Longdean Curriculum

For detailed information about the curriculum please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., marking it for the attention of Mr D Lawrence.

Key Stage 3  (Y7 - Y8)

Students joining Longdean in year 7 are placed in one of four pathways, depending on the results from Key Stage Two English and Maths. Each pathway has a core curriculum of English, Maths, Science, ICT, PE, Social Sciences, Geography, History, Art, Drama, Music and Technology. All students also learn a modern foreign language (French or German), except for students in the lowest pathway, who have extra literacy and numeracy. Students also follow a competency curriculum during year 7, consisting of Opening Minds, Future Skills and Resilience. This is designed to equip students with the wider skills they will need for future study. This curriculum continues into year 8. Key Stage 3 is completed at the end of year 8 at Longdean.

Key Stage Stage 4 (Y9 - Y11)

During years 9, 10 and 11, students follow a core curriculum of English, Maths, Science, Social Sciences and Games. All students choose between GCSE ICT and GCSE Computer Science. Students in the top two pathways continue to study their modern foreign language. Our options system is unique to Longdean. Students choose an option for year 9, an option for year 10 and an option for year 11, completing each one in one year. The teaching groups for option subjects are mixed-age. There is a wide range of GCSE and BTEC subjects to choose from:

KS4 GCSE SUBJECTS

KS4 BTEC SUBJECTS

Art & Design
Biology
Business Communication Systems
Business Studies
Catering & Hospitality
Chemistry
Child Development
Computing
Core Science
Drama
Electronic Products
English Language
English Literature
Film Studies
French
Geography
German
Graphic Products
History
ICT
Leisure & Tourism
Mathematics
Music
PE
Physics
Photography
Psychology
Religious Studies
Resistant Materials
Sociology
Dance
Sport
Key Stage 5 (Y12 - Y13)

We offer a wide choice of A-Level and BTEC courses in the sixth form.  As part of the East Dacorum Partnership, our students can also take a subject at another school should they wish to.  We also offer a one-year re-take course in the sixth form, for students who need to improve their grades to move on to the course that they want to do.

KS5 A LEVEL SUBJECTS

KS5 BTEC SUBJECTS

Art & Design
Biology
Business Studies
Chemistry
Computing
Economics
English Literature
Film Studies
French
Further Mathematics
Geography
History
ICT Applied – Single 
Mathematics
Performing Arts
PE
Psychology
Religious Studies
Theatre Studies
Travel & Tourism

Children’s Play, Learning & Development
Creative & Media
Information Technology
Fashion
Music
Public Services

AG & T

Gifted & Talented refers to individual students’ gifts and talents in individual subjects. Gifted describes learners who have the ability to excel academically in one or more subjects such as English, drama, technology; Talented describes learners who have the ability to excel in practical skills such as sport, leadership, artistic performance, or in an applied skill.

Able, Gifted & Talented Register – Able students are defined as those learners with academic abilities or potential significantly above their year group. Talented learners have one or more abilities developed to a level significantly ahead of others (or with the potential to develop those abilities).

AG&T Provision at Longdean School seeks to ensure that the most academically able students achieve their full potential, i.e. As and A*s at GCSE and A level.

What is provided for the able, gifted and talented students? The curriculum is designed with pathways, so that able students are taught in high ability sets for many subjects from year 7. The curriculum ensures that able students are taught a broad range of subjects to GCSE, including a modern foreign language and three separate sciences. In addition, they each choose one GCSE to take in Year 9, and another in Year 10. The majority of able students achieve A* or A grades in their option subjects even though they are taken earlier than is normal, and this prepares them well for their main GCSE exams in Year 11. Able students in Year 10 also take the Higher Project Qualification, which involves individual research. Students can choose from a wide range of subjects at A Level, including the ‘facilitating subjects’ preferred by Russell Group universities. Results in these subjects are very strong, as they are with the Extended Project Qualification which is also available to all students in Year 13. In the first instance the Faculty or Department is responsible for ensuring that the gifted, talented and most able students are stretched and challenged. They will do this by providing tailor-made activities that are at a higher conceptual level. The pastoral system, with four Houses and vertical tutoring in forms, encourages older students to mentor and advise younger students from the very start.

Then there are various cross-curricular, enrichment and mentoring projects for each year-group. These include:

  • Year 9 Aim Higher Day at the University of Hertfordshire
  • Oxbridge Seminar for y12 Dacorum Schools held at Longdean School
  • Student shadowing scheme at the University of Hertfordshire
  • Student shadowing scheme at the University of Cambridge
  • Day Courses and Residential courses at the University Cambridge
  • Revision seminars for GCSE classes
  • Opportunities for student leadership such as running clubs and societies and taking part in Student Council.
  • Debates in School Parliament and Public Speaking competitions.
  • House competitions such as ‘speed chess’.
  • Writers and artists in residence
  • Mentoring, guidance and practice interviews for Sixth Formers applying to top universities
  • Opportunities for learning outside the classroom such as theatre trips, specialist sports, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Field trips (e.g. Iceland and Berlin) and international visits e.g. World Challenge to Costa Rica and International Schools to Ghana)