Curriculum Intent and Vision

St Francis Xavier’s strives to build a Catholic Christian community of love and respect to educate young people to meet the challenges of life confidently, to develop their unique talents to the full, and to live out the values of Christ and his Gospel. It is our belief that it is the educational right of all pupils to receive a comprehensive education committed to academic excellence, regardless of background or social standing.

We aspire to be a confident, outward-looking Catholic community in which every member:

  • enjoys creative, dynamic and reflective learning
  • is supported, challenged and equipped for the future
  • values and takes responsibility for themselves and others
  • relies on and helps to build supportive, long-lasting relationships

Our form period Mission Programme plays a key role in enabling us to meet these aims, helping pupils to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Christian values and principles and to apply them to PSHE-related themes and topics. This programme seeks to develop in our students greater:

  • Courage and resilience
  • Compassion and empathy through self-respect and respect for others
  • Personal and collective ambition and creativity
  • Critical thinking and sound moral judgement

 

‘The UK’s future workforce will need technical expertise in areas such as design and computing, plus skills which robots cannot replace; flexibility, empathy, creativity and enterprise.’ Lord Baker of Dorking, Digital Revolution (2017)

 

In order to help our young people develop we believe it is crucial for our pupils to explore all of their talents and experience a wide range of opportunities. All pupils should leave the College having gained all they need socially, personally and academically to live a successful and rewarding life. They will receive a high quality education enriched by experiences and extracurricular activities in order to ensure all of our pupils experience “Life in all its fullness…”

OFSTED has identified curriculum narrowing as one of the major risks to the quality of education.  Our intent is to provide our pupils with an ambitious, broad, balanced, personalised and relevant curriculum, and to produce happy and well rounded learners.  We feel the study of languages, humanities and the arts alongside our core compulsory offer associates enjoyment with skill, order and insight. It is for this reason we ensure learners study the full curriculum by teaching a full range of subjects for as long as possible, ‘specialising’ only when necessary 

Culture and education belong together; in fact essentially are together. culturallearningalliance.org.uk

We have introduced a wider range of option subjects for pupils to select from when they make their option choices in Year 9, it is important that they have access to all of these in Key Stage 3 to enable them to make informed choices and build a solid foundation of skills knowledge and understanding. This is a very exciting time for our learners.

 

 

Our Curriculum Journey

In May  2019 we undertook a full review of our curriculum . In the design of their curriculum we asked our curriculum teams to consider the following questions:

  • KS2-3 Transition: What knowledge and skills did your students learn/experience in primary?
  • Intent: What is the purpose of teaching your subject? How have you selected texts and materials to support the intent of the subject curriculum? How do you ensure that the learning is ambitious for all pupils: SEND/Pupil Premium?
  • Content: What knowledge and skills are you going to teach them?
  • Sequencing: What order are you going to ‘teach things’? How does a teacher use what has come before?
  • Rationale: What is the rationale for your sequence? How does it build knowledge?How is this preparing pupils for future learning?
  • Key Skills: What are the key skills students will learn?
  • Assessment (Formative and Summative): How does your approach enable effective feedback for pupils’ learning? How will you measure attainment and progress? How do you know pupils know and remember more? How do you ensure that pupils remember this content in the long term?
  • SMSC: How does your curriculum facilitate a students’ social, cultural, spiritual and cultural development?
  • Cultural Capital: How does the content selection develop pupils’ cultural capital?
  • Preparation: How do you ensure that teachers have the skills to teach the content of the curriculum? What CPD has taken place in the school for this subject?
  • Impact: How do you know your curriculum is ‘Good’?

 

Key Stage 3

We have a very broad KS3 Curriculum covering 14 subjects meeting all of the National Curriculum requirements. This is taught in 25 hours of contact time each week, organised as a 30 lesson week on a 2 week timetable cycle.  All pupils follow a common curriculum of:

  • English 
  • Mathematics 
  • Science
  • Religious Education
  • Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Spanish and French
  • Humanities: History and Geography 
  • Creative Arts and Design:   Performing Arts, Music, Art, Design & Technology
  • Computing
  • Physical Education
  • Mission Programme: PSHE, Citizenship, Collective Worship, Critical thinking and Character Development
  • At Key Stage 3 students enjoy reading for pleasure through our Accelerated Reading Programme.

 

In Year 7 some of our students are entitled to be a part of the ‘Catch up Literacy’ and/or ‘Catch up Numeracy’ programme if they did not achieve the expected standard in their KS2 assessments. This is co-ordinated carefully with Subject Leaders, our SEND Co-ordinator and the Assistant Headteachers for Curriculum and Data and Assessment. KS3 will build on the fundamentals of KS2 and prepare learners for KS4. 

Occasionally  the normal lesson timetable is suspended to allow for focused learning opportunities.  These days allow students to learn in different ways and are delivered in conjunction with external providers. These provide opportunities for pupils to  pupils further explore topics such as: Relationships, Staying Safe, British Values, Study Skills, Career Pathways and Work-related learning and Enterprise.

 

There is a comprehensive after-school enrichment programme which includes a range of sporting activities and departmental clubs and activities.  Departmental Curriculum pages list further details of these.

 

Year 7 Curriculum Design and Content

Subject Number of Lessons Per Fortnight (60)
English 9
Maths 9
Science 10
Religious Education 6
Geography 4
History 4
French 2
Spanish 2
Computing/ICT 4
Art * 3
Design Technology * 3
Music* 3
Performing Arts* 3
PE 4
* Art and Design Technology are taught on a carousel

* Music and Performing Arts are taught on a carousel

 

Year 8 Curriculum Design and Content

Subject Number of Lessons Per Fortnight (60)
English 9
Maths 9
Science 8
Religious Education 6
Geography 4
History 4
French 4
Spanish 3
Computing/ICT 3
Art * 3
Design Technology * 3
Music* 3
Performing Arts* 3
PE 4
* Art and Design Technology are taught on a carousel

* Music and Performing Arts are taught on a carousel

 

Year 9 Curriculum Design and Content

Subject Number of Lessons Per Fortnight (60)
English 9
Maths 9
Science 8
Religious Education 6
Geography 4
History 4
French 3
Spanish 4
Computing/ICT 3
Art * 3
Design Technology * 3
Music* 3
Performing Arts* 3
PE 4
* Art and Design Technology are taught on a carousel

* Music and Performing Arts are taught on a carousel

Key Stage 4

Our Key Stage 4 Curriculum has been reviewed to ensure it is sufficiently broad so that pupils can experience a range of opportunities across the curriculum; balanced because it is unwise for pupils to narrow down their options before the age of 16; relevant to pupils’ individual needs and to the demands of a rapidly-changing world; and personalised so that the level and type of work are suited to the ability and learning style of each individual pupil, ambitious and designed to give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) or high needs, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life 

These are curriculum principles, which we believe will stand our pupils in good stead during the current period of great educational change. 

In Key Stage 4, pupils have enhanced time for the core subjects of English and Maths. As a Catholic school, it is a priority that all pupils study GCSE RE. The time for PE is accredited through the OCR National Certificate in Sports Studies and Sports Science and this recognises the importance of health and fitness in our lives, all pupils study Science with an option for the study of Separate Science for those who wish to deepen their study of Science further. 

Our curriculum offers flexibility and choice within a guided structure. In response to government curriculum changes, the options are more varied and increased in number than in previous years. Within this framework, which can accommodate the ‘English Baccalaureate’, pupils can take between ten and eleven GCSEs according to their abilities. Predominantly our level 2 courses are GCSE. We have the same academic, technical or vocational ambitions for all learners, and offer a small number of other level 2 Qualifications; BTEC Diplomas, Cambridge National and OCR National Certificates and Technical Awards for those who find this assessment pathway more accessible.

All pupils have access to a very broad KS4 Curriculum covering 24 subjects, meeting all the national curriculum requirements.

 

KS4 Pupils study a curriculum chosen from the following 24 subjects:

  • Art (GCSE)
  • Biology (GCSE)
  • Business Studies (GCSE)
  • Chemistry (GCSE)
  • Computer Science (GCSE)
  • Engineering (Vocational Award) 
  • English Language (GCSE)
  • English Literature (GCSE)
  • Film Studies (GCSE)
  • French (GCSE)
  • Geography (GCSE)
  • History (GCSE)
  • IT (Cambridge National)
  • Maths (GCSE)
  • Music (GCSE)
  • PE (GCSE)
  • PE (OCR National)
  • Psychology (GCSE)
  • Physics (GCSE)
  • RE (GCSE)
  • Science (GCSE)
  • Spanish (GCSE)
  • Sport (BTEC)
  • Technology (GCSE)
  • Mission Programme: PSHE, Citizenship, Collective Worship, Critical Thinking and Character Development

.

In creating our offer, we have responded to pupil voice and where possible we will find creative ways to facilitate courses where pupil numbers are small, for example in GCSE music and the Arts. In addition to this, in order to support our Year 11 pupils academically, timetabled Prepare to Perform sessions will help pupils to prepare for the exam series in all subject areas.

Year 10 Curriculum Design and Content

Subject Number of Lessons Per Fortnight (60)
GCSEs English Language and English Literature  10
GCSE Maths  10
GCSE Science (Trilogy)  10
GCSE Religious Education 6
OCR National Certificate PE  4
In addition to the core compulsory offer above pupils are guided and choose 4 Option Subjects. They study each option for 5 hours per fortnight.
Option A Option B Option C Option D
GCSE Geography GCSE Computing GCSE Art GCSE Business Studies
GCSE History GCSE Film Studies GCSE French GCSE Film Studies
GCSE Product Design GCSE Geography GCSE Geography GCSE Psychology
GCSE Spanish GCSE History GCSE History Cambridge National ICT
GCSE Separate Science GCSE Music GCSE Product Design Vocational Award  in Engineering 
Cambridge National ICT GCSE Product Design GCSE PE
BTEC Sport GCSE Spanish BTEC Sport
GCSE Spanish
GCSE Separate Science

 

Year 11 Curriculum Design and Content (Legacy Curriculum)

Subject Number of Lessons Per Fortnight (60)
GCSEs English Language and English Literature  10
GCSE Maths  10
GCSE Science (Trilogy)  10
GCSE Religious Education 6
OCR National Certificate PE  4
Prepare to Perform (Study Skills) 2
In addition to the core compulsory offer above pupils chose 3 Option Subjects. They study each option for 6 hours per fortnight. This is the last year of this curriculum (from 2019 all pupils take 4 Options)
Option A Option B Option C
GCSE Geography GCSE Computing GCSE Art
GCSE History GCSE Film Studies GCSE French
GCSE Product Design GCSE Geography GCSE Geography
GCSE Spanish GCSE History GCSE History
GCSE Separate Science GCSE Music GCSE Product Design
Cambridge National ICT GCSE PE GCSE PE
GCSE Product Design BTEC Sport
GCSE Spanish GCSE Spanish
GCSE Separate Science

 

Key Stage 5

It is a combination of academic excellence, strong community and provision of enriching activities that makes our Sixth Form such an amazing place to work and learn. We are committed to supporting the success of every student whether you join us from St Francis Xavier’s College or from another school in the area. The Sixth Form curriculum is wide, and provides a broad and balanced curriculum offer with a large range of subjects via strong and well established collaborative provision which is further enhanced by collaboration with our partner school St Julie’s Catholic High School.

The vast majority of students choose three A Level /Level 3 courses, students who fail to achieve a grade 4 or above in GCSE English or Mathematics resit these subjects with timetabled lessons allocated. All Students have the opportunity to access a range of enrichment activities and courses. They develop courage and resilience; compassion and empathy through self-respect and respect for others; personal and collective ambition and creativity and critical thinking skills and sound moral judgement through the school wide Mission Programme and the 1842 Society. This further reinforced through assemblies and form time activities. Students have a good understanding of the skills, knowledge and attitudes they need to succeed in and contribute to modern Britain.

At St Francis Xavier’s College, we believe it is vital to offer a broad and balanced curriculum to meet the needs of all learners. We have a very rich and diverse 6th Form curriculum where we are able to offer three broad and distinct pathways. Purely academic, purely vocational, and a combination of both. This allows students complete flexibility and the opportunity to study a wide range of courses that complement their future aspirations and talents. We offer 17 A levels,  4 BTEC’s and 2 Cambridge Technicals. Our curriculum is further enhanced with the opportunities of further study at St Julies, our collaborative partners where students have access to a further 6 A Levels, 1 BTEC and a Technical Certificate.

Sixth Form students study a curriculum chosen from the following 31 courses:

  • Art (A Level)
  • Biology (A Level)
  • Business (A Level)
  • Business Extended Certificate (OCR Technical)
  • Business Diploma (OCR Technical)
  • Chemistry (AQA)
  • Computer Science (A Level)
  • Economics (A Level)
  • English Literature (A Level)
  • Geography (A Level)
  • History AQA (A Level)
  • IT Extended Certificate (A Level)
  • Maths (A Level)
  • Psychology (A Level)
  • RE (A Level)
  • Science Extended Certificate (BTEC)
  • Spanish (A Level)
  • Sport Extended Certificate (BTEC)
  • Sport Diploma (BTEC)
  • Technology (A Level)
  • BTEC Travel & Tourism (BTEC) * collaborative
  • Dance (A Level) * collaborative
  • Sociology (A Level) * collaborative
  • Drama (A Level) * collaborative
  • English Lang/Lit  (A Level) * collaborative
  • Digital Media (Technical Certificate)  * collaborative
  • Health and Social Care  (A Level) * collaborative
  • Music and Politics (A Level) * collaborative

Students who fail to achieve a grade 4 or above in GCSE English or Mathematics resit these subjects with two allocated timetabled lessons per week.

All students will undertake 1 week of work experience as a minimum in Year 12. Meetings will take place with our Careers Advisor to make sure the placements are appropriate to the individual and specific to their future goals and aspirations.

Year 12 Curriculum Design and Content

Option D Option E Option F Option G
A Level Business Studies A Level Chemistry A Level Biology A Level Geography
OCR Technical  Business Studies Extended Certificate (single) A Level Computing OCR Technical Business Studies Diploma  (double) BTEC ICT Extended Certificate (single)
A Level Physics A Level Geography A Level Technology A Level Maths
A Level History A Level Economics A Level Psychology
A Level Spanish A Level English Literature BTEC Applied Science Extended Certificate (single)
BTEC Sport Extended Certificate (single) BTEC Sport Diploma (double)
A Level Art
The following 9 subjects are available via our collaborative provision:

BTEC Travel & Tourism, Dance, Sociology, Drama, English Lang/Lit, Digital Media Level 3 Technical Certificate,  Health and Social Care, Music and Politics

In addition to the core offer, our Year 12 students will have additional study allocated as required from the table below:

 

Subject Number of Lessons Per Fortnight (60)
Personal Study Periods (compulsory) 6
Resit GCSE English Language  4
Resit GCSE Maths  4
Core Re (compulsory) 2
PE Enrichment 2
1842 Volunteering (compulsory) 2

Year 13 Curriculum Design and Content

Option D Option E Option F Option G
A Level Art A Level Chemistry A Level Biology A Level Geography
A Level Business Studies A Level Computing OCR Technical Business Studies Diploma  (double) BTEC ICT Extended Certificate (single)
OCR Technical  Business Studies Extended Certificate (single) A Level Geography A Level Technology A Level Maths
A Level History A level Economics A Level Psychology
A Level Spanish A Level English Literature BTEC Applied Science Extended Certificate (single)
BTEC Sport Extended Certificate (single) BTEC Sport Diploma (double)
As in Year 12 the following 9 subjects available via our collaborative provision:

BTEC Travel & Tourism, Dance, Sociology, Drama, English Lang/Lit, Digital Media Level 3 Technical Certificate,  Health and Social Care, Music and Politics

In addition to the core offer, our Year 13 students will have additional study allocated as required from the table below:

 

Subject Number of Lessons Per Fortnight (60)
Personal Study Periods (compulsory) 6
Core Re (compulsory) 2
PE Enrichment 2
1842 Volunteering (compulsory) 2

 

Further information about the curriculum the school is offering at all Key Stages can be found on individual departmental curriculum pages.

Summary

Intent

Our Curriculum was reviewed for 2019 to ensure it is:

  • Sufficiently broad so that pupils can experience a range of opportunities across the curriculum; 
  • Balanced because it is unwise for pupils to narrow down their options before the age of 16; 
  • Relevant to pupils’ individual needs and to the demands of a rapidly-changing world; 
  • Personalised so that the level and type of work are suited to the ability and learning style of each individual pupil, 
  • Ambitious and designed to give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) or high needs, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life 

These are curriculum principles, which we believe will stand our pupils in good stead during the current period of great educational change. 

Implementation

  • Whole school Curriculum review undertaken 
  • Departmental Curriculum reviews underway
  • Y7 PAN increased to 215
  • Option choices made at end of Y9. No shortened KS3
  • A further option choice for current Y9 by introduction of addition option block D
  • Inclusion of more creative subjects in KS3 and KS4
  • Introduction of a wider range of Level 2 courses in KS4
  • 5 lessons per fortnight for all option subjects
  • Inclusion of P4S (preparing for success) lesson per week for Y11
Impact

  • 2 week timetable provides greater flexibility for timetabling so less split classes
  • More varied timetable for KS3, including more creative subjects
  • Pupil pathways are not narrowed too early, but GCSE teaching of core GCSE concepts can still  still start in Y9 
  • A wider diet of subjects and courses for pupils (in response to pupil voice) leading to increased pupil engagement. 
  • Number of GCSEs/Level 2 qualifications pupils will study increased from 9 to 11

For more information about our curriculum please contact Kerry Lindop: [email protected]