St John Plessington Catholic College

SJP Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

Respect is a deeply held value which permeates all aspects of life at St John Plessington Catholic College (SJP) and underpins the design of our curriculum and everything we offer our students. We believe in the transformative power of education and know that it is one of the most important weapons in the fight against inequality and poverty.

Access lies at the heart of our educational philosophy. In all that we do, we ensure that every student has the opportunity to engage with our curriculum offer, removing any potential barriers and creating opportunities for excellence. Thinking is at the heart of our curriculum offer.

If our students leave us with a sense of agency - the capacity to act autonomously and make their own free choices - we will have fulfilled our aims.

At St John Plessington Catholic College, students will:

  • Be reflective citizens;
  • Experience a broad, deep, connected and knowledge rich curriculum;
  • Develop their literacy and numeracy;
  • Have high expectations for their behaviour and achievement;
  • Learn compassion;
  • Develop holistically; 
  • Access the next appropriate stage in education or employment.

Be reflective citizens

At SJP, we aim to nurture citizens who are able to self-improve, develop multiculturalism and engender a  better society. We believe that this leads to students having better mental and physical wellbeing, being agents of change, having excellent communication skills and creating a more cohesive community. Reflective citizens and learners are able to analyse, listen carefully and observe effectively. They are patient , can manage their emotions, are able to evaluate and plan and have high levels of metacognition.

Experience a broad, deep, connected and knowledge rich curriculum

Our curriculum offer,in its broadest terms,helps students to achieve high standards and make excellent progress. At KS3, the curriculum is broad and students learn essential knowledge built around our learning programme cycle to ensure they have a deep understanding across a range of subjects. There are many opportunities built into lessons to secure the need to recall and retrieve previous learning so that knowledge is fully embedded.

Develop their literacy and numeracy

The development of student language and oracy is at the forefront of our curriculum because we understand how vital it is for our students to build confidence in their communication skills, not only for their time in school but also to prepare them for life. We ensure students have opportunities in all subjects to discuss, challenge and build on other points of view and to develop their formality of language to ensure they can have the confidence to speak to different audiences. By ensuring that students are literate and numerate, they are able to flourish, thrive and access the next stage of their education, employment or training. 

High expectations for their behaviour and achievement

SJP is inclusive and ambitious for all. We have high expectations of and for all. We provide opportunities for students to put their faith into action. Our behaviour policy is trauma informed and ensures that students learn that actions have consequences and they can accept and appreciate differences between people. Whilst students gain knowledge through KS3, KS4 and KS5, we also want them to become learners who are enquiring, enthusiastic and have choice filled lives. students will be nurtured to develop high expectations of themselves and embed our key principles at the college: Ready. Respectful. Safe.

Learn compassion

Compassion gives us the ability to understand others’ situations and the desire to act to improve their lives. For people who are dependent on others for help and support, compassion can be the most importantfactor in allowing them to lead fulfilling lives. Compassion allows us to treat everyone as equals, embraces the rich diversity of humanity and replaces judgement with acceptance.  At SJP, we believe that compassion drives our sense of community and service, generates  inclusivity and results in  students leading choice-filled lives. Compassion is a way of life; it is genuine, sincere and from the heart. It is the acknowledgement of the value of another person. It is the desire to make the human experience better not only for ourselves but also for everyone else in our local, national and international communities. It is the embodiment of our faith and life at the college. 

  Develop holistically 

At SJP, we believe that our Relationship and Sex Education (RSE), Personal, Social and Health Education (PHSE) and Spiritual, Social, Moral and Cultural (SMSC)  RSE, PSHE and SMSC provision truly create a culture shift in our community. We pride ourselves on delivering a curriculum which develops students holistically, ensuring that they are fully prepared for life in modern Britain. They are able to envision ‘the bigger picture’ and show that learning is linked to the real world and experiences. We have a thriving junior leadership structure from Y7 to Y13. students are encouraged to put their faith into action by taking part in and leading a range of sporting, cultural and charitable activities.  Links with local and national businesses enrich the curriculum offer and help to contextualise learning.

RSE and PSHE are delivered during academic review and theme days. During these events, guest speakers visit school to deliver sessions and collaborate with students in order for them to learn how to keep themselves (and others) healthy and safe.  These themes are carefully chosen in order to encourage students’ awareness and understanding of their protected characteristics within The Equality Act 2010.

Access the next appropriate stage in education, employment or training.

It is our intention at the academy to ensure students have secure foundations for progression into further education and apprenticeships. From Year 7, students receive careers information with a clear focus on the Gatsby benchmarks and this is supported through drop-down days twice yearly and a focused careers week. Over the course of 7 years, students receive an enriching and bespoke aspirations programme that exposes them to a huge range of voices and experiences.  

Curriculum Implementation

At SJP, we believe that a carefully sequenced and progressive curriculum is the foundation upon which excellent learning and development is built.  Subject leaders, who are experts in their subjects, carefully construct a curriculum that promotes a deep understanding of a wide range of topics. Skills, knowledge and understanding are developed throughout each medium term plan. The medium term plan follows a rhythm of learning and review that ensures that students make rapid progress by responding appropriately to teachers’ feedback.

Each medium term plan builds on prior learning. The teacher explains how the learning links with previous learning and supports the learning to come.

KS3

At SJP, we follow the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum, which equips our students with the knowledge, skills and attributes to become confident and proficient life-long learners. Not only does our curriculum provide a solid foundation for progression to Key Stage 4, it offers our students a wide range of opportunities to develop a real love of learning. There are a range of enrichment opportunities and a very strong focus on acquisition and mastery of the key skills of literacy and numeracy. We follow the RSHE and PSHE Diocese approved programmes of study. Our curriculum actively promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our students. In addition, our students gain a clear understanding of the fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.

The curriculum includes:

  • Art
  • Computing
  • Drama
  • Design Technology
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics – including maths mastery
  • Music
  • PSHE
  • Physical Education
  • RSHE
  • Religious Education
  • Science
  • Spanish

   KS4

The curriculum we offer at key stage 4 is broad and balanced and provides a platform to enable our students to progress to further academic studies at A level or to follow a vocational, work-related pathway.

The journey towards becoming a successful life-long learner starts at an earlier age, but key stage 4 is extremely pivotal in determining the options/pathways available to students later in life. The subjects we offer our students equip them with life-long skills of literacy, numeracy and independence.

 Understanding the Curriculum

At KS4, the following subjects are compulsory:

  • English Language and English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education (core)
  • Religious Studies
  • Science: separate (Biology, Chemistry & Physics) or combined
  • Spanish

Options are structured in such a way as to allow students some choice.  Within the option subjects, we offer a range of different accreditation routes including academic and vocational options.  This gives every student a broad and balanced curriculum and still offers flexibility to maximise the outcomes achieved by each individual. Students can choose from:

  •  Art
  • Business Studies
  • Computing
  • Drama
  • Design Technology
  • Geography
  • Health & Social Care
  • Childcare
  • History
  • IT
  • Music
  • Physical Education

Curriculum Impact

​At SJP, our curriculum will:

  • Be inspirational
  • Subject specialist led
  • Sequenced and progressive
  • Lead to credible qualifications that enable entry to further, higher    education and employment 
  • Enable all students to fulfil their potential
  • Meet the needs of students of all abilities
  • Encourage an appreciation of diversity
  • Lead to choice filled lives
  • Prepare students to compete in the global economy.
  • Prepare students to make informed choices at the end of KS3, KS4 and KS5.
  • Produce critical thinkers

Curriculum Hours​

In response to the disruption to learning caused by the COVID pandemic there has been a thorough curriculum review at SJP. This aims to address any gaps in learning that have arisen from the pandemic and ensure our curriculum is effectively broken down into component parts and sequenced so that all children can achieve. 

We have reviewed the programmes of study at each key stage to ensure that they are challenging and allow all students to acquire the intended knowledge and skills that will support them in their next stages of study.

At key stage three, all students follow the national curriculum which prepares them well for key stage four and five.  

Our teachers have expert knowledge of the subjects they teach and curricula are sequenced to allow students to acquire the knowledge and skills to build on what has already been learned. 

Our well-constructed and well taught curriculum allows our students to achieve excellent results. 

How are students set in key stage three at SJP?

At key stage three, all students follow the national curriculum which prepares them well for key stage four and five.  Our teachers have expert knowledge of the subjects they teach and curricula are sequenced to allow students to acquire the knowledge and skills to build on what has already been learned. We would expect those who are achieving highly at the end of year 9 to be achieving grades 7-9 at the end of key stage four.

Our well-constructed and well taught curriculum allows our students to achieve excellent results. 

Based on educational research, our groupings are organised taking into account a number of factors including prior attainment, current achievement and teacher feedback. This ensures that all students experience a broad and challenging curriculum with levels of support tailored to their individual needs in each subject area through high quality first teaching.

Year 7

We have a 10 form intake with approximately 27 students in each group. Each year group is separated into alpha and beta half years for organisational purposes. 

When students join us in September, we use information from KS2 to place them in appropriate groups. Students are taught in these groups for the first half term to allow them time to settle in while we carry out standardised and subject specific assessments. Upon completion of these formative and summative assessments, students are placed into one of three groups as follows:

  1. Working deeper  - students in these groups will have shown high achievement or previous high attainment. The curriculum will reflect the breadth and aspiration of the national curriculum but will provide additional challenge and stretch for these students. This will prepare them for the highest tiers of papers in KS4 and set them on the path for our historic high achievement which you can see in our published data. 
  2. Core - the curriculum that we have created at St. John Plessington is broad, ambitious and provides clear outcomes of what we expect children to know, do and understand at each stage of our curriculum journey. This will support them to achieve our ambitious and aspirational end points and allow them to successfully move on to the next stage in their education/study. Students in these groups will be challenged, stretched and supported in their learning. Those who make strong progress may move to the working deeper group according to internal and external assessment. 
  3. Working with additional support - students in these groups will be provided with personalised support and challenge to be able to follow our broad and ambitious curriculum. Individually tailored support will ensure that these students can access the curriculum and achieve. We believe that every student in our school has a right to a broad, engaging and aspirational curriculum. For those with additional needs, we will do everything possible to help them access this with increasing fluency and independence. 

This is not mixed ability grouping, students are not banded or streamed, they are carefully grouped to enable the teacher to stretch and challenge all individual students wherever their starting points may be. This ensures that all children are supported to achieve their full potential and this is reflected in our excellent results over time. 

**Please note that the previous model of streaming in flightpaths provided additional layers that left little room for meaningful distinction between curriculum taught.  This led to lack of clarity and opportunity for students to progress. Students have told us over time that they felt that this put a ceiling on their learning and research over the last few years has confirmed this. 

Where subjects have tiered entry for their courses of study (maths, all sciences and Spanish) the above model will be followed for each tier of the curriculum while still allowing scope for students to move between tiers based on their progress throughout the course.

Year 8 and Year 9

Using prior attainment data, school based assessments and standardised tests, students are grouped as follows:

  1. Working deeper  - students in these groups will have shown high achievement or previous high attainment. The curriculum will reflect the breadth and aspiration of the national curriculum but will provide additional challenge and stretch for these students. This will prepare them for the highest tiers of papers in KS4 and set them on the path for our historic high achievement which you can see in our published data. 
  2. Core - the curriculum that we have created at St. John Plessington is broad, ambitious and provides clear outcomes of what we expect children to know, do and understand at each stage of our curriculum journey. This will support them to achieve our ambitious and aspirational end points and allow them to successfully move on to the next stage in their education/study. Students in these groups will be challenged, stretched and supported in their learning. Those who make strong progress may move to the working deeper group according to internal and external assessment. 
  3. Working with additional support - students in these groups will be provided with personalised support and challenge to be able to follow our broad and ambitious curriculum. Individual tailored support will ensure that these students can access the curriculum and achieve. We believe that every student in our school has a right to a broad, engaging and aspirational curriculum. For those with additional needs, we will do everything possible to help them access this with increasing fluency and independence.

Group sizes are between 24-28 students.

There are 5 lessons per day and 50 lessons per fortnight on a two week timetable.

SUBJECT

Y7 - HOURS PER FORTNIGHT

Y8 - HOURS PER FORTNIGHT

Y9 - HOURS PER FORTNIGHT

Religious Education

5

5

5

English

7

7

7

Maths

7

7

7

Science

6

6

6

Art

2

2

2

Computing / DT

3

3

3

Drama

2

2

2

Spanish

5

5

5

Geography

4

4

4

History

4

4

4

Music

1

1

1

PE

4

4

4

TOTAL

50

50

50

How are students set in key stage 4 at SJP?

Year 10 and Y11

Using prior attainment data in their core subjects and their option choices as well as school based assessments and standardised tests, students are grouped as follows:

  1. Working deeper  - students in these groups will have shown high achievement or previous high attainment. The curriculum will reflect the breadth and aspiration of the course of study and will provide additional challenge and stretch for these students with more opportunities to deepen their knowledge and understanding of key aspects of the subject area in accordance with the subject specification. This will support them to achieve ambitious and aspirational GCSE end points and allow them to successfully move on to the next stage in their education/study. 
  2. Core - students in these groups follow a broad and ambitious curriculum specific for their course of study with challenge and support provided by their teacher throughout the academic year. This will support them to achieve ambitious and aspirational GCSE end points and allow them to successfully move on to the next stage in their education/study. Students in these groups will be challenged, stretched and supported in their learning. Those who make strong progress may move to the working deeper group according to internal and external assessment. 
  3. Working with additional support - students in these groups will be provided with personalised support and challenge to be able to follow their course of study Individual tailored support will ensure that these students can access the curriculum and achieve ambitious GCSE end points. 

We believe that every student in our school has a right to a broad, engaging and aspirational curriculum. For those with additional needs, we will do everything possible to help them access this with increasing fluency and independence. 

Where subjects have tiered entry for their courses of study (maths, all sciences and Spanish) the above model will be followed for each tier of the curriculum while still allowing scope for students to move between tiers based on their progress throughout the course.

SUBJECT

Y10 HOURS PER FORTNIGHT

Y11 HOURS PER FORTNIGHT

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

5

5

English

7

7

Maths

7

7

Science

9

9

Subject 1

5

5

Subject 2

5

5

Subject 3

5

5

Subject 4

5

5

PE

2

2

 

Assessment and Reporting

The curriculum is the progression model.

At KS3 students are assessed against curriculum related expectations. The curriculum objectives are formatively tracked for each student and reported to parents along with an attitude to learning grade.

During Year 9, using prior attainment data, school based assessments and standardised tests, students are set a GCSE target in preparation for key stage 4. 

At KS4 and KS5, students are assessed in line with the specification for each subject. Reports to parents show a subject grade as well as an attitude to learning grade. 

Curriculum Review​

Curriculum implementation is reviewed  and quality assured through line management, lesson visits and subject reviews.

The curriculum delivered in each subject is reviewed throughout the year to ensure the sequence of delivery allows students to build on their knowledge and that students are sufficiently stretched and challenged.

The curriculum hours and subjects offered will be reviewed by the senior leadership team and governors on an annual basis.

The junior leadership team will discuss curriculum content and delivery annually. This will be fed back to the senior team and staff.

Parents and students will have the opportunity to review the curriculum content and delivery through parent and student surveys.  

Click the buttons below to download each subjects Long Term Plan.