St. Cuthbert’s Curriculum Statement

We are a Roman Catholic school providing for the children and young people in our care, an excellence of education rooted in and sustained by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church.  Our Christian motivation; ‘In Christ we serve’ provides the impetus to improve the lives of young people in our care, especially the disadvantaged.  Governors, leaders and teachers at all levels refuse to accept socio economic background or gender as an excuse for underachievement. We are committed to creating a culture that is calm, orderly and aspirational.


Our curriculum is designed to meet the unique and varying abilities, aspirations and interests of our pupils at St. Cuthbert’s.  The curriculum is the basis for all aspects of Teaching & Learning and other school improvement strategies.


The school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences planned for our pupils. It includes the subject specific lessons, educational visits, extra-curricular activities, form period and collective worship.   At St. Cuthbert’s all pupils engage in a daily act of worship either in form or in assembly.  When planning their curriculum provision, we ensure the following: 


  • Work is designed so as to encourage active learning situations, concentration on ‘what the pupils learn’ rather than ‘what they are taught'

  • There are a variety of learning situations, including opportunities for off-site and residential education

  • The curricular programme is balanced in terms of areas of experience and relevant to current and future needs of pupils

  • There is appropriate differentiation in the work presented to meet the needs of different groups and of different individuals

  • There is a structured progression in the learning programme, ensuring that pupils build on their previous knowledge and experience and regularly revisit learning to reinforce it – spiral curriculum

  • The curricular programme is designed to ensure that equal opportunities are presented to girls and boys, and a positive concern must be shown where any imbalance is found in particular subject areas

  • Participation and negotiation on the part of the pupils in relation to the choice of certain aspects of the learning programme is developed where appropriate

  • A positive attempt must be made to ensure that there is a “whole school” approach within the curriculum, and that such cross-curricular topics as Enterprise Education, Multi-cultural awareness etc., are properly structured

  • The curricular programme is designed as to help pupils in their preparation for adult life as citizens and parents.


Key Stage 3


In effect all pupils are on a 5 year learning journey in each subject they study.  The focus in years 7 & 8 is to lay the foundations for what pupils need to know and be able to do to achieve at GCSE.  Key Stage 3 is an ideal opportunity to inspire pupils with a desire for learning and an ability to work independently which they can then use to good effect at GCSE.  Courses, content and activities should be planned to enthuse a desire for learning while also complying with National Curriculum guidelines.  All pupils will study a wide range of subjects across the whole of Key Stage 3.  This is intended to expand their learning opportunities and experiences and provide a breadth of knowledge and understanding. 


Curriculum provision is also intended to be appropriate to the needs of individuals.  For some pupils the breadth of courses may be too much.  It is possible that if this is the case some pupils may not for example do a foreign language but would instead receive additional support with their other subjects in particular English and Maths. 


Curriculum Content – Years 7 & 8


  • Art

  • Computer Science

  • Drama

  • English

  • Food Technology

  • Geography

  • History

  • Mathematics

  • Music

  • Modern Foreign Language (French or Spanish)

  • Physical Education

  • Religious Education

  • Resistant Materials

  • Science


Key Stage 4


We have a 3 year Key Stage 4 for a number of reasons.  It means pupils do not have to spend 3 full years doing courses they are not interested in and will not be taking to an accredited level.  It allows for pupils to have more time studying for courses which have more content and levels of difficulty than previous GCSE courses thereby improving their chances of success.  It also allows us to ensure pupils can study a wide range of subjects including 2 choices of specialist subjects, a full Ebacc and Religious Education. 


When pupils embark upon their GCSE studies they will study a combination of subjects including Ebacc (unless not appropriate to their individual needs) and specialist subjects which they will choose.  Specialist subjects will be studied and examinations conducted in Years 9 & 10.  Ebacc subjects will be studies in years 9, 10 & 11.  This enables pupils to stagger their exams over 2 years and not be confronted by overwhelming numbers in year 11.  It also enables pupils and the school to prioritise specialist subjects in year 10 when they do not have to compete with Ebacc subjects with regard to revision and focus.  By studying specialist subjects over 2 years it allows pupils to select 2 instead of 1 as they also have compulsory RE GCSE.  Entry to specialist subject examinations at the end of year 10 also enables pupils to develop the skills required to undertake formal examinations and learn key aspects of the process before completing the majority of their exams in Year 11.   If pupils do not wish to select 2 specialist subjects they may study additional core


Most pupils will study a range of courses in Years 9, 10 & 11 which constitute the English Baccalaureate (see below).  Pupils will also be able to choose up to 2 additional specialist subjects to study in Years 9 & 10 (see below).  All pupils will also study GCSE Religious Education.  Pupils designated as SEN may not study all the English Baccalaureate subjects or take 2 Specialist subjects if it is not appropriate to their needs or abilities but this will be decided on an individual basis.  There are a range of other courses available where this is appropriate.


Curriculum Content – Years 9, 10 & 11

English Baccalaureate

  • English Language

  • English Literature

  • 1 Humanities (Geography or History)

  • 1 Modern Foreign Language (French or Spanish)

  • Mathematics

  • Science (Double or Triple depending upon ability and aspiration)

Other compulsory courses

  • Religious Education (GCSE)

  • Physical Education (non GCSE)


Specialist Choices (maximum of 2).  2 may not be appropriate for all learners.  The amount of choice available will be determined by progress and attainment in all subject areas at KS3 – Year 9 & 10

  • Art

  • Computer Science

  • Drama

  • Food Technology

  • Geography

  • History

  • Music

  • Physical Education (GCSE)

  • Resistant Materials

  • Statistics


There is an essential need for supplementary learning outside of the subject specific requirements a pupil has.  This includes all aspects of PSHE and British Values.  All pupils will engage in a Form Tutor Programme and pupils in Years 7 & 8 will also have timetabled lessons on the St. Cuthbert’s Way.


This includes:

  • Citizenship

  • SRE

  • Financial Planning

  • Keeping Safe (includes internet safety)

  • Anti-Bullying

  • British Values (including rule of law, liberty, democracy)

  • Careers

  • Literacy

  • Expectations of pupils at St. Cuthbert’s with regards to behaviour, work, worship and community

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