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

Curriculum introduction:

Aspen 2 is structured around needs-led curriculum, alongside students being allocated to their classes according to their key stages. The delivery of the curriculum is supported through small size classes, a high staff to student ratio, specialist staff expertise and differentiated or individual programmes. There is a range of class/curriculum group organization which supports the learning needs of all students. There are three different curriculums within five classes:

  • Semi-Formal (one class – all Key Stages).
  • Formal (two classes – Key Stage 3).
  • Accredited (two classes – Key Stage 4/5).

Semi-Formal Curriculum:

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.
  • Semi-Formal (one class – all Key Stages).
  • Formal (two classes – Key Stage 3).
  • Accredited (two classes – Key Stage 4/5).

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:
  • This class is for our learners for whom a more informal approach to the curriculum is appropriate, including a different approach to accredited pathways through the use of EQUALS Moving On qualifications.
  • Students follow are broad and balanced curriculum with areas defined slightly differently for ease of access.
  • These areas include: Communication and Literacy, Numeracy, Expressive Arts, Personal Social Emotional Development, Physical Development and Understanding the World Student numbers are smaller in this class, whilst staff numbers are higher. They enjoy the familiarity of staying together as a group for longer.
  • Students are able to access learning in our other classes if they excel in a particular area. They also attend Catering, Drama Music and Dance lessons in the main academy team taught by specialist teachers in those subjects.
  • Student numbers are smaller in this class, whilst staff numbers are higher. They enjoy the familiarity of staying together as a group for longer.

Formal Curriculum:


  • Students study a broad and balanced curriculum covering English, Maths, Science, ICT, PSHE, Art, History, Geography and PE. These subjects are taught discreetly but with cross curricular themes (such as “Cooking up a storm” or “Making a Splash".
  • Students also attend Catering, Design & Technology, Drama, Music and Dance lessons in the main academy (not alongside their main school peers) taught by specialist teachers in those subjects.
  • Students that demonstrate a strength in a particular subject have the opportunity to study this alongside their mainstream peers.

Accredited Curriculum:


  • Students in KS4 and KS5 study a range of accredited pathways at Entry level 1,2,3 or in some cases Level 1.
  • Subjects include: English, Maths, ICT, Science, PSHE, PE and Life and Living.
  • Where appropriate students may also choose one option subject to study alongside their mainstream peers, (in addition to subjects they may continue from KS3). These options vary year on year but include things such as Catering, Art, Construction, Child Development or Music.
  • During KS4/5 students get an opportunity to complete work experience. This experience is tailored to individual needs and ranges from in school experiences to a whole week in the community.

Learning to believe, learning to succeed.
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