Our Mission Statement states that Jesus Christ is our role model. Jesus tells us that “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10.10). Therefore our curriculum is characterised by Academic Excellence and aims to allow our students to achieve their full potential and prepare them for the world of work and life beyond school. It will be broad and balanced (Education Act 2002 S78) so that every student is afforded the opportunity to reach their potential regardless of aptitude, ability or situation.
Our curriculum aims to empower every student to develop as an independent, free thinking individual with a conscience rooted in Christian values, who can cope with challenges by developing resilience and living Christ’s message. This will enable them to contribute positively to society, the Church and later to the world of work. Our curriculum intends that students should ‘aspire to be more’ and that most should aim to progress onto university. As such we will offer a range of challenging GCSE subjects so that our pupils can compete with the best. We will also seek to ensure that our provision caters for those with vocational aspirations through CEIAG and a broad and balanced curriculum that builds on skills as well as knowledge in a spiral approach across the five years that students are with us. We recognise that there is more than GCSE outcomes to the curriculum and seek to offer all students an entitlement to a rich and varied extra curriculum through a ‘bucket list’ of activities to partake in whilst at St Joseph’s.
We encourage all pupils, with the support of their families, to take all the opportunities which our curriculum offers, both within formal lessons and beyond the classroom, so that when they leave our school they can continue to ‘aspire to be more’ and become ‘game changers’ in God’s world.
The curriculum at St Joseph’s comprises all those activities and experiences which contribute to the intellectual, spiritual, physical, social and emotional development of members of our community. This includes the extended or out-of-hours curriculum which contributes to the ethos of the school, promoting the values expressed in our Mission Statement and School Aims.
St Joseph’s bases its curriculum on the principle that all pupils should have access to a broad, balanced, relevant and enriching curriculum, irrespective of their personal aptitudes and abilities. The school seeks to ensure equality of opportunity within the curriculum for all pupils within the confines of the available resources – financial and structural.
Our curriculum is designed to be:
All pupils have in common a need to acquire the knowledge, concepts, skills and attitudes necessary for their own development, and for playing a full part in society. In general, the purpose of the curriculum is to help all pupils to achieve this development, each to their own potential within the context of the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Therefore, our curriculum aims to help pupils:
Curriculum Design and Content
St Joseph’s curriculum is designed as a 5 year spiral curriculum where key concepts are presented repeatedly through the curriculum but with deepening layers of complexity. This is to ensure that all pupils are offered a rich curriculum that provides them with a deep understanding of content and skills to prepare them for life at St Joseph’s and beyond.
St Joseph’s curriculum achieves breadth by bringing all pupils into contact with a wide range of areas of learning and experience. This breadth in the curriculum is underpinned by the by the range of subjects offered under the National Curriculum, the implementation of which is audited to ensure that National Curriculum end points are reached by each pupil in KS3. It is then enhanced by a vast range of opportunities as part of our enrichment offer to deepen a pupil’s “Joeys’ experience”.
Balance is achieved in the curriculum by ensuring that each of these areas across the 5 year curriculum, for each pupil, is allowed sufficient scope for development, in terms of time and resources with the available financial and structural resources. Equally, there should be a balance in the variety of teaching styles employed in each classroom, with avoidance of the over use of any one particular style. A balance should be achieved also across the range of types of work required of the pupils in each classroom, with avoidance of overdue emphasis on any one particular kind of work. Each area of learning should draw upon the pupil’s experience of the world, and enhance their understanding of it within the context of the teachings of the Catholic Church. What is taught and learned should be perceived by pupils to meet their present needs, be relevant to the prospective needs of adult life, serve to enhance their enjoyment of learning or further their interest in, and understanding of the world.
Collaborative schemes of learning are utilised with embedded Progression Scales. Progression Scales are embedded throughout our curriculum planning and delivery to promote progression and stretch for all pupils regardless of starting point so that all pupils can maximise their future.
Literacy is a main theme that weaves throughout the future curriculum of St Joseph’s. The profile of Literacy has been raised through form time literacy activities, word of the week and the development of the importance of cursive writing and its mapping across the curriculum.
Cross-Curriculum Mapping shows the significant number of areas where departments work together to link the learning of the pupils at St Joseph’s. These are areas of skills, content, British Values, CEIAG, Literacy, Numeracy and many other areas. The “underground” links are mapped and encouraged between departments to promote maximum progress for our pupils.
The sequencing of the cross-curriculum content is also designed to show the order in which different departments may study a particular area. This supports the “underground” plan so that departmental planning is informed using the relevant starting point for each of our pupils.