Ofsted Outstanding
Full Version

Curriculum Overview

 At Our Lady’s we are determined to do all that we can to ensure that every pupil achieves success. We set ambitious individual performance targets based on a higher than average rate of progress. We expect pupils to work consistently hard and insist that they produce classwork and homework of the highest possible quality. Co-ordinating the curriculum as a whole is Mr R. Charnock, one of two Deputy Headteachers.


Key Stage 3 – Years 7, 8 and 9

At pupils at Key Stage 3 following the same curriculum pathway which is designed to be broad and balanced and to maximise opportunity at Key Stage 4 to be able to study subjects that best open opportunities for future careers and study. All pupils study the following subjects: Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Computing, History, Geography, Modern Foreign Languages, Design and Technology, Art, Music, and Physical Education.


Key Stage 4 – Years 10 and 11

At Key Stage 4 we offer an open options process backed by thorough careers education and guidance teaching which enables pupils to choose subjects that best compliment their interests and future career and study. Our guidance is pupil centred and as such may result in a learning pathway being taken, for a minority of pupils that does not include all of the ‘English Baccalaureate’ subjects. Such a pathway may involve vocational subjects which do not gain points in school performance tables. All pupils at Key Stage 4 study the following subjects to examination level: Religious Education, English, Mathematics and Science. Pupils then have a choice of four options from a list of twenty subjects which together with Physical Education make up their timetable.


Religious Education

Religious Education is at the core of our curriculum as a Catholic School as we are wholly committed to the spiritual and faith development of all our pupils. All of our pupils study Religious Education from Year 7 onwards and all study the subject to GCSE examination level in Year 11.


Human Relationships and Sex Education

Human Relationships and Sex Education is taught in all year groups following the Programmes of Study provided by the Diocese of Lancaster and covering the content of the national Curriculum for science. Parents may choose to educate their children in HRSE themselves and if so, need to write to the Headteacher to make him aware. Their child will then be removed from all HRSE lessons, except those which cover the National Curriculum for Science.

As a high school in the Diocese of Lancaster Education Service, we use the term Human Relationships and Sex Education (HRSE) as we believe that relationships education is about understanding how to have a fulfilled and happy life; sexual education is a dimension of this greater whole


Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship

We want all our pupils to develop as a whole person and so we offer a complementary programme of PSHE that is taught within curriculum lessons and through significant extra-curricular and cross-curricular enrichment days.



Our Lady’s attaches great importance to homework, which is compulsory for all pupils. Details of the subjects set for homework each day are given in the homework planner. The emphasis, at first, is on establishing a regular habit of study which, once acquired, will bear fruit in later years. The staff meet regularly to discuss the work of pupils and any cause for concern will be reported to parents. Conversely, if parents are in any way dissatisfied, they should contact the appropriate Learning Manager.


The Year System

We place great importance on the Pastoral Care of our pupils. At its heart is our Year System where the emphasis is placed on care, support and guidance.


The Year System is organized as follows:


Year 7: Form: 7O, 7U, 7R, 7L, 7A, 7D


Each form is of approximately 30 pupils grouped together on a social basis who move through school together. From Year 8 onwards they keep their Form Tutor and Learning Manager.

In each year, the team of tutors is led by a Learning Manager with an Assistant Learning Manager. In the case of Year 7 the Learning Manager is Mrs E Finnerty and the Assistant is Mrs K. Murray.

Co-ordinating the year system as a whole is Mr M Fitzpatrick, one of the two Deputy Heads.

Mrs Howard (Assistant Headteacher) has overall responsibility for pastoral issues in Years 7 – 9.