hard work,
     faith and
      learning and


Aims and Principles

The curriculum is designed, structured and taught so as to achieve all the aims stated in our Mission Statement and the five outcomes of Every Child Matters: being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being.

Specifically, through our formal and informal curriculum we aim:

  • to develop in students lively, enquiring minds; to help them enjoy the acquisition of knowledge; promote the ability to question and argue rationally; to better understand technology, science and mathematics; to enhance the use of information technology across the curriculum; to encourage students to apply themselves to a range of tasks and skills which will equip them for their life in a technological future and as Christian adults.
  • to enable students to use language and numbers effectively; to appreciate and respond creatively through the variety of learning experiences offered to them by all areas of the curriculum.
  • to develop the vocational education of students.
  • to foster attitudes and a learning context which will enhance self-esteem and instil self-awareness and self-confidence in all students, creating in them a sense of personal worth and achievement and an ability to appreciate critically all human achievements and endeavours.
  • to help students develop personal, social, spiritual and moral values and a tolerance of the way of life and others, so they understand the world in which they live and the interdependence of individuals, groups and nations.

The principles which underpin all educational practice at St Joseph’s are that all students must be given equality of opportunity and not be discriminated against on the grounds of class, race, colour, gender, religion or disability.

The School Curriculum

The 1988 Education Reform Act laid down a National Curriculum to be followed by all students in Years 7-11.

Year 7, 8 and 9

Classes in the first two years follow a common curriculum:

  • Religious Education – as a voluntary-aided Catholic school, all RE courses are in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
  • National Curriculum core subjects: English, Mathematics and Science.
  • National Curriculum foundation subjects: Modern Foreign Language (French), Design and Technology, Food and Textiles, Information Technology, Geography, History, Art, Music and Physical Education.

Year 8 students with an aptitude for languages also have the opportunity to begin studying a second foreign language, German, within their allocated language sessions,

Teaching Groups

Year 7 is currently divided into a number of mixed ability teaching groups, except in maths which has limited setting (average class size 26).

In Year 8 there is limited setting in Modern Foreign Languages and Maths.

In Year 9 there is setting in English, Maths, Modern Foreign Languages and Science.

Year 10 and 11

All students follow two year courses leading to the GCSE or equivalent qualifications. Students study common core of compulsory subjects:

  • Religious Education
  • English Language, English Literature, Physical Education, Mathematics and Science.

In addition, students will choose three subjects from a wide range of options.


All students follow our Lifeskills programme which included health education, relationships education, careers education, environmental issues, education for economic and industrial awareness and citizenship. Students in Year 11 follow a course in careers equation and guidance and have access to a personal advisor.

Information and Communication Technology

In Years 7, 8 and 9 all students are taught ICT through the National Curriculum programme of study. At the end of Year 9 all students can opt to continue studying ICT through a range of qualifications available as part of our options process. In addition all students are provided with opportunities to utilise these basic skills within other curricular areas.