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Dacorum Education Support Centre

Dacorum Education Support Centre


Key Stage 4 Curriculum Rationale

Our aim is to provide learners with the highest quality provision using a twin track approach that focuses equally on the holistic and academic aspects of learning.

Therefore, we provide a curriculum, enriched by a range of planned activities and experiences which enhances learning and personal development so that all young people become:

  • Independent learners, who enjoy an ambitious needs led learning curriculum and are able to access a positive destination for their next steps in education and in life      
  • Confident individuals who are able to live a safe, healthy and fulfilling life
  • Active and responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to the wellbeing of present and future generations


The curriculum, therefore, is flexible, inclusive, engaging and offers continuity, coherence and progression. It motivates and provides challenge for all young people whatever their ability and promotes achievement for all.



The timetable is broken into 3 segments of the day

  • POD
  • Core
  • Option

POD Time (Segment 1)

POD time was incorporated into our daily curriculum plan to provide the nurture-based approach that our learners need. Nurture, Personal Social Development (PSD) & Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) with Reading and Literacy interwoven

POD Structure

Time Focus
0930 -  0945 Breakfast
0945 - 1000 Focused Awareness
1000 – 1030 PSD (Personal, Social Development sessions)
1030 – 1040 DEaR (Drop Everything and Read)
1040 – 1045 Target Setting and Review


Core Curriculum (Segment 2)

Our Core curriculum is based on a carousel of the following subjects per week:

  • English                                                                       x3 lessons
  • Maths                                                                         x3 lessons
  • ICT                                                                               x2 lessons
  • LiFE (Lessons in Financial Education)               x1 lesson
  • Lifestyle PE                                                               x1 lesson

The purpose of multiple pathways ensures success quickly.  It allows our learners to build confidence, re-engage with education (particularly in English and Maths) through providing a number of bespoke educational pathways for our learners that ensures success.  Our aim every year is to ensure that all learners leave DESC as a minimum, with an English and a Maths qualification.    Please see below as to how possible pathways work within Maths (This is also mirrored in English).

Options Curriculum (Segment 3)

Our Options curriculum is based on providing subjects based on learner needs and interest.  Options include:


  • Art
  • Drama
  • English Literature
  • History
  • Science
  • Statistics 

Vocational Qualifications

  • Arts Award
  • Business
  • Child Development
  • Health and Social Care
  • Home Cooking
  • ICT
  • Sport and Active Leisure
  • Woodwork
  • Prince’s Trust (Achieve Programme)


  • Dance
  • Gaming
  • Health and Fitness
  • Horticulture
  • Italian
  • Lifestyle Cooking
  • Music

Alternative Provision

We also provide the opportunity for our learners to access several Alternative Provision providers if identified as a need.  This means therefore, that learners can gain purposeful qualifications enabling clear progression opportunities towards future college courses, apprenticeships and employment.

Current Providers          

  • Building 1 Zone                       
  • C&G Plastering
  • Chiltern Skills and Enterprise Centre (CSEC)                
  • Frameworks Scaffolding          
  • HealthyU           

Quality Assurance of all AP provisions are carried out weekly by Dustin King (Assistant Head).

Work Experience

We can also meet the needs of our learners through providing work experience opportunities if deemed appropriate.

Current Providers

  • Building and Construction       PMJ Daniels Construction
  • Hairdressing                                 Supercuts
  • Landscape Gardening               Deacons Tree and Garden Services
  • Plumbing                                      RJL Plumbing

Quality Assurance of all AP provisions are carried out weekly by Dustin King (Assistant Head).


Destinations (Please click link)


In Summary

  • Our curriculum is fundamentally based around the individual needs, interests and aspirations of our learners
  • Our timetable is segmented in to three parts to ensure flexibility
  • Our curriculum offer and learners individual learner timetables are reviewed half termly to ensure that our learners’ needs are continually met in what are forever changing circumstances
  • Our approach is based on building positive relationships, mutual respect and trust
  • Our aim is to support and prepare each learner for their next stage