Departments

Curriculum Overview

Everything we offer as a school is our Curriculum. What goes on outside the classroom has a huge impact on what happens within it in terms of the values, skills and relationships forged.

To illustrate the point Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi, captures the challenge facing society, and by implication schools, beautifully:

“Years ago I came across Parkinson’s Law: ‘Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.’ Since then I’ve discovered another, more hopeful principle: ‘Young people grow to fill the space we create for them.’

Ask little of our children and they stay small — not physically but ethically, spiritually. Ask much and they surprise us by their capacity to give and take responsibility. One of the questions any society should ask itself is: What space do we create for our children?”

With this in mind, we are conscious at St Aidan’s that our curriculum extends further than the subjects taught in classrooms, than the exams taken and the grades achieved. It encompasses our clubs, trips and activities, our pastoral programme, assemblies and collective worship. As a Church School we look to provide a space where each child can learn and flourish, achieving their very best and developing the qualities and skills that will allow them to make a positive contribution to the world around them.

Subject specific information can be found in the Department pages on this website (left hand side). The most recent GCSE Options booklet (for Y9 students making their choices) is available shortly. For any further curriculum related enquiries, please email Martyn Beer, Deputy Head with oversight of the Curriculum.

The aim of the curriculum at St. Aidan’s is to develop the knowledge, skills and values each student will need to become a fully capable individual who can contribute generously to the life of society.

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9) all students follow separate courses in English, Mathematics, Science, Art, Geography, History, ICT, Modern Languages, Music, Physical Education, Religious Studies and Technology.

Science is taught as an integrated course in Years 7 and 8, and then as separate subjects – Biology, Chemistry and Physics – from Year 9.

All students begin French in Year 7, before taking up either French or Spanish in Year 8 and 9. A small number of pupils follow a dual language pathway with French and German or French and Spanish.

Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) students work towards a maximum of 11 subjects at GCSE. Most students take full GCSEs in English and English Literature; Mathematics; Biology, Chemistry and Physics (or Co-ordinated Science); a Modern Language and Religious Studies.

They then choose three further GCSEs from Fine Art, Art Graphics, Business Studies, Dance, Drama, Food Technology, Geography, Health and Social Care, History, ICT, Media Studies, a second Modern Language, Music, Physical Education, Product Design and Textiles Technology. This pattern of choice ensures students follow a broad and balanced curriculum.

A vocational course certificated by the ASDAN Youth Award Scheme can be taken to replace some science and modern language courses. A Certificate in Digital Applications (CiDA) ICT course is also available at the same level.

All students follow a core element of PE throughout Key Stage 4.

Sixth Form Curriculum can be found in the Sixth Form section of the website.

Assessment and reporting

The school places a strong emphasis on monitoring students’ progress. Subject teachers constantly assess and monitor each individual with the aim of improving achievement.

Parents receive progress and effort assessments using the St. Aidan’s CODE for learning as well as an annual report on their child’s progress in all subject areas. In addition, they are invited to an annual parents’ evening and can contact the school at any time if they have concerns about their child’s work.

To find out more information about the different subject departments click on the links on the left.