At Saint Aidan's we aim to provide an extensive and flexible curriculum within a Christian context to offer the broadest options possible to our students, meeting the needs of all. We are fortunate to have several purpose built buildings including drama studio, gymnasium, art suite and learning resource centre and our dedicated and talented staff ensure students are offered stimulating and challenging activities across the curriculum.
We believe that it is important that all students study a broad and balanced curriculum, while ensuring that their programme of study is appropriate to their ability and aptitude, and allowing increasing choice as they progress through the school.
Key Stage 3
All students study English, Mathematics, Science, Computing, Technology (including Food Technology) French, German, History, Geography, Religious Education, PE and Games, Art, Music and Drama. Students are taught in a variety of groups, with students grouped broadly by ability for many subjects, in mixed ability groups for a few and with more formal setting in English, Mathematics, Science and Languages as they go through Key Stage 3. The curriculum at KS3 is diverse and provides students with a firm grounding in subjects studied to GCSE level at Key Stage 4.
Key Stage 4
Because our academic year runs from June to May, students are able to start their Key Stage 4 Curriculum at the end of their third year at Saint Aidan’s. At this stage they embark on a programme of learning that is designed in response to their ability, interests and needs. The majority of students follow a broad academic programme which is designed to challenge the most able and to provide the foundation for further study at a higher level. This includes Mathematics, English Language and English Literature, three GCSE sciences, Religious Education, PE and, for most, the language and humanities options needed to make up the “English Baccalaureate”. Creative and technological options are also popular, including Computer Science, different Technology options, GCSE PE, Art, Drama and Music. Students who would benefit from a more vocational or practical curriculum can experience a one-day-a-week work placement or college course and / or take a BTEC option. Double award GCSE Science is available instead of three separate sciences for students who will benefit from it.
Citizenship and Personal, Health and Social Education
It is just as important for our students that they develop the skills and knowledge they need to build successful adult lives and take their place in modern British Society as it is for them to be academically successful. We recognise that students have social, emotional and spiritual needs which we are committed to meeting. Elements of Citizenship and PSHE are woven into the curriculum in all subjects at different stages, but are particularly emphasised in the following:
- Y7 Religious Education
- Y8 History and Geography
- Y9 PSHE
- Y11 Enterprise lessons
Three “Personal Development” Days are also an important part of our students’ education. These allow a combination of input from school staff, input from visiting experts and whole year group visits.
Sex and Relationships Education
At Saint Aidan's, sex education is taught within a framework appropriate to the needs and maturity of the students in our care. This will be:
- based on self-esteem and responsibility for the consequences of one’s own actions;
- reflective of parents’ wishes and recognises the culture of the community we serve;
- based on values which are founded on the school’s Christian ethos.
Parents have the statutory right to withdraw their children from the sex education component of the curriculum.
The process of starting to prepare students for life after Saint Aidan’s begins in Key Stage 3 and continues to the end of Year 11. It includes activities during Personal Development Days, a week’s work experience in Year 10, a university visit for all students and at least one individual careers interview for all students. More focused support is provided for students who may face extra challenges when they leave school. The school employs the services of an expert independent Careers advisor.
More information on any aspect of the curriculum can be obtained from Mr Simon Calvert, Assistant Headteacher [email protected]