Our curriculum seeks to offer a broad and balanced experince which enables each member of the school community to become the ‘best versions of themselves’.
The formal and informal curriculum is designed so that all students, regardless of their background or ability, is able to develop the attitudes and qualities which prepares them to
achieve the very best academic standards in all subject areas, commensurate with their own ability;
utilise the necessary skills which helps prepare them for life beyond school; and
live good lives, underpinned by our core gospel values of: Love, Acceptance, Responsibility and Forgiveness (LARF).
We take every opportunity to ensure all students make the best progress possible and achieve the highest possible standards in subjects and qualifications. We strive to narrow the gaps in achievement and enable those not achieving age-related expectations to catch up with their peers. Our ALNCo works closely with all departments, in order to support students so that they all have access to the curriculum. The school challenges more able and talented students so that they achieve their full potential and their progress is sustained and enhanced. We make certain that all young people develop the skills and abilities needed for success in life and can apply them in a wide range of contexts.
Teaching groups vary in nature but generally there are mixed ability classes on admission in Year 7. A process of setting, determined by each department, takes place as students move through the school. Some setting takes place in Year 7 with further extensions to setting in Years 8- 11.
At key stage 3 (Years 7 - 9) the school curriculum consists of
Core subjects: English, Welsh, mathematics, science and religious education;
Non-core subjects: Modern foreign languages, design technology, ICT, history, geography, art, music, drama, physical education, PSE (including sex education) and careers and the world of work.
At key stage 4 (Years 10 - 11) the school curriculum consists of
Compulsory subjects: English language and English literature, Welsh second language, mathematics: numeracy, mathematics, science, religious education, physical education and Welsh Baccalaureate;
PSE (including Relationships and Sexuality Education) and careers and the world of work; and
A broad range of academic and vocational courses leading to external qualifications (based on demand).
At key stage 5 (Sixth Form) the school curriculum consists of
A broad range of courses leading to external qualifications; and
All students follow the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification (WBQ).
In order to maximise the curriculum opportunities available at key stage 4 and 5 we work in collaboration with a number of schools in the local area and within our faith partnership to better support our students.
New Curriculum: Year 7 (from 2022 onwards)
Our new curriculum has been introduced for Year 7 students, drawing upon the principles of Curriculum for Wales.
Our staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that the curriculum meets the needs of our students and offers a bespoke experience. A copy of our curriculum overview can be accessed here. This captures on a single page, the key themes and concepts that will be covered within departments, across Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLE) and the whole school.
A draft version of the Year 8 curriculum overview, which will be introduced in September 2023 can be accessed here.
Measuring expected progress within our bespoke curriculum
Our staff will assess students against our own curriculum, linked to steps of progression at three different tiers. For each step, these are at foundation tier; intermediate tier; and advanced tier.
We recognise this is a new and unfamiliar system for families, particularly if they have older children in the school. So, the table below seeks to explain how our tiers may compare to 'old' national curriculum levels. Furthermore, it highlights how these tiers would compare to GCSE standards.
How will I know my child is making good progress against this bespoke curriculum?
Against our unique curriculum, we will expect that most students are likely to achieve at a rate of one tier of progress per curriculum year. However, at the same time, there is recognition that children will learn at different rates and demonstrate a wide range of skills. The graphic below is designed to illustrate how a child, who began Year 7 in September 2022, might be expected to progress through our curriculum