In the Lower School pupils are grouped in broad bands of ability for most subjects based on information received about previous performance, cognitive ability test results and known potential. Movement may take place between bands where this is seen to be of benefit to the pupil. A number of Creative and Technology subjects are taught in mixed ability teaching groups at Key Stage 3. In Year Nine pupils are set according to ability within a number of subjects and this follows through into Key Stage 4.
Most pupils study nine GCSEs.
The opportunity exists to extend or moderate this, depending on ability. St. Bede’s is a Science College in recognition of our expertise in this area of the curriculum. All pupils must study at least2 GCSE Science subjects and Psychology is also available at GCSE. Significant numbers study all three sciences Biology, Chemistry and Physics, with excellent results. A residential field trip investigating coastal ecology is available for triple scientists.
All pupils study English and Mathematics to GCSE. The most able pupils study the iGCSE in English and may study modules of the Additional Mathematics specification.
Both History and Geography are taught from Year Seven with opportunities for pupils to entertain interesting speakers, carry out field work and participate in trips related to their study including one to the Normandy Battlefields and another to Auschwitz - Birkenau. Pupils are strongly advised to study at least one of these subjects to GCSE.
All pupils study aspects of Philosophy to assist in the development of enquiring minds and thinking skills.
A well-structured Staff Development Programme enables teachers to keep up-to-date with changes within their subjects and with teaching and learning strategies. St. Bede’s is the training school for the Outstanding Teacher Programme and has been awarded permanently ‘Investor in People’ standard in recognition of a shared vision about the mission of the College and the provision of good training for all staff.