Curriculum Overview


Duke’s Secondary School Curriculum Vision & Intent

NCEAT: Our vision: Inspiring Achievement – Encouraging Compassion: Develop a culture of learning, success, high expectations, aspiration, challenge and inclusion in all aspects of school life to encourage life-long aspiration. This is reflected through the curriculum, the leadership and daily practices of pupils and staff, aspiring to be compassionate global citizens with a sense of community and social responsibility.

Duke’s Curriculum Intent

Duke’s curriculum recognises the diverse community which we serve and aims to create a curriculum which supports the needs and aspirations of all our students, is closely aligned with the NCEAT vision and also encompasses the four key principles which underpin the Church of England’s vision for education.

Educate for wisdom, knowledge and skills:

  • We will continue to develop our curriculum to engage, inspire and motivate all of our students, regardless of background or ability, ensuring that our curriculum enables students to leave us with the best possible outcomes which enable them to successfully move onto the next stage of their development.
  • By fully integrating our DNA into our curriculum plans we will establish the highest of standards of teaching and learning which allows all of our students to access their
    learning effectively and fulfil their potential

Educate for Hope and aspiration:

  • Our new key stage 4 options process and key stage 3 curriculum will enable students to enjoy their education and flourish in their chosen speciality whilst also experiencing aspects of wider cultural experiences
  • We will develop a strong information, careers and guidance programme which allows our students to develop into good citizens and contribute positively to their communities and wider society

Creating a deeply Christian, inclusive, nurturing and aspirational culture

  • Our curriculum will allow our students to engage in activities which broaden their cultural and sporting interests and contribute to a wider enjoyment of school
  • Through our revised PSHE (inc RSHE) and our Religious Studies curriculum we aim to celebrate a culture of diversity and respect

Developing an inclusive learning community

  • We strive to set the highest expectations of student behaviour and proactively develop the learning behaviours of our students so that all students can participate in disruption free learning in classrooms
  • Through our specialist Beacon provision we aim to provide a fully inclusive school environment where all students can flourish

Key Stage 3 curriculum

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is built on developing the knowledge and skills acquired at Key Stage 2 and our aim is to ensure that students in years 7, 8 & 9 are able to experience a curriculum which inspires and enthuses them so that they develop a long term passion for learning, while fully preparing them for transition into Key Stage 4. We have planned a curriculum that increases vocational and practical content, rationalises foreign language study, and supports upskilling of those who have not met the required standard for secondary education. We firmly believe that students in KS3 should enjoy their time in school through an innovative and diverse range of subjects as well as experience academic rigour in the more traditional subjects. For students who are behind their chronological age in reading we offer extra support through a bespoke programme of support throughout KS3.

Key Stage 3 allocations

Subject Lesson per cycle
English 8
Maths 8
Science 9
Religious Education 3
PE 5
Humanities 5
French & Reading 3
Food Technology 1
Art 2
Technology 1
Drama 1
Music 1


Key Stage 4 curriculum

At Key Stage 4, our new options programme has widened the choices available to students so that the Ebacc is available for those who wish to study it, but so that other creative and vocational opportunities are opened up to give as many future options for pupils as is reasonable.

Key Stage 4 Options Blocks and allocations

Core Example of Option 1 (6 hours) Example of Option 2 (6 hours) Example of Option 3 (6 hours)
PSHE & RE (3)

GCSE English Lang. & Lit (8)

GCSE Maths (8)

GCSE Science (x3) (9)

GCSE iMedia (2)





Hosp & Catering


BTEC Media

Travel & Tourism


Computer Science

BTEC Sport


Hair & Beauty


Health & Social Care





BTEC Business


Hosp & Catering

BTEC Sport


Teachers are encouraged to teach with some autonomy, but all lessons should be based around Duke’s DNA:


       Differentiated for support and challenge

       New and exciting learning opportunities

       Active Learning 


Through this, we aim to provide:


  • High expectations and aspirations
  • Excellent subject knowledge, enthusiasm and a love of learning
  • A learning community based on collaboration and cooperation
  • Regular and effective feedback, as and when required


The DNA of Teaching and Learning ensures all lessons are:


Differentiated for support and challenge, through:

Dialogue is used as a tool to facilitate effective learning

Planning should incorporate opportunities for thoughtful questioning, which engages and develops understanding. Students should be encouraged to ask questions. Low stakes retrieval should also be embedded 
Stretch and Challenge  Differentiation is used effectively for all groups of  students Planning should ensure all students are prepared to take the next steps forward, with opportunities to face new challenges through teachers’ methodology, materials or expectations of them.
Critical thinking 

Time is given for students to develop critical thinking skills to help solve problems

Planning should incorporate opportunities for critical thinking, allowing students to formulate their own opinions, draw their own conclusions and make connections.


New and exciting learning opportunities, through:

Students are encouraged to be creative, aspirational and to develop their skills and talents

Planning should incorporate a range of strategies, materials and content that ensure students are motivated to aim for excellence and allow them to be creative.

Time is given for students to reflect on what they have learned and achieved and what they need to develop further

Planning should provide opportunities for students to reflect on their knowledge and understanding,  embedding retrieval. Retrieval should be used at the beginning of every lesson.


Active learning, orientated through:

Time is given for collaboration in various ways, promoting effective communication skills

Planning should incorporate a range of activities which allow students to discuss, share thoughts and ideas and to work effectively together, where appropriate. P4C should be incorporated where possible.

A growth mindset is established in all lessons

Planning should consider ways in which knowledge can be developed, allowing students to embrace change and challenges, persist in the face of setbacks and to see effort as the path to success.

Time is given for students to develop as independent learners

Planning should incorporate opportunities for students to work independently and to take responsibility of their learning



Explicit retrieval activities are strategically planned for 

Planning should incorporate a range of retrieval activities to support secure knowledge retention and retrieval. 

Retrieval should be used at the beginning of every lesson

Duke’s Digital Learning

Duke’s Secondary School 

Digital Learning – Vision, Strategy and Delivery Mission Statement


As part of the Northumberland Church of England Academy Multi-Academy Trust, Duke’s Secondary School strives to 

  • Provide a distinctively Christian inclusive and diverse learning environment which honours God. Every learner, adult and child here is enabled, nurtured and challenged to be the best they can be.
  • Encourage staff and pupils to aspire to fullness of life [John 10:10] that they may achieve their full potential.
  • Promote the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, personal and physical development of individuals within a Christian framework.
  • Sustain a community in which everyone is respected and valued.


Our vision is to ensure that Educational Technology is used to support student progress and learning, and deliver an all-encompassing school framework and systems for technology use that further enables us to want to enable everyone in our communities to ‘let their light shine’. To this end our vision includes developing the use of Educational Technology to foster an aspirational culture in our school and community, to encourage ambition for every child to maximise their potential, to develop independent learning skills which will contribute to our students becoming successful lifelong learners and to provide a relevant and modern curriculum that stretches and challenges. Through increased use and integration of Educational Technology our vision is also to further ensure that teaching excels in all area and that behaviour enables learning at the highest level to occur; This learning will further embed the strands of our DNA Culture Code, namely Creativity, Questioning, Reflection, Independence, Collaboration, Resilience and Stretch and Challenge. 


  1. Improve the use of technology in classroom and remote learning settings through practical resourcing via capital investment, community and parental donations. 
  2. Encourage 21st century digital pedagogy practices in which effective use of technology informs learning, teaching and assessment 
  3. Ensure that all students are equipped and prepared with the necessary skills for the digital world outside of the classroom 
  4. Ensure that all staff are supported through professional development and have the skills to create non-traditional teaching and learning practices for their students 
  5. To foster a vibrant digital culture amongst staff and students, which reflects and inspires the strands of our DNA Culture Code. 
  6. To simplify, streamline and improve the efficiency of IT systems, data management software, processes and procedures in all areas of school.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Currently, pupils in Key Stage 3 study a broad and balanced curriculum including:

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

Our Key Stage 4 Curriculum offers a range of subjects for pupils to study throughout Years 10 and 11.  Some subjects are core, where all pupils will follow these subjects, and some are chosen by the pupils during Year 9.

Key Stage 5 Curriculum

Our Key Stage 5 Curriculum offers a range of subjects for pupils to study throughout Year 12 and 13.  We offer a range of  Level 3 courses and pathways in both academic and vocational subjects.  All applicants to the Sixth Form are counselled regarding the choices of subject that they make.

If the KS5 prospectus does not automatically load in the frame below, please click on the downward facing arrow in the top right hand corner of the frame to download a copy of the document as a PDF file.

Mr Line is the Deputy Principal, and has responsibility for KS5.

For further information about the Duke’s Secondary School Key Stage 3 or 4 curriculum, please contact Mr Atkinson, Principal, on 01670 816 111.

For further information about the Duke’s 6th form Key Stage 5 curriculum, please contact Mr Line, Deputy Principal on 01670 816 111.