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St Hilda’s Curriculum

St Hilda’s 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.



Curriculum Intent

At St Hilda’s CE School, our values wisdom, hope, community, dignity and equality are at the heart of everything we do.  Our expectations and standards are high.  We want the very best for each of our students, irrespective of their starting points.

Our curriculum gives every student the opportunity to make outstanding progress and removes any potential barriers to learning.  Students at St Hilda’s do not follow a pre-decided pathway.  Each student is an individual, without limits and with high-quality provision.

We want our students to leave with knowledge and skills which will not only create excellent life opportunities but will also prepare them exceptionally well for life beyond the school. 


At St Hilda’s CE School, students will

  • experience a broad, deep and knowledge-rich curriculum, without limits;
  • be orate, literate and numerate;
  • have high expectations for their own behaviour and achievement and that of others;
  • build their character in a Christian community;
  • have opportunities to broaden their cultural experiences, both inside and outside the classroom
  • secure foundations for progression.


Students experience a broad, deep and knowledge-rich curriculum

Students arrive at St Hilda’s with different experiences of education.  Our role is to develop their learning and experiences with a variety of old and new subjects.  The curriculum at Key Stage 3 is broad and rich.  All students study the National Curriculum.  They learn essential knowledge in well-sequenced lessons.  Recall is embedded into lessons, allowing students to develop deep understanding of the subjects.

in Year 9 take part in our Duke of Edinburgh programme, which underpins our belief in high-quality enrichment for all.  All students have access to EBACC subjects.  Students in Year 9 also have a number of ‘drop-down’ days where we develop their skills and knowledge in Careers, PD and a number of subjects which they may not have chosen to study as their areas of interest.  At KS4, the courses are carefully planned to ensure that content is thoroughly revisited and this undoubtedly prepares students for external examinations. 


Students will be orate, literate and numerate

Effective communication opens doors.  Ensuring that our students have excellent oracy and literacy is vital.  Building the confidence of our students to become highly effective communicators is paramount. We ensure students have opportunities in all subjects to discuss, challenge and build on other points of view and to develop their formality of language to ensure they can have the confidence to speak to different audiences. Our role in the Voice 21 programme supports students’ numeracy through training and student workshops, alongside discrete Literacy lessons in KS3. Numeracy skills are embedded across the curriculum and is championed by students as leaders.  Students who arrive with below expected maths skills are quickly caught up through expert teaching and incisive intervention.


Students will have high expectations for their behaviour and achievement and that of others

As a Christian school, we are all God’s children.  We are inclusive and ambitious for all and for each other. We make no apology for our high expectations and provide opportunity for students to learn what is expected of them morally. Students co-wrote our values, decided on who we named our houses after and helped to write our vision.  They see themselves as part of the St Hilda’s family.  School Parliament and student leadership give all students the opportunity to be partners in their school community; the St Hilda’s family.  Our behaviour policy ensures that students learn that actions have consequences and they can accept and appreciate differences between people. Rewards outnumber consequences demonstrating our high standards. Excellent behaviour underpins high achievement, allowing students to develop not just subject-specific knowledge, but how to behave in the wider community.  Student leadership develops behaviour for learning with senior leaders and play a role in ensuring behaviour remains at a high standard across the school.


Students will build their character in a Christian community

We have been graded as Outstanding in our latest SIAMS inspection; ‘The result is an exemplary school committed to developing students spiritually, morally, socially and culturally’.  We ensure that students have access to a wider curriculum which provides countless opportunities in sport, creativity, performing, world of work, volunteering and membership.  Our aim to develop our students to be the best citizens they can be and fully prepared for life in modern Britain, and globally, is at the heart of all of the SMSC and careers opportunities available. Students are encouraged to take part in a range of sporting, cultural and charitable activities.  Each house champions its own charity and there are opportunities for all students to engage in fundraising for local, national and international charities. Our Personal Development programme has 6 themes and develops in maturity through the 7 years, allowing students to gain vital skills and resilience.  Our careers programme with local and national businesses enriches the curriculum offer and help to contextualise learning. The school has Diversity Champions who support every student to be proud of who they are.


Students have opportunities to broaden their cultural experiences, both inside and outside the classroom

We cannot know every experience of ‘cultural capital’ every one of our students has experienced before they become one of the St Hilda’s family.  As a school, we have looked at the experiences we believe support the development of every young person.  Theatre trips, sporting competitions, Duke of Edinburgh for all, Young Lord Mayor placements, HOBY leadership opportunities, our rowing programme, Cambridge HE+ programme, to name a few form part of our offer.  Our aim is for every student to have access to high-quality enrichment and experiences to enable them to develop their skills and also an understanding of their environment, to open doors for all of them.  We cannot know the starting point of all of our students, but we can certainly understand what experiences they have during their time with us.


Students will secure foundations for progression

Key Stage 3 is vital in laying the solid foundations for life-long learning.  Unlocking the potential of all of our students begins with a highly effective transition programme in Year 6.  Our role is to support our students to be the best they can, to share high aspirations and to allow them to develop their understanding of further education, apprenticeships and suitable employment. From Year 7, students receive careers information with a clear focus on the Gatsby benchmarks and this is supported through drop-down days and a focused careers week. Over the course of 5 years, students receive a rigorous and bespoke aspirations program that exposes our students to a huge range of voices and experiences.  Our independent careers advisor supports and develops student aspiration.  Key Stage 5 have a bespoke programme, including a Post-18 week, which develops Key Stage 5 students to develop their understanding of potential next steps and high-quality work experience.


Curriculum Implementation

The school believes that a carefully planned and structured curriculum is the foundation upon which excellent learning and development is built.  The curriculum is designed and implemented in such a way that it builds on prior knowledge and prepares students for the next stage in their education. This is complimented by the school’s 3 foci for excellent Teaching and Learning:

  1. Curriculum Sequencing & Planning
  2. Practice & retrieval
  3. Effective use of technology

Development of language and building knowledge are integral to curriculum planning.  Subject Leaders, who are experts in their subjects, carefully construct a curriculum that promotes a deep understanding of a wide range of topics.  We have worked hard to restructure our KS3 curriculum to plan learning that allows students to embed and recall knowledge through sequencing and techniques such as interleaving of topics.  Our new reporting system allows parents/carers and students to understand the development of student knowledge over the course of the year, knowing exactly where students’ progress is at key reporting dates.


We have developed our KS3 curriculum to ensure that key knowledge is delivered and students know more and remember more.  All National Curriculum subjects are taught, with Drama as an additional.  Every student in Years 7 and 8 have a Literacy lesson as part of the timetabled lessons.  Students learn 2 modern foreign languages. Sequencing and recall allow students to focus on deeper learning to ensure real understanding of key concepts. Each subject per year has a planned learning journey with clear statements setting out what students need to know, understand and do.  The National curriculum content is carefully tracked to ensure that students have covered all areas of non-statutory KS4 subjects by the end of Year 8.


In Year 9, students choose 3 subjects to study in depth at KS4. 






















Guided options are structured in such a way to allow students a free choice.  This ensures equity of delivery, with all students having equal access to subjects. The options are designed to stretch and challenge students and to meet the demands of the local labour market. Students are offered a mixture of practical and academic subjects from all areas of the curriculum. Within the option subjects, the school offers a range of different accreditation routes including academic and vocational options.  This gives every student a broad and balanced curriculum, but still offers a flexibility to maximise the outcomes achieved by each individual. This model also maintains the widest possible choice for progression routes Post 16 as every student will have a greater range of subjects on which to choose future opportunities for education and training.​


Options are structured in such a way to allow students a free choice, but with support and guidance.  Most students choose 3 courses, a small number choose 4.  There is a good mix of vocational and academic.  All students have opportunity to choose an enrichment subject, as varied as Bar National Mock trial to sign language.  The Extended Project Qualification is a popular choice for students and is supported by mentors and discrete lessons to support its delivery.

Subjects offered at KS5 include:



























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 Impact

​At St Hilda’s CE School, our curriculum will:

  • ensure that the sequence of learning builds on previous knowledge whilst supporting future progression.
  • lead to qualifications that are of worth for employers and for entry to further and higher education.
  • enable all students to fulfil their potential.
  • meet the needs of students of all abilities at the school.
  • allow students to acquire an appreciation and respect for their own and other cultures.
  • prepare students to compete in the global economy.
  • prepare students to make informed choices at the end of KS3, KS4 and beyond.
  • help students develop lively, enquiring minds and the ability to question and argue rationally.

How will we know?

  • Our external results
  • Our disadvantaged and SEND students achieve
  • Destinations at KS4 & 5 reflect our ambition
  • Our student and parent surveys tell us

Curriculum Hours​

  • At KS3, students are divided into an S and H half.  Students are set by ability in the core subjects
  • Foundation subjects choose their preferred setting options, including mixed ability
  • Group sizes are between 26-30 students.
  • For those students who have additional needs, we offer a curriculum in small groups. These students study all of the same subjects during Years 7 and 8.
  • All lesson are 55 mins in length and there are 25 lessons per week.
  • SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) and FBV (Fundamental British Values) are embedded into the curriculum and delivered through all subjects.
  • There is a 30 minute form period where students access Learning to Learn, mentoring, PD, Careers education and assemblies.

  • At KS4 core subjects are set by ability
  • Option groups are largely mixed ability with some setting if there is more than one group in an option block.
  • All lesson are 55 mins in length and there are 25 lessons per week.



Our assessment system is made up of three interlocking parts: annual assessment, unit assessment, regular assessment.


Annual Assessment

At the beginning of each academic year, students will sit the GL Assessments assessments in English and Maths and during the year they have their reading age assessed using the L’Explore system.  These assessments give us a robust and reliable baselining grade and record of progress that has been standardised against a national sample of students.  This assessment gives us a norm-referenced measure for all of our students. That is, it will tell us how they are doing compared to other students of the same age. The purpose of this assessment is to provide us with an accurate check against our own judgments.  In all subjects, they will sit a holistic end of KS3 examination.  This will enable us to see how much our students have developed over the full range of skills in each subject curriculum and how much they have developed their overall subject knowledge. 


GL tests will inform our curriculum planning and intervention. We will review whether our expectations are in line with the national picture and ensure they are aspirational.    The reading assessment will monitor progress in relation to national age related standards and will identify and need for intervention.


Unit Assessments

Each subject will be divided into approximately 6 units annually.  At the end of each unit students will sit an assessment based on what they have studied in THE PREVIOUS UNIT (not the unit just completed).  

At the start of each unit students will receive a knowledge organiser.  At the end of each unit students will receive a revision list.  This list will relate to curriculum related expectations.


Our aim is that students receive feedback in the form of a colour coded analysis matching the revision list.   Students will receive targeted DIRT tasks based upon unit test outcomes. Class summaries are written from these assessments and the planning of starter and homework activities for the following term should be based around the student outcomes.


Regular assessments

Students complete regular low stakes mini-assessments and quizzes. This can be conducted in school or at home. This will inform students and teachers of any gaps that need addressing.


Mini-assessments must always be peer/self- marked with DIRT tasks.  All DIRT must be acted upon.    DIRT tasks are the main feedback.  However, teachers make a note of students that are falling behind in mini-assessments & quizzes and plan additional support and/or catch-up.  Questions that are frequently incorrectly answered are identified to prompt a review of teaching of that content and focus for subsequent lessons.


Measuring Progress

Our assessment system measures two types of progress. The annual tests in English and maths measure progress against national norms. The mini-assessments & quizzes measure progress against the curriculum content.  The unit tests/end of year assessments are a bridge in between them – they measure progress against our curriculum but use a nationally normed scale to do so.

Parents receive reports 3 times per year. 

At KS3 the reports will indicate the progress that students have made towards their curriculum related expectations and an indication of their behaviour and attitude to learning.​

At KS4 the reports will indicate the progress that students have made towards their subject target grade and an indication of their behaviour and attitude to learning.​


Curriculum Review​

  • Curriculum implementation will be reviewed and quality assured through the line management agenda, learning walks and lesson observations.
  • The curriculum delivered in each subject will reviewed annually by subject leaders to ensure the sequence of delivery allows students to build on their knowledge and that students are sufficiently stretched and challenged.
  • The curriculum hours and subjects offered will be analysed by the senior leadership team and governors on an annual basis.
  • The student leadership team will discuss curriculum content and delivery annually. This will be fed back to senior team and staff.

Parents and students will have the opportunity to review the curriculum content and delivery through parent and student surveys.