St Hilda’s CE High School Curriculum Aims September 2019

St Hilda’s The Church Of England School has a Christian vision which underpins any intent and is at the very heart of the decisions we make for our young people:

We are the St Hilda’s family, with Jesus Christ as our cornerstone.  Building on foundations of wisdom, hope, community, dignity and equality, we nurture and support one another to be our very best.  We rejoice in our diversity and celebrate our many achievements.

Our intent is clear:

We aim to foster the intellectual, social, creative, physical, moral and spiritual development of all our students. We see each child as a unique person with an individual identity. Each of us – student, school, home and the wider community – plays a vital role in realising our vision, educating our students for wisdom, hope, community, dignity and equality.  All children deserve an education that allows them to aspire to be the best they can be, irrespective of where they come from.  It is our role as educators and leaders to ensure that our students gain the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed.  Our education at St Hilda’s must build on the knowledge and understanding gained in earlier key stages, plug any gaps in knowledge through highly effective sequencing and recall, eradicate misconceptions through personalised, effective feedback, remove any barriers to learning and develop the vocabulary of all of our students.

With the shared involvement of every individual, we aspire to be a confident outward-looking community in which every member:

  • Enjoys creative, dynamic and reflective learning
  • Is supported, challenged and equipped for the future
  • Values and takes responsibility for themselves and others
  • Relies on and builds support and lasting relationships

Underpinning our aim is developing our understanding of our place in the world. This is defined in relations with:

  • Myself – in the past, at the moment and in the future
  • Others – family and friends, peers, neighbours and community
  • Society – local, national and global
  • Faith – our St Hilda’s family and the wider Christian community

In order to help our young people develop we believe it is for students to explore all their talents and experience a wide range of opportunities. To this end we look to ensure our curriculum is broad, balanced, relevant and personalised. High quality, inclusive teaching ensures that planning and implementation meets the needs of all students and builds in high expectations for all students. Every year the curriculum offer is evaluated against the student profile and also the needs of Liverpool City Region and beyond.

The curriculum we offer our students reflects the aims and aspirations we have for them in that we aim to;

  1. Build on the knowledge from earlier key stages, identifying any gaps and deepening prior learning.
  2. Give them the knowledge, understanding and skills to progress onto the next stage of their education, irrespective of their prior attainment, background or ethnicity.
  3. Produce students with high aspirations, resilience and independence so that they can maximise the opportunities they are given to progress.
  4. Provide a broad curriculum with flexible pathways through the key stages to allow students to maximise their attainment by developing the skills and talents they already hold.
  5. Provide students with a range of enrichment opportunities to help them become responsible citizens who can make a positive contribution to society.

It is essential that the curriculum is organised in such a way that it provides students with the opportunity to learn expected behaviours and be successful in their learning so that we can deliver our vision.


Strategic Intent

To develop a curriculum which:

  • Creates an aspirational high achievement culture
  • Takes into account individual needs
  • Allows everyone to experience success
  • Raises standards of attainment and progress for all students, irrespective of background

Curriculum Principles

  • Clear progress over 7 years accelerating student progress, building on the knowledge, ensuring students know and remember more.
  • There should be depth before breadth. Maximise learning time in all subjects and underpin this by effective home learning.
  • Additional time is given to targeted students in English and Mathematics to ensure that they have the essential skills needed for life and to access the full curriculum. Any gaps from earlier key stages are eradicated. Targeted support and additional challenge, to give all students the opportunity to make at least national rates of progress.
  • Embed CEIAG opportunities in all subjects in order to create high aspiration
  • Endeavour to ensure all students’ progress is in line with national expectations.
  • To support induction into secondary school for all Year 7 students and into sixth form for all Year 11 students.
  • Additional time will be offered for sports, arts, catch-up and master classes through extended School programme offered throughout the school year.

Curriculum Implementation

St Hilda’s Curriculum Model 2018-19


Our Curriculum

Ensuring breadth and depth and not narrowing

Our school profile supports our curriculum decisions.  Really knowing who are students are, their backgrounds and aspirations allows us to design a curriculum to meet their needs.  Destinations show that students are equipped for the next stages.

Our school vision highlights and champions the appreciation of our diversity.  Students can access a variety of different ‘pathways’ to further and higher education or apprenticeships/employment.  Our role is to support them through any decision making and offer the right courses for our cohort of students.  As a full co-educational school as of September 2019, our curriculum changes reflect the needs of all students. 

Although students opt for GCSE subjects during Year 8, this is re-visited several times during that process and students can change their minds.  During Year 9, there are a number of drop-down days where knowledge and skills from subjects is developed.  Students have the opportunity to re-think their option subjects and add/change them at the end of Year 9.  All qualifications on offer are high-quality.  There is an option for some students to opt for a bespoke nurture route for an option only. 

All Year 9 experience high-quality enrichment as part of the curriculum.  All students work towards the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award supported by timetabled lessons.  We firmly believe that the cultural capital element of such a course justifies using curriculum time to deliver.

All students can opt for EBACC subjects, irrespective of ability and starting points.  During the options process, there is a clear direction from the Governors and SLT as to the importance of the EBACC suite of qualifications.

Work is done with all Year 8 students on post-16 opportunities and each student undertakes research using the UCAS website to map out potential career paths and necessary qualifications. 

This system is subject to intense scrutiny by the Governing Body and SLT.  Future decisions are currently being explored. 


Key Stage 3

We have a very broad KS3 Curriculum covering 14 subjects meeting all the national curriculum requirements. This is taught in 50 hours of contact time over 2 weeks.

  1. All students follow the National Curriculum throughout Years 7 and 8 with the addition of lessons devoted to reading and literacy. 
  2. The emphasis during this time is to give the in-depth, fundamental understanding and knowledge and skills required to deepen knowledge and learning.
  3. Catch up funding is used to narrow gaps in prior attainment in English and Maths for those who require it. Nurture groups are provided where the intake requires such support.
  4. Students are taught in 2 bands of roughly equal ability to ensure that all are expected to make progress. Our foci for the past 2 years has been quality-first teaching, stretch and challenge and active questioning. 2019-20 our foci are stretch and challenge, knowledge, recall, recall, recall, application and feedback.  Our expectation is that this happens in all lessons, irrespective of starting point or ability.
  5. Enrichment is delivered through PSHE in Form Time, extra PSHE sessions and the use of carefully selected providers with the aim of broadening the students’ development and raising their aspirations.
  6. Schemes of learning and how they are delivered are reviewed regularly to ensure that work is challenging. This takes place during line management meetings.
  7. There is an in-school PSHE programme including SRE, IAG and Drugs and Alcohol education.

The curriculum includes:

  • English – including English mastery
  • Mathematics – including maths mastery
  • Science
  • Two Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) from French, German and Spanish
  • Humanities – History, Geography and Religious Education
  • Creative and Performing Arts – Drama, Music, Art & Design, Design & Technology and Food
  • Computing
  • Physical Education
  • PSHE

For students who are behind in their chronological reading age, additional support is provided through withdrawal to enable them to rapidly catch up.

Year 9 – 11

In Year 9 students begin to specialise to provide them with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge, skills and understanding of the subjects they choose to study at KS4. This curriculum is taught on 50 lessons over 2 weeks. The curriculum is designed by SLT and subject leaders through curriculum planning meetings and line management meetings with a focus on the context of the school and its changing needs.

A 3-year KS4 was introduced in September 2018. The aims of this switch were to encourage the students to become more focused learners at an earlier age, to give them time to deepen their understanding of the subjects they are studying. The additional time in their subjects allows teachers to support learning through enrichment activities and placing learning in a real-life context through visits, external speakers, alumni etc.  Starting options in Year 9 allows us to offer more subjects and a better variety for students. 

In Year 9 all students are studying to qualify for their Duke Of Edinburgh Bronze Award.  The knowledge and skills gained from this course are transferable and allow students to use these skills and knowledge throughout their lives.

Student voice feedback suggests that the new curriculum is fulfilling these aims for the students.  90% of current Year 9 students rated their happiness at starting their GCSE courses in Year 9 as a 6 or more.  25% of them rated it as 10/10.

Following a curriculum review in 2018, Year 9 students from September 2019 onwards will also experience cross-curricular days to ensure that skills and knowledge from areas they no longer study are accessible and enhance their chosen pathway.  A full review of the curriculum is planned for September 2019, looking at the impact of changes. 

All students must study the following:

  • English – Literature and Language
  • Mathematics
  • Science – Science Trilogy or Triple Science – Biology, Physics and Chemistry
  • Religious Education – with an external examination
  • Ebacc – At least one of History, Geography, MFL or Computing
  • Physical Education – no external examination
  • PSHE – no external examination
  1. We do not have pre-set option blocks, we allow all students to opt for subjects they would like to study in the first instance and then support choices with IAG with parents/carers and our students.  Form tutors and SLT are involved in the process.  All students can opt to study all subjects making the EBACC accessible for all.
  2. Student progress and attainment is monitored and reviewed regularly to ensure that they are making appropriate progress. Support is available for students who require it in English, Maths and Science.
  3. Student can opt for more than 1 language.
  4. There is an in-school programme including SRE, IAG, Prevent and Drugs and Alcohol education.





























Our Curriculum – Key Stage 5

  • Students are offered a broad range of academic and vocational subjects based at St Hilda’s for current Year 12 and with our partner schools in the Faith Partnership for Year 13. 
  • Once again, we operate an open options system, allowing all students free choice of subjects, underpinned through high quality IAG and guidance meetings.
  • We recognise the breadth of Level 2 courses offered by local FE providers so students are guided towards these providers through the use of taster days and strong links between the schools and colleges. Consequently, we do not offer Level 2 courses other than resits in English and Maths.
  • Sixth Form students follow a personalised study programme which can be academic, vocational or a mixture of learning aims.
  • Enrichment features highly for all students with a mixture of accredited and non-accredited courses.
  • High quality work experience underpins their learning.

Subjects offered at KS5 include;

  • All programmes include enrichment opportunities, volunteering and work experience where required.
  • Programmes are designed to ensure that students can reach their desired destinations which are mainly university and higher apprenticeships.
  • Each single equivalent qualification receives 5 hours of teaching per week
  • There is an in-school programme including SRE, IAG and Drugs and Alcohol education.
  • Review of entry requirements has taken place and entry requirements have changed accordingly. 

A curriculum that is co-planned by SLT and subject leaders, looking at the needs of the students and the strengths of the teachers, is vital.  A curriculum which has a clear aim and is sequenced to promote deeper learning is paramount, but our school partners help us to achieve the right climate for learning by supporting personal development and aspiration.

Selected partner providers – All Key Stages

Shaping Future – Career Connect Launch Programme.

Barclays Life skills Workshops through PSHE

Future First – employability workshops

Shaping Futures to raise aspirations and encourage future participation in University (STEM).

Brook Advisory Trust to develop understanding around SRE issues.

Diversity Role Models

So to Speak

Bully Busters

Young Money – Financial capability workshops

Employer access through trade fairs year 9-13

Selected partner providers – Key Stages 4 and 5

Merseyside Youth Association – Relationship Ambassadors

Dementia UK – Dementia training for all key stage 4 and 5

Apprenticeship UK with drop in sessions for key stage 4 and 5.

Money Charity Life skills Workshop

Young Money (formerly pfeg) Workshops through PSHE

Variety of Employer visits – Mock interviews and trade fair access


Curriculum Plans

To view our curriculum plans, please click the following:

Year 7      Year 8      Year 9      Year 10      Year 11      Year 12      Year 13


Marking and Feedback Policy

To view the policy, please click here.


Additional information

Looking after yourself during your GCSEs – A Guide for pupils, to view please click here.