Our Curriculum Aims
To provide an attractive and appropriate curriculum for a diverse learning community which:
- Supports the growth, through Christ, of each student.
- Meets statutory requirements.
- Supports improved achievement.
- Is flexible enough to meet the needs of individual students.
- Is attractive to all learners and motivates them to succeed beyond expectation
Our Curriculum Policy
We aim to offer a broad, balanced, relevant, differentiated, and inclusive curriculum which is in accordance with national requirements and good practice, but has a distinctive character derived from the strengths and traditions of the school and which reflects the school’s ethos and heritage.
At Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 the curriculum conforms to the National Curriculum programmes of study and all other statutory requirements. At Key Stage 5, students are guided formally towards a personalised curriculum which meets their individual needs and . There are clear and diverse pathways through from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 5.
Our curriculum has been developed to meet the requirements of the expectations of the Catholic Education Service, and our commitment to the provision of a wide range of subjects, including breadth in our modern languages and creative choices. Students are grouped in a variety of ways according to the needs of the subject.
Our commitment to providing a curriculum which reflects the English Baccalaureate range of subjects means that students are strongly encouraged to study at least one Foreign Language at GCSE level. Able linguists can take two languages. Most students will also take either History or Geography to GCSE Level. All students have the opportunity to study a range of creative subjects.
As students enter Key Stage 4, we aim to provide a personalised curriculum for them as appropriate, working with external agencies to ensure appropriate course provision. Our options blocks are built around student preferences, rather than being determined in advance. We engage students and parents in decisions regarding their guided choices. All students are entitled to examination entry in their chosen subjects, provided that they have met the basic requirements of attendance and coursework or controlled assessment completion.
The curriculum offered at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 ensures that there are clear progression routes to enable students to continue their post-16 education at Maria Fidelis, and to prepare them for higher education and / or the world of work. This includes Study Programmes for Key Stage 5 which meet current guidelines.
Support for students with Special Educational Needs, and those for whom English is an additional language, is provided in class and through small withdrawal groups. All students with SEND are encouraged and supported to follow as much of the main stream curriculum as possible. Students are provided with opportunities to extend their skills and talents, which includes the provision of additional classes and extension opportunities for more able and talented students, as well as intervention and support provision as required (see also SEND Policy.)
Formal assessments of learning are conducted according to our Assessment, Recording and Reporting Policy and targets are shared with students and their parents regularly. Assessments of students’ learning are also made more informally and frequently.
The implementation of this policy is monitored through whole school, departmental and pastoral self- review.
Key Stage 3 (years 7 to 9)
On entry to Year 7, students are guided to study Latin or raise their literacy levels depending on their specific needs. PSHE, Citizenship and CEIAG are delivered through Themed Days.
Students study one modern foreign language in Year 7 and follow this language through to GCSE. There are opportunities to study a second foreign language for more able students.
There are a number of extra-curricular booster classes at KS3 designed for individual students who have been identified as requiring additional support to achieve their targets in literacy and numeracy.
Subjects taught in years 7 to 9
|Subject||Lessons per week (/30)|
|Careers Information and Guidance||Tutorials and Themed Days|
|Citizenship and British Values||Tutorials and Themed Days|
|Design and Technology||2|
|French or Spanish||2|
|History and Geography||3|
|Latin or Literacy||1|
|PSHE and RSE||Tutorials and Themed Days|
Key Stage 4 (years 10 and 11)
From year 10 students follow a pathway of curriculum choices which match their potential achievement, culminating in GCSE exam entries for the majority of students in at least 8 subjects (including English and Maths). For students for whom GCSE entry is not appropriate we offer a range of alternative Level 1 and 2 qualifications, and bespoke curriculum pathways.
Subjects offered in years 10 and 11:
|Citizenship and British Values||Tutorial/Themed Days||Compulsory|
|Careers Information and Guidance||Tutorial/Themed Days||Compulsory|
|PSHE and RSE||Tutorial/Themed Days||Compulsory|
|Entry Level English||5||Support|
|Entry Level Maths||5||Support|
|Entry Level Science||6||Support|
|Entry Level Humanities||3||Support|
|Certificate of Personal Effectiveness||3||Support|
|BTEC ICT Level 2||3||Support|
|BTEC Home Cooking Level 2||3||Support|
|Cambridge Nationals PE Cert||3||Support|
Key Stage 5 (years 12 and 13)
From year 12 students following a largely A level programme matched to meet their Higher Education and future career . GCSE English resit and GCSE Mathematics resit are compulsory for students who have not attained at least a grade '4' at GCSE. Where appropriate vocational and/or Level 2 qualifications may be offered. In addition to the following options, all students follow a programme of core studies which include Religious Education, Supervised Study, preparation for Higher Education, Work Experience and Community services activities. The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is also available where appropriate.