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Educating Girls for Success

Curriculum Overview

CURRICULUM AND OVERVIEW FOR KEY STAGES 3 and 4


GENERAL STATEMENT

  • The curriculum philosophy and practice should reflect our shared beliefs and values, as identified in the school’s Mission Statement. These attitudes are firmly rooted in our beliefs as Christians and provide a distinctive Catholic ethos.  They emphasise particularly, the importance of justice and equality of opportunity for students’ spiritual, academic and social development.

    AIMS
  • At Notre Dame School we believe that the structure and content of our curriculum offer, underpinned by effective teaching practices, forms the basis of successful student learning 

  • To provide a curriculum which enables all students to become : successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve; confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives; and responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society
  • To provide a balanced and broadly based curriculum that:- promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of students at school and within society; and prepares learners for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life
  • To respond to curriculum changes in the National Curriculum which are in the best interest of the school
  • To ensure that the curriculum breadth is sufficient to provide for the needs of all our students, and is delivered in response to their learning needs.

    PURPOSES OF THE CURRICULUM

  • To ensure entitlement for all learners to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum that offers continuity and coherence and secures high standards
  • To teach learners the essential knowledge and skills needed for each subject area studied
  • To prepare learners for the world of employment and further and higher education
  • To make learners more aware of, and engage with, their local, national and international communities
  • To encourage learners to take responsibility for their own health and safety, and appreciate the benefits and risks of the choices they make
  • To contribute to community cohesion
  • To acknowledge, promote and pass on the core knowledge and skills valued by society to the next generation.

PRINCIPLES
The curriculum is subdivided as below with heads of department responsible for the overall planning and monitoring.  We use the following ‘building blocks’ for our curriculum construction in KS3 and KS4 (with stated beliefs, attitudes and values threading through):

  • Statutory and non-statutory programmes of study and RE
  • Personal, social, health and economic education
  • Extra-curricular activities e.g. cultural, sport, school journeys, activities, etc
  • Cross curricular dimensions: identity and cultural diversity, healthy lifestyles; community participation; enterprise; global dimension and sustainable development;
    technology and the media; creativity and critical thinking.
  • Cross curricular skills; literacy, numeracy and ICT capability

2. Our curriculum is dynamic and evolving.  We respond effectively to changes (through the School Development Plan) – for example to employment prospects, social and parental expectations, new technological and industrial demands, and to statutory provision.

3. It is expected that all subject leaders will reflect Notre Dame’s Language College status in their overall planning.  As a learning community, we recognise that we are global citizens enjoying and promoting a multi-cultural society with language facility one of our key structures.

4. All subject leaders are responsible for overall planning and delivery of their own subject.

5. All curriculum planning takes account of students with Special Educational Needs, Gifted and Talented students and students with English as an additional language.

6. A variety of pedagogical approaches should be used in delivering the curriculum.

7. All subject leaders and other teachers responsible for the delivery of cross curricular themes, must monitor and evaluate the learning and teaching within their areas of responsibility.

 PRACTICE

  • Delivery of the curriculum both hidden and overt should reflect our mission statement, aims and objectives.
  • Curriculum policies should be developed in line with the School Development Plan. These should reflect common goals across the curriculum and promote good practice (e.g. special needs, home learning, assessment / recording / reporting / equal opportunities, effective learning strategies etc.)
  • Individual departmental policies that support the curriculum should be developed. They should be based on whole school policies and should be made available in department handbooks.
  • Departmental schemes of work should be based on these policies and should indicate learning and teaching activities, resources, attitudes and values, cross-curricular themes and expected outcomes. Arrangements for assessment, differentiation and evaluation should be included.
  • Lessons should be based on schemes of work. It is at this level that whole school and department aims and policies relating to the curriculum are reflected in our daily practice.
  • Curriculum delivery should be monitored and evaluated regularly by department teams and by the Senior Leadership team


Key Stage 3 Curriculum (Years 7-9)

Subjects

Periods per week

English

4

Mathematics

4

Religious Education

3

Science

4

Modern Foreign Languages *

5

Art

2

Geography

2

History

2

Technology

2

PE

2

Computing

1

Music

1

Drama

1

PSE

1

 *Students study French and either German or Spanish (German and Spanish are taught in alternate years)

Key Stage Four Curriculum (Years 10-11)

  Subjects

Periods per week (a)

English (students are prepared for GCSEs in English Language and English Literature)

5 in Year 10, 4 in Year 11

Mathematics

4 in Year 10, 5 in Year 11

Religious Education

4 in Year 10, 3 in Year 11

Science

6 periods for those taking core and additional Science, or BTEC, 9 periods for those taking Triple Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)

PE

2

Modern Foreign Language (French, Spanish, German, Portuguese)

3

PSE

1

Art

Asdan: Personal and Social Development

Computing

Drama

ESOL

Food Technology

Geography

History

ICT

Health and Social Care

Additional Modern Foreign Language

Music

Sociology

Sports Studies

Study Support

Textiles

 

In addition to the core subjects above, all students will select three of these subjects to study at Key Stage Four.

 

Each subject will be studied for 3 periods a week.

 

Students who are taking Triple Science will choose only two of these subjects.

 

Some students will be on the Core+ Programme. They will only choose one subject, as they will take extra lessons in English and Mathematics.

 

More details can be found in the Upper School Preference Guide on the website. 

  • (a) Each period is 45 minutes.

For further information about the curriculum please contact Anthony Smith (Deputy Headteacher) asmith@notredame.southwark.sch.uk