Curriculum Overview

We aim to provide, for all students in all Key Stages, a broad and balanced curriculum which not only encompasses those elements required by law, but which broadens, enriches and stimulates individual learning.

Additionally, at all Key Stages there is an extra-curricular programme that provides students with the opportunity to develop their skills and interests further. There is also the opportunity to undertake a wide range of leadership roles.


7K7A1202   7K7A1747   7K7A1836


Timetable Structure

We operate a 50 period 2-week timetable. There are 48 subject lessons of 1 hour duration. There are two 45 minute lessons of Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education (PSHEE) with Citizenship on Wednesday afternoons of both weeks of the timetable cycle for each year group complemented by a 15 minute tutor or assembly session at the beginning of each day.



Students in Year 7, 8 & 9 are set by their ability in English and maths. In Year 7 a student’s mathematical ability in will determine her setting in one of 4 groups for maths. English, art, drama, geography, history, science, computing, music, MFL and RE are set by ability in English. Students are set separately for design and technology and PE.

In Year 8 a student’s ability in maths determines her setting in maths, science, music and computing. All other lessons except for design and technology and PE, will be set by ability in English. In Year 8 there are 4 ability tiers in maths and 3 ability tiers in English.

In September all Year 7 students will initially be taught in mixed ability classes for the first academic term.


 English Based Setting

Maths Based Setting

2 groups of equal ability (A,P)

2 groups of equal ability (A,P)

4 groups of equal ability (H,J,S,T)

2 groups of equal ability (H,S)

2 groups of equal ability (J,T)

2 groups of equal ability (M,V)

2 groups of equal ability (M,V)


In Year 9 students are set separately for maths and science. For maths they are placed in one of ten sets and for science in one of eight teaching sets.They are set by ability in Science for Science, Music and Computing and by ability in English for other subjects (other than design and technology and PE).

In KS4, students are set by ability in English for English and RE. They are set separately for Maths, and PE. Most Option subjects are taught in mixed-ability groups.

All Key Stage 5 subjects are selected by students for with the exception of GCSE English Language and Maths. If a student has not achieved at least a grade 4 at Key Stage 4 then they need to continue studying either GCSE English or Maths until they achieve a minimum grade of 4.


Key Stage 3 - 5 Curriculum Summary 
(The numbers in brackets indicate the number of periods per 2-week cycle allocated to that subject)


Key Stage 5 Curriculum 

In Year 12 Sixth Form students study a personalised programme of courses, which has been determined after interviews with senior leaders. Usually this programme consists of three Level 3 subjects of study (either A Levels, BTEC Diplomas or a combination of the two). Students may also undertake enrichment courses (see below).

‘A’ Level and BTEC National Diploma, Certificate and Extended Certificate courses are taught for nine periods per 2-week cycle. BTEC National Diploma courses have eighteen periods per 2-week cycle.

We also offer Level 2, First Extended Certificate in Hospitality.

In line with national requirements, if a student has not achieved a grade 4 in GCSE maths or English at KS4, they will continue to study these subjects, until they have achieved a grade 4.

For further information regarding the Sixth Form please click here.

Note: BTEC Diploma and Extended Certificate courses are two years in duration. BTEC H&SC, BTEC Sport and Leisure and BTEC Business Studies are the equivalent of 1- 2 A levels.

As a Roman Catholic Sixth Form, the spiritual development and engagement of our students is a priority. We run regular drop-down days for both Year 12 and 13 in which we continue to study, discuss and explore areas of Theology, Philosophy, Ethics and Spirituality within modern Britain.  Topics include faith and reasons to believe, discernment and decision making, love and relationships, the value of silence, religions of the world, and how we should read sacred texts.  Attendance on these days is a requirement of each student but there is no set homework, coursework or formal examination.  Students are assessed to ensure that they are progressing in confidence and ability as young women who engage with issues and people from a spiritual perspective within a Catholic school and culture. 

Year 12 students take an Enrichment Course in addition to their core options. The certificated enrichment courses currently available include: Extended Project Qualification (Level 3; equivalent to half an A Level); Sports Leadership Award, Art Life Drawing classes or student leadership positions. All 6th Form students participate in our “Future Pathways Programme” on Wednesday afternoons. This programme covers Higher Education & Careers, PSHE, and Citizenship.


If you wish to find out more about the curriculum our school is following please email

St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls

Shorts Road

Carshalton Surrey


T: 020 8642 2025


For general enquiries please mail:

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