Year 7 Learning Guide | Year 8 Learning Guide

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum at St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College is central to our aim at providing outstanding education. We aim to provide both breadth and depth to our curriculum, allowing our young people to develop the skills and attributes which will prepare them for life in a modern, democratic Britain. We promote tolerance and respect of different cultures, lifestyles and religious beliefs.


At Key Stage 3 pupils follow the full range of National Curriculum subjects, together with Drama and Religious Education. This provides them with a broad and balanced curriculum in their first three years of secondary education that is carefully developed to build upon their primary school outcomes.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum Year 7 Year 8 Year 9

Religious Education
Modern Foreign Language (French or Spanish) 
Performing Arts (Drama, Dance, Music) 
Design and Technology (Graphics, Food, Textiles) 
Information Communications and Technology (ICT) 
Physical Education
Both Mathematics and English are taught in sets for all years at KS3.
Science is taught in sets in Years 8 and 9.
Click here for an example of a typical Year 9 students timetable.


In Key Stage 4 pupils follow a core curriculum but are able to exercise a large degree of choice in their option subjects, allowing them to play to their strengths and choose subjects which they enjoy and in which they know they will achieve well.

Documents that outlines KS4 Curriculum Offer is available on the link below. There is separate booklet for Boys and Girls that reflects the legacy of 2 separate schools becoming one single co-educational entity.


What is the National Curriculum?

The National Curriculum sets out the most important knowledge and skills that every pupil has a right to learn. It is a framework given to teachers by the government, so that all pupils are taught in a way that is balanced and manageable, but hard enough to challenge them. It gives standards that measure how well pupils are doing in each subject so teachers can plan to help them progress. 

Key Stages and National Curriculum levels

National Curriculum levels measure your child’s progress in each subject. They are like the rungs of a ladder; children move up through the levels as they move up through the school. During Key Stage 3 most children will work within levels 3 to 7. By the end of Key Stage 3 most children reach levels 5 and 6. Not all children progress at the same rate and may need extra help at school and home and not all children manage to achieve these milestones in all areas. At 14 your child will be given a level for each subject. Each level is a measure of how much your child knows, understands and can do. By the end of Key Stage 3 - when your child is 14, they should reach level 5 and above. 


To get a level 5 or above in English, your child should be able to:

  • use commas, speech marks and apostrophes accurately;
  • use paragraphs;
  • spell some difficult words correctly;
  • use some complex (longer and more detailed/descriptive) sentences;
  • use a wide range of vocabulary;
  • give reasons and explanations, backed up by evidence, in their answers.


To get level 5 or above in Mathematics, your child should be able to:

  • complete calculations correctly, clearly showing appropriate workings;
  • give reasons and explanations to back up their answers;
  • use units correctly;
  • use correct mathematical notation when setting out their work.


To get level 5 or above in Science, your child should be able to:

  • describe how to use equipment accurately and safely;
  • accurately read results from pictures or graphs, and use units, such as gm or cm correctly;
  • draw reasonable conclusions from data or evidence, and give sensible explanations for them;
  • remember a range of scientific ideas and apply them to unfamiliar situations. 


To get level 5 or above in ICT your child should be able to:

  • create solutions that combine the use of ICT tools;
  • make decisions about content, structure and fitness for purpose and explain their reasons;
  • show a clear understanding of the ‘input, process, output’ sequence of events;
  • explain their choices and show the process they have gone through;
  • check the accuracy and plausibility of both the information they select and their own outcomes.


A selection of work completed by students in Year 11