St Mary's Catholic College, Wallasey

St Mary's Catholic College
A Voluntary Aided Academy

Our Curriculum

Learning Programmes

At St Mary’s we use learning programmes to help us keep track of the content of each subject area throughout the year. Learning programmes are detailed documents that identify what is being taught each week and what homework should be set (in all subjects). Students will have different learning programmes, depending on their flightpath, with brighter students expected to have a more challenging curriculum.

Learning programmes also refer to our weekly ‘Literacy Objective’, which ensure all subject areas focus on a key area to improve literacy across our curriculum.

Each learning programme lasts seven weeks, with 5 weeks of content delivery, followed by an assessment week and finally, a review week. There are 5 learning programme cycles throughout each year.

If you would like more information about our curriculum, please have a look at our learning programmes. They can be found on our website, under the ‘Subjects’ menu. This section of our website also provides additional information about each subject area.

If you would like some more information about flightpaths, please follow this link.

Key Stage 3

All students are allocated a flight path, based on their KS2 data – please see the ‘Flightpaths’ booklet on our website for more information.  This allows us to track their progress from the start of Yr7 to the end of Yr11, and offer them additional support if needed.

Following their transition from Year 6 into Year 7 we aim to offer a broad curriculum to our younger students by exposing them to the wide variety and range of subjects taught by subject specialists. Within this framework, we also offer a series of ‘Aspire’ lessons to help our students acquire and develop LORIC skills (Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative, and Communication).  We also offer ‘curriculum enrichment days’ involving practical activities and invited guests to further embed these skills.

In addition to the important subject-based learning, the students’ curriculum is also enhanced by the provision of PSHE lessons, delivered by our pastoral teams.

In Year 9, all students will complete the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award as part of their ‘Aspire’ lessons.

By exposing our younger students to the full range of subjects within the curriculum, they can find their particular talents and, further, select subjects that reflect their interests, strengths and weaknesses as they move out of KS3 and into their GCSE studies at KS4.

Key Stage 4

Students will make their KS4 option choices in Year 9.  During our Options Evening students will have the opportunity to speak to Subject Leaders about their future plans to help inform their option choices.   It is expected that all students will follow a broad and well balanced curriculum. They are encouraged to choose from a range of faculty areas. 

All students will study the following: English, Maths, Science, RE, History or Geography, French or German and Core PE.

In English all students will take English Literature and English Language.  

In Science students will follow either a core Double Science route or Triple Science, in which case they will study Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

We offer a mixture of BTEC and GCSE courses.  Students will be able to select one or two of the following subjects (depending on their science route);

Business Studies Computer Science Children’s Play, Learning & Development Design Technology
Engineering Food & Cookery Health & Social Care ICT
Creative Digital Media Music Performing Arts (Acting or Dance) Physical Education

The English Baccalaureate

The Government recommends an English Baccalaureate; this is not essential for all students but we would advise students to consider including these subjects in their choices. The EBacc is made up of English, Maths, Science (this can include Computer Science), a Modern Foreign Language and History or Geography.

Key Stage 5

Students select four Level 3 qualifications. We also offer the Level 3 AQA Extended Project qualification as an additional option.  All A Level qualifications now have linear assessment at the end of Year 13, whilst BTEC qualifications have a combination of external assessments and internally assessed coursework.  All students will also attend General RE lessons.

In 2018 we will continue to ask students to sit Year 12 AS exams at the end of Year 12. Our intention is to focus the efforts of students at this time and to consolidate their learning through revision of Year 12 content. Whilst the outcome of the exam will not count towards their final A Level grade, the AS qualification will provide a ‘stand-alone grade’ and will be a significant indicator of progress.

AS results will then be available for UCAS applications. The A2 examinations or linear A level examinations are taken in the June of Year 13. In order to prepare for the summer exams there will be a Mock Exam week in the spring term.

Students who did not achieve a grade 4 in English and/or Maths GCSE will continue to attend these lessons and resit these subjects in November and June.  To facilitate these extra lessons, these students will only make 3 choices.

Depending on the level of demand, the following courses may be available;

Art Biology Business Chemistry
Children’s Play, Learning & Development Computer Science DT (Product Design) English (Combined)
English Literature French Geography German
Government & Politics Health & Social Care History ICT
Maths Further Maths Creative Digital Media Music
Performing Arts (Acting or Dance) Sport Physics Psychology
Philosophy & Ethics Applied Science Sociology  

We also have a Level 2 pathway in Year 12 for students who did not meet the entry requirements for Level 3 qualifications.  These students will study three BTEC First (or equivalent) qualifications from the following; Business Studies, ICT, Creative Digital Media or Child Development.  This pathway is often combined with resit GCSE Maths and / or English.