Curriculum Overview

As a Catholic school we seek to develop the whole person: academic, moral, spiritual, and social aspects. We understand that every person is unique and students are given every opportunity to develop to their full potential and to contribute positively to the School community. We continue to offer a broad and balanced curriculum and have continued our extended school service.

Recent changes to the National Curriculum mean that GCSE exams from 2016 onwards are more challenging, they will be assessed mainly by exams and will be graded 9 to 1.  In response to these changes we have decided to integrate each subject’s Key Stage 3 (Year 7 and Year 8) and Key Stage 4 (Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11) curricula into a Five Year Programme in order to better prepare our students for their GCSE exams.

In line with the changes our grading system has changed from a letter-based A* - G system, to the new numeric 9 - 1 system now used nationally for GCSEs. Grade 9 is the highest grade available. For further information about the new system please see the Department for Education’s Factsheet.

All students are regularly set homework to build upon their lesson-based learning and encourage them to develop their independent study skills. Parents/carers and students can see details of the tasks set and monitor homework achievements via the Show My Homework platform. The platform is updated daily by teachers so parents/carers are continually aware of the homework their child should be completing and the deadlines they should be meeting.

Parents/carers can monitor their child’s performance in school via the Go4Schools site. The platform contains up to date information on attendance, progress and behaviour. This is an excellent tool in enabling parents/carers to remain aware of achievement levels throughout the year, instead of solely relying on periodic Parents' Evenings and assessment results.

Throughout all year groups there are planned educational trips to complement the curriculum and enhance learning. We capitalise on our location within London to access enriching and rewarding events, establishments and experiences, whilst also offering opportunities to go further afield, recent international trips include; Auschwitz in Poland, skiing in Austria, battlefields in France, the ruins of Pompeii in Italy, as well as visits to China and the USA (New York, Washington, Philladelphia, and Boston).

More information about school life (including homework timetables, key dates, year team staff, and student representatives) can be found by visiting the individual year groups in the student section of our website.

Year 7

We work hard to ensure that the transition from primary school to secondary education is as smooth as possible for our Year 7 students. Our Key Stage 3 curriculum introduces Year 7 students to a broad range of subjects, allowing them to experience subjects they may not have encountered before.

When students arrive at St Aloysius they are placed in one of six tutor groups, students are taught in these tutor groups for most of their subjects in Year 7. For Maths and English students are split into sets in line with their ability. This is highly beneficial to all students, especially at the start of their secondary education when there is variation in previous numeracy and literacy experiences. Ability sets enable teachers to design lessons and tasks that are appropriate in challenging and supporting all students to achieve the best academic qualifications. Student’s progress and set groups are reviewed twice a year after exams to assess whether they require more challenging work or would benefit from additional support.

All Year 7 students will study; English, Maths, Science, Religious Education, History, Geography, a Modern Foreign Language (French or Spanish), Art, Music, Computer Science, Design Technology, and Physical Education.

The Year 7 Curriculum Overview Booklet contains detailed information on the topics covered and assessments undertaken within each subject throughout the year.

Year 8

Year 8 students, now settled into secondary education at St Aloysius’ College, will build upon their knowledge and understanding gained in year 7, and continue to study the same subjects at a more advanced level.

All Year 8 students will study; English, Maths, Science, Religious Education, History, Geography, a Modern Foreign Language (French or Spanish), Art, Music, Computer Science, Design Technology, and Physical Education.

The Year 8 Curriculum Overview Booklet contains detailed information on the topics covered and assessments undertaken within each subject throughout the year.

During the second term of Year 8 students will be required to select the subjects they wish to take for GCSE. In order to aid this decision process students and parents/carers will be invited to an Options Evening and provided with details about both optional and core GCSE subjects. Further information regarding this will be supplied nearer the time.

Year 9

In Year 9 students embark on their GCSE journey. They may be undertaking new subjects, and due to optional subjects available and the structure of the GCSE timetable students will spend less time being taught in their tutor groups, and may be learning alongside peers they have not been grouped with before.

All Year 9 students will study; English, Maths, Science, Religious Education, History and/or Geography, and Physical Education.

Students must also study two of the following subjects; French, Spanish, Art, Music, Computer Science, Design Technology, Business Studies, Psychology, Sociology or Media Studies.

The Year 9 Curriculum Overview Booklet contains detailed information on the topics covered and assessments undertaken within each subject throughout the year.

Year 10

All Year 10 students will study; English, Maths, Science, Religious Education, History and/or Geography, and Physical Education.

Students must also study two of the following subjects; French, Spanish, Art, Music, Computer Science, Design Technology, Business Studies, Psychology, Sociology or Media Studies.

The Year 10 Curriculum Overview Booklet contains detailed information on the topics covered and assessments undertaken within each subject throughout the year.

Towards the end of Year 10 students will partake in a one week work experience placement. This is a chance for our students to experience the ‘working world’ and learn some key life skills. Students are encouraged to find their own placements by contacting businesses directly, and by using contacts that may already exists through family, friends and other networks. Students may wish to obtain a placement related to the field of work they wish to progress into post-education. Our Careers Manager and our Work Experience Co-Ordinator will meet with students to provide advice and guidance to students. Further information will be provided to students and parents/carers during Year 10.

Year 11

Year 11 is a crucial year for our students as they complete their secondary education and decide their future paths. We strive to ensure that each and every student leaves Year 11 with the best possible academic achievements as well as a broad range of skills, knowledge and attributes needed to succeed in life.

Throughout the year students undertake mock exams to obtain a clear indication of their expected GCSE grades. Subsequently each individual student’s progress is carefully considered and strategies are developed to ensure maximum progression. Our staff also work hard to provide an immense level of support, offering; revision sessions during school holidays and after school, homework clubs, and regular subject specific catch up sessions for those who wish to build upon a lesson’s teachings.

All Year 10 students will study; English, Maths, Science, Religious Education, History and/or Geography, and Physical Education.

Students must also study two of the following subjects; French, Spanish, Art, Music, Computer Science, Design Technology, Business Studies, Psychology, Sociology or Media Studies.

The Year 11 Curriculum Overview Booklet contains detailed information on the topics covered and assessments undertaken within each subject throughout the year.

Whilst Year 11 is academically important, it is also vital that students give ample attention and consideration to their progression options. Students are provided with guidance in selecting their A-Level subjects or other post-16 options, and assistance in applying to our Sixth Form or other post-16 establishments. Our students also participate in our highly successful annual ‘Present Yourself Day’ with business leaders, and other employability and progression skills workshops. Guidance is available to all students throughout the year, however we recommend students establish their post-GCSE plans earlier in the academic year to allow sufficient time to focus on their GCSE assessments.

Further information and guidance can be found by visiting the Year 11 area in the student section of our website.