OUR CURRICULUM Curriculum Vision – ‘ABSORBED’ As a Catholic school, our curriculum vision is to provide equity and equality for all learners. Our curriculum provides access for all to a depth of knowledge, range of skills, breadth of understanding and diversity of opportunity that enables all our pupils to be socially mobile and hold clear ambitions that reflect their true potential. Our subject specialists must demonstrate a passion for their subject, imparting knowledge that is both rich in context and sequential in nature. Collectively, our curriculum builds a balanced understanding of the connectivity and provenance of knowledge, skills and concepts. Recall is a fundamental key skill that is integral to our Teaching and Learning strategy and is used to ensure that prior learning always remains current, and relevant, so that knowledge becomes cumulative and is regularly reviewed in order to ensure that it is embedded. Assessment methodology has been designed to draw these strands together so that marking and feedback are always meaningful, and that testing and examination has a purpose, focusing upon areas for improvement, where necessary. Teaching & Learning At Harrytown our vision for Teaching & Learning is to inspire a love of learning in everyone. We want this to help pupils develop an ownership of their learning, and build their skills of resilience, risk-taking, reflection and resourcefulness in order to challenge themselves to open the door to their own future.
The academic structure of the school is based upon subject departments, which are encouraged to work co-operatively. Subject Leaders and senior staff meet regularly to discuss, evaluate, monitor and plan – with improvement in pupil outcomes and achievements being at the heart of all these processes. There is a published calendar of meetings whereby improvements and developments in learning and teaching are considered along with aspects of curriculum and staff development. Our staff are kept informed about day to day issues through a daily briefing before school each morning except Fridays when Holy Mass is offered in our Centenary chapel before school and briefing only takes place via email on this day. A number of working parties have been formed, as the need has arisen, to discuss particular areas of focus or importance.
Each department's curriculum plan can be found here.
A broad and balanced curriculum for years 7-9
Our curriculum offer across Years 7-9 is both broad and balance and in Year 7 most subjects are taught in mixed-ability groups, the school has recently moved to a system where more subjects can set with regard to academic ability in years 7, 8 and 9. The key stage 4 curriculum again is broad and balanced and the school arranges both year 10 and 11 into two populations where setting takes place as appropriate for each student’s ability. There are a number of subjects which appear in the key stage 4 curriculum which are in addition to those offered at key stage 3.
Learning Support is provided as required in small groups for pupils withdrawn from other lessons for specific work/diagnosed needs or as “in class” support. The school has a robust programme of interventions to further support the learning and development of our pupils and we use regular checks of performance and pastoral data to direct our efforts to the areas of greatest need.
All pupils in key stage 3 (Years 7-9) are given experience in Music, Art, History, Geography, Citizenship/Ethics for Life, Design Technology subjects and at least one Modern Language and they develop their ICT/computing skills through a combination of discrete lessons and cross-curricular provision. The core curriculum comprises Religious Education, Mathematics, English, Science and Physical Education.
Specialist subjects for years 10 & 11
In Years 10 and 11 optional subjects are available. A core of Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, Physical Education and Ethics for Life for all pupils. A guided choice is made from the option subjects to ensure that all pupils follow a suitable and balanced combination of subjects. The school currently offers pupils a choice from 4 options pools.
We are continually considering further modifications to the curriculum which we offer in the light of proposals and changes in policy which come from our political leaders. The school operates on a fortnightly 50 period (1 hour) cycle.