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Overview of Learning & Teaching

At St Paul’s Catholic High School, we believe that the most effective way to implement and monitor the quality of teaching is whether it leads, over time, to successful learning and progress.

We want our own knowledge, research and experience to inform ‘what works’ in our context, and to equip our teachers with the professional confidence to continually evaluate, refine and develop their own practice but within a common learning policy that is clear, consistent in its expectations and developmental rather than restrictive.

At St Paul’s, we have a Quality-First Teaching approach. Put very simply, this means that the fundamental responsibility for closing students’ knowledge gaps and securing good progress for all individuals lies with the teacher in the classroom. Different students at different times may, for a variety of reasons, access additional support and/or interventions which take place on top of this, but this should never detract from or replace the quality of teaching in the classroom as we accept this is the single greatest factor in the progress any student makes.

In order to ensure the whole school consistency of expectations, we have St Paul’s Operating Procedures for all teachers. Our intent is driven through the Assess-Plan-Teach-Repeat cycle. This should be applied at all scales, from the minute-by-minute (e.g. the principles of formative assessment) to the term-by-term (e.g. implementing a new scheme of learning). The evaluation of our intent and implementation is evidenced through internal quality assurance cycles that are calendared over the course of an academic year.

All classrooms have a Teaching and Learning pledge displayed on their doors as a formal acknowledgement of the commitment we have towards each student in each lesson.

Through applying to our internal policies and national expectations, we aim to:

  • Raise standards of teaching and learning across the school, always aspiring to be Outstanding.
  • Raise students’ aspirations by equipping them with the thinking and learning skills necessary for success.
  • Promote a consistency of approach to learning across the school.

For further information about the curriculum, please contact:
Mr Chris Fannon, Deputy Headteacher, email [email protected] tel 0161 499 0000

Curriculum Review 2019-2020

The review took place in order to establish the views of all stakeholders around the curriculum offer. This review supported the work that had already started at department level in terms of sequencing, ordering of schemes of work and knowledge organisers ensuring that students gain the knowledge required in a logical order.

The rationale behind the review was to establish whether the school is offering the right balance of academic and vocational courses that will support the development of the whole student moving forward into future employment. The review examined the current provision and time associated around the Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 offers.

The consultation took place between November and December 2019 and included a staff questionnaire, Years 8 to 11 student questionnaire, parental survey, discussions at senior level and presented to governors.

The outcome of the review has ensured that our curriculum prepares pupils for a world that is changing at a rapid rate. Pupils acquire skills and ways of thinking that enable them to adapt to advances in technology and an evolving job market. Keystage 3 takes place from years 7 to 9 and Keystage 4 takes place from years 10 to 11 with options taking place at the end of year 9.

In Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9) all the National Curriculum subjects are studied in groups set according to ability. Some pupils with additional needs are taught in a smaller setting by specialist staff.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9 – Ages 11 to 14)

Core Subjects: English, Mathematics, Science and Religious Education.

Foundation Subjects: Computer Science, History, Geography, Physical Education, Art, Music, Technology, Drama, Modern Foreign Languages and Personal, Social & Health Education. Please see below the curriculum model for 2020-21 with hours attached for a two week timetable.

Option choices for the GCSE/Vocational routes takes place during the middle of year 9 with them starting courses the following September.

Road maps are now on each subject page and Knowledge organisers are available for each subject.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 to 11) offers academic and vocational pathways. Our curriculum includes thinking skills, investigating, problem solving, decision making, analysing, evaluating and redesigning.

Pupils at Saint Paul’s are expected to show initiative, be creative, work independently and in teams, self-assess and peer-assess with a critical and constructive eye.

The subject pages in this section offer a brief summary of provision by subject area. Please note that options arrangements such as learning pathways and subjects offered will change from year to year.


Key Stage 4 (Years 10 to 11 – Ages 14 to 16)

Core Subjects: GCSEs in English (Language and Literature), Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, PHSE(non GCSE) and Physical Education (non GCSE)

Options: A full range of GCSE subjects including Art, French, Spanish, Italian, Business studies, Child Development, Information Communication Technology, Geography, History, Drama, Physical Education and Deisgn & Technology courses. · Vocational BTEC courses in Sports, Expressive & Performing Arts, Business Studies, Food & Nutrition, Animal Care, iMedia and Music.

All Key Stage 4 courses lead to GCSE or vocational qualifications

GCSE: Specification and final examination requirements vary with each subject.

Cambridge National Diploma, BTEC or V Certs: (GCSE equivalent passes on completion)