The curriculum at St Leonard’s Catholic School is planned to meet the needs of all pupils, with a comprehensive range of abilities, attending the school. It stems from our foundation as a Catholic school and our commitment to achieving “excellence in all and for all”.
Religious Education is at the core of the curriculum throughout the school including a full GCSE studied by all pupils and a general course followed in the Sixth Form. Within this academic subject, care is taken to foster respect and understanding of different world religions and moral standpoints both within and beyond the Catholic faith. Through this, the spiritual life of the school and the cross curricular involvement of all subjects, pupils’ values are discussed, embedded and developed.
Throughout the school our pastoral curriculum concentrates on the development of the individual within society, covering key aspects of social, personal, spiritual, moral and physical development. This is the vehicle for specific areas such as sex and relationships, and careers.
All pupils are encouraged to stretch themselves academically at key stage 3 with a broad and balanced curriculum in Years 7 to 9 providing the foundation for two possible pathways in Years 10 and 11.
Programmes of study in English, Maths, Science, Computing, Modern Foreign Languages and the Humanities cover the National Curriculum with an emphasis on the depth necessary to provide firm foundations for further study at GCSE and beyond.
Music and Art provide artistic and creative elements in Years 7 to 9 with courses available for continuation at GCSE and A level. Similarly core PE leads to options at Key Stage 4 and in Sixth Form. These subjects provide considerable “extra-curricular” opportunities for pupils throughout the school.
The history of the school as a Technology College reflects the importance attached to providing pupils with practical and technical skills and knowledge. A varied experience of Food, Textiles, Product Design and Systems & Control throughout key stage 3, leads to several options at GCSE and A level. We recognise both the creative value of these subjects and their role in equipping pupils for life.
A high proportion of pupils aspire to university education at competitive institutions on competitive courses. With this in mind we offer two languages at in key stage 3 and at GCSE level provide for a significant proportion to take the subjects now categorised within the English Baccalaureate. This has long been the case in the school and is a recognition of the needs of the pupils rather than a response to government educational policy. All pupils are expected to study both English and English Literature, Triple Science has a considerable take-up, and pupils are able to study two languages.
About one fifth of pupils in Years 10 and 11 follow a curriculum which combines core academic subjects with some vocational or applied courses; the balance of these reflecting the needs and aspirations of the pupils. These courses currently include Digital Media, Travel & Tourism, ICT and Health & Social Care. Provision is also made for a small number to receive additional teaching in the basics while studying a slightly reduced number of examined courses.
The Sixth Form
Students in Years 12 and 13 may choose from 23 A Level courses and 3 vocational courses with the possibility of combining academic and vocational courses. The large majority go on to university courses so attention is paid to preparation for this through the Sixth Form pastoral programme. A significant number also go on to work or apprenticeships, guided and supported by school staff. Careers advice and guidance are readily available for all students through the pastoral staff and designated Careers staff, along with the substantial resources in the Sixth Form Library.