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Our Lady’s R.C. High School

To Know, Love and Serve God


Curriculum Overview

Our mission statement unifies our school community with a simple message; To Know, Love and Serve God. We believe that every child has the potential to be great. Therefore, our curriculum is characterised by excellence, providing opportunities for students to reach their full potential and prepare them for a world outside of school. Our curriculum is shaped around the needs of our young people and ‘illuminated by the Gospel message’. It is our aim to create a community of faith, learning and service.


We aim to foster the intellectual, social, creative, physical, moral and spiritual development of all our students. Our Lady’s students will grow up as determined, courageous and humble individuals who will embody the Gospel values throughout their lives with a deep appreciation of the beauty of God’s world around them.


Our Aims:

To help our young people develop, we believe it is important for them to explore their talents and enable them to experience success and fulfil their potential. To this end we offer a broad and balanced curriculum with a wide range subjects where learning is organised so there is a sincere ongoing engagement between faith, learning and culture.

Whilst we understand that examination success is important, we recognise that there is more to school than the assessed outcomes achieved, so we will continue to add opportunities for all students to engage in a rich and varied enrichment programme. The enrichment programme provides a space to encounter the living God, who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth in a unique way.


Our enrichment programme will provide all members of our community with an opportunity to explore interests and engage in broader perspectives, encouraging further development of passions either known or unknown. It promotes self-esteem therefore improving self-confidence and provides opportunities to expand a student’s social network working alongside others. We understand that young people have a diverse range of interests and we will look to facilitate opportunities for them to develop in these areas promoting fun and happiness to complement academic study.


We recognise that young people have differing needs, gifts and talents and we aim to meet these through a variety of curriculum support and intervention strategies across all year groups.


In order to help our young people develop, we believe it is important for our pupils to explore all their talents and experience a wide range of opportunities. A curriculum designed around these principles will enable students to:

• be challenged and equipped to live and work in a complex and changing world.
• be encouraged to respect others’ values and take responsibility for themselves and others in school and the wider community.
• encounter the living God who is Jesus Christ revealing his transforming love and truth.
• adopt sound moral and ethical values and be able contribute positively to society.
• be able to manage relationships and situations well.
• aspire to be the best they can be.
• achieve their potential in all areas of school life – spiritual, academic, creative, physical and emotional.
• grow in self-esteem and resilience and have a sense of social and environmental responsibility.


Key Stage 3

We believe that key stage 3 provides very important building blocks to ensure success in later life. Students will build upon KS2 mastery and acquire skills and knowledge at this stage which will support their success at Key Stage 4 and beyond irrespective of the academic pathways they choose.


Students develop the main key skills of literacy, numeracy, communication and team work as an integral part of the curriculum together with independence to encourage a high degree of resilience. These skills and others are evident across the curriculum in addition to a variety of opportunities to develop each young person’s cultural capital.


All students follow a core curriculum in Years 7 and 8 which is delivered through a variety of mixed ability and ability grouped teaching with additional literacy and numeracy support for those who need it. All students study a full range of academic and creative subjects, which can be furthered at GCSE if chosen.

Students are able to select options for further study outside of the core curriculum during the summer term of year 8.


Our Offer

Our key stage 3 is years 7 and 8 where the full national curriculum is taught.

• English
• Maths
• Science
• RE
• PE
• History
• Geography
• French or
• Spanish
• Design and Technology
• Art
• Music
• Drama
• Computing
• Personal, social, health and careers education (PSHCE)


Key Stage 4

We offer a wide choice of subjects at KS4 so that students can choose from a range of accredited qualifications to suit all ability, interests and learning styles. Our Key Stage Four is three years over years 9, 10 and 11. We do this so that students have the time and space to learn, absorb and remember more complex ideas and concepts. Year 9 is treated as a year where students are introduced gradually to more complex ideas and concepts to prepare them for GCSE study; students are not assessed according to GCSE criteria, and programmes of study are not limited to the GCSE exam syllabi. We believe this gives students the best opportunity to reach their full potential.


Each young person will be guided into selecting the most appropriate pathway for them with all routes available to all students. Each route is intended to meet the needs and aspirations of all students and provide progression to post-16 education or training and beyond.

We have a large range of subjects at KS4: GCSE: Art and Design, Fine Art, Art Photography, Business Studies, Computer Science, Design Technology (Food & Nutrition and Engineering), Drama, English Language, English Literature, French, Geography, Health and Social Care, History, ICT, Italian, Mathematics, Music, Photography, RE, Science), Spanish ,Triple Science- (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and Combined Science), VCERT Health & Fitness

To guarantee breadth of curriculum we require all students to choose either history or geography, computer science or a language at KS4. While we strongly recommend that more able students should continue with both, we do not force this. This decision is supported by governors and parents. Any student may, of course, take all of them.

KS4 option blocks are designed around student choice with popular subjects often appearing in more than one option block allowing for an increased combination of subjects. Some options with smaller student numbers may be protected to safeguard curriculum balance and support the school ethos, for example Music.

Subjects studied at KS4 all lead to accredited qualifications and support progression post-16.

Independent careers advice at key points helps to ensure that students are guided to towards the options and pathway which best suits their plans and aspirations. Students in KS4 are set according to academic ability in core subjects. Options subjects are largely mixed ability.


If you would like any further information regarding the school curriculum, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Nightingale.