La Sainte Union Catholic School

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Curriculum Intent

Our intent is encapsulated in our mission to provide our pupils with a curriculum based on Christian principles, which will broaden their minds, prepare them for life and enable them to become fully participating citizens who recognise the dignity and equality of each human person.

Curriculum design and development is at the heart of our improvement work. It is driven by our intention for pupils to develop global awareness with a respect and understanding of British values, other faiths, nations and cultures, a strong sense of civic and environmental responsibility, an ethos of positive behaviours with an ethical approach to the use of information technologies. Effective cross- phase collaboration ensures that we can rapidly identify pupils’ gifts, talents and potential as well as any gaps in their learning.

From Year 7, our development of mastery in core and foundation subjects ensures a knowledge rich curriculum with a strong focus on creativity, innovation, critical thinking, communication and most importantly collaboration. This is underpinned by our commitment to secure the highest levels of numeracy and literacy. Through curricular and extra-curricular learning, we cherish the rich cultural diversity our pupils bring to the community and we expand their cultural capital in order to build their confidence and facilitate a broad range of outstanding outcomes for them.

Year 9 provides a strong pedagogical bridge to learning in KS4 and we aim to ensure our pupils have bespoke advice at all stages and especially when choosing their options for the next stages of learning. At all stages, our unrelenting focus on eliminating gaps for disadvantaged pupils continues to be evident in the success of our pupils in a wide range of fields. Our curriculum aims to provide stretch and challenge for every pupil so that they become effective learners who have a love of learning.

Within our consortium at KS5, we offer seven different pathways. High expectations are coupled with hard work and careers advice so that students continue to grow in confidence both academically and pastorally and are able to develop clear, ambitious and realistic plans for the future.

Our curriculum is shaped by the communities we serve and thus our intentions are realised through our work with all stakeholders and not least our highly valued bond with parents and carers.

Statement of Intent: Art

Students have the opportunity to communicate what they feel and think about art, our world and our capacity to shape a better future in their Art lessons at LSU. We aim to awaken the conscience of our pupils to the world around them and show appreciation and respect for a range of artists from diverse cultures. We foster the qualities of empathy, resourcefulness, resilience and encourage collaboration and team work so that they are ready for life after school. We help to develop skills and techniques in drawing and painting and strive to achieve subject mastery which is fundamental in preparing students for post -16 education and art-related careers.

Our termly projects are sequenced so that skills and knowledge are developed and build upon prior learning. The curriculum plans are sequenced to prepare pupils to meet the requirements of the GCSE and A level specification. They are also planned to be enjoyable and stimulating. The schemes of work include activities and tasks that provide pupils with opportunities to develop Art, Craft and design knowledge, understanding and skills.

We develop and nurture meaningful links to artists that reflect the diversity of our school community. Our STEAM projects aim to develop cross-faculty learning make links to sustainability, community, and care of our common home. We celebrate pupils' achievements through work displayed around the school and in our enriching art environments, and sharing and celebrating successes in school bulletins. Our artist in residence works with a range of pupils from people who struggle in the subject, to our potential artists of the future.

We believe in delivering a strong creative curriculum alongside extra-curricular learning, centred on the needs and aspirations of each pupil. Our schemes of work explore how faith, knowledge and culture contribute towards an understanding of ourselves, our world, and a capacity to shape a better future. British values, Gospel values and the LSU ethos are woven into all our projects, our interactions with each other and with our learners.

We wish to develop strength of character and confidence by stressing the pursuit of excellence for all pupils, no matter what their starting point. We work closely with the pastoral team and parents/carers to ensure each student achieves their maximum potential. Our displays of work celebrate all pupils’ achievements and experiences. The artists we choose to study reflect our diverse cultures, traditions, beliefs, differences and similarities. We design lessons that take into account Rosenshine's Principles of Education. We begin lessons with a short review of previous learning. We present new material in small chunks with student practise after each step. We ask a number of questions and check for understanding and we remember that 'high quality teaching for SEND (and disadvantaged groups) is high-quality teaching for all'.

Statement of Intent: Business

The business curriculum is designed to engage students through topics and issues that are relevant in today’s society. Students will learn about the interrelated nature of business and study key contemporary developments such as digital technology, business ethics, and globalisation which are increasingly influential factors in today’s dynamic market.

We take a holistic approach to the subject content applying business models, theories and techniques to support analysis of contemporary business issues and situations. We focus on developing the students’ ability to critically examine the potential obstacles that an organisation’s strategic position may create. It is our intent that the curriculum will inspire students to evaluate and question traditional business approaches, allowing them to face future decisions with confidence and maturity.

Regular formative and summative assessments are embedded in the delivery of the business curriculum. The differing assessment levels and learning aims established by the exam boards are carefully considered in the creation of these assessment opportunities to ensure students are fully prepared for the external examinations they will complete. A range of approaches such as individual and pair work, group projects and presentations are frequently adopted to encourage debate and enhance communication skills, both of which are critical to presenting balanced and justified arguments.

Teachers use their industry experience to add real-life context and scenarios to learning, giving the students a ‘live’ insight into specific elements of business. We have a number of different pathways with GCSE, BTEC and A-Level qualifications on offer. Teachers know their pupils well, especially those with additional or special educational needs and will discuss learning needs with the students to ensure they are supported.

The business curriculum explores ethical and environmental factors, human resources and consumer rights alongside the cultural sensitivities and barriers that organisations may face when entering and trading with international markets. In accordance with our school mission to educate the whole person, it is our intent that by studying these areas students will develop not only academically but also socially and morally, helping to develop broad-minded, mature individuals who will be prepared for the contemporary world facing them when they leave LSU.

The curriculum at GCSE, A-Level and BTEC Business has seen an increased focus towards numeracy, with mathematical problems and financial calculations embedded in content delivery. Computation and understanding of data including financial ratios, accounting statements and investment appraisal paired with analysis of industry trends develop students’ quantitative skills significantly and enables clear and objective evaluation in exam settings.

Students completing business at LSU will study the different functional departments within an organisation in depth, along with the competitive and external influences these businesses are faced with in an ever-changing marketplace. Students will be taught to consider the corporate social responsibility of business actions, the feasibility of investment and difficulties in forecasting trends when assessing the best strategic direction for a business and its stakeholders. The intent is for students to fully engage with the context of the business situation, thus enabling them to formulate well-reasoned and viable conclusions about the strategies and approaches of management.

The target is to not only help students reach their goals of academic success, enabling them to secure their university place or workplace role but to foster an appreciation for the intricate relationships within organisations and marketplaces. To help students develop their questioning and judgement skills which will allow them to be confident when facing challenges beyond their life at LSU.

Statement of Intent: Classics

The A Level Classics Curriculum aims to teach young people how to behave in a formal environment as well as providing a stepping stone to life in further education, and at work. They are expected to treat each other and staff with respect, developing listening skills and learning how to debate effectively so that they will thrive in school and beyond. At the core of Classics is the inculcation of higher-order thinking skills that students can transfer to academic study and their future careers. The course offers a broad range of Cultural Capital that will enable students to access key literary and political texts, art, philosophical and scientific thinking for their future intellectual development, happiness and to enable them to become useful members of society. They should be able to reflect on what it is to be human, using the Classical World as a springboard.

The curriculum follows the A level syllabus in a methodical way across the three modules. Modules have been selected that will inspire, stretch and engage to foster a lifelong love of learning. This allows the development of skills and knowledge from Y12 which is then built step by step throughout the course. It prioritises the acquisition of the specialist vocabulary necessary to progress to further education as well as making cross-curricular links to scaffold learning in other subjects such as English Literature, History and Maths. We encourage students to produce research on the connection of their own field of knowledge to the Classical World and vice versa. All students receive revision aids for each module and have access to a range of support materials on Teams as well as via Massolit.

The belief that each pupil is a child of God, sacredly entrusted to this school for his or her formation is at the heart of how students are treated, treat each other and the teachers and academics who give them their time. These principles fully reflect the charism of Jean Baptiste Debrabant: Each for all and all for God. The students are fully aware of the objectives of this department and are encouraged to contribute to its life beyond participation in lessons. Their parents also understand the departmental emphasis on achieving academic potential, intellectual growth and engaging in enrichment activities.

The Classical World is fundamental to British values such as the rule of law, democracy, mutual tolerance and individual liberty all of which had their basis in Ancient Greek thought, the study of which is an essential part of the A level curriculum. Colonisation by Athens and Rome is a key part of the curriculum, facilitating discussions around decolonisation. Numeracy is embedded in each module whether from calculating the gap between secondary sources from the original event or understanding the currency of Ancient Greece. Techniques to hone literacy are crucial given the desire to maximize marks and include spelling tests, memorisation tips, explanations of grammatical rules and exemplar materials. The Greek Religion module demands modern world comparisons and the assessment of the reception of Greek and Roman values. These are significant in terms of the Catholic Faith; references are frequently made in lessons to the Catholic Faith as well as Judaism, Islam and secular values.

The department offers a high level of pastoral and academic support whatever their academic or additional need. One to one support, differentiated worksheets and resources are there to help students achieve their potential. Frequent contact with home, base schools and SEND departments means that any issues are detected early to ensure intervention can be swift and effective.

Statement of Intent: Computer Science

The development of computing has completely transformed the social, cultural and economic landscapes of our time. Advances in technology have meant that computing has become embedded into our daily lives. From the use of smartphones and smart televisions to heating systems and vehicles, computers have dramatically improved task efficiency and contributed to a greater standard of living. Computer Science is an exciting and rapidly evolving industry that offers unique employment prospects that can result in lucrative careers.

Coding plays a crucial role in the development of computing. Steve Jobs once said that ‘everybody should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.’ Pupils at La Sainte Union experience a comprehensive programming education across multiple units of work. Pupils are given practical opportunities to write and assess their own code. Whether it is being able to control a robot, develop a three-dimensional computer game or construct a mathematical shape using a python turtle, pupils will be able to see their code in action. In year 7, pupils will use visual block-based coding in the form of Kodu and LEGO. In year 8 pupils are introduced to basic text-based programming in the form of Python and in year 9 more complex elements are introduced. At all times there is an emphasis on problem-solving, logical thinking and computational thinking skills. Programming skills include sequence, selection and iteration.

When pupils begin working on their GCSE qualification, they will develop their understanding of the theoretical concepts studied at key stage three and be given the opportunity to develop a project. This project will provide pupils with an overview of what programmers and developers do when they are creating and building new programs. At key stage 5 pupils will explore the theoretical concepts in further detail. The programming element of the A-level course is more robust with pupils being required to develop a significantly more complex project using advanced programming techniques. At key stage 4 and 5 we have purchased high-quality resources from Craig’nDave that includes a comprehensive and detailed curriculum plan and schemes of work.

The overriding objective of the computing curriculum at La Sainte Union is to promote enjoyment and engagement from all pupils. We do this by ensuring pupils study a wide range of different topics outside of coding. Pupils will have had many different experiences and developed contrasting perspectives on the uses of computer technology. For pupils to use devices and computers more effectively it is vital that they can develop their understanding of the technology that is used every day. A substantial focus of our curriculum is on using technology in a safe and responsible manner. For example, our pupils will explore the illegal side of ‘hacking’ as well as seeing that white hat hackers operating legally can help to protect companies and software from illegal hacks.

There is a significant underrepresentation of female computer scientists in the technology industry. As a result, we spend a great deal of time showing pupils relevant female role models such as Anne-Mare Imafidon MBE who is the cofounder of Stemettes. We make sure to explore the significant contributions that females have had in the early development of computers and computer systems with a particular focus on Ada Lovelace. During Black History Month we introduce pupils to the achievements of BAME roles models in the technology sector and this continues throughout the rest of the year.

All units of work within our curriculum are planned so that the content is accessible to all pupils. Extension activities have been built into all lesson resources to challenge the highest achievers whilst those pupils who are struggling with the content are supported with strategically scaffolded and differentiated tasks. We also have access to a wealth of alternative online resources that allows pupils to explore concepts in further depth. When working on computers pupils are given access to a range of different accessibility features such as immersive readers.

Our curriculum journey explores the connections that computer science has with other subject disciplines including mathematics, science and design and technology. The structure of the faculty allows mathematics and computer science teachers to work together closely in developing a mastery curriculum. This mastery curriculum incorporates challenging and engaging topics whilst encouraging our pupils to develop their creativity and subject knowledge.

Statement of Intent: Drama

We equip our students with attributes for life, including confidence, communication and concentration skills. We want every child who leaves the school to be ready to walk into any formal setting with confidence. Their journey begins in Year 7 and these qualities are developed in lessons, through clubs and our frequent productions. All pupils will be able to analyse, understand and discuss a variety of texts, whilst making connections to their own lives and the world around them. Students will have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively through language, voice, movement, and writing, with a desire to continue to develop these skills in their adult life.

Determination, courage, empathy and tolerance are values that have guided the decisions of the department, leading to multiple opportunities for our students both inside and outside of the classroom. Our exam results are impressive - they are well above the national average and the department contributes to a vibrant and warm school community. Drama is an inclusive subject in which all students are challenged in every lesson. The plays we use reflect the diverse community of the school. The Year 9 Speech and Drama programme, which every pupil participates in, enables every child to perform Shakespeare duologues to an examiner. We tour our plays to local primary schools and theatres, such as: RADA studios, The Hampstead Theatre and The Donmar Warehouse. The plays and musicals performed by our students at school and on tour include: A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Blood Wedding, Metamorphosis, The Good Woman of Szechuan, The Crucible, Les Miserables and Little Shop of Horrors. Our work with outside practitioners from a variety of theatre companies raises pupils' self-esteem, sense of achievement and understanding of the wider world.

The Drama texts have been broadened to include a huge range of cultures and countries including Nigeria, Kosovo, Spain, Japan, Germany, the UK, Russia, the Caribbean and America. Literacy skills are used in every single lesson as every lesson uses text. Our inclusivity can be seen in our whole school productions which reflect the values of the school. Numeracy is used to plot narratives and emotions on graphs, as well as using movement and timing with music. Links to personal and social education are also frequently made.

Augusto Boal stated that 'theatre can be a means to transform lives and society'. This is our key focus in drama for all our pupils, whatever their ability or starting point. Watching and taking part in performances and extra-curricular events consciously include SEND, disadvantaged children and high prior attaining pupils as well. Our inclusive approach ensures that everyone has the opportunity to learn empathy and become empowered through the experience of Drama.

Statement of Intent: Economics

The economics curriculum aims to provide our students with an understanding of their place in a dynamic global economy. Students will learn about human behaviour at both a micro and a macro level, thereby enabling them to understand how markets work, how markets fail, and the role of institutions within markets. 

Students will be able to model complex economic processes using theoretical constructs, analyse and evaluate the validity of their outcomes, and articulate their findings in a clear way. By studying economics at LSU, students will have an appreciation of the lives and works of some of the most influential economists of modern times from a diverse range of backgrounds. This will enable them to critically evaluate how governments, central banks, and other economic agents coordinate economic policy during the economic cycle. It is our intent that the curriculum will encourage our students to challenge the Classical hypotheses of rationality and perfect markets, and to consider the role of the institutions which seek to correct market failures.

Regular formative and summative assessments are used to encourage recall of prior knowledge and deeper level critical thinking. The nature of the course means that topic areas are interdependent and constant links are made between these with reference to topical issues. Students develop their analytical skills whilst we encourage them to consider the wider context and implications of policies and actions by economic agents.

Teachers of economics use a wide variety of resources and strategies to ensure lessons are engaging, lessons are dynamic and make effective use of digital technology. The use of pair and group work is encouraged in many lessons ensuring the benefits of peer support. Teachers know their pupils well especially those with additional or special educational needs, and how to support them. We discuss learning needs with pupils to ensure everyone can access and thrive in the course and differentiate resources and tasks when necessary.

The curriculum provides rich context for addressing and gaining an insight into the inequalities that arise throughout the world. The Macroeconomics content in particular addresses areas such as poverty and inequality, emerging and developing economies and national happiness as well as the marginal social costs to society of producer actions. It is our intention that the curriculum will help to ensure that our students are of good character, well equipped for life in modern Britain. Alongside the fundamental economic analysis, students will be challenged to consider the ethical principles and moral or ethical problems which so often arise when implementing public policy, contextualising this from the school’s Catholic perspective.

Numeracy and quantitative skills are significantly developed throughout the 2 years of study, from analysing and reading graphs and charts, calculating elasticities, index numbers, and exchange rates to regular diagrammatic analysis. Students develop their analytical and evaluative skills and learn to present their arguments and justifications in a clear and objective manner. These skills significantly support the advancement of literacy for students of Economics. 

By studying empirical data regarding nations’ abilities to achieve key macroeconomic objectives, such as low unemployment and sustainable economic growth, our students will be able to analyse the extent to which markets are fully flexible and evaluate the unintended consequences of government intervention. In a world of big data, the economics curriculum ensures that our students are well placed to understand, interpret and extrapolate the wisdom that lies hidden within such data. By holding firm to the assumption of ceteris paribus, our students will have the freedom to design, model and analyse the effects of public policy, whilst, at the same time, by relaxing the notion of ceteris paribus, students will be challenged to evaluate the wider ramifications of public policy decisions.

Our aspiration is that this particular blend of skills will enable our students not only to further their study of economics, but also, and, perhaps more importantly, to do the right thing beyond their time at La Sainte Union.

Statement of Intent: English

The English curriculum empowers our students to see the language and its literature as a tool for self-expression, for deepening their understanding of the human experience, and for personal advancement, both during their time at LSU and beyond.

Our English course has been designed around the principle of mastery so that each unit of work develops the knowledge and skills learned in prior topics and promotes opportunities for increasingly deep thinking. In this way, and by encouraging a love of both reading and writing in our lessons, we aim to provide all our students with the confidence that they can make valuable and effective contributions across a wide range of topic areas.

Key Stage 3 units of work underline the importance of representation and inclusivity within the school community, at the same time as offering tremendous breadth and challenge, from an introduction to the playwrighting of Ancient Greece and learning about Shakespearean rhetoric, to studying diverse 21st century poets as well as political novels like Animal Farm. Each unit includes a “memorable experience”, such as theatre trips, visiting Hampstead Heath and Keats’ House to write nature poetry, and receiving a university-run Speech and Drama qualification from Trinity College London. These provide our students with further inspiration to become “creators” rather than mere “receivers” of English and help to foster a lifelong love for our subject beyond the classroom walls.

At Key Stage 4, as part of their GCSE Literature course, Years 10 and 11 study texts such as A Christmas Carol and An Inspector Calls, which celebrate the principles of empathy, equality and justice as central to an understanding of writers’ purpose. In English Language, we teach our students how to develop their skills of writing in a variety of styles for a range of audiences, while the non-fiction reading component is founded on building articulate discussion of the major issues at the heart of modern society, including the intersections of gender, race and class.

Our popular A-Level Literature course offers students the chance to look in depth at different literary heritages within English, from seminal Gothic texts to a unit on Postcolonial writing. A coursework element and an emphasis on reading around the core subject matter affords students a level of autonomy to shape their studies to reflect their own interests and offers an insight into what it is like to pursue English at degree level.

We take pride in creating a caring, safe environment in which every one of our students can discover and fulfil their own potential in English. Our teaching is centred on equipping students with the literacy skills necessary to provide them with a sense of agency in their future lives. While this means we ensure our students become proficient in using the essential principles of grammar and develop high quality close language analysis, we also understand that the most successful students are those who have a true passion for the subject. Therefore, in our lessons we seek to instil a love of English through a spirit of collaboration and experimentation, helping pupils to improve their skills of spoken as well as written articulacy, and encouraging them to stretch themselves in a low-stakes atmosphere of joyful discovery. Small group discussions are prioritised as a key method of understanding and interpreting written texts in all lessons, and the formalised teaching of oracy is embedded throughout the curriculum.

Every activity is considered with all students and abilities in mind. English classes at LSU are of mixed prior attainment at each Key Stage, which gives all learners potential to access higher level thinking through adopting responsive, differentiated approaches. Relationships are at the heart of both the subject and our teaching of it, and we make sure to know every pupil well so that we can be adaptive to accommodate the particular needs of each individual. By conducting regular formative assessment, in line with whole-school practice, we are able to adjust the way tasks are delivered in order to provide as inclusive a curriculum as possible, so that every student feels like an important member of LSU’s learning community.

Statement of Intent: Geography

In Geography at LSU our intent is to inspire in our pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and people within it; to promote the pupils' interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Geography is an ever-changing discipline and we look to excite students’ knowledge, thus making them more aware of the modern world issues around them. We ensure we are consistently updating our Geography curriculum to guarantee students are well equipped to tackle these issues, as well as providing a deeper understanding of the social, economic and physical processes which shape and change our modern world. This guarantees that all students are better prepared for the wider world post-education, further study at higher education and the world of work. The subject has a strong emphasis on transferable skills, linking to topics, fieldwork opportunities and cross-curricular links. Subsequently, we challenge students to think, act and speak like those working in the field would.

Each year the curriculum is sequenced to build on students’ skills and knowledge of the human and physical world. Year 7 start with building up their basic map and geographical skills to support with the transition from KS2. Topics follow an enquiry based approach to link with GCSE themes and this encourages our students to become investigative Geographers. Key themes from the curriculum are embedded in different ways for different topics, to reflect the varied nature of the subject. Key themes from the curriculum and subject revolve around place, space, human and physical geography, the environment and global issues. These are weaved throughout the three years in KS3 to ensure balance between topics and the different elements of Geography. This knowledge empowers students and helps them to understand the power of social action and the role they can play in it.

Geography is a rich and diverse topic and we have diversified our curriculum to ensure students are not only taught to challenge misconceptions, but to empower them with the passion and determination to do so. At LSU we provide our students with an inclusive curriculum which is representative and diverse. Thereby equipping them with the knowledge to be part of creating a more just and sustainable world.

We ensure that what we teach covers a wide range of countries and cultures within the course and students are taught to appreciate and celebrate this diversity. We present students with a range of case studies, especially when discussing poverty and development. We have a popular topic on Africa where we discuss a range of themes within the continent to challenge misconceptions and stereotypes without ignoring barriers to development. Through these enquiries we are teaching our students to become critically informed, globally aware young citizens with an interest in social justice and social responsibility.

Inclusivity is a vital component of our teaching approach within Humanities. The Humanities Faculty teaches lessons and uses classroom resources to ensure they are always adhering to SEND guidance and that all resources and lessons are SEND friendly to ensure all students make maximum progress and fulfil their potential. An example of this in action can vary from use of vocabulary sheets, diagrams, images, colour coding, writing frames and model answers when doing written work activities to interactive ways of learning and experiencing their Geography lessons, through things such as debate, building models and problem solving tasks. When students progress to KS4 and KS5 they are well supported by the department, this is both in terms of practical revision resources and being taught a range of different memory retention techniques to ensure knowledge is embedded. Such an approach ensures students always feel well supported by their teachers, but are also empowered to develop individual autonomy over their learning.

Statement of Intent: Health and Social Care

The health and social care curriculum is designed to ensure that it is broad and balanced to provide the students with sound specialist practical knowledge and understanding, as well as the skills to influence care decisions that meet the needs of individuals across a range of care settings. Students who study health and social care will develop a common set of transferrable skills allowing them to build their self-confidence and to achieve their potential; academically, in everyday life and in employment. They will be accomplished in their ability to demonstrate respect, tolerance, dignity, effective communication and the application of legal requirements.

Regular assessments are crucial in supporting students with their learning, helping them to identify any areas of weakness and gaps in their knowledge. Formative assessment and weekly progress checks, provide the learners with the tools to be reflective practitioners and to be proactive in informing their next steps.   Summative assessments are undertaken at the end of each unit which allows the learners to consolidate their understanding across a range of topics.

The curriculum explores areas that influence physical, intellectual, emotional and social development throughout the different life stages and the impact of life factors on our day-to-day health and well-being. Learning about different developmental theories and models help students to explain and interpret behaviour through the human lifespan. Understanding the application of care values is essential for working in the care sector but also prepares students to be empathetic, responsible and active citizens. Becoming familiar with different pieces of legislation such as the Equality Act, GDPR and health and safety laws enables learners to celebrate and appreciate diversity, understand the importance of anti-discriminatory working practices, safeguarding, confidentiality, human rights, respect and dignity. Studying the sociological perspective helps students apply these to health and social care practices. Examining inequalities in society ensures they are equipped to understand and support people who come from different social groups. The curriculum addresses the influence of psychological perspectives on meeting and supporting the needs of service users and how these perspectives have formed the basis of different techniques to manage behaviours.

Teachers of health and social care use a variety of approaches to teaching and learning. These include practical opportunities and real-life scenarios aimed at supporting students to develop their applied knowledge and practical skills. Lessons provide students with a range of differentiated activities allowing all students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. Lessons build on prior learning and ensure students are challenged and supported. Targeted questioning is used to encourage students to be reflective and apply their theoretical knowledge to a range of vocational scenarios. Individualised support is provided for disadvantaged and SEND learners ensuring barriers to learning are removed or reduced. Lesson materials are available on Teams and IT resources are provided for students to complete coursework. Stretch and challenge is practised to encourage all learners to be aspirational in their desired outcomes.

The health and social care programmes aim to develop independence and research skills as well as promoting literacy, numeracy, effective communication, critical thinking and collaboration to help the students to progress to further study or employment. The practical work experience placement provides a foundation for learners to develop, apply and reflect on knowledge and skills in a realistic situation. We aim to provide the students with the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to develop into well-rounded, informed individuals ready for the many challenges of life.

Statement of Intent: History

Our curriculum aims to give students an understanding of their own historical context as British and World citizens. We want our students to gain a coherent and chronological understanding of the past which can enable them to appreciate their own local identity and heritage as well as national and international developments over time that have shaped the world in which they live. Our students will understand that history is a constructed narrative, dependent on perspective and can be contested, while also understanding that within this one can strive for truth and identify falsehood by gaining knowledge and interrogating sources. History students will develop into critically informed citizens of our modern world and will leave with an excellent moral and social awareness equipped to tackle the often tricky issues of our past, and present and be ready to face the future.

The curriculum is simultaneously set out chronologically and thematically. At KS3 the study of History will begin with the formation of the Roman Empire and end with modern world conflicts. These studies prepare students for the topics undertaken at GCSE. The study of History at LSU is also delivered thematically through the lens of the Humanities 5P’s ( People, Progress, Process, Perspective and Power.) Through the study of these themes students will be equipped and empowered with the knowledge and skills to understand; diversity of human experience; changing sense of place; nature of the relationship between people and their environments, role of social action; changing nature of power and how to deal critically and logically with information.

The teaching of History is well placed to educate and enlighten students and ensure they develop into socially responsible and morally aware citizens, with an appreciation for tolerance, empathy and inclusivity. These values are what guides and drives the selection of our teaching topics. This can be seen through the Rebel Queens enquiry in year 7 to the interpretation of empire investigation in year 8 and the diversity of wartime experience unit in year 9. The topics, themes and assessments students will be undertaking in each year are clearly visible and mapped out for students. In the front of their books students have yearly topic outlines, their assessment key skills grid and learning journey progress sheets. At the beginning of topics and enquiries it is clear to students why they are learning the topic and which of the 5P’s it links to. Visible curriculum connection moments in lessons also explicitly encourage students to link their learning to other subjects within Humanities.

At LSU, we are very proud of the work we have done in recent years to diversify our curriculum and the hugely positive impact this has had on students' personal and academic development. This diversification takes into account religion, gender, ethnicity, culture and sexual orientation. Importantly we equip students with the knowledge and skills to appreciate differing viewpoints and respect differing perspectives. Students understand that the study of History is about appreciating head learning (substantive knowledge) and heart learning (morality, ethics and empathy).

Inclusivity is a vital component of our teaching approach within Humanities. The Humanities Faculty teaches lessons and uses classroom resources to ensure they are always adhering to SEND guidance and that all resources and lessons are SEND friendly to ensure all students make maximum progress and fullfil their potential. An example of this in action can vary from use of vocabulary sheets, colour coding, writing frames and model answers when doing written work activities to interactive ways of learning and experiencing their History lessons through things such as debate and problem-solving tasks. When students progress on to KS4 and KS5 they are well supported by the department, this is both in terms of practical revision resources and being taught a range of different memory retention techniques to ensure knowledge is embedded. Such an approach ensures students always feel well supported by their teachers but are also empowered to develop individual autonomy over their learning.

Statement of Intent: Maths

Mathematics is a uniquely creative and interconnected discipline that has been developed by humanity since written records have existed. Mathematics is fundamental to the study of science, engineering, technology and economics and underpins the process of collecting and interpreting statistics for any subject.

Mathematics incorporates the exploration of number, algebra, geometry and statistics in order to develop an understanding of the world around us. At La Sainte Union we want pupils to be able to make connections between different areas of mathematics so that they can problem-solve effectively both individually and collaboratively. We want our pupils to have a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts rather than simply knowing how to follow procedures. We want students to understand the importance and real-life application of mathematics and the role it plays in their day-to-day lives. Students will be able to communicate effectively with precision using correct mathematical notation and language.

Our schemes of work are meticulous in detail. The content within each unit has been broken down into sequences of lessons that allow students to carefully build on their prior learning. The resources for each lesson have been developed with the aim of trying to exhaust every type of scenario. Pupils are encouraged to explore mathematical connections and make observations through sequences of questions that have been developed using well-researched methods such as variation theory. Within each lesson there will be a set of strategically chosen diagnostic questions that allow teachers to target pupil misconceptions quickly and effectively through the use of mini-whiteboards. These questions encourage students to think more deeply about the content being studied.

We begin formally teaching the GCSE in the middle of year 9 and this allows us to explore topics in sufficient depth. Where possible, we try and contextualise problems for every topic so that students can see real-life applications of mathematics. When teaching new topics, the starter question will often require pre-requisite knowledge needed to understand the new material. This supports pupils in developing an appreciation of how topics are connected to each other. We want to challenge any lingering perceptions of mathematics being a set of isolated ideas and procedures. We hope that our approach and philosophy will enable our pupils to become inquisitive, confident, mathematically mature, and academically successful. A number of our students in year 10 and 11 also have an opportunity to study the AQA further maths qualification. This course allows our high achieving students to bridge the gap between GCSE and A-level mathematics.

We use representations (Images) and manipulatives (Physical objects) wherever possible in order make mathematical concepts come alive in our lessons. These manipulatives have also been proven to be great teaching and learning aids for students who find maths more challenging. Each lesson will present visual aids in the form of icons that indicate when students are expected to listen, write, collaborate with their partner and use mini-whiteboards. This is particularly helpful for pupils with hearing impairments or those with SEND.

All of our learners engage with the same lessons and mathematical ideas at key stage three. This helps to build a sense of community for both the pupils and teachers. Shared classes are not disadvantaged in any way as the comprehensive nature of the resources allow teachers to pick up easily from where the other left off. Our rich curriculum offers a plethora of opportunities for students to take part in activities and trips. We regularly celebrate pupil successes in the junior, intermediate and senior UKMT maths challenges. We support pupils’ mathematical development by giving them access to enrichment activities and the most effective independent learning platforms (Hegarty Maths, Uplearn, Tutor).

We understand that exam practice is crucial to securing excellent academic outcomes. Our students in year 11 and 13 are provided with weekly practice papers, key Edexcel revision materials and regular revision classes to support their learning. We want to ensure our pupils are given the best chance of success and an opportunity to develop a genuine fascination and appreciation of mathematics.

Statement of Intent: Modern Foreign Languages

The Modern Foreign Languages curriculum aims for pupils to be able to communicate effectively in French and Spanish through the key skills of speaking, reading, listening, and writing. We want pupils to have an awareness and appreciation of cultures different to their own. We also want pupils to gain confidence over time as they unlock the world of a new language.

Pupils are introduced to each module through specific contexts such as Home and the Environment. Through those modules we explore relevant vocabulary and grammar. Vocabulary is built upon, and foundations are implemented in KS3, equipping pupils with the knowledge they need in order to consolidate this more fully in KS4. We start teaching the GCSE in Year 9 so that we can cover all of the topics by the end of Year 10, and this allows us to revisit all of the material in Year 11 and prepare more effectively for the speaking exam.

At the heart of our teaching curriculum is ensuring that pupils build on the acceptance and understanding of others. We endeavour to reflect our Catholic ethos throughout all Key Stages through the use of prayer in the target language at the beginning of every lesson alongside our teaching of important Christian festivals across the French and Spanish speaking world. Our KS5 curriculum also covers topics such as the influence of the Catholic Church in Spanish speaking countries and how Christian events are celebrated. Our values of respect and acceptance are being embedded in our curriculum through new displays promoting diversity, and through introducing pupils to diverse icons and famous figures who have made significant contributions to our communities.

Our objectives are always established at the beginning of the lesson and when we cover new content, we explain why it is being introduced so that pupils understand why we are studying particular topics. Through studying French and Spanish, we hope to inspire an interest in and enthusiasm for the customs and culture of the target language country. Opportunities to participate in trips to France and Spain are regular and a highlight of the school year.

To support all learners, every lesson has visual aids when we teach new vocabulary. We have visuals indicating when it is a reading, listening, speaking, or writing activity and when pupils need to correct with their green pen. When we have Language teaching assistants, we always prioritise pupils with SEND, so they are given extra support on a one-to-one basis. Teachers always differentiate in their lessons so that pupils can access the work and offer extra support materials to pupils so they can catch up with missed learning. Pupils also get printouts of vocabulary, and we always offer differentiated worksheets for those learners who need them.

Statement of Intent: Music

Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears. It is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear.

Dr Oliver Sacks

We not only aim to instil a joy, passion and understanding of music in all our students, we want to equip all learners with the tools, knowledge and creativity to compose pieces, to appreciate and understand music and improve confidence to explore and perform, exhibiting skills and expertise. Our pupils gain a secure understanding of the elements of music, the instruments used in pieces and are able to identify them and discuss their relevance in pieces of music spanning a wide range of genres. We cover a diverse range of musical styles in KS3 teaching and this prepares students for the GCSE course. Performance skills are developed in voice, piano, ukulele, guitar and drums. Students will be confident in contributing musical skills to group work and class performances. Music literacy is developed with the use of work cards that develop an understanding of notation. These are differentiated and have support in place to allow all students to develop understanding. Composition work is developed using Garageband and the Logic Pro. Confidence and skill in handling chords and chord sequences, improvising rhythmically and melodically, layering sounds to create appropriate music for media sources is built, developed and stretched from Year 7. The technique of selecting, creating and combining layers of instruments digitally to produce a complete piece of music is also refined.

The Music Curriculum is ever-evolving and developing in order to maximise the progression from the start of KS3 up to the end of KS4 and A-level. Units of work are reviewed to ensure that genre or topic foci are linked clearly with the elements of music and all units are assessed under the same headings. These methods establish mastery and prepare students for the challenges of GCSE Music and beyond. The acquisition of skills is an important aspect of development and confidence building and is sequenced from the start of year 7 through to year 8. Keyboard work is standardised so that everyone has control over their rate of progress. All of the elements are worked on each year and students will refresh and develop their knowledge and understanding through practical experiences. The aim is to ensure that they have all the knowledge and skills necessary to embark on the GCSE Music course feeling thoroughly prepared.

Diversity, inclusion, nurture and challenge are at the heart of the music curriculum. The curriculum is being developed so that recent initiatives are incorporated and embedded in the teaching and learning for KS3 and 4. We believe that every student has the right to develop their skills and interests within a framework that they can relate to, that supports them and encourages them to explore. We make sure that all pupils understand the importance of global and historical events and how they have shaped music in our world today, whilst also celebrating the current musical trends that our young people are more familiar with.

Students know from the start of year 7 that everyone's input is important and we work collaboratively. The Year 7 Concert is the foundation of the sense of community and collective responsibility that is established for the next 3 years. When students embark on the GCSE Music journey, we once again re-establish the community and collaborative nature of the subject. Performance appreciation starts straight away and students learn quickly to work with new people and embrace all the contributions of their peers.

We do everything we can to keep the lessons inclusive and supportive of all students' needs. Differentiated work cards, clear expectations and objectives, scaffolding work, extra support materials, flexible pathways and outcomes are all provided for our students. We offer 1-2-1 lessons for students on the PP register or FSM. We encourage them all to try something out which gives them an opportunity they may not have had previously.

Statement of Intent: Politics

The beauty of Politics is that it is a living, breathing and ever-changing subject and it enables students to understand and orientate themselves in the world in which they live. So often students are confronted with the issues of our modern day and ask us “…but why?”. In lessons we aim to inspire students’ curiosity to know more about the world around them and the way it is governed. We aim to train students to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Politics helps students to understand the complexity of society and government, the various forces and factors which influence politics and society, and the debates which have shaped and continue to shape the world we live in.

The curriculum is set out across two years and three strands. In the first year students will learn about the British political system, examining politics and government. In the second year a similar approach is taken but from a US Politics perspective. The final strand is the study of ideologies which underpin all political systems and climates. Students will learn about 3 core ideologies (Liberalism, Socialism and Conservatism) and one non-core (Feminism). Feminism has been chosen due to its contemporary relevance in our modern world and aims to add a greater level of diversification to the course.

Politics is centred around the need for discussion and debate, thus students will be taught to welcome a plurality of views. Politics will allow students to develop their discussion and debating skills, and express their own views in a considered and developed manner, while taking account of, and being respectful of, the views of others. Therefore, the key aim is to connect our youth to Politics through equipping them with the skills to understand where they stand on our modern world issues. We consistently seek to diversify the Politics curriculum to reflect the contemporary context and topical issues of the world our students live in, this is delivered through the study of case studies such as the Black Lives Matter Movement, the#metoo movement and Extinction Rebellion.

Students understand that by selecting Politics they are electing to empower themselves with knowledge of our national, international and global issues. It is clear to students from the beginning that to succeed to an A/ A* grade, students will need to develop autonomy and independent study skills and stay up to date with all news avenues. The more contemporary political knowledge is rewarded by the examiner and students will be made aware of this from the beginning. Teachers teach with passion and rigour and students are equipped with the drive and desire to investigate issues and news to a higher level.

The study of British values is paramount to the study of Politics. The course equips students with the knowledge of the core concepts of democracy, the franchise and human rights. Literacy is taught as part of the assessment objectives within the essay skills. Numeracy is incorporated as students will need to develop their statistical analysis skills when examining electoral statistics and voting trends over time. The study of Politics is about the appreciation and celebration of diversity and plurality. This diversification takes into account the study of different case studies based on religion, gender, ethnicity, culture and sexual orientation. Contestation is essential to a thriving democracy and students know the value of this.

The Humanities Faculty teaches lessons and uses classroom resources to ensure they are always adhering to SEND guidance and that all resources and lessons are SEND friendly to ensure all students make maximum progress and fulfil their potential. An example of this in action can vary from the use of vocabulary sheets, colour coding, writing frames and model answers when doing written work activities to interactive ways of learning and experiencing their Politics lessons through things such as debate and problem-solving tasks. When students make the leap to KS5 they are well supported by the department, ranging from structure guidance and writing frames to practical revision resources and being taught a range of different memory retention techniques to ensure knowledge is embedded. Such an approach ensures students always feel well supported by their teachers but are also empowered to develop individual autonomy over their learning.

Statement of Intent: Psychology

The Psychology curriculum aims to provide our students with an understanding of the human mind and behaviour. Psychology is an academic subject that enables our students to develop their knowledge of psychological issues, research studies, theories and models in a range of topic areas. Students develop the higher level skill of evaluation by looking at strengths, limitations and other discussion points comparing historical and current research. This allows them to understand the complexity of psychological issues and move away from simplistic answers towards more developed discussions. Students use their knowledge and evaluation skills to apply Psychology to real world examples of behaviour. For example from studying Psychopathology students will become aware of very common mental health illnesses, which are on the rise in today’s society, especially in their age group. Students will form an understanding and develop compassion and patience for individuals with those illnesses.

The course is designed to inspire and engage students by providing a broad and coherent curriculum which develops an understanding of the ideas and values that focuses on the ‘self’ and others. Students will be able to use the vocabulary of psychology with confidence. Students will develop transferable creative and critical thinking skills by learning to plan and design their own investigations.

Numeracy and statistical skills are significantly developed throughout the 2 years of study. Students will be able to explain 9 descriptive and inferential tests from Chi-Square to Spearman’s Rank. Students will be able to use scientific methods and objectively draw conclusions about the significance of psychological research based on data.

Our curriculum is ambitious and designed to give all students the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. It is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment. All students are provided with bespoke workbooks for each topic and regular formative and summative assessments are used to encourage a deeper level of understanding. All topics are built upon previous content in each topic, particularly approaches, issues and debates and research methods which are referred to and taught throughout the course. The order in which the topics are delivered to students helps with recall of knowledge but also development of many practical skills needed for the world of work, including application of theory. For example when learning about Memory they are provided with the opportunity to reflect upon their own memory patterns and enable them to apply this to revision techniques and memory improvement strategies.

By studying Psychology at LSU, students will have an appreciation of the importance of how complex human behaviour is prior to birth. They will be able to analyse the most influential psychologists that have been pivotal in explaining how human beings operate for example in Social Influence students will understand conformity and why people conform or obey. They will be able to apply this to making sense of history and other social issues, e.g. bullying, ‘mob’ mentality and peer pressure.

Studying Psychology provides our students with a vast variety of future pathways as they can use the transferable skills they develop throughout this course such as statistical analysis, presentational skills, academic writing, understanding academic literature, being analytical as well as interpersonal skills.

Our ultimate aim is to produce psychologists of the future who are going to influence the community around them in their later lives. Our students will enjoy challenge and will show thought and resilience when faced with psychological questions.

Statement of Intent: Religious Education

A religious education which enables pupils to be confident and secure in their own religious faith, as well as being knowledgeable and respectful of other religions, plays a key role in building a cohesive society.

Bishop Marcus

 

Our curriculum has been guided by a Christ centred vision, with a focus on academic, moral, and spiritual development at the heart of our curriculum. Following a Catholic curriculum, it encompasses an inclusive and universal perspective that allows not just Christians but students of all faiths and none to engage in inter-religious dialogue. Students also learn about world religions including Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. The diverse nature of our school allows for our curriculum to explore values linked to human dignity. We explore how putting our faith into action can have a positive impact e.g., looking at prejudice and discrimination and what it means to be good stewards of the earth, within the Christian traditions. We reflect on the Catholic life of school, focusing on ethical, and social issues. Our lessons look at Catholic social teaching, the importance of human rights and how this impacts our world today and through group discussion we consider what it means to have British values. We have continued to update our lessons to reflect the changing society we live in, with a focus on Christian views and traditions.

We want students to have a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith, with scriptural knowledge and church teaching. RE is about developing their moral compass and therefore we encourage students to have informed perspectives on various moral and social justice issues. We are confident that when our students have completed RE, they will have gained an informed critical view of their faith, other faiths, and ethical and social issues.

Statement of Intent: PSHE

The curriculum constantly fosters concern and respect for others, celebrating a diverse community of pupils and staff. PSHE upholds the value of social justice and the richness of human life. The structure of the lessons are based around and engaged with traditional Christian values with a progressive attitude. Students gain an understanding of democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld. All PSHE lessons have links to Catholic social teaching, where students are engaged with the changing world and have knowledge of the Catholic understanding of moral issues and how this relates to their own lives. Group discussion is encouraged, and “soft skills” are practised frequently. All these skills are necessary for students to grow into well-rounded individuals who can contribute positively to society.

Statement of Intent: Science

Science is a way of discovering what's in the universe and how those things work today, how they worked in the past, and how they are likely to work in the future.

Scientia, which means knowledge, is a systematic enterprise that builds and organises knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. The science curriculum has been designed to enable students to be scientifically literate and understand the scientific process and the fundamental aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. They should be able to see the influence of science in the world around them and have some understanding of its impact on the world. We want pupils to have a good grasp of the curriculum content so they can move on confidently to further education, hopefully inspired to consider a Science based STEM career.

Moreover, we believe that “only a well-rounded, knowledge-specific curriculum can impart needed knowledge to all children and overcome inequality of opportunity” (Hirsch, 2016). There are numerous opportunities within the Biology curriculum that allow us to explore ideas around LGBT in sexual reproduction, puberty and hormones. Genetics, ecology and evolution allow students to explore the science of inheritance, migration, ethnicity and sustainability, and empathy, with a focus on religion, and what it means to be human and have human virtues. In Science, literacy and numeracy are explored through a diverse range of vocabulary as well as data collection, interpretation, analysis, and critical thinking.

The values that have guided the decisions about the curriculum we have in place are:

  • Justice: Aiming for high expectations for all students.
  • Fairness: as the curriculum is from the exam board all students study the same curriculum.

The key principles used when designing the new curriculum were subordinated to the rationale that allows students to understand ‘what they are learning, why they are learning this now, what does this build on and where does it lead’. Myatt identifies three necessary stages in producing successful student outcomes through cognitive science: ‘we need to find the stories in the curriculum, we need to think about how we ensure that information moves from the short-term into the long-term memory and we need to provide opportunities for pupils to revisit the key concepts’ (2018).

Science Curriculum Intent overview 

Key Stage 3

Students follow content according to the National Curriculum for science using a clear strand-based approach, which reviews and builds on the understanding from KS2. Practical skills are modelled for students with opportunities for students to develop the skills of enquiry and working scientifically.

We believe in an ambitious curriculum that provides pupils with the opportunity to experience areas of science beyond the National Curriculum, and, thanks to the expertise of our experienced practitioners, fascinating topics with links to science such as astronomy, psychology, and geology.

Key Stage 4

Students experience a wide range of new topics and skills at KS4 whilst following the AQA Trilogy or Triple science specifications. Each topic strand is linked intrinsically to prior knowledge and skills from KS3 and builds in terms of complexity, skills and application. Our aim is that all students should leave LSU being able to understand and explain the scientific world around them and more importantly are equipped with the skills to problem solve and critically evaluate the ‘big’ moral questions.

In Biology we want students to consider the sanctity of life in all its forms. Therefore, they explore the diversity of life and the relationship between organisms and their environment. Students will learn about cells, the building blocks of all biological phenomena, moving on to understanding the complex structure of organisms and ecosystems, allowing students to recognise the obligation of humanity to conserve the planet. Students will learn about health and disease, allowing them to make informed decisions about their bodies and their future selves.

In Chemistry, we want to unlock students’ understanding of the importance of inclusivity, diversity, and collaborative work. As our students discover the History of the periodic table and the atoms, they learn about scientists from the eastern and western worlds but also recognise how the emergence of modern science is built on the work of others. Therefore, the theoretical and practical learning of Chemistry focuses on developing the important skills of teamwork, team-sharing, and team-building. Indeed, the scientific world is a community of diverse, unique and international thinkers from varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds. From there, we shape an ethos where each individual is unique and plays a role in moving the world forward, especially in regard to hot topics such as global warming or social justice.

In Physics, we would like students to develop an understanding of the world around them, and through this understanding, care for the future of our planet. For example, in our energy topic, we study the use of energy resources and the impacts of the different resources on the health of our planet. In the space topic, we see how special our planet is. We want students to develop a deep understanding of the big ideas in physics and help them to reconcile these ideas with their own views about the world. In the space topic, we teach the Big Bang theory where we consider the views of the Catholic Church in this area to enable students to be reflective on their own faith through evidence-based discussion.

Statement of Intent: Sociology

Sociology is the study of society – how it works, why it works, and how it could change. It’s a fascinating subject that covers all aspects of modern life on the planet. Students will learn the fundamentals of the subject and develop skills valued by higher education and employers, including critical analysis, independent thinking, and research. We follow the AQA sociology specification 7192 which provides a clear, coherent, contemporary and stimulating course of academic study.

Sociology encourages an awareness of the importance of social structure and social action in explaining social issues. Students must be encouraged to develop their own awareness through active engagement with the contemporary world. Students learn that Sociology has practical applications. If we know the causes of social problems such as educational underachievement, we may be able to use this knowledge to design policies to improve children's educational opportunities. Similarly, the course examines the relationship between sociology and social policy and students study the debate about the role of the sociologist in society.

The curriculum aims to build a sophisticated knowledge base of competing sociological theories and perspectives. Students will examine competing explanations for human behaviour and the workings of society. Students will have an appreciation of the ideas and writings of some of the most influential global sociologists. This will enable them to critically evaluate contemporary problems. One key theme running across all topics is globalisation and social inequalities. These key themes are central to the study of all social institutions in society. Students learn that Sociology is an evidence-based subject. It is not based simply on the personal opinions of sociologists' theories and assertions must be supported by reliable evidence from published sociological research.

Regular formative and summative assessments are set to enable students to improve their recall, essay writing and perfect exam techniques. We use the Webb textbook to create pre-reading tasks on Teams to encourage more student responsibility for learning. Students learn the skills needed to answer different types of questions that are asked in Papers 1, 2 and 3. The nature of the course means that topic areas are interdependent and constant links are made between these with reference to topical issues. The course is examined on three skills areas which are AO1 Knowledge and Understanding, A02 Application and A03 Analysis and Evaluation.

Teachers use a variety of resources and learning strategies to ensure lessons are engaging, and up to date and monitor progress. The use of pair and group work is encouraged in many lessons ensuring the benefits of peer support. Teachers know their pupils well especially those with additional or special educational needs e.g. dyslexia and we take advice on how best to support them.

A core theme of the sociology A-Level curriculum is the study of social inequality in contemporary Britain and throughout the world. One of the aims of the AQA specification is to develop skills that enable individuals to focus on their personal identity, roles and responsibilities within society and to develop a lifelong interest in social issues. Students will consider the importance of ethical issues in sociological research and as a department we work to support the Catholic life of the school in our teaching.

Our departmental aim is to develop students who have a critical understanding of contemporary society and who continue to use and enjoy these skills beyond the sixth form. Sociology is a tool kit for life and a subject that empowers people to understand their world and help to change it.

Statement of Intent: Technology

To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit: it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify. To design is to transform prose into poetry.

Paul Rand

 

Creativity, organisation and sound judgements are qualities we build in our students during their time at LSU. Thoughtful decisions are encouraged in our students who self-evaluate during the design process. They also review, modify and alter products as they make and develop their work. Our students are able to change and dramatise their work, recognising the importance of their choices, which prepares them for real-life scenarios in the workplace. Students are expected to be able to communicate effectively both orally and in their written work, using subject-specific vocabulary.

The academic year is split into three design areas in KS3, covering Resistant Materials, Food Technology and Textiles. Projects run on a termly basis with rotation through all three aspects of Design and Technology. Topics are detailed and our lessons are broken down to support the teaching of the design process. Aspects of KS4 expectations are filtered down through KS3 to adequately prepare students for the increased expectations of GCSEs and A-Levels to ensure a smooth transition through the school using mastery. Lessons are carefully designed to incorporate links with design movements and designers using hinge questioning to encourage students to think more deeply and make connections between different movements. The Non-Examined Assessment (NEA) coursework is started in June when pre-released material is released by the exam board. At the beginning of Year 10, students are expected to undertake smaller projects to enable a deeper understanding of GCSE expectations and to recognise all learning objectives for the NEA. Time scales and broken down tasks are provided by the exam board. Theory aspects of the GCSE course are taught alongside the NEA covering a range of topics which are tailored to the exam paper.

Resilience, determination and perserverance are values that guide the curriculum, ensuring that the highest expectations are set and a deep knowledge and understanding are built in every learner. The students and teachers work collaboratively to ensure creativity, communication and critical thinking. Students' work is displayed within the school community and shared with parents and carers through the family bulletin. Teachers in DT offer support through tracking student progress and giving feedback to improve academic and creative outcomes. Our rich curriculum gives plenty of opportunities for students to take part in, such as the 'Design Ventura' initiative run by the Design Museum and 'Build Your Future: Inspiring Young Women about the Built Environment', which is run by an architectural firm, Landsec. These opportunities enable all students from a range of socio-economic backgrounds to make connections between their learning and the wider world, preparing them for life beyond school.

We communicate objectives in all lessons and regularly assess whether objectives are being met through one-to-one meetings with students. Having detailed 'schemes of work' in place allows us to go 'the extra mile' for our students and we run extra-curricular classes and create additional lessons after school for GCSE catch-up to support all students and their academic and spiritual progress.

Our curriculum allows students to learn skills such as problem solving and reasoning. It enhances learners' ability to make inferences and connections, as well as helping students to become disciplined through rigorous practice of the methods learnt. Lengthy and complex problem-solving questions and written analysis contribute to the improvement of students' literacy. We have multiple opportunities for 'turn to your partner' to encourage discussion and the development of ideas and knowledge. The combination of analytical, independent and creative skills is necessary for our students to grow into well-rounded individuals who will contribute positively to society.

Design lessons are differentiated through visual aids within the presentation used. Practical lessons are approached using student demonstrations for starter activities and recall activities are set throughout the lesson to monitor progress. Smaller demonstrations with individuals are encouraged for those students recognised with special educational needs. In Design and Technology we recognise and celebrate different levels of ability and support all students to be creative, scaffolding activities for some, whilst supporting and stretching all students.