Statement of Curriculum Intent
Updated July 2019
The overriding ambition of our curriculum is to cater for the needs of all our pupils and enhance social mobility.
This ambition is a reflection of the fact that at the heart of our school is our belief in Jesus’ call to fullness of life. Therefore, the overriding ambition of our curriculum is to give our pupils every opportunity to flourish, to develop their talents to the full and enhance social mobility.
Our belief that humans are created in the image and likeness of God means that all people have an inherent and immeasurable worth and dignity. This gives us a radical equality before God which is the basis of our commitment to the principle that every member of the school community is entitled to equal opportunities and treatment irrespective of ethnic or national origin, race, gender, physical disability, sexual orientation, marital status, social background or religion.
Everything we do is underpinned by our Christian faith and our belief in equality of opportunity for all and our conviction that pupils’ starting points in life and their social and economic status should not define their end-points.
By the end of each student’s time at Sacred Heart school we aim to have transformed their lives and educational prospects through a wide-ranging and ambitious curriculum that does not cease at the boundaries of the classroom or the school. We teach knowledge rigorously but also place an emphasis on skills and preparing pupils for the world of higher education and work.
We offer a wide range of subjects at Key Stage 3 and 4 to all pupils, including Music, Drama, Art and Modern Foreign Languages, as we do not wish to restrict our pupils in any way or inhibit their creativity. Furthermore, to ensure they are not disadvantaged we offer as many pupils as possible the opportunity to qualify for the English Baccalaureate. The number of pupils at Sacred Heart who study the Ebacc is well in excess of the national average, as is the percentage of our students who study a Modern Foreign Language at GCSE level.
Our 6th form offers a wide range of academic A Level qualifications, as well as BTECs in popular disciplines such as Health and Social care and Medical Science for those students seeking alternative pathways to A levels.
As well as delivering academic excellence and exam results that have placed our school consistently at the top of borough league tables and in the top 30 for Progress 8 in the whole country every year, our curriculum ensures that our pupils experience and are ready for the world of work.
Our emphasis on employability in our curriculum aims to ensure all our students can go on to access further education and work opportunities post-16 and post-18.
Our aim is for all our students to move on to work, higher-level apprenticeships or university. Many of our students access Russell Group universities.
We have developed partnerships with organisations to raise pupils’ aspirations and develop social skills. These include events in school, as well as work experience, mentoring and Internships that not only give our pupils an insight into the professional work place but also provide them with the skills required to thrive in the future.
Our curriculum ensures we are able to consider every child’s needs and give an insight in to most industries, ranging from medicine to stage management. Virtually all of our Year 12 pupils attend either Summer schools or Internships and all of our Year 10s undergo a week of work experience.
The fact that 97% of our pupils go on to higher education or higher apprenticeships is testament to the success of our curriculum.
Our curriculum also ensures that our students are able to experience environments they have never experienced before, either in the UK or abroad, where we offer opportunities to visit France, Belgium, Spain, the United States and Thailand.
Furthermore, our curriculum ensures that pupils have the opportunity to visit many of the sites of great cultural and historical significance across London, as well as further afield.
Our curriculum ensures that pupils participate in debating and learn to speak confidently in formal, public situations, as well as participate in the democratic process through our burgeoning school council.
Our wide range of clubs and societies enhances our curriculum, allowing our pupils to flourish. We have the most attended Debate Mate club in the country. We employ professional sports coaches in a range of sports and are pupils often compete at a London-wide or national level. For the past 12 years we have offered pupils from Year 9 upwards the opportunity to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme – by the time pupils reach the 6th form they are able to complete the award to gold standard, having firstly completed the bronze and silver awards.
Our Catholic ethos and focus on Gospel values underlines everything that we do in and out of school. Our pupils attend Mass at least once per month, and regularly pray and reflect time during morning and afternoon registration, while our assembly and citizenship / PSHE programmes helps our students to navigate the challenges of the modern world such as materialism, consumerism and radical individualism and serves to deepen their faith. We aim to nurture pupils spiritually as well as academically, with their journeys towards the worlds of higher education and work moving hand in hand with their development as positive role models and good Christians. We take seriously the teaching of other faiths to prepare the pupils in our school for life in modern Britain. This in turn will improve social cohesion and contribute to the common good by increasing mutual respect between those of different religions.
Our robust pastoral system is also a reflection of our Catholic ethos, with its focus on our pupils as individuals as well as whole year group cohorts. Strategically planned assemblies, registration periods and workshops ensure that we teach pupils how to keep themselves safe in an ever changing digital world, as well as the challenging urban environment in which our students live and our school is situated. We teach pupils the Gospel values of compassion, justice and mercy
The local community is important to us and our work with and within this community further demonstrates the extent to which Sacred Heart is a Christian community. We annually deliver in excess of 100 hampers prepared by our pupils to the elderly as well as giving a tea dance for local residents and visiting a veteran’s home. Further from home the school raises money to support a Thai orphanage which it visits as part of a mission every two years. The staff have also raised many thousands of pounds in 2017 to support families in need within the school community.
Our community work is testament to the fact that we not only want to prepare our students for the highest standards of further education they can possibly access, but that our students also leave Sacred Heart school as responsible and caring citizens who embody both British values and the Gospel values.
For further information about our curriculum, please contact Assistant Headteacher Mr L. Williams