The school seeks to provide a balanced and broadly based curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, intellectual and physical development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and challenges of adult life.
Religious Education and community prayer and worship are central to the life of the school. The spiritual, moral and social development of pupils is promoted in particular through Religious Education classes, group retreats and the pastoral care programme. Special attention is paid to fostering good cross-community relations, to responding to areas of need in the local community and in developing countries and to promoting respect for the environment.
Key Stage 3: Years 8, 9 and 10
All pupils take Art & Design, Drama, English, French and a second modern language (German, Irish (the programme of study for English speaking schools) or Spanish), Geography, History, Home Economics, Computer Science and Digital Technology, Learning for Life and Work, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Religious Education, Science and Technology & Design.
Key Stage 4: Years 11 and 12
Year 11 Public Exams
Core Subjects: All pupils take 4 compulsory GCSEs (English, English Literature, Mathematics and Religious Studies) Pupils showing strength in Mathematics also take Additional Mathematics or Statistics.
Optional Subjects: Pupils also choose five additional subjects for GCSE from the following: Art & Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Drama, French, Geography, German, History, Home Economics, Computer Science and Digital Technology, Irish, Music, Physical Education, Physics, Science: Double Award (counts as 2 GCSEs), Spanish and Technology & Design.
Pupils’ choices must include a modern language and a science subject.
Year 11 will not have formal exams in January. They will have continuous assessment throughout the year including formal standardised class assessments in October, December and March. You will receive a report in December and there is a Year 11 Parent Teacher Meeting in February. Year 11 will have end of year exams in June and you will receive a full report at the end of June. Year 12 will have a formal standardised class assessment before their Parent Teacher Meeting and mock exams in January. You will receive a full report in January of Year 12.
Traditional coursework has now been replaced by CONTROLLED ASSESSMENT during which coursework tasks are normally carried out in a supervised environment in school. Pupils will no longer have the opportunity to take coursework home to redraft and complete. Pupils undergoing controlled assessment must aim for 100% attendance/punctuality as absence may affect their ability to realise their full potential. Further information can be found at the following link www.ccea.org.uk.
Mathematics Pupils taking Additional Maths at the end of Year 12 will do their GCSE Mathematics examination at the end of Year 11. Pupils doing Mathematics over two years will sit two units of GCSE Mathematics at the end of Year 11. They will then be able either to keep this result and only sit the completion paper in Year 12 or have the opportunity to resit these units to improve their score together with the completion paper at the end of Year 12. Religious Studies All Year 11 pupils will sit one unit of GCSE Religious Studies at the end of Year 11. As is the case in Mathematics, they will be able either to keep the result of this unit and only sit the second unit at the end of Year 12 or have the opportunity to resit this unit to improve their score together with the second unit at the end of Year 12.
We seek to ensure that all teaching and learning takes place in a dynamic, caring and positive environment in which each pupil is encouraged to assume personal responsibility for his/her own learning and progress. The Sixth Form curriculum is designed to promote pupils’ self esteem and to enable them to acquire the knowledge, skills and qualifications which they will need in order to cope with an increasingly complex world of work and with today’s society. As young adults who have freely chosen to pursue their studies to A level, Sixth Form pupils are invited to assume a leadership role within the school, working closely with teachers and fellow pupils in promoting a caring and vibrant learning atmosphere. We hope that pupils will enjoy their Sixth Form years and avail of the opportunities which the school provides for them to achieve academic excellence, in keeping with their individual aptitudes, and to become more confident, articulate and responsible young adults.
To enter and remain in the Sixth Form, pupils must be able to demonstrate their ability and commitment to pursuing their studies to A level within the supportive environment of the school.
Their school record must demonstrate in particular:
❑ respect for school rules and policies and full cooperation with school staff;
❑ regular and punctual attendance; overall attendance should be at least 95%.
❑ serious commitment to study, including independent study, under the guidance of their teachers;
❑ ability to cope with at least 3 A levels, as demonstrated by their GCSE results which must include at least 4 Grade Bs and 2 Grade Cs, including Grade C in English and Mathematics.
Requirements for Individual Subjects To take a subject at A/AS level, pupils should have at least Grade B at GCSE in that subject or in a subject which requires similar skills. For Biology, Chemistry and Physics, the Grade B should be in the subject or in the subject element of Science: Double Award. For Physics, pupils should also have Grade B in Mathematics. For Mathematics, pupils should also have Grade C in Additional Mathematics or Statistics. Pupils should normally have at least Grade C at AS level in a subject before taking it to A2 level.Year 12 will have a formal standardised class assessment before their Parent Teacher Meeting and mock exams in January. You will receive a full report in January of Year 12.
All Sixth Form pupils take a school designed course in Careers, ICT and Religious Education and a minimum of 3 subjects to A level from the following which are also offered at AS level: Applied Health and Social Care, Art & Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, English Literature, French, Further Mathematics, Geography, German, Government & Politics, History, Home Economics, Computer Science and Digital Technology, Irish, Mathematics, Media Studies, Music, Physical Education, Physics, Religious Studies, Sociology, Spanish, Technology & Design and Theatre Studies.Further information can be found at the following link
For one period each week all Sixth Form pupils participate in a school-designed course in Religious Education which gives them an opportunity to reflect on their own faith experience and to discuss faith and moral issues with their peers and teachers in a small group setting.
Pupils take 3 or 4 subjects to AS level in Lower Sixth and continue with at least 3 of these subjects to A level in Upper Sixth. All AS and A level subjects are studied in modular form.
All pupils take a school-designed course in Careers and in ICT for one period each week. They may also take additional courses which are on offer as long as their timetables can accommodate them after the allocation of periods to A/AS level subjects, Religious Education, Careers and ICT.
Pupils are encouraged to participate in at least some of the enrichment activities which are on offer, for example, the Pope John Paul II Award, Public Speaking and Debating, the school magazine, Young Enterprise, the Engineering Education Scheme, Public First Aid, music and drama productions, orchestras, bands and choirs, exchange visits abroad, a wide range of sporting activities and the Catholic Caring and Trocaire campaigns.
Lower Sixth pupils have the opportunity of participating in work experience which usually lasts for one week. It gives them insight into the world of work and helps them with their choice of career. Some Modern Language pupils may have the opportunity of doing their work experience in the country of their target language.