Students at St Bede’s learn in a loving, inclusive and caring Christian environment framed by our School Mission statement:
‘To create and sustain, with God’s help, a learning, caring and serving community where all people are valued for who they are and who they may become in the light of Jesus Christ.’
We want all our students to love learning. We seek to stretch, challenge and inspire students through an ambitious, broad and enriching curriculum.
We understand that every child is unique and draw upon our knowledge of their strengths and differences to provide all students with high quality learning opportunities through high quality teaching.
Our curriculum is therefore designed with a clear endpoint in mind; for students to leave St Bede’s at the end of key stage 4 having achieved more than they thought possible, and to be both excited and fully equipped to take advantage of the myriad opportunities that lay before them.
We will achieve this by providing an outstanding education for all our students.
We know that by teaching our curriculum well we develop pupils’ cultural capital: “the essential knowledge that pupils need to be educated citizens, introducing them to the best that has been thought and said and helping to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.” (DfE National Curriculum, 2014)
Our ethos is to create an enriching, stimulating and engaging learning environment where all students are empowered to reach their full potential and become resilient and creative problem solvers. We will strive to reinforce an inclusive culture in which everyone is respected, appreciated for their unique, God-given skills and contributions, and valued for their individual strengths.
Students will be encouraged to take risks with their learning. We know that when students are free to push themselves and accept they may make mistakes by doing so, deep learning can take place, especially when coupled with incisive, timely feedback provided by passionate subject experts.
Opportunities to explore and understand global issues and apply their learning to real-life contexts will be embedded throughout. We fully recognise and embrace the importance of enabling students to be responsible, informed citizens and productive, caring members of society equipped to make their mark on an ever-changing world, truly reflecting the light of Jesus Christ.
The curriculum for each subject taught at St Bede’s can be accessed HERE.
The high-level, curriculum overview can be accessed HERE.
At the heart of our curriculum lies subject expertise and a commitment to focus on outstanding, evidence-based teaching. A deep knowledge and passion for a subject enables our teachers to instil a sense of awe and wonder in our students, which in turn encourages students to want to find out more about the world around them. We understand the importance of updating and enriching pedagogical content knowledge at every opportunity, and encourage staff to continually reflect and identify any gaps in subject knowledge that we can address with quality continuing professional development. Students’ daily experiences change with time, so our teaching approaches must adapt to ensure that the subject discipline is still relevant to those evolving experiences.
That same, detailed subject knowledge is used to design and implement our curriculum with our clear, intended endpoint at the fore.
Subject leaders identify the central, key pillars of knowledge and skills required for students to achieve a rich, deep understanding of the subject matter they meet, and ensure that the high-quality teaching we expect at St Bede’s fully reflects this focus.
In KS3, we follow a growth and threshold approach that explicitly identifies the key knowledge and skills within carefully designed threshold rubrics, which is shared and explored with our students. The following document provides further information about this:
With these strong foundations established, students can grow their understanding over time as material is methodically and sequentially re-visited and explored in greater breadth and depth.
We also understand the role that numeracy and literacy including vocabulary plays in unlocking the whole curriculum. Understanding the importance of early intervention, we always aim to promptly identify and support pupils who start secondary school without a secure grasp of reading, writing and mathematics. Our teachers explicitly teach the meaning of subject-specific language. Knowledge organisers, glossaries and subject-specific checklists provide students with key information that they are expected to learn and recall with fluency, enabling them to develop their understanding of key concepts outside of their lessons, and prioritise areas of identified need.
Our curriculum, taken as a whole, however, is more than the sum of its parts.
All aspects of school life are to be seen as part of the school curriculum, whether through our morning worship activities, periods of reflection, our timetabled lessons, voluntary litter-picking or charity fundraising. In addition to ensuring outstanding academic outcomes, our mission statement lives through our curriculum, in every sense.
Quick summary of our curriculum structure
All students follow a traditional core programme of study in line with the requirements of the National Curriculum. This consists of: art, design & technology, drama, English, food & nutrition, French, geography, history, computing, maths, music, PE, PSHCE, xcience and theology.
Students study: art, design & technology, drama, English, food & nutrition, French, geography, German, history, maths, music, PE, science and theology.
Where appropriate, students with developing literacy skills are disapplied from learning a foreign language in Years 7 and 8, through consultation with students, parents and teachers.
Students are able to start learning Latin through the Year 8 lunchtime club.
Years 9 - 11
All students in Years 9 - 11 continue to follow a core programme of study: English, maths, PE, PSHCE, science and theology.
In Year 9 the curriculum is personalised to enable students to opt for the subjects that they wish to specialise in. Students with a passion for particular subjects are able to spend more time studying, doubling the curriculum time available. In Year 9 the curriculum remains fluid to allow students to change subjects, avoiding the disruption that can be caused by students changing subjects in Year 10.
Students choose four options from the following:
Art, biology (triple science), business studies, chemistry (triple science), computing, design & technology, drama, food & nutrition, French, geography, German, history, Latin, media studies, music, physics (triple science), sports studies
Where appropriate, students follow an EBacc pathway (English, maths, science, a modern or ancient foreign language and a humanities subject). Students also have the opportunity to study Ancient Greek as an enrichment subject.
The school adapts its curriculum, where appropriate, with a portfolio of practical and support lessons including: additional literacy and numeracy, entry level PE, science and life skills, and supported learning, where appropriate.
Assessment at St Bede’s is evidence-informed and focused on giving students the opportunity to recall and apply their knowledge whilst also providing next steps for both teachers and students. In addition to the immediate feedback received in class through questioning, our assessments consist of a mixture of low-stakes retrieval practice, formative assessment (either in class or via homework), and more formal summative assessments. Each subject area will assess students in the manner that best allows for an accurate measure of progress (important in helping to identify students in need of early support), and that enables the required, subject-specific, effective feedback for both student and teacher.
We strongly believe in the idea of assessment with purpose, and prioritise quality over quantity.
Effective assessments allow the student to better understand the strength of their own understanding, but the data also feeds back into the evaluation of the effectiveness of curriculum structure and delivery, allowing us to continually refine and improve.
Students’ progress is further supported through annual academic reviews, which encourage and support a metacognitive reflection. Students are guided, with the aid of teacher feedback, to reflect on what is going well, and areas that they need to focus on. As a result, students create personalised, insightful and meaningful targets, and become increasingly metacognitively equipped, self-regulated learners.
Across the school, we endeavour to ensure that all students make outstanding progress. We know that, nationally, disadvantaged students make less academic progress compared to their non-disadvantaged peers. We scrutinise data very closely to identify and reduce any gaps in either attainment or progress, through collaboration and evidence-based, tailored intervention. This is a shared commitment across all members of our community.
The culmination of our curriculum is that students leave St Bede’s having achieved the grades they need to reach their desired destination, imbued with a general love of learning and a deeper appreciation of the subjects they choose to take further. However it is also more than that. A student from St Bede’s will reflect our community and embody our core, Christian values. Not only will a student from St Bede’s therefore achieve the grades they require to reach their desired destination, but they will also possess the character to flourish once they get there.