Curriculum

Curriculum Statement

St Thomas a Becket Curriculum Statement

Proud Faithful Unique

Curriculum Intent

Our aspirational curriculum encompasses all that pupils learn, experience and become as a result of being members of our school family.

With Christ at the centre, our students are at the very heart of our school. We provide a broad and balanced curriculum that enables students to thrive and flourish. We seek to provide opportunities to realise the unique potential of each person within our care. We educate the whole person – academic, pastoral, moral, social, spiritual and physical.

Each person is ‘cherished for who they are, as much as for what they achieve’

Schools of Discipleship

As a learning community inspired by faith, we cherish each individual, celebrate all achievements and offer each other academic challenge and pastoral support, as together we follow Christ in self-giving, love and service. Our ambitious curriculum is a powerful means that supports us to nurture and mould our young people as discerning global citizens working for the common good.

Our rich curriculum will allow our pupils to acquire the key knowledge, understanding and skills to enable them to move on to their next stage in education. Pupils will have the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of ability or disadvantage and be proud of their achievements.

Implementation

Our curriculum is broad and balanced and aims to meet the needs of all of our pupils in our truly comprehensive school.

In Key Stage 3 our curriculum is broad with all students studying all subjects until the end of Year 9.

Pupils opt in Year 9 for the 3 additional subjects that they will study in Key Stage 4 in addition to the core subjects of RE, English, Maths, Science and PE.

We operate a 2 week timetable and all students have 50 x 1 hour lessons each fortnight.

Year 7

Each fortnight Year 7 students study 5 hours of RE, 6 hours of Maths, 6 hours of English, 6 hours of Science, 4 hours of History, 4 hours of Geography, 4 hours of French or Spanish, 4 hours of PE, 2 hours of Design and Technology, 2 hours of ICT/Computer Science, 2 hours of Drama, 2 hours of Music, 2 hours of Art and 1 hour of PSHE.

Students are set in Maths and English but are taught in mixed ability groups in all other subjects.

Year 8

Each fortnight Year 7 students study 5 hours of RE, 6 hours of Maths, 6 hours of English, 6 hours of Science, 4 hours of History, 4 hours of Geography, 4 hours of French or Spanish, 4 hours of PE, 2 hours of Design and Technology, 2 hours of ICT/Computer Science, 2 hours of Drama, 2 hours of Music, 2 hours of Art and 1 hour of PSHE.

Students are set in Maths and English but are taught in mixed ability groups in all other subjects.

Year 9

Each fortnight Year 9 students study 5 hours of RE, 6 hours of Maths, 8 hours of English, 9 hours of Science and 4 hours of PE. In addition, pupils study 2 hours of Design Technology, 3 hours of MFL (2 hours of French or Spanish and 1 hour of Italian), 2 hours of ICT/Computer Science, 2 hours of Geography, 2 hours of History, 2 hours of Drama, 2 hours of Art, 2 hours of Music and 1 hour of PSHE. Teaching of the GCSE courses begins towards the end of year 9.

Pupils are set in Maths, Science and RE and are taught in mixed ability groups in all other subjects.

Pupils opt at the end of Year 9 for the courses that they would like to study at GCSE level.

Year 10

Each fortnight Year 10 students study 5 hours of RE, 8 hours of Maths, 8 hours of English, 9 hours of Science, 1 hour of PE and 1 hour of PSHE. Pupils also study 6 hours in each of their 3 option subjects. Option choice courses include:

  • GCSE History
  • GCSE Geography
  • GCSE French
  • GCSE Spanish
  • GCSE Italian
  • GCSE Computer Science
  • GCSE Triple Science
  • CNAT ICT
  • GCSE Business Studies
  • GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition
  • GCSE PE
  • CNAT Sports Studies
  • GCSE Art
  • BTEC Performing Arts
  • CNAT Health and Social Care
  • Life Skills

Pupils are set in Maths, Science and RE and are taught in mixed ability groups in all other subjects.

Pupils can also study GCSE Latin as an optional after school course taught in conjunction with QEGS. GCSE Polish and other MFL subjects are taken by native speakers.

Year 11

Each fortnight Year 11 students study 5 hours of RE, 8 hours of Maths, 8 hours of English, 9 hours of Science, 1 hour of PE and 1 hour of PSHE. Pupils also study 6 hours in each of their 3 option subjects. Option choice courses include:

  • GCSE History
  • GCSE Geography
  • GCSE French
  • GCSE Spanish
  • GCSE Italian
  • GCSE Computer Science
  • GCSE Triple Science
  • CNAT ICT
  • GCSE Business Studies
  • GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition
  • GCSE PE
  • CNAT Sports Studies
  • GCSE Art
  • GCSE Music
  • BTEC Music
  • CNAT Health and Social Care

Pupils are set in Maths, Science and RE and are taught in mixed ability groups in all other subjects.

Pupils can also study GCSE Latin as an optional after school course taught in conjunction with QEGS. GCSE Polish and other MFL subjects are taken by native speakers.

We meet all statutory curriculum expectations for our students from 11-16 years.

Selected pupils in Year 9 have the opportunity to study GCSE Latin which is taught after school one night each week. This continues throughout Year 10 and 11 and is split between St Thomas a Becket and QEGs school sites.

In Key Stage 3, students are assessed using the SOLO (Structured Observation of Learning Outcomes) taxonomy. For each module of work, students are provided with descriptors of what is required to demonstrate a basic understanding and how to deepen their knowledge to progress their learning.  Whether the standard of their work is unistructural, multistructural, relational or extended abstract, they know what the next step is to improve and demonstrate a deeper understanding. Departments use language tailored to their subject when discussing these standards with students.

Expected progress is measured and reported in ‘Gears’. 3rd gear denotes expected progress with 2nd gear below, 4th gear beyond expected and 1st gear a cause for concern, triggering intervention by the class teacher in the first instance.

In Key Stage 4, GCSE grades are used when assessing and reporting student progress.

The acronym SPADE is used across both Key Stages to give feedback to students and ensure that they respond to feedback given. Strengths, Problems and Actions are fed back to students. They respond in Developing their work. The teacher Evaluates their improved version and /or their response to the feedback given.

Each year group has access to knowledge organisers for every subject. Pupils are encouraged to use these to prepare for assessments, exams and support home learning.

In addition, our pupils have opportunities to develop their faith through daily collective worship, weekly year group or house assemblies, Mass, prayer, meditation and reflection. A pupil chaplaincy group leads many of these activities.

Virtues education (character education) is embedded across the curriculum with individual virtues highlighted in curriculum plans and pupils being rewarded with virtues awards at achievement assemblies throughout the year.

Our pupils learn to serve others through charitable works and giving e.g. CAFOD and Catholic Care. Student voice and leadership within school is evidenced in a variety of opportunities such as the school council, senior pupil structure and the Lourdes pilgrimage.

Many enrichment activities are offered to pupils to further develop their skills, interests and knowledge.  All students are given the opportunity to enroll onto the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.  Multiple after school clubs enable students to take part in sports teams/coaching, art club, school productions, orchestras, bands and choirs as well as academic support with a comprehensive timetable of revision sessions offered each evening in multiple subjects. There are frequent opportunities for residential trips both in the UK and abroad to broaden life experience and allow pupils a glimpse of the wider world.

Impartial information, advice and guidance (IIAG) is provided through careers support in all year groups and particularly as they enter their final year with us to support their transition to the next stage in their education.

Literacy and numeracy are essential life skills, in addition to being crucial for success in GCSE examinations across all subjects. These skills are supported by all departments to reinforce students’ learning across the curriculum, with specific and consistent strategies employed to improve literacy.

We have high expectations of behaviour for learning to enable pupils to fully access the curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to be active learners through explicit instruction on how to fully engage within lessons using SLANT (Sit up Straight, Listen and Look, Ask and Answer, Note key points, Track the speaker).

Impact

Pupils have qualifications that will be valued by employers and enable their next steps in education.

All students will have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Our curriculum is accessible and meets the needs of all students regardless of ability.

In Key stage 3 attainment and progress will be measured against Key Stage 2 results/CATs scores using SOLO taxonomy and the Gears system. Assessment will take the form of both formative and summative.

In Key Stage 4 attainment and progress will be measured in GCSE/BTEC/CNAT outcomes. Assessment will take the form of both formative and summative.

In both Key Stages, Behaviour for Learning (BfL) data is also gathered and analysed at each interim report stage.

The success of IIAG will be measured against the post-16 destination data.

Through the curriculum, students will have developed their knowledge, skills and experience so they are empowered to recognise and realise their God-given potential. This will be reflected in:

  • Their commitment to a continuing faith journey
  • Their positive contribution to a better world through self-giving, love and service
  • Their development as a unique individual with a strong moral compass
  • Being proud of the qualifications that they have achieved
  • Their readiness for the next stage of education, employment or training.

Each person is ‘cherished for who they are, as much as for what they achieve’

Schools of Discipleship

To find out more on the curriculum please email Ms Atkinson: ratkinson@beckets.bkcat.uk

DID YOU KNOW? St Thomas à Becket celebrates their highest ever GCSE progress score! Click here to find out more