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Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Intent

 

A carefully crafted and knowledge rich curriculum is the pillar upon which excellent learning and development is built. At St Matthias School we believe that our curriculum has the qualities to deliver this allowing our pupils to succeed beyond school life.

 

Our ambitious curriculum is challenging in nature however accessible, flexible, and inclusive, ensuring a broad and balanced education is delivered which is suited to students of all abilities and across the full age range.

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Our intention is that all students leave St Matthias with the qualifications, skills, knowledge and character to access their chosen Educational next steps and lead to a life that includes positive relationships, resilience and financial independence.

 

Principally the curriculum aims:

To encourage high expectations and aspirations – a culture of success;​

    • To prepare students for the next stage of their education, training or employment;

    • To raise student attainment in all subjects, particularly in English and Mathematics;

    • To contribute effectively to students’ intellectual, physical and personal attainment and development;

    • To develop all the cognitive levels of Bloom’s taxonomy for all students;

    • To be engaging, motivating, exciting and allow students to achieve, as well as developing inquisitive and reflective minds – fostering a love of learning;

    • To be appropriate for the age, ability, gender and ethnicity of students;

    • To provide continuity and progression throughout the key stages;

    • To provide a suitable and effective learning environment for those students requiring enhanced provision, including very able students and those with statements of special need, and for those who have English as an additional language;

    • To provide equality of access and opportunity for all students to learn and progress;

    • To provide access to extra-curricular activities for the purpose of enrichment;

    • To widen students’ vocabulary and use of Academic language;

    • To foster determination, reasoning, communication and curiosity (DRCC);

Curriculum Implementation

 

In order to fulfil these ideals, our five-year ‘through-curriculum’ model requires students to engage with a wide range of subjects in Years 7 to 9 and then provides a more bespoke approach through our ‘options routes’ in Years 10 and 11.

 

The school’s curriculum follows statutory requirements and the requirements of the National Curriculum.

Our timetable spans 5 days with 6 fifty-minute lessons each day.

 

In all subjects, we aim to manage the progression from Primary schools by building on the learning that has taken place during KS2, whilst preparing our students for GCSE qualifications at the end of Year 11.

 

Students are set (based on KS2 data and/or a range of standardised assessments) so that they can learn with their peers of similar ability and to ensure that the teaching can be targeted to meet their academic needs and so reach their potential in Year 11.

 

Three yearly data collections, based on a wide evidence base, ensures students’ progress is monitored and interventions are put in place for students who are considered to be ‘not on track’.

 

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)

 

Within KS4 some ‘option’ subjects are mixed ability groups however targeted teaching ensures appropriate challenge.

 

Literacy, Numeracy and the use of new technologies are embedded within the delivery of all subjects.

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Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)

 

The offers for Years 10 and 11 aim to maintain a broad and balanced curriculum at the same time as addressing the combination of subjects required with the Progress 8 measure and a commitment that all students access the English Baccalaureate.

The Core curriculum consists of:

  • GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature

  • GCSE Mathematics

  • GCSE Combined Science

  • GCSE History or GCSE Geography

  • GCSE Spanish

  • Core PE

  • Non-GCSE RE/PSHE

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This decision is in keeping with our principles as most subjects Core subjects have a five-year sequenced long-term plan. In Years 10 and 11, the options process allows students to choose 2 further subjects from a variety of academic and/or vocational subjects based on their individual interests. 

Students are provided with course details during the Spring Term of Year 9. Supported by subject teachers, form tutors, year leaders and parents, students complete an options survey identifying their initial preferences.

The outcomes from this survey are used to construct timetable blocks. The range of subjects in each block is designed to maximise the number of students who can study their first two choices.

 

In Year 11, students benefit from an Intervention session at the end of the day, in subjects where they require additional support.

 

A daily programme of extra-curricular activities is available at lunchtime and from 3:30pm onwards.

Curriculum Impact

Leaders are ambitious for pupils, including those who find learning difficult. Everyone gets access to a good-quality curriculum.

OFSTED 2019

At St Matthias, we are very proud of the outcomes our students achieve as the result of our curriculum and teaching and learning approach.

 

In 2023, our Progress 8 score of -0.09 was in line with national average compared to other similar schools, where 47% of students left with GCSE Grade 4 or better in 5 or more subjects including English and Maths, 75% of students achieved a Grade 4 or better in English and 57% of students achieved a Grade 4 or better in Maths.

 

The strengths of our curriculum are also reflected in the number of our students that go on to be successful and ready for the next phase of their education. 98.9% of the 2023 cohort successfully gained education or training placements. 172 students are in full time education and 2 are in full time training or have apprenticeships.

Consultation Evenings – Parent Survey

98% strongly agree or agree that their child makes good progress at school

100% strongly agree or agree that their child is taught well at this school

98% strongly agree or agree that they receive valuable information from the school about my child’s progress

 

 

She is achieving well and enjoys school

Parent of Year 7 student

My daughter comes out of school happy

Parent of Year 8 student

XX has made great progress with the invaluable support of the school

Parent of Year 10 student

I appreciate the extra communication between the staff and myself for my sons own personal progress. Many thanks

Parent of Year 11 student

Great careers advice from staff concerning XX’s further education. I really appreciate the help and advice the staff have given. Thank you

Parent of Year 11 student

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