Melbourne Avenue, Whitfield, Dover, Kent, CT16 2EG
Learning to believe, learning to succeed.
Curriculum Intent:

Curriculum introduction:

At Dover Christ Church Academy we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced. Our explicit curriculum is based closely on the principles, structure and content of the national curriculum. Our implicit curriculum lives in our clear learning culture and in the positive climate of mutual-respect we model for and expect from our students.

Our intent is to offer a rich curriculum that offers students the opportunity the experience a wide range of subjects. Our offer is supplemented by a large range of clubs, societies and enrichment activities that are designed to develop our student’s confidence and support their wellbeing.

Our curriculum is evaluated through a 4 tier planning process, overseen by the Vice Principal and scrutinised by the Chair of Trustees. Individual subjects are subject to regular Trustee visits which are reported to the full Trust. The planning process ensures that student opportunities to develop their metacognition are common and are tracked via topics and skills developed in each subject area, building opportunities for repetition across subjects which, in turn, develops and embeds long term knowledge.

Our curriculum offer is documented via the Academy Subject Gateway, with Tier 1 available for public viewing whilst Tiers 2 to 4 are available to parents and students via their academy log in.

Our SMSC programme uses classroom and enrichment opportunities to develop all students and supports, in particular our vulnerable students. Personal welfare remains a high priority for the academy.

All long term plans and schemes of work have been rewritten within the past year ensuring that we are meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum. Each SoW is now made up of 4 tired documents that evaluate the robust curriculum delivery from overview to individual lesson planning.

Students at KS3 are being assessed using a purpose-built mastery assessment model developed around the National Curriculum.

Students are encouraged to take part in a wide range of extra-curricular activities. This offer has been significantly increased over the course of the previous two years. Our school day has now been amended to allow time for further extra-curricular activities at lunchtime.

A personalised pastoral and curriculum offer is in place for our most vulnerable learners.

Our curriculum in its entirety promotes the spiritual, social, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of students at the school while also seeking to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life – learning to believe, learning to succeed.

Literacy Development:

Literacy is at the core of our curriculum. Our Literacy strategy has been developed for our student body and incorporates the past experiences of our students and the negative effect of Covid – 19 on literacy development. Our strategy ensures that each student is provided with individual literacy support and aims for all students to leave DCCA functional in comprehension and communication through reading, writing and speaking and listening skills.

Curriculum Design across Key Stages

Key Stage 3

Our three year KS3 curriculum offers students a broad range of experiences and has been developed to support the emotional and academic needs of our students. The curriculum has been broadened significantly over the past four years to include music, dance, catering and a developed PHSE and RE curriculum. This gives students a range of experiences that they may not have due to their background and develops essential everyday life skills. Whilst a foreign language is taught at KS3, some students do not study with time used to develop literacy and social skills.

From September 2019 our English curriculum is being delivered as part of the “Mastery English” national programme sponsored by the Education Endowment Foundation. PSHE and Citizenship are embedded across all curriculum subjects, within our implicit curriculum and explicitly in daily Tutor sessions.
ICT is embedded across all curriculum subjects.

Key Stage 4

KS4 students follow a 2 year GCSE programme that allows all students access to a wider range of academic and vocational subjects. The curriculum choice is not narrowed for any student and all subjects are available for student selection. Vocational subjects have been chosen based on the local employment market and to develop students’ independence after their time in education.

All KS4 students study a BTEC in sport. Given our context this is appropriate for the following reasons:
  • Health and wellbeing.
  • Progression to the sixth form.
  • Progression to the local employment market.

PSHE and Citizenship are embedded across all curriculum subjects, within our implicit curriculum and explicitly in daily Tutor sessions.
ICT is embedded across all curriculum subjects.

Key Stage 5 (post-16)

Due to the low level of student migration after Post 16, the curriculum design at KS5 follows pathways that lead to HE or meaningful employment in the local community. This has proved highly successful with 0 NEETS and 54% of Level 3 students furthering their studies at HE at the end of the last academic year.

At Dover Christ Church Academy we seek to offer a broad and balanced post-16 curriculum of traditional and Applied ‘A’ levels or International Baccalaureate subjects, alongside a mix of level 3 and level 2 Vocational qualifications with opportunities to retake GCSE English and Mathematics. Students can choose to follow the full International Baccalaureate Careers Programme (IBCP) by combining two IB subjects with one vocational subject and the IB “Core”.

Key Stage 5 Pathways:

Our KS5 Option blocks are designed to allow students to follow one of a number of clearly defined pathways with some additional flexibility to blend options:

  • Traditional Academic – Humanities, Science and the Arts.
  • Health and Social Care.
  • Business and IT.
  • Film and Media.
  • Sport and Fitness.
  • Football Academy.
  • Level 2 Vocational with English and Mathematics.
  • Hospitality and Catering.

These pathways have been established with progression to Higher education and the local workplace in mind.

Football Academy

We are proud of the continued growth of our now well established Football Academy which combines the coaching with the excellent teaching skills of our own Physical Education department. The balance achieved means that our students enjoy a vibrant footballing culture whilst also achieving good academic progress and outcomes in triple BTEC Sport and Fitness. Each year we see a number of our football Academy students progress to courses at our Sponsor Canterbury Christ Church University, along with other Higher Education destinations.

What is the CP?

The International Baccalaureate Careers Programme (IBCP) is a framework of international education that incorporates the values of the IB into a unique programme addressing the needs of students engaged in career-related education.

The programme leads to further/higher education, apprenticeships or employment and carries comparable UCAS points to other level 3 courses such as A level and BTEC.

We have worked closely with our Sponsor Canterbury Christ Church University in identifying clear progression routes from our proposed IBCP course into degree level study at CCCU.

Dover Christ Church Academy received authorization as an IB World School in July 2017. IB World Schools are schools that share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Dover Christ Church Academy believes is important for our students.

*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme or the Career-related Programme (CP).

For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit

The CP curriculum

IBCP students undertake a minimum of two IB Diploma Programme (DP) courses, a core consisting of four components and a career-related study (eg a BTEC).

For IBCP students, DP courses provide the theoretical underpinning and academic rigour of the programme; the career-related study further supports the programme’s academic strength and provides practical, real-world approaches to learning; and the CP core helps them to develop skills and competencies required for lifelong learning.


At DCCA this academic and career-related study comprises of a single or double award BTEC course, Cambridge Technical and/or Practical and Applied ‘A’ level. Cohorts of students have been following the IBCP Programme at DCCA since September 2017. Our first cohort graduated in 2019 with a pleasing set of results.

Learning to believe, learning to succeed.