'Pupils feel widely consulted on developments and
are central in shaping the school's
mission and ethos.'Ofsted
'91% of parents surveyed believe that that staff are
approachable, effective and supportive.'Parent Survey 2017
Showreel 10070

Curriculum 2017-18

St Aidan’s Catholic Academy seeks to provide all pupils with exciting opportunities that build confidence, develop skills and promote academic excellence. Our curriculum reflects that vision, providing experiences aimed at fully preparing pupils for life in modern Britain by enabling them to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. Our curriculum design is based on the National Curriculum, whilst retaining the flexibility necessary to respond to the needs of all pupils. The curriculum is constantly under review, with current priorities related to increasing personalisation, so that all our pupils experience success, are healthy and safe, and are prepared to achieve economic well-being whilst having opportunities to make a positive contribution to their community. We believe all our pupils are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum that challenges their individual abilities; is relevant to their experience and present needs; is inclusive; has application and value in the world outside the school and promotes traditional British values.

The recognition of pupils as individual’s demands approaches to teaching and learning that will engage and enthuse all our young people, including those with special educational needs. Promoting high quality teaching and learning is the school’s highest priority. Information, communication, new media and digital technologies are tools that can be deployed in all curriculum areas.

Our approach to grouping is informed by the needs of our pupils and in most instances involves pupils being placed in broad ability groups. As pupils progress through the Academy the grouping in some subject areas becomes more focused. Our broad and balanced curriculum permits pupils to experience, practise and develop a wide range of knowledge, skills, attitudes and understanding. All pupils will have a comprehensive education that will allow them to develop personal strengths and talents as well as meet new and existing statutory requirements. The curriculum supports learning throughout in the core areas of English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education and Physical Education.

In Key Stage 3 (Year 7 & 8) the curriculum is designed to build on the learning experiences that children had in their primary schools. All pupils have access to PSHE, Art, Design Technology, Music, History, Geography and Modern Foreign Languages. As pupils need to be proficient in the use of ICT in virtually all future careers, we deliver a range of ICT courses throughout KS3 alongside the Computing curriculum.  Opportunities for formal recognition of ICT skills are made available at the most appropriate stage of KS4; this is constantly under review.

We have specialist provision for those most vulnerable pupils in both Year 7 and Year 8. Pupils in our Nurture Group follow a broad curriculum but one sharply focussed on accelerating their basic skills, this involves small numbers of pupils who follow a literacy intervention programme rather than the full MFL programme. Literacy programmes Lexia and Read Write Inc. help Entry Level pupils build on relevant literacy skills and build confidence, so that pupils can access GCSE courses when they are ready.

September 2016 saw the launch of the new mastery curriculum for Year 7 pupils. This move away from the national curriculum levels has allowed subjects to develop new curricula with a much stronger focus on developing skills in learners as well as ensuring mastery of key knowledge in all subjects. Pathways are introduced in Key Stage 4 to ensure that pupils continue to follow a broad and balanced curriculum that is suited to their individual needs. Our strong core entitlement incorporates Physical Education and Religious Education, as well as English, Mathematics and Science, with the overwhelming majority of our pupils taking a double or triple award in Science. All pupils are required to study either History or Geography and a large proportion of the year group continue to study Spanish or French at Key Stage 4 so that they have the opportunity to obtain the EBacc qualification. In addition, we have a rich options framework leading to high value academic and vocational qualifications. For 2017 we revised the options choice programme to include a wider range of courses, including GCSE Photography. The extended curriculum has also been used to give Year 11 pupils the opportunity to study for a GCSE in Construction (with strong links to a national building firm).

Throughout Key Stages 3 and 4, our personal development programme focuses upon key issues relevant to life in modern Britain, as well as supporting individuals to become confident and resilient learners. . We aim to encourage pupils to understand the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of people of all faiths, races and cultures. The programme incorporates Sex and Relationship Education, Health, Careers Education, Citizenship and Enterprise Education. Opportunities also exist for pupils to extend their learning through a wide range of extra-curricular activities and educational visits.

We enrich and enhance the taught curriculum in a variety of ways through collaborative working with community partners. Throughout, we have a strong commitment to the development of our pupils’ numeracy, literacy, computing and enterprise capabilities. We also provide a range of opportunities across the curriculum to facilitate the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils. We provide our Post 16 pupils with a rich choice-led curriculum within our partnership with St Anthony’s Girls’ Academy; provision is predominantly at A Level, Applied GCEs and BTEC National Certificates (over 30 courses are available).

We provide access to a variety of enrichment and entitlement opportunities such as GCSE English Language and Mathematics and a PSHCE programme. St Aidan’s Catholic Academy maintains a perspective beyond 11-19 in collaborating with feeder primary schools to ensure that pupils experience a smooth transition from primary to secondary. In the Sixth Form there is an extensive programme of advice and guidance with links to further and higher education providers so that pupils have all the necessary support and information that will enable them to progress to the next stage of their lives.

 

Key Stage 3 – Year 7 – 8

Subject Periods per 2 week cycle Percentage
Maths 7 14%
English 8 16%
RE 5 10%
Science 5 10%
ICT 4 8%
Languages 4 8%
Art 2 4%
Design & Technology 2 4%
PE/Games 4 (Year 7 & 8) 8%
Humanities (History and Geography) 5 10%
Music 2 4%
PDE 1 2%

*some students may access 2 extra English lessons a fortnight if extra support is needed.  These students will then only receive 2 lessons of languages.

Key Stage 4 – Year 9

Subject Periods per 2 week cycle Percentage
Maths 8 16%
English 8 16%
RE 5 10%
Science 8 16%
PE/Games 4 8%

Key Stage 4 – Year 10

Subject Periods per 2 week cycle Percentage
Maths 8 16%
English Language 4 8%
English Literature 4 8%
RE 5 10%
Science 10 20%
PE/Games 2 4%

Key Stage 4 – Year 11

Subject Periods per 2 week cycle Percentage
Maths 8 16%
English Language 4 8%
English Literature 4 8%
RE 5 10%
Science 10 20%
PE/Games 2 4%

 

In addition students in Key Stage 4 also study:

Subject Percentage
Y9 Y10 Y11
Option 1 6 6 5 12%
Option 2 6 5 6 12%
Option 3 5 6 6 12%

Key Stage 5

All students who have not achieved a grade C (4) in Maths or English will resit the subject.

Work experience is run on a individual basis with students finding suitable placements; students then inform the school who authorise.  M. Hope is the coordinator for this.

Students complete 2 hours per fortnight of General RE (Unless studying it at A-Level).  This counts as part of the timetabled entitlement.

Students are also able to volunteer to help as readers for the younger students or mentor older students in the main school with their studies.