Curriculum

As an 11-19 years secondary free school with a curriculum specialism in Music with Mathematics, we will increase parental choice and diversity of provision in the Derby area while contributing both to solving a basic need problem and to lifting localised education standards.

Derby Cathedral School Curriculum Overview

Our curriculum model – based on the National Curriculum as a broad and balanced platform – will provide opportunities for pupils of all abilities and backgrounds to succeed.

However, the curriculum specialisms – which will be a key part of our vision – will represent a platform from which we will build high levels of personal development, well-being and achievement from Year 7 onwards. We will exploit the natural links between Music and Mathematics to raise achievement for all learners, encourage self-confidence and support cognitive development.

The examination options available to students at 16 will maintain breadth and balance and include both GCSEs and BTEC options. At post-16 level, while there will be a natural focus on subjects such as Music, Music Technology, Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Statistics, there will also be an appropriate mix of qualifications available including a range of A Levels in keeping with the Russell Group list of ‘facilitating subjects’ together with vocational choices.

State-of-the-art ICT and computing facilities will enable all pupils to gain full access to the curriculum. Continuous monitoring and assessment of the quality of teaching and each learner’s progress will maximise pupil progress, create a culture of continuous improvement and facilitate early intervention where needed.

We plan to appoint a full-time SENDCO to support the needs of any students who are identified as requiring support with their learning. The SENDCO will be a part of the senior leadership team at the school and will, therefore, work closely with the Headteacher to ensure the curriculum at the school is accessible for all students.

When they leave us, our students will have received an excellent education preparing them for higher education and employment.

Music & Mathematics Specialism

“Recent advances in the study of the brain have enhanced our understanding of the way that active engagement with music may influence other activities. The cerebral cortex self-organises as we engage with different musical activities…” Professor Susan Hallam

Music represents an exceptional choice as a value-added curriculum focus subject in the secondary phase. It offers benefits to students in terms of accelerated cognitive development alongside increased confidence from participation and performance, leading to higher performance across a range of wider subject areas particularly mathematics and including languages where active engagement with music sharpens the brain’s early encoding of linguistic sound – children with just 8 weeks of musical training show improvement in perceptual cognition compared with control groups.

Music education and participation in performance type musical activities are clearly seen to have great potential for improving student self-esteem and self-confidence, boosting achievement across the curriculum and raising achievement for all learners. Involvement in music and other performing arts increases student engagement and encourages consistent attendance, particularly with students who are at risk of disengagement with the education system. Music education at Derby Cathedral School will be rich in choral opportunities, with openings to perform in the Cathedral, and instrumental music making, including music technology.

Mathematics and numeracy skills are essential to everyday life, critical to science and technology, a natural companion to music, and necessary in most forms of employment – yet maths can be a scary subject to some pupils. Derby Cathedral School will overcome any potential barriers to learning by making sure that mathematical experiences are, wherever possible, fun and enjoyable by setting maths in everyday and work-related contexts, and by using stage not age mathematical games and puzzles.

The twin focus within our curriculum offer is designed to raise achievement for all learners via a key skill (maths) and support for cognitive enhancement and self-esteem (music).

If you have any queries or questions regarding the curriculum we follow, please don't hesitate to contact the school on 01332 325710 or via email info@derbycathedralschool.org.uk