Our curriculum thinking is rooted in both the Christian foundation of our school and our knowledge of the students we serve and what they need to flourish in local, national and international contexts. We believe that “The glory of God is a human being fully Alive” (Iraneaus) and our vocation is to help students be “fully Alive” learners through the curriculum we provide.

 

Our curriculum is a reflection of the diversity of our school community and one that allows each student to discover their own unique gifts and to develop them fully. To facilitate this, our curriculum is built on the foundation of choice. We provide a curriculum that offers students and teachers the freedom to be creative within a framework of effective organisation. We want students who engage with their faith and value themselves while appreciating and understanding their place in the modern world. Our students are with us for an important part of their journey through that world. We want our curriculum to help ensure that they navigate their way safely, in a manner which values others and recognises our interdependence. We want to develop Alive learners, who trust others but do not simply accept what they are told but ask questions as they seek the truth. Who are resilient when things go wrong and forgiving when wronged by others. Who are courageous advocates for justice and respect, equipped with the life and learning skills (the ability to review, to research, to communicate) necessary to make their unique contribution at a local, national and global level.

 

Alive triangle

 

To facilitate this, at Key Stage 3 we offer a broad and balanced curriculum which provides students with a rich and varied specialist experience which allows them the opportunity to discover and decide which subjects they wish to pursue at GCSE. At Key Stage 3 all students study English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, Geography, Design Technology, History, French or Spanish, Art, Computing, Music, Physical Education and Values Education, including: Citizenship and PSHCE Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship and Careers Education (PSHCE). In Year 9, students choose their options from a wide range of subjects with the flexibility for each student to pursue their own path at Key Stage 4.

 

At Key Stage 4 the majority of students follow courses that generally lead to nine GCSEs. Most take English (Language and Literature), Mathematics, Double Combined Science and Religious Education. There are also lessons in core Physical Education, Careers, Values and Citizenship. Additional choices are made from Separate Sciences, History, Geography, French, German, Spanish, Computing, Design Technology (Product Design or Textiles), Food Preparation and Nutrition, Art, Photography, Music, Business Studies, Physical Education, Health and Social Care, Child Development, Drama and Media Studies, Life Skills Courses. We encourage students to study the EBacc, but equally value the creative and vocational subjects which play such an important role in our local economy and the aspirations of our young people. By expecting all KS4 students to study GCSE RE, we highlight our commitment to putting faith at the centre of everything we do as a school community.

 

At A Level, the choice of subjects widens further still. We offer around 36 Advanced Level courses in the Redcliffe Sixth Form Centre. Most students go on to Higher and Further Education at establishments all over the country. We take pride in our regular Oxford, Cambridge and American University successes, and aim to bring out the best in all our students.

 

Across the key stages, each subject offers a carefully crafted balance of skills and knowledge, the emphasis is on outstanding academic achievement that is accessible to all students and allows students to progress to their chosen next step in education or employment based on their individual gifts. Each department delivers the depth of knowledge and skills required to excel in that area, with the recognition that each subject is unique and is taught by experts who are best placed to synthesise the research and best practice evidence to deliver a distinctive high quality experience within their specialism. To facilitate this, subjects are given a degree of flexibility in how they deliver their subject within a teaching and learning framework, whereby:


• Students understand whether they are making expected progress in a subject and know what they need to do to improve
• Students understand the behaviour expectations within each classroom and exhibit positive attitudes and Alive values as they learn
• Students understand what they are learning, how they are learning and why they are learning it
• Students are able to progress through the goals of the curriculum regardless of any factors that may inhibit their ability to do so
• Students value themselves and enjoy their learning. They are eager to make progress and are proud of what they achieve.

 

The Alive themes are the ‘golden thread’ which runs through each subject and each key stage, as well as the learning that happens outside the classroom. Each subject has its own Alive theme linked to the distinctive nature of their specialism. Subjects highlight and celebrate their chosen theme while at the same time offering opportunities to develop all of the values, skills and attributes of the Alive model. This leads to a coherent connected curriculum that encourages students to make links between their learning in different lessons and to ‘learn from’ as well as to ‘learn in’ each subject. So, by providing students with the knowledge and skills to excel in their chosen specialism, allowing them the choice to pursue their chosen path and by providing them with a rounded educational experience that develops their wider skills, attributes and values, we create an experience which is greater than the sum of its parts; where students become fully Alive learners.