The Curriculum - St Wilfrids Catholic High School and Sixth Form College

The Curriculum

The Curriculum

A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person.  And a good catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints.  Pope Benedict xv2

At St Wilfrid’s the curriculum is designed to meet the needs of pupils of all abilities including those with learning difficulties and the disadvantaged.   The curriculum will support the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, academic and physical development of all pupils in order that they are able to make a positive contribution to society and achieve the qualifications required to support their future learning and employment. The curriculum will ensure pupils know how to keep themselves safe and manage their wellbeing. It will reinforce the core values of the school that are captured in the mnemonic HEART; Hard work; Excellence; Aspire and Achieve; Respect and Thrive.

“The Lord does not look at the things humans look at. Humans look at outward appearance, but the Lord God looks at the HEART.” (1 Sam 16:7)

The curriculum will support pupils in setting their hearts on things that are pure and pleasing to God: To be hardworking; to reach excellence; to aspire and to achieve everything they set their hearts upon; to show respect for themselves, to others and to the environment; and to thrive way beyond the walls and gates of this school. Pupils will be encouraged to strive to be the best version of themselves by being a genuine human being, looking for ways to excel and take on new challenges head on, looking for ways to grow, so that they can build a bigger and brighter future.

The Curriculum:

  • is developed to enable pupils to progressively gain knowledge, skills and understanding through well planned schemes of learning
  • provides broad experiences that provide challenge for all
  • has a central focus on personal and character development and student welfare
  • promote pupils’ understanding of British values
  • provides a rich, ambitious and challenging environment
  • is rich in literacy and numeracy
  • has a key focus on developing reading, extended writing and vocabulary

The curriculum is the major vehicle by which the school seeks to fulfil its Mission Statement. As such management policies, procedures, programmes of study and schemes of work are devised to allow this to happen. Our curriculum is designed to provide an education where pupils can explore their own beliefs and values whilst appreciating those of others, heighten their spiritual awareness, develop high personal standards and take time to care for the feelings of others.

Curriculum Implementation and Organisation 

Key Stage 3

In Years 7 and 8, students follow a broad curriculum which gives a wide range of experiences. The curriculum is delivered over a 2-week cycle in 50 one hour lessons. On entry to the school, students are placed in one of ten mixed ability forms. students are organised into teaching groups, set in ability for English and for Mathematics.

Key Stage 4

The six core subjects are GCSE Religious Education, English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Combined Science, and non-accredited  PSHE and Physical Education. The programme for Personal, Social, Health and Education supports students in developing appropriate study skills and techniques to achieve well and also provides impartial careers advice and guidance. In addition to the six core subjects, students are guided to study four other subjects according to their individual strengths and talents.

Students are strongly encouraged to follow a broad curriculum and to choose a balanced programme which should include at least one other EBacc subject; a humanities subject and/or a modern foreign language. St are also encouraged to consider the full EBacc programme of subjects.

The subjects are available for students to study in Key stage 4 include:

Modern Foreign Languages

GCSE French and Spanish


GCSE Geography and History

Arts/Performance/Creative Subjects

GCSE Art and Design – Fine Art/GCSE Dance/GCSE Drama/GCSE Media/GCSE Music/GCSE PE/BTEC Performing Arts/GCSE Photography

Technology/Science Subjects

GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics/GCSE or BTEC Technical Award in Business Studies/GCSE Computer Science/GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition/Technical Award in ICT and Creative Media/GCSE Technology

Key Stage 5

Students follow a programme of A ‘Level and Technical Awards.

Students study each A’Level course and BTEC course in Year 12 for eight hours over the two week period and A ‘Level and BTEC courses in year 13 for nine hours over the two week period.

Presently, A ‘Level courses are offered in Religious Studies, English Literature, English Language (or English Combined), Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Sociology, Psychology, Media, Business, Art and Photography, History, Geography, and Physical Education.

Technical Awards are available in: Applied Science.

Students also have the opportunity to complete a progression module in year 12 and a personal development programme that supports them in preparing to progress onto their next destination, whether this be higher education or employment. Students in year 13 have the opportunity to complete the Extended Project qualification. In both year groups tutorials are offered to support students’ in progressing in their subjects.

Students are also able to study to resit GCSE Level 2 English Language and Mathematics and have the opportunity to complete a progression module in Year 12 and a personal development programme that supports them in preparing to progress onto their next destination, whether this be higher education or employment. Students in Year 13 have the opportunity to complete the Extended Project qualification. In both year groups tutorials are offered to support students’ in progressing in their subjects. Students are also able to study to resit GCSE Level 2 English Language and Mathematics.

Cross Curricular Themes

To complement the above, pupils in all Key Stages follow courses in Careers Education, Sex and Relationships, Health Education, Citizenship and Study Skills. These courses are delivered via the PSHCE programme delivered in 30 minutes one morning each week and in the single lesson in years 7, 8, 9 and 11.

Home Learning

Home learning is a vital aspect of the school’s formal curriculum. It prepares pupils for lessons, reinforces what has been taught and it develops important self-management habits. As such, home learning is set in all subjects on a regular basis.


The policy is, where possible, that departments group pupils in a manner that best suits the individual cohort profile and subject. In practice, Year 7 and 8 pupils are taught mostly in mixed ability groups but in some subjects, pupils are taught in sets drawn up according to ability. Seating arrangements are devised by teacher to support the engagement and learning of pupils.

Work Experience

During their time at the school pupils are expected to participate in a Work Experience Programme to help them prepare for the world of work. This usually takes place in Year 10 for the majority of pupils and is also available in Year 12.

Extra-Curricular provision

It is recognised that for the school Mission Statement to be fulfilled, pupils must be given the opportunity to participate in activities beyond the subject programmes of study. It is appreciated, however, that which might be on offer depends on the good will and interests of individual teachers.

Presently, the extra-curricular provision includes:

  • Performing Arts activities including individual and small group music/singing tuition
  • Sports activities including training sessions and fixtures.
  • Retreats, both day and residential
  • Trips and exchanges, both day and residential
  • Various other events and societies

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development

The school creates opportunities to enrich the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development across subjects and in the wider life of the school. Further information is to be found in the appropriate policy statement and in departmental documentation.


Key to what the school seeks to achieve through day-to-day life of the school. It is the responsibility of everyone to contribute to the creation of a friendly, happy and caring school.

Schemes of Learning

Details of how the curriculum is implemented in each subject is detailed in schemes of learning. The schemes of learning provide a sequenced curriculum that is highly ambitious for all children. The schemes indicate how knowledge and skills are developed to support future learning and employment. In Key Stage 3, schemes are devised to ensure that the knowledge that pupils need to successfully progress into Key stage 4 is considered. Learning is sequenced so that students master fundamental basics and underpinning information so that they can build a structure of knowledge that gives them the capacity to engage in more complex tasks and acquire more detailed knowledge and skills to achieve. The schemes provide opportunities for students to read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension and address the vocabulary essential for progressing in learning.

Teachers present subject matter clearly, promoting appropriate discussion about the subject matter being taught. They check learners’ understanding systematically, identify misconceptions accurately and provide clear, direct feedback. In doing so, they respond and adapt their teaching as necessary, without unnecessary elaborate or differentiated approaches. Teachers create an environment that allows the learner to focus on learning and develop their long term memory.

The resources and materials that teachers select reflect our ambitious intentions for the course of study and clearly support the intent of a coherently planned curriculum, sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment. Learning activities provide opportunities for pupils to develop skills and to use their creativity, to evaluate and to solve problems.


Through the curriculum, learners develop detailed knowledge and skills and, as a result, achieve well. This is reflected in the qualifications that students achieve and in students being ready for the next stage of education, employment or training. Students will gain qualifications that allow them to go on to destinations that meet their interests, aspirations and the intention of their course of study and know how to keep themselves safe and manage their well-being.

Responding to initial Disclosures

It is important to stay calm and keep the environment you are in as relaxed as possible, this will help to support the young person. Remember, issues around sexting are a safeguarding issue, and you should therefore ensure you follow your setting’s safeguarding policies and processes.

If you are not a DSL, you should refrain from asking for further information about the imagery.

Remember not to use language that implies blame or judgment. Recognise the courage it has taken to speak up and reassure them that they have done the right thing by raising their concern. Let them know that you will need to pass on this information to the DSL and be clear that this is so that you can provide the best possible support for them.

You can find out more about how to handle a sexting incident with our downloadable guidance.

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Responding to a Sexting Incident as a non-DSL

The 2020 guidance from the UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS) shares the following guidance on how to respond to an incident involving sexting.

  1. Report it to your Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or equivalent immediately, your setting’s child protection policy should be followed, and the young person should be reassured about the reporting process and support available from DSLs.
  2. It is illegal to view, share, save, or request that the young person share or download the imagery. If you do see the imagery by accident, you should report this to the DSL and seek support.
  3. Do not interfere with the imagery by deleting it or asking the young person to delete it.
  4. Do not request further information regarding the imagery from the young person.
  5. Do not share information about the incident to other members of staff, any young people involved, or parents and carers.

For further information, read the UKCIS guidance overview here.

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Responding to a Sexting Incident as a DSL

Every instance of sexting is different, and there are many factors to consider when responding to a sexting incident, including aggravating factors such as:

  • Adult Involvement
  • Intent to Harm: Instances of abuse, blackmail, and coercion.
  • Reckless Misuse: Images sent without consent or without thought, but without intent to cause harm.

To find out the full guidance on how to address and assess a sexting incident with consideration of any aggravating or experimental factors, DSLs should read 1.6 ‘Understanding motivations and behaviour' of the UKCIS Guidance.

As a DSL, it is important to gather as much information as possible, including:

  1. Information on whether the incident involves images, videos, or messages.
  2. Who is featured in the content.
  3. Who sent the content.
  4. If any adults are involved
  5. Where the content is located.

It is essential to record all decisions and steps taken during a sexting incident. Any documentation should explain why certain actions were or were not taken. Examples of this include explaining why it was not necessary to report an instance of sexting to the police, and why it can be handled internally. Remember, your approach should be child-centric and all decisions need to be justifiable and taken in the best interests of the child.

Once a sexting incident has been addressed, it is essential that your organisation reviews the case to see where procedures and responses can be improved or learned from. In line with your setting’s safeguarding policies and practices, you should ensure the child is provided with appropriate post-incident support as required.

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Reporting to the Police and/or Local Authorities

There are occasions where sexting incidents do not need to involve the police, such as when an incident is ‘experimental’ rather than ‘aggravated.’ An experimental incident involves the sharing of nudes or semi-nudes without adult involvement and with no apparent intent to harm or reckless misuse.

Aggravated or abusive incidents of sexting should always be reported to the police through the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

Once an incident has been reported to the police, they will be able to ensure a thorough investigation through the collection of all evidence. Any incident reported to the police will be recorded as an incident on their crime systems.

If a device needs to be passed on to the police, the involved devices should be disconnected from Wi-Fi and data and turned off immediately. The device should be locked in a secure place until the police are able to collect it.

To find out more information about the reporting process, you should read 1.9 ‘The Police Response’ of the UKCIS Guidance.

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Informing Parents

Generally, when incidents are disclosed, it is best to tell the parents or guardians of any young person involved. Exceptions can include when there is a risk or harm to the child by doing this, or if the young person expresses that this could cause a genuine problem.

Whether to tell the guardians or not is ultimately up to the DSL's discretion, however, they should always ensure to record and justify their decision within the establishment incident logs.

If the parents are informed, it is usually best to support the young person and involve them in deciding how to approach the conversation, by finding out what would make it easier for them (e.g. being present at the time or not).

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Reporting CSAM

Any incident that includes CSAM content online should be reported to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), who can identify and remove any content that includes child sexual abuse imagery.

You can also encourage children under the age of 18 to use Report Remove to help get an image or video of themselves taken down online. Report Remove is provided by IWF and Childline, and keeps the young person informed at each stage of their report, whilst providing further support when necessary.

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