and setbacks. Our curriculum provides our students with access to STEM subjects and extra-curricular activities that empowers them to be confident to succeed. Lessons in Drama, Music, Art and PE complement classroom-based subjects and provide Key Stage 3 students with a varied diet of learning experiences. As some of our students come to us not having yet met national standards at KS2, and others having exceeded expectations, our curriculum is also focused on identifying and closing gaps in knowledge of some students from KS2 whilst deepening others’ knowledge and passion for each subject, old and new.
We also appreciate the value of becoming literate and numerate citizens, so our curriculum also aims to develop a high level of literacy and numeracy, for all of our students, through a culture of reading for pleasure and inspiring maths lessons.
Subjects at KS3 are allocated the following curriculum time:
Allocated Curriculum Time (Hours)
Key Stage 4 Curriculum Intent and Implementation
The Key Stage 4 curriculum is intended to support each student to achieve their personal best in meaningful qualifications by the end of Year 11, whilst supporting their social, moral, spiritual and cultural development through an extensive tutorial, PSHE, PE and extra-curricular offer.
Emphasis is placed on a strong academic core, and the majority of our students study the English Baccalaureate suite of qualifications, which enables them to access academic A Level courses and admission to the full range of further education providers, including the most competitive universities, post-18.
But we have also designed our curriculum offer so that students are able to keep a wide variety of other education and employment options open post-16. As such, our English Baccalaureate offer is complemented by a range of vocational courses such as Business, Food Preparation & Nutrition and Sport. If you would like to read the KS4 Options Booklet, which details the curriculum offer for KS4, please click here.
Subjects at KS4 are allocated the following curriculum time:
History or Geography*
Each option choice (see below)
* All students take History or Geography as one of their Options Choices
** Most students also take French as a further Option Choice
Students can choose 2 or 3 further options from the list below:
Level 1 and 2 Vocational Qualifications
Art and Design
NCFE Business Studies
Cambridge National iMedia
Design and Technology
Eduqas Food Prep and Nutrition
Cambridge National Sport
Subject Curriculum Booklets for Parents
Please click on the links below to read further details about the curriculum intent and implementation for each subject your child studies at KS3 and can study at KS4. These booklets include the programme of study for each year group.
Art Curriculum BookletDesign and Technology Booklet 2023-24Drama Curriculum Booklet 2023-24English Curriculum Booklet 2023-24French Curriculum Booklet 2023-24Geography Curriculum Booklet 2023-24History Curriculum Booklet 2023-24ICT Curriculum Booklet 2023-24Maths Curriculum Booklet 2023-24Media Curriculum Booklet 2023-24Music Curriculum Booklet 2023-24PE Curriculum Booklet 2023-24Science Curriculum Booklet 2023-24
Students receive two progress reports each year and one full school report. Parents/ Carers also have the opportunity to attend a parents’ evening. The dates for each year group can be found on the notice board section of the school’s website. However, all subject teachers and pastoral staff are available throughout the year to deal with any issues or concerns should they arise.
Students are given many opportunities to decide which subjects are best for them at Key Stage 4. Tailored sessions are run during tutor time, assemblies take place, an options evening is held and 1:1 sessions are offered with all staff.
The school offers clear career guidance by experienced staff who work closely with local higher education establishments by providing information on courses and open evenings. All of Year 11 students undertake a visit to local colleges and get the opportunity to sample numerous appropriate courses. Our two local collages regularly attend parents evenings to offer furthur advice and guidance with additional drop in sessions for our year 10 and 11 students taking place throughout the year.
During options evening, the option process is outlined and the students and their parents/ carers are given the opportunity to visit each subject and talk directly to each member of staff. There is also the option of follow up appointments if necessary. Year 9 parents’ evening follows the options evening, allowing another opportunity to discuss potential choices.
The Department for Education has introduced changes to the grading of exam at Key Stage 4. The A*- G grading system for GCSE has been replaced by a number between 9 and 1. Information on how these grades relate to the previous system are sent out with each of our key stage 4 reports. Vocational qualifications are graded on a sliding scale from a pass to a merit and then a distinction.
The measure that the Department for Education will use to judge the success of schools is called Progress 8. This has replaced the 5A*-C which measured the number of students gaining a C grade in five subjects including English and Maths. Instead, Progress 8 tracks how much progress students make from Key Stage 2 to the end of Key Stage 4.
This will not affect how the students are taught or which topics they cover in their exams. However, it will mean that schools will need to ensure that all students are making progress across all subjects, rather than focussing on the minority of students on the C/D borderline.
At St Dunstan’s we continue to offer a broad range of subjects which gives students the opportunity to study a curriculum containing the EBACC subjects. This enables them to gain a suite of qualifications which are admired by colleges and universities for their robustness and ability to reflect the ability of the students.