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

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.

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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.

The organisation of teaching groups

To ensure that we are best meeting the needs of all learners our curriculum model is structured to enable a degree of personalised learning through setting across most Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 groups. For most students this takes place within the context of two equal ability bands designated “g” (green) and “b” (blue). A third band (designated a) has a slightly modified curriculum with greater time allocated to literacy in order to support catch-up for students arriving from Primary School “not secondary ready”. A fourth band (designated “q”) maps the curriculum for our students with additional needs and supported via an EHCP naming Aspen 2 – our Specialist Resourced Provision.

Setting is reviewed for all year groups on an on-going basis using internal progress data, teacher assessments and external examination papers to ensure that all students are in the correct groups for their ability and pathway. Teaching groups are blocked in such a way as to enable-fine tuning of setting and students can expect to be in different sets for different subjects.

Curriculum Design across Key Stages

Key Stage 3

At Dover Christ Church Academy we have in the past followed a combined Humanities programme with a strong literacy focus at Key Stage 3. With a renewed emphasis on Humanities subjects and the EBAC at GCSE we have in recent years remodelled our curriculum to retain a strong focus on English, Mathematics and Science whilst also strengthening our focus on discrete delivery of History, Geography, Modern Foreign Language, Computer Science and Religious Education. In 2016 we returned to a three year Key Stage 3 in order to ensure a strong embedding of core knowledge and skills in these key subjects whilst retaining a broad and balanced curriculum which includes continued access to the arts and technology and as a foundation for strong progress and outcomes at GCSE.

At Key Stage 3 students follow the following curriculum subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • Modern Foreign Language (French, with Spanish for some students but additional English language in band a)
  • Computer Science (bands b & g)
  • Information Technology (band a only)
  • Religious Education
  • Citizenship and PSHE
  • Art
  • Music
  • Design Technology (including RM, Graphics, Textiles and Catering)
  • Physical Education
  • Literacy and Accelerated Reader

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

At Dover Christ Church Academy we seek to offer a broad and balanced mix of traditional and vocational subjects built around a strong compulsory core of English, Mathematics, Science and Physical Education. All cohorts now follow a two year KS4 with the final legacy 3 year KS4 group having completed examinations in June 2019.

At Key Stage 4 students follow the following curriculum subjects:

Compulsory Core:
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science – Trilogy for most, with Triple Science as an option
  • English Literature

EBAC Options:
  • History
  • Geography
  • Modern Foreign Language (French & Spanish)
  • Computer Science

  • Triple Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • Computer Science
  • Religious Studies
  • Art
  • Music
  • Performing Arts – optional routes in Dance and Drama
  • Health and Social Care
  • Child Development
  • Engineering
  • Construction
  • Catering
  • Textiles
  • Hair and Beauty
  • Film Studies
  • Creative iMedia
  • Business Studies
  • Physical Education and BTEC Sport

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)

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 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
  • Hair and Beauty

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.

Our full KS5 curriculum offering includes:

Traditional and Applied A levels

  • Mathematics and Core Mathematics
  • Sociology
  • Creative Media

IB Diploma Subjects

  • English Literature and Language
  • Maths Studies
  • History
  • Biology
  • Environmental Systems and Societies
  • Social Anthropology
  • Film Studies
  • IT in a Global Society


  • Applied Science (single award with extension available)
  • Art
  • Music
  • Sport and Exercise Science (single, double or triple)
  • Health and Social Care (single or double award. triple award extension)

Cambridge Technical

  • Business (ssingle award – with extension available)

Level 2 Vocational

  • Catering (VTCT)
  • Hairdressing (NVQ)
  • Beauty (NVQ)

Levels 2 Retakes

  • English
  • Mathematics
Learning to believe, learning to succeed.