English Martyrs', as a community centred in Christ, strives to develop the talents of each person.
"May they all be one" John 17
As part of the Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Multi-Academy Trust, we seek to have a truly catholic curriculum which develops every aspect of each young person’s life for the better.
What is the philosophy underlying our curriculum?
Our curriculum is founded on our Catholic understanding of the uniqueness of each human person created in the image and likeness of God, called into relationship with God for eternity to a ‘future full of hope.’ (Jeremiah 29, 11)
It is informed by a belief that our intellectual development leads us to an appreciation of the divine. Catholic teaching recognises that knowledge is an intrinsic good, but is completed only with the real illumination of relationship with God:
‘Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just,
whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.’ (Philippians 4, 8)
As St Thomas Aquinas taught, all aspects of human knowledge proceed from and lead to God and we recognise that all aspects of the curriculum in our school are interconnected and are of equal value.
We also acknowledge that the curriculum embraces all learning and new learning, respecting different viewpoints and opinions and the personal right of freedom of conscience. 'A creative God-centred curriculum in dialogue with the wisdom of both past and present should maintain the truth of the Christian Gospel without becoming isolationist or introspective.' Hans Urs von Balthazar, 1988.
Our curriculum affirms the Church’s teaching that parents are the first educators of their children. We seek to work in partnership with parents and parishes to provide education for our children in a prayerful environment of love, safety and security.
What is our curriculum?
The curriculum of English Martyrs’ Catholic School is the total learning experience provided to our students within and beyond the classroom. Our curriculum is a seven-year journey, carefully planned to create a rich experience that is coherent across all areas of school life. It includes formal and informal learning experiences, co-curricular opportunities, social and religious experiences in the context of the ethos and learning environment of the school.
Our curriculum is broad, balanced and allows for wide-ranging options and specialism in Key Stages 4 and 5, meeting the needs of all learners. This breadth of opportunity aligns closely with our Catholic school vision. We believe passionately in the academic value brought by students studying four subjects in Year 12 and EPQ. We believe this supports excellent academic outcomes, rather than by merely focusing on narrow examination content. We nurture excellence by focusing on the individual.
Our student-centred curriculum seeks to meet the needs of our diverse community. This is about knowing, valuing and supporting our students as unique learners. For example, this is reflected in the support programme for students’ options choices at KS4 and KS5.
Academic rigour is central to our curriculum. Students are challenged by a curriculum that expects them to go deeper and beyond the National Curriculum. Subjects we offer are rigorous academic disciplines providing powerful knowledge and cultural capital for all students regardless of background.
Our curriculum seeks to place 'learning to learn’ at the heart of our curriculum (such as, ‘Let’s Think in English’), with strong emphasis on ensuring all have mastered the basic building blocks of numeracy and literacy to enhance progress in other subjects through our Accelerate Programme. Alongside staff subject expertise, we are fortunate to have outstanding facilities that support and enhance student learning across the curriculum.
Co-curricular activities are integral to a holistic education. After school, English Martyrs’ buzzes with activity, allowing students to be creative, perform, play sport and be active. Arts and Music underpin the performing arts specialism of the school. We also provide extensive development pathways through aesthetic, creative, social, linguistic and literary, mathematical, sporting, scientific, spiritual and technological activities, as well as trips and residential experiences.
Leadership and individual development opportunities are offered throughout the school as we seek to support our students to develop into compassionate, resilient and responsible young people. Our Senior Student Leadership Team act as role models for younger students and we are proud of the spirit of collaboration and care which characterise our school community.
The impact of our curriculum is clear to see. Our students achieve high outcomes in terms of academic qualifications, that see them go on to high-level University courses. Of equal importance is that our students embody the skills and qualities set out in our school vision, resulting in the happy, curious, resilient and well-rounded individuals who are the hallmark of our school.
What are the key features of our curriculum?
Our curriculum is broad, balanced and coherently planned and sequenced;
It promotes high-quality teaching and learning tailored to the needs of all students who are supported to achieve their full potential, irrespective of their starting points;
It is a rich, progressive, knowledge and skills base which seeks to draw on evidence-based pedagogy and a broad range of resources;
It promotes a positive and aspirational attitude towards learning, equipping students with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life;
It prepares students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life and the world of work;
It supports students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development;
It supports students’ physical development and responsibility for their own health, enabling them to be active;
It enables students to develop views and opinions and become emotionally resilient, providing students with access to guidance and counselling and other means of supporting emotional health and development;
It develops rich cultural awareness whilst promoting diversity and encouraging social cohesion;
It ensures equality of opportunity for all set out in the Equalities Act (2010), with high expectations for every student and appropriate levels of challenge and support;
Our curriculum is part of the curriculum offer to students from 4 to 18 in partnership with our feeder schools of Saint Thomas Aquinas Multi-Academy Trust. Religious education and Christian catechesis are at the core of our curriculum.
To support your child's learning, a range of resources is provided for each subject, such as knowledge organisers and online learning tools. Please click the following link for more: Subject Links
Curriculum Intention Statements
Please click below to view a selection of examples of curriculum maps, medium- and long-term plans for curriculum areas at English Martyrs':