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.
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 least two GCSE Science subjects and Psychology is also available at GCSE. Significant numbers study all three sciences Biology, Chemistry and Physics, with excellent results.
All pupils study English Language, English Literature and Mathematics to GCSE. The most able pupils also study the Additional Mathematics specification.
Both History and Geography are taught from Year 7 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 students study Religious Formation from Year 7 to Year 11 and all will take a GCSE in Religious Studies. As well as supporting the formation of their Catholic Faith, students study all major faiths in their first five years.
All students study either French or Spanish from Year 7 to Year 9, with most students being strongly advised to study their language at GCSE. There is an option to take the second language in Year 9, as well as co-curricular options to study Japanese and Mandarin.
Most pupils study ten GCSEs.
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 has been awarded ‘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.