The Curriculum

St Peter and St Paul Catholic Voluntary Academy offers a broad and balanced curriculum, with clear progression routes for students of all abilities through Key Stages 3 to 5.  Our curriculum continually evolves in order to meet the needs of individuals and groups of students as they progress through the academy.

Time spent on teaching during the normal school week is 25 hours: morning sessions commence at 8.40 am and end at 12.45 pm, afternoon sessions commence at 1.35 pm and end at 3.15 pm.

All students in Years 7 and 8 follow a broad curriculum including Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, French, Art, Design and Technology, ICT, Performing Arts and Physical Education. Students are taught in ability groups with support for those with Special Needs. In Year 8 a second modern foreign language, Spanish, is introduced to most students.

At the end of KS3, students will start their KS4 studies: this will be at the beginning of Year 9 (introduced for September 2016). All students receive a carefully structured guidance programme to ensure they are able to make an informed choice for their Key Stage 4 options.  The guidance includes:

  • detailed curriculum booklet that outlines KS4 course content
  • curriculum evenings to meet senior staff and Department Heads
  • individual interviews with key staff to discuss career options and suitable subjects

At KS4, the curriculum has been devised to provide a flexible programme which supports the varying talents and aspirations of our students.  Our aim is to ensure our students at the end of Year 11 have a firm educational foundation for their future career or further study.

All students follow a core GCSE curriculum that includes Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, ICT and core PE.

Students choose 4 option subjects in Year 9 and then reduce these to 3 option subjects for Year 10. In Year 9 students must take either History and/or Geography and either French and/or Spanish

GCSE Courses – Separate Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics), History, Geography, French, Spanish, Computing, Art, Photography, Food Technology, Product/3D Design, Drama, Music, PE

Vocational Courses – Business Studies, Travel and Tourism, Child Development.   In addition a Vocational Learning Programme is available for selected students which includes the core subjects plus a vocational pathway either in school or through one of our educational partnerships.

In Year 11, the guidance programme is developed to allow all students to continue to make informed choices for their future careers and aspirations.

At St Peter and St Paul we are able to offer an individualised Sixth Form Programme from a range of facilitating, academic and applied courses.  Each subject has 5 periods (50 mins each) of direct teaching time in Y12 and Y13.

Assessment without Levels, new GCSEs and reformed A Levels

Subjects on offer to Sixth Form Students: 

Advanced Level GCE: Religious Studies, English Literature, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, French, Spanish, German, History, Government and Politics

BTec Level 3 Courses: Business Studies, Health and Social Care, ICT, Sport A Level 2 Vocational Pathway is provided to meet the needs of individual and groups of students.

The opportunity to re-sit GCSEs in English and Mathematics is available to Sixth Formers.

Through the Sixth Form we prepare many of our students for Higher Education.  We aim to maintain our valuable links with Universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.

University Entrance and other examinations:

The School is a centre for TSA (Oxford) and STEP papers (Cambridge).

Citizenship: At KS3 and KS4, all students are encouraged to develop an understanding of democracy, government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.  The teaching of this is embedded within our different subject areas and in a programme of activities carried out in tutor time. In addition to this throughout the school year there are 3 days when students take part in activities that deepen their understanding of how to evaluate different ways that citizens can act together to solve problems and contribute to society.

Sex and Relationships Education:  Within the areas mainly of Religious Education, Science and Health Education it is the policy of the School to provide sex education in accordance with the principles approved by the Governing Body.  The aim is wherever possible to place it in the context of a developing awareness of human relationships, and of the moral responsibilities which these entail.