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Curriculum Overview

What will your child learn in Lower School?

The ‘curriculum’ is the term which describes everything pupils learn and experience at school. At St James’s we offer a curriculum which is broad, balanced and varied, and which will provide a fulfilling education for all of our pupils, regardless of ability. Our curriculum meets all the requirements of the National Curriculum and other statutory subjects.

During Years 7 and 8 all pupils follow the same courses. Some subjects build on primary school experiences, while others introduce new topics not previously studied. All pupils will study: English, Mathematics, History, Geography, Science, French or Spanish, Art, Drama, Music, Physical Education (PE), Design and Technology, Information Technology (ICT), Religious Education (RE), Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship. In Year 7 pupils will also study Literacy for one lesson per week. In Year 8 they will also study for the Bronze Arts award.

Careers education and Citizenship will form part of the PSHE course for all our pupils.  In the Spring of Year 8 all pupils will make their choices for GCSE and will follow these courses from the start of Year 9

And in the Upper School?

Pupils continue to study all the subjects required by the National Curriculum at Key Stage 4. In addition to these, pupils can choose to study a wide range of specialist subjects leading to GCSE qualification or equivalent. Parents/carers will be involved together with our staff in helping our pupils to make the right choices. A work experience placement is also offered at the start of Year 11 as part of our Information, Advice and Guidance Programme.

GCSE Subjects:

English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Combined Science, Biology, Physics and Chemistry, Computer Science, Modern Foreign Languages: French and Spanish, Design and Technology: Food and Product Design, Art and Design, Photography, Music, Media Studies,  Geography, Geology, History, PE, RE, Citizenship and Business Studies,

Other Qualifications on Offer:

A range of Vocational Qualifications from external agencies:

  • BTEC First Certificate in Music Technology
  • BTEC First Certificate in Sport
  • BTEC First Certificate in Dance
  • BTEC First Certificate in Drama
  • Duke of Edinburgh, Bronze and Silver awards
  • ASDAN: Certificate in Personal Effectiveness

The opportunity to study for vocational qualifications through day release is also available for some pupils.