Curriculum Intent

The intention that lies behind the curriculum at The Catholic High School, Chester is to enable our students to experience the fullness of life promised by Jesus when He told His disciples that he had come ‘that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ (John 10:10)

Fulfilling potential as a young person who is fully alive will mean academic, creative, physical, cultural, social, moral and spiritual development; and it will mean the school deliberately seeks to ensure that our students learn how to live healthy, positive and fulfilling lives.

To do this we make sure students experience a broad and balanced curriculum in the first three years of their time at the school, allowing them to make informed choices as they move into Years 10 and 11. Our Sixth Form programme is intended to light a fire in our students that will inspire them to move on to great opportunities when they leave school at 18.

“Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.” Proverbs 4:13



Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

Our KS3 curriculum aims to ensure that we recognise and build on the learning already taken place and ensure that our students maximise their progress and learning potential. We strive to build a culture where students feel safe to experiment with their learning and will be willing to try new things. We want to challenge and motivate all our students and encourage them to become active learners to prepare them for the demands of the GCSE and A ‘Level exams.

We offer a broad and balanced curriculum, with students studying a core EBacc offer of Maths, English, Science, Languages, Geography, History and Computer science alongside, RE, PE, Music, Design & Technology, Art, Drama. We recognise the value of the National Curriculum and use this as a basis for our structure as the content is broad and progressive. Further opportunity is given for the personalisation of the curriculum for those who require more support with literacy or numeracy.

Through rolling programme of PHSE we aim to make them confident and responsible members of the school and wider community. This time allows students to learn in different ways and to interact frequently with external providers. These sessions cover subjects such as Staying Safe, British Values, Study Skills, Pathways and RSE.


Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

The fundamental aim of our curriculum at Key Stage 4 is to equip our students with the skills and qualifications necessary for them to fulfil their potential. Our curriculum is designed to offer a broad range of subjects which are relevant to the students’ individual needs in order to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world.

As students move into Year 10, they have more choice in the subjects they study. In Key Stage 4, pupils have enhanced time for the core subjects of English and Maths. As a Catholic School, it is vitally important that all pupils study GCSE RE. Students can continue with the subjects they studied in Year 9, or they can choose other examination subjects. This approach allows students to explore subjects relevant to their strengths and interests as well as those suitable for their individual needs. The full range of choices includes the option to study three separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics).

All students continue to take part in core Physical Education programmes in Years 10-11. The time for Physical Education recognises the importance of health, fitness and wellbeing in our lives. Students continue to access Careers Advice so that they are provided with personalised, clear and objective advice about the next steps available to them. Throughout Key Stage 4 students continue to follow a PSHE Programme which is relevant to the pressures of a modern society.

Our curriculum offers flexibility and choice within a guided structure. In response to government curriculum changes, the options are fewer than in previous years but give more time to enable study in greater depth. Our framework is broad enough to accommodate the ‘English Baccalaureate’, as well as providing BTEC Qualifications for those who find this assessment pathway more accessible. To ensure that the needs of all students are catered for, personalised provisions can be put into place. For students who are struggling to access GCSE material within the core subjects of English and Maths. we offer the ‘Step Up’ Qualifications to provide students with a building block so that they can achieve future success in these subjects.


Sixth Form (Years 12-13)

The sixth form curriculum facilitates academic excellence. Students study three A levels (with scope for four subjects for any student who desires to pursue more competitive university courses) from a balanced range of facilitating and creative subjects. The curriculum is delivered by experts who foster a thirst for knowledge, a passion for their subject and a love of learning. Students also develop skills necessary to prosper after their time at school. The curriculum is inclusive, providing opportunities, stretch and challenge for students from all backgrounds.

The wider sixth form curriculum encourages students to be responsible for themselves and others, developing an awareness of the world in which they live and a positive attitude towards life. Core RE is offered for all students. Rooted in Christian values the curriculum develops students spiritually and ensures they are motivated for the common good. Leadership skills are encouraged through volunteering opportunities such as the mentoring of younger students and supporting the St Vincent De Paul society to help the community at large.

The curriculum prepares students for life after sixth form. Careers support, including regular presentations from outside experts, helps students with their post A-level choices and preparation for the world of work. Students are encouraged to progress to excellent universities and colleges, with many gaining places at prestigious Russell Group universities, and on other competitive courses, as well as on apprenticeships. For those looking to start their careers post A-levels, a bespoke programme of advice and support is provided.

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