Our Approach to Curriculum
Our curriculum reflects the college’s purpose, ambition and values:
Taught by Jesus Christ, faith, hope and love inspire everything we do. We aim for the highest standards of learning, and we look for the development of wisdom. In this way the gifts possessed by every individual can be valued.
Our curriculum is ambitious for all students and provides them with a platform for success and fulfilment throughout life. It is broad, empowers independence and creativity and promotes spiritual, physical, and social health and wellbeing. In the different subject areas our curriculum is planned by teachers to support students in building up new and more complex knowledge and skill over time which is supported by what they have learned before. Teachers use the following seven principles recommended by the findings of cognitive science and the latest research and thinking when evaluating and planning their subject curriculum:
- Our curriculum is coherent: Making sure the big ideas of a subject underpin curriculum planning so it is plans are aligned and logical
- Our curriculum is sequenced: The order in which the curriculum is taught, with consideration given to the relational aspects between topics in the curriculum and how these relationships will support future learning. This shows students how previously learned knowledge and skill is necessary for new learning.
- Our curriculum is interleaved: Revisiting prior learning overtime particularly through through retrieval practice quizzes and questioning. This helps students make connections between the different parts of the curriculum and embeds learning in long-term memory
- Our curriculum is spaced: Modelling to students how to review subject content over a long period of time. This gives their minds time to form connections between ideas and concepts so knowledge can be built upon and recalled later.
- Our curriculum is deep: An ambitious curriculum for all, focused on substantive and disciplinary knowledge. This will help students develop intellectual curiosity across the range of subject disciplines
- Our curriculum provides cultural capital: Delivering a depth of knowledge, skill and experience within subjects to all students which enables them to develop intellectual curiosity and self-belief.
- Our curriculum is contextual: Our curriculum is planned with our student profile in mind. This means our students are able to access the curriculum meaningfully and feel that it represents them and their communities.
This curriculum is planned and delivered to prepare students for a fulfilling and compassionate life in which they are able to recognise and uphold the dignity of every human being, including their own, through the way they engage with society.
Education for All
Decisions relating to curriculum content at St Augustine’s are made to ensure our students’ dignity is upheld through providing our intended broad, accessible and aspirational education for all.
Curriculum content is coherently sequenced through all key stages. Teachers, as subject experts, work within departments to design their subject’s curriculum in a coherent way that logically supports progression of knowledge and skill and the development of future knowledge.
Liaison with feeder primary schools is undertaken to ensure strong academic transition and that departments are consolidating and building upon prior learning between KS2 and KS3.
Heads of Department liaise with their department teams, Senior Leadership and governors to decide upon A Level and GCSE specifications.
Literacy, numeracy and oracy are incorporated through curriculum plans in all key stages.
At Key Stage 5 students are able to access extra high-level academic challenge and personal development through the wider Key Stage 5 curriculum.
Learn more about our Aspire programme
Departments focus on developing the catholicity of the curriculum through incorporating appropriate aspects of Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education into curriculum plans.
Pastoral and Personal, Social & Health Education (PSHE) programmes run in tutor periods and discrete PSHE lessons promoting spiritual, physical, and social health and well-being.
Circle time is delivered during AM Registration to teach soft skills and build an effective, democratic learning community where everyone is valued, responsibility is encouraged and wellbeing is upheld.
Philosophy for Children is used as a discussion-based approach across the curriculum.
Links with external pre-16 providers enables us to plan bespoke curriculum offers, where appropriate, that we are unable to facilitate (currently animal care, hair and beauty and motor vehicle maintenance).
Students are provided with a wide range of Extra Curricular activities which crucially enhance cultural capital. These occur at lunchtime, after school and out of school hours, some being subject-based activities and others providing creative, active and academic experiences beyond the timetabled curriculum.
Learn more about our Extra Curricular offering
St Augustine’s SPIRIT
The St Augustine’s SPIRIT underpins all learning and provides the foundation for the development of growth mindset.
Our Common Purpose
At St Augustine’s we believe that every member of the College community is made in the image of God and as such we all have infinite potential and immeasurable value. Our common purpose is the ongoing discovery and development of this potential in our students, for the good of each individual member and society.
A Consistent Approach
Research shows that schools that use a whole-school Teaching & Learning programme achieve stronger outcomes. We use the SSAT’s evidence-rich Teacher Effectiveness Enhancement Programme (TEEP) to:
Train all of our teachers
Plan learning and secure progress
Agree on, and develop, effective teacher and learner behaviours
Provide a common and precise language for discussing teaching and learning
We recognise the fundamental importance of creating a strong student culture where instruction is effective and learning thrives. We ensure that pupils embed key concepts in their long-term memory through utilising evidence-based teaching strategies that are known to support this. Additionally, we understand the significance of behaviour development; the responsibility of all teachers to explicitly teach effective learner behaviours. Our SPIRIT initiative ensures a common approach in developing self-control, positivity, integrity, respect, initiative and teamwork in our young people; the attributes that will help them to lead meaningful, fulfilling lives of service.
At St Augustine’s we recognise that collaborative working generates exponential effectiveness and we place a high value on team work. Our teachers uphold best-practice to ensure a world class education for all students.
Feedback is central to student progress and attainment. We believe assessment should:
Be a part of effective planning
Be focused on how students learn
Be central to classroom practice
Be a key professional skill
Be sensitive and constructive
Promote understanding of goals and criteria
Help students know how to improve
Develop the capacity for self-assessment
Recognise all educational achievement
Our teachers apply these principles in their feedback and marking
Staff Professional Development
We strive to ensure our teaching practice is underpinned by evidence and research. In turn, we encourage and support the CPD of all teachers and their ongoing professional action research.
We are continuously reviewing our curriculum intent and the experiences this provides for all our students
Middle and senior leaders engage in lesson drop ins, student voice, parental voice and reviews of exercise books to evaluate the quality of curriculum delivery across the whole college.
Heads of department share good practice within their department that leads to all students’ development of literacy, numeracy and oracy skills which support learning and develop confidence.
Outcomes in Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 are used as an indicator of how well all students are engaged with the curriculum provided at St Augustine’s.
We audit all students’ engagement in careers education and extra curricular activities to ensure they are able to access opportunities that enrich life affirming cultural capital.
These quality assurance methods assess whether the curriculum and its delivery are succeeding in challenging all students’ academic ability, and how successfully it empowers effective learning behaviours and enables spiritual, physical, and social health and wellbeing.
Through reviewing how successfully we fulfil our curriculum intent we are able to understand how the curriculum can evolve over time in relation to content and delivery.
To support all students’ experience of the academic curriculum the Progress Panel puts in place interventions when necessary, based on reporting data, aimed at overcoming barriers to curriculum engagement. Curriculum and pastoral middle leaders support this work.
Through a strong focus on knowing our students’ next steps we are able to understand how successful our curriculum is in effectively supporting them in realising their own personal vision.
Effective IT provision
The college’s IT strategy group works together to evaluate our IT facilities to ensure we plan for all students to experience up to date technology supported through college’s IT facilities.
All students’ achievements are celebrated with the Golden book, the college Gazette, reward assemblies and through the House system. In addition, teachers celebrate all students’ engagement with the curriculum through awarding SPIRIT points. This supports celebration of students’ achievements within the curriculum.