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.
For our Personal Development Curriculum see: Personal Development Curriculum – St Joseph’s R.C. High School (stjosephsbolton.org.uk)
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. It aims to instill ambition in our young people, dream the impossible and achieve beyond wildest imaginations, with a curriculum that is ambitious in a bespoke way to meet the needs of learners.
At St Joseph’s our students will develop knowledge and skill for young people to be the game changers in the world bringing about a positive change and a new world with greater capabilities for social change and development. Through the taught curriculum and extracurricular experiences we expose young people to experiences that invest in the social and cultural capital aspect of the mindsets of young people and allow opportunities to see beyond their current everyday experiences irrespective of financial situation or special needs. Our curriculum aims to create students who will 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.
Our curriculum strives to enable young people to be moral beings, with tolerance and understanding of others and create an environment where the Catholic faith makes sense but can be questioned and compared to other approaches/belief sets in a safe environment ripe for faith formation. It aims to develop leadership in young people but to teach knowledge and skills that can survive changing times and be adapted for roles in a new world of work that does not yet exist.
Our Curriculum Design
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:
In 2021/22, a curriculum consultation demonstrated our shared intent with parents and carers. Curriculum Consultation.
Through a 5 year curriculum journey we cover the breadth of the KS3 National curriculum providing a foundation for GCSE and equivalent study. In order to deliver our curriculum intent at St Joseph’s we offer a range of challenging GCSE and equivalent subjects so that our pupils can compete with the best. We 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. Within our curriculum 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.
Cultural capital is defined as the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, and skills that a student can draw upon and which demonstrates their cultural awareness, knowledge and competence; it is one of the key ingredients a student will draw upon to be successful in society, their career and the world of work.
At St Joseph’s, we work to build our student aspirations and expose them to a range of different experiences to help them achieve goals and become successful. We recognise that for students to aspire and be successful academically and in the wider areas of their lives, they need to be given rich and sustained opportunities to develop their cultural capital.
We do this in many ways, for example, through our curriculum, extra-curricular activities, trips and visits and careers activities. A summary of our enrichment, student leadership and student experience offer can be found in the document below. The image shows our 2023/2024 enrichment activities list.
St Joseph’s curriculum 5 year spiral curriculum design is 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. 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 act as a taxonomy and underpin the development of skill sets and how the curriculum is formatively assessed. Our COVID catchup mapping documents explain that the curriculum is constantly changing and adapting depending on the bespoke needs of cohorts especially in the light of disruption caused by COVID. Covid recovery curriculum plans are in place including targeted use of recovery premium for catchup. Lifelong learning days are currently in place for year 9 and are designed to bring together skill sets taught in different curriculum areas, including knowledge from subjects that isn’t part of a student’s chosen specialisms linking learning to life beyond school and the world of work. Gospel Values, Social, moral, spiritual and cultural education are interwoven into subject areas and are fully mapped across the curriculum with focused Curriculum Enrichment days allowing a deeper study of topics related to safety, RSE, drugs, careers, learn to learn including building the foundations for ethical decision making on these topics. These are also supplemented with a form time programme allowing topics to be revisited in a timely fashion. All areas of the curriculum have a focus on disciplinary literacy. The profile of Literacy has been raised through form time literacy activities, word of the week and the development of mapping Literacy across the curriculum. ThinkMe:Think ambition strategy targets approaches towards individual student needs whether SEND/LAC/PP/EAL or underachiever.
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 St Joseph’s Curriculum Guide describe how the curriculum fully complies with the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014. The content of our school curriculum in each academic year for every subject is described in the Curriculum handbooks for each department, which can be accessed via each department page.
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.
Full details of our cross-curricular learning can be found in the attached document. Cross Curricular Learning
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.
Learners enjoy their studies shown by the questions they raise, their contribution to class discussions and engagement in tasks evidenced in lesson visits/booklooks and student voice exercise.
GCSE outcomes evidence the impact of the curriculum and open doors in the world of further/higher education and the world of work evidenced through our alumni ‘where are they now’ programme measured by our Careers lead.
In 2021 there were no NEETS; all students secured education courses employment or training.
A list of the course available for students to study to GCSE or equivalent can be found via this link
For more information on our school curriculum you can contact