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Curriculum

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.

Timetable Structure

We operate a 35 period week. There are 33 subject lessons of 45 minutes duration in the case of single lessons or a double lesson of 1 hour 30 minutes in the case of practical subjects. There is a one hour lesson of Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education (PSHEE) with Citizenship on a Wednesday afternoon for each year group complemented by a 15 minute tutor or assembly session at the beginning of each day.

Setting

From September 2017 students in Year 7 & 8 will be set by their ability in English and Maths. In Year 7 a student’s ability in Maths will determine her setting in one of 4 groups for Maths, MFL, Music, Computing, and Science. A student’s ability in English will determine her setting in one of 3 groups for English, Art, History, Geography, RE and Drama. Design Technology and PE will be taught in mixed ability sets.

In Year 8 a student’s ability in Maths will determine her setting in Maths, Science and Computing, all other lessons except for Design Technology and PE, will be set by English. Once again there will be 4 ability tiers in Maths and 3 ability tiers in English.

In most subjects in Years 9 to 11 students are placed in one of seven groups:

A, C and E

3 equal groups of mostly average ability

M and O

2 equal groups of mostly above average ability

S and T

2 equal groups of mostly high ability

Additionally
In Mathematics the students are placed in one of eight ability sets during Year 9.
In Design & Technology at Key Stage 3 students are placed in similar ability sets, but divided into smaller classes; Food, Product Design and Textiles are the subjects followed.

The setting for Years 10 and 11 is similar but may vary between subjects.
Mathematics, Science and Modern Languages are taught in sets.
Either Seperate or Double Science is studied at Key Stage 4.
English and Religious Education are taught in a linear grouping set by English.
Usually optional GCSE subjects in Years 10 & 11 are taught in mixed ability sets.

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

Key Stage 3 - 5 Curriculum Summary 2017 - 2018

Taught: (no of   periods per week) KS3: Year 7 KS3: Year 8 KS3: Year 9 KS4 KS5
Art √ (2) √ (2) √ (2) √ (3) Option √ (6)
Business Studies       √ (3) Option √ (6)
Business BTEC       √ (3) Option √ (18)
Computing Core √ (1) √ (1) √ (1)  
Computing Option       √ (3) Option √(6)
Design &   Technology – Food √ (2) √ (2) √ (2) √ (3) Option  
Design &   Technology – Product   Design √ (3) Option  
Textiles √ (3) Option √ (6)
Drama √ (1) √ (1) √ (1) √ (3) Option √ (6)
Economics         √ (6)
English √ (4) √ (4) √ (4)    
English Language       √ (4) Core

√ (6) &

GCSE (2)

English Literature       √ (6)
Extended Project   Qualification         √ (2)
Geography √ (2) √ (2) √ (2) √ (3) Option √ (6)
Government and   Politics         √ (6)
Health and Social   Care BTEC       √ (3) Option √ (18)
History √ (2) √ (2) √ (2) √ (3) Option √ (6)
Hospitality Btec         √ (15)
Maths √ (4) √ (4) √ (4) √ (4/5) Core √ (6) A Level √ (4) GCSE
Maths: Additional       √ (4 from Jan)  
Maths: Further         √ (6)
Media       √ (3) Option √ (6)
MFL: French √ (4) √ (4) √ (4) √ (4) Core Option √ (6)
MFL: Spanish √ (4) √ (4) √ (4) √ (4) Core Option √ (6)
Music √ (1) √ (2) √ (2) √ (3) Option √ (6)
PE: Core √ (3) √ (2) √ (2) √ (2) Core  
PE:       √ (3) Option √ (6)
PE: Sport BTEC       √ (3) Option  
Photography         √ (6)
PSCHE &   Citizenship √ (2) √ (2) √ (2) √ (2) Core √ (2)
Psychology         √ (6)
Religions   Education: Core GCSE √ (3) √ (3) √ (3) √ (3) GCSE √ (1)
Theology         √ (6)
Science √ (4) √ (4) √ (4)    
Science: Applied         √ (6)
Science: Biology       √ (7) Core Option √ (6)
Science: Chemistry       √ (6)
Science: Physics        √ (6)
Science: Double       √ (6/7) Core Option √ (6)
Sociology         √ (6)

Key Stage 5 Curriculum 2017 - 2018

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 Award courses are taught for six periods per week. BTEC National Diploma courses have up to eighteen periods per week.

From September 2017 we will be offering Level 2, First Extended Certificate in Hospitality

All student starting St Philomena’s Sixth Form in September 2017 will take Linear A levels.

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 St Phils Sixth Form

Note: BTEC Diploma courses are two years in duration. BTEC H&SC and BTEC Business Studies National Diplomas are the equivalent of 1- 3 A levels

As a Roman Catholic Sixth Form, the spiritual development and engagement of our students is a priority and as such, students are timetabled one 45 minute lesson each week of Core RE 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 at these Core RE lessons 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.