The Curriculum and its organisation
The school’s curriculum aims are as follows:
- To foster the spiritual, moral and religious development of each pupil within a Catholic ethos while ensuring that the values of other traditions in the school community and the wider community are understood and respected.
- To provide a well ordered, stimulating environment which promotes the intellectual, social, cultural, creative and physical development of each pupil.
- To encourage all pupils in the pursuit of excellence in all areas of school life.
- To implement the National Curriculum as specified by statutory orders and Government guidance.
- To provide a balanced choice of subjects and a broadly based range of knowledge, understanding and skills.
- To encourage pupils to follow a curriculum suited to their individual needs, abilities and interest.
- To prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
- To assist pupils in making informed choices in relation to further and higher education and employment.
- To provide opportunities to develop confidence and self-esteem in the pupils and to promote an awareness of the needs of others.
- To provide for the broader development of each pupil by the encouragement of extra-curricular activities.
On admission to the school, the girls are arranged into four mixed ability Form Groups. The forms are based on the House system, in which the four Houses (Lindisfarne, Rievaulx, Thanet and Whitby) are used for social and competitive purposes. A pupil stays in the same tutor group until she reaches the Sixth Form. Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education is delivered implicitly across the curriculum and explicitly in a weekly period delivered primarily by Year Teams.
The First Three Years
In Key Stage 3 (years 7 – 9) girls study the ten core and foundation subjects of the National Curriculum – English, Mathematics, Science, Technology, History, Geography, Music, Art, Physical Education and Modern Languages. Girls also have lessons in Religious Education and Drama. Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) are delivered by Form Tutors.
In years 8 and 9 all pupils will study a course in Enterprise leading to an AQA Level 1/2 Certificate in Enterprise and Employability. Science is taught as an integrated subject in years 7 and 8, but as three separate subjects (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) in year 9. Technology incorporates Food Technology and Craft Design Technology in wood, metal and plastic. Art incorporates design, and pottery. There are timetabled classes for Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in years 7 – 9. ICT is also used in other curriculum areas.
In year 7, all the teaching takes place within the form groups except where these groups are subdivided for practical subjects. Pupils are grouped into five ability sets for the teaching of Mathematics and Science in years 7, 8 and 9. English is taught in six ability sets in year 8 and five sets in year 9. Modern Languages are grouped into six ability sets in years 7 to 9.
From the outset emphasis is placed on high academic standards. Members of staff are alert to new developments in course content and teaching methods and the school has a good reputation for curriculum development.
Summary of Curriculum Arrangements for Years 7-9
The school timetable cycle consists of 60 periods per fortnight. Each period lasts 50 minutes.
|Year 7||Year 8||Year 9|
|Citizen & PSHE||2||2||2|
Curriculum in Years 10 and 11
At Key Stage 4 (years 10 and 11) all girls follow a common GCSE course in Religious Studies, English (Language and Literature), Mathematics and Science (double certification), as well as non-examination courses in Physical Education, and Careers. Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is taught primarily by the form tutor in their CP lesson, although Citizenship and PSHE elements are covered across the curriculum.
Most girls follow a GCSE short course in Technology, specialising in Food Technology or ICT. However, the school also offers the opportunity to do a Double Award Applied GCSE in Business by combining one option and the short course time slots. There is also the opportunity to study Biology, Chemistry, and Physics as single sciences.
In addition, four subjects are chosen from the following list of options
|– Art||– Italian|
|– Business Studies||– Music|
|– Child Care & Development||– Physical Education|
|– Classical Civilisation||– Food Technology|
|– Dance||– Product Design|
|– Information Communication|
All pupils must choose at least one Modern Foreign Language from their options.
The Sixth Form
The Sixth Form is open to all girls likely to benefit from what it has to offer. Girls who enter it receive a general education in addition to their specialist studies and are encouraged to acquire new skills and undertake wider reading. They play a full and leading part in school activities and undertake responsibilities as Prefects, Mentors, Senior Prefects, and House Officials, enabling them to develop maturity of judgement and qualities of leadership. The school currently offers the following range of subjects:
‘A’ Levels in:
|– Art||– Information & Communication Technology|
|– Biology||– Italian|
|– Business Studies||– Mathematics|
|– Chemistry||– Further Mathematics|
|– Classical Civilisation||– Music|
|– Economics||– Physical Education|
|– English||– Physics|
|– Film Studies||– Psychology|
|– Food Technology||– Religious Studies|
|– French||– Food Technology|
|– Geography||– Theatre Studies|
|– History||– Product Design|
Vocational Courses in:
Applied Business Studies
Applied information and Communication
Diploma & Certificate in Financial Services (IFS)
Sixth Form pupils follow a course in general Religious Education. Most ‘A’ level pupils are expected to follow a course in General Studies leading to an ‘A’ level examination. The option to re-take GCSE in core subjects may also be possible. Citizenship and PSHE is delivered by the form tutor in a weekly period. The school currently offers the opportunity to be part of the UK Careers Academy.
Career Academies UK
This is an initiative aimed at those students who are interested in pursuing a career in business. It represents the formation of a business school within the sixth form, and offers a framework for students to develop their business skills. To be part of this Academy, students must opt to take two business-related qualifications such as: Applied Business or ICT; or A Levels in Business, ICT, Economics or IFS (The Double Business option can only be counted as one business subject). The Academy programme is particularly designed to motivate young people who have not yet realised their potential. Students are invited to apply in writing and if successful an interview will take place to ensure the best candidates are chosen for this programme.
Academy students will receive a programme of enrichment activities aimed at developing employability skills, business knowledge and self-esteem. Key to the Academy experience is the paid student internship: an industry placement for 6 weeks, earned through an interview and fulfilment of coursework. Equally key is the opportunity for every student to be mentored by someone from business, allowing them to reflect their learning to an adult other than a teacher. The programme will also involve various trips to business institutions and access to successful business role models. Students will be invited to a launch evening from which a formal selection process will take place. If students are successful they will be invited onto this prestigious programme. Over the past 8 years 74 students have benefited from this programme many going onto University to study business related subjects or entering the world of work after their A Level studies.