Curriculum Overview 2019/20
The curriculum offers a broad and balanced education suited to students of all abilities and across the full age range. The curriculum is ambitious but accessible, flexible, challenging and inclusive and ensures entitlement for all learners offering continuity and coherence whilst promoting high standards. Students are offered choices which enable them to follow personalised learning pathways within a framework of equality of opportunity.
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 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);
To encourage high expectations and aspirations – a culture of success.
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 and 8 and then provides a more bespoke approach through our ‘options routes’ in Years 9 to 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 addition, there are two daily sessions, totalling 30 minutes with a form tutor through which Personal Health and Social Education is enhanced.
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) 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.
Termly data collection, 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’.
Within KS4 some ‘option’ subjects are all-ability groups however targeted teaching ensures appropriate challenge.
Literacy, Numeracy and the use of new technologies are embedded within the delivery of all subjects.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7 and 8)
Within Key Stage 3 students follow a broad and balanced curriculum based on the National Curriculum.
A condensed Key Stage 3 curriculum is more efficient by minimising repetition from KS2
Key Stage 4 (Years 9, 10 and 11)
The offer for Years 9, 10 and 11 aims to maintain a broad and balanced curriculum at the same time as addressing the combination of subjects required within 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 Combined Science
GCSE History or GCSE Geography
Non GCSE RE/PHSE
The options process currently takes place during Year 8, allowing students three years of study on their chosen exam courses.
This decision is in keeping with our principles as most subjects (Core subjects - 24 of 30 lessons) have a five year sequenced long term plan and for the optional subjects Year 9 is a transitional year of skill development before GCSE content and skills are delivered in Years 10 and 11, this allows time for students to develop confidence, retain knowledge, study in greater depth and have opportunities for a wider variety of curricular opportunities.
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 8. Supported by subject teachers, form tutors, Year Leaders and Directors, 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.
The curriculum prepares pupils well for the next stage in their education.
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 2019 97% of students left with 5 or more GCSE qualifications, of which 44% left with GCSE Grade 4 or better in 5 or more subjects including English and Maths. 71% of students achieved a Grade 4 or better in English.
Comparing St Matthias to its 54 other similar schools (based on KS2 attainment) in 2018, we were 6th highest for both Attainment 8 and Progress 8, confirming that we have a curriculum that allows our students, regardless of their low starting point, to be successful and ready for the next phase of their education.
98% of the 2018 cohort successfully gained education or training placements in which to continue their education. 20% followed Academic courses, 74% Vocational courses whilst 3% took up Apprenticeships or traineeships.
The two students not yet in a provision were actively seeking employment.
Consultation evenings – July 2019 – 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