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The Curriculum Model

Archbishop Ilsley Catholic School 

aims to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that raises achievement and attainment within a caring environment that develops the values, skills and attributes which promote good citizenship and lifelong learning.

We aim to take advantage of government directives to provide:

  • a curriculum based on students best interests at its heart.
  • a curriculum that offers differentiation and personalisation
  • a curriculum that nurtures talent
  • a curriculum that prepares all students for a successful adult life in the 21st century

The curriculum gives priority to Religious Education and the National Curriculum  core subjects at Key Stage 3 ( English ,Maths, Science, Art , D&T ,Geography, History, Computing ,Music, PE ,MFL and Citizenship) and at Key Stage 4 (English, Maths, Science, Computing ,PE and Citizenship).

We have a 3 year Key Stage 3 and a 2 year Key Stage 4. However within the core subjects of Maths, English, Science, Religious Studies and Humanities, year 9 is the foundation year for GCSE allowing students to build secure foundations and be GCSE ready.

In year 10 students have the opportunity to personalise their curriculum. This process uses prior attainment to advise students on choices appropriate to their learning needs. The subjects we offer all lead to recognised qualifications and accreditation.

The 16-19 Curriculum

The sixth form currently offers both academic A Level courses along with BTEC Diplomas in Health and Social Care, Travel and Tourism, Forensic Science and Cambridge Nationals in Information Technology. Maths and English GCSE retake courses are available for students.

Students choose to study up to four subjects over the two year programme and the selection follows advice from the Head of Sixth form and meeting the entry criteria for each subject. Details of the courses on offer and the application process are available on UCAS Progress.

Students joining our sixth form are involved in:

  • PSHE
  • Careers Advice
  • Enrichment opportunities including First Aid and Food Safety
  • Extended Project. All year 12 students complete EPQ in the first year of sixth form.
  • Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Programme

The Catholic life and spiritual development of students Post 16 is a priority. The core RS programme is a focus for PSHE and assemblies along with the Citizenship Programme.

 Careers and Work Related Learning

As a Catholic school, we believe that God has already chosen a path for each of our students.

In careers and WRL we aim to help our students discover what that path is to be and help them develop the skills to manage their way along it. Within the schools mission statement, we aim to aspire students to:

  • Explore their own self-development
  • Equip them with the skills and knowledge to achieve their goals
  • Encourage them to be enterprising and to develop the skills and motivation for a well –rounded and balanced adult life.

Work related learning takes place across the curriculum within subjects providing students with the opportunities and contexts in which to develop their work related skill knowledge and understanding. During the year focus events are scheduled for all year groups to be involved in discrete curriculum time for work related learning.

This year we have launched a programme called PiXL Edge. This year it involves all of our year 7 students.

The PiXL Edge is a framework to develop and accredit students with those personal attributes essential for employability and life

The scheme will focus on five key attributes:


  • Leadership
  • Organisation
  • Initiative
  • Resilience
  • Communication

Students will qualify at three levels – PiXL Apprentice, PiXL Graduate and PiXL Master – having completed activity programmes related to the key attributes and accredited through the NCFE examination board.


Year 7, 8 and 9

In the first three years students are divided into 2 bands based on Key Stage 2 data and schools baseline assessments. Each band is divided into teaching groups. Maths, English and Science set within each band.

English and Maths has increased to 7 lessons per fortnight to support Literacy and Numeracy in year 7 and 8. Due to the demands of the new GCSE exam in 2016 Maths and English curriculum time has increased to 8 periods per fortnight in year 9.

Catch Up will continue to be part of a programme for identified students working below Level 4

All students learn French however in year 8 and 9 Spanish is introduced.

In year 9 Humanities is taught in set groups to prepare students for future GCSE.

Year 10 and 11

In Year all students follow a programme that allows 4options. All students from A & B band have the opportunity to select subjects that lead to an English Baccalaureate if they choose.

Choices from Drama, HSC, Business, Computer Science, History, Geography, Information Technology, GCSE PE, Separate sciences, French, Spanish, Music, Art, Media Studies, Technology  and Construction.

The choices students follow is tailored to their interests. However school is mindful of changes to the performance tables and choices are looked at to ensure students have selected courses that enable progression and that the qualifications offered support the schools performance measures.