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St. Bede's Catholic College

ST Bede's

Catholic College


    The curriculum at St Bede’s is designed to nurture every child towards reaching their full potential, giving them the knowledge, skills and confidence to embrace the world in which we live.

    The aim is to deliver excellence in learning and teaching and an expectation that all learners to be actively engaged in their own learning. The curriculum focuses on the child as learner, and allows breadth and depth of learning, offering challenge and enjoyment. Progression through Working Towards Grades is closely monitored and tracked to ensure the opportunity of attainment at the highest level

    The curriculum embraces the Core subjects of English, Maths and Science, but also hugely values the Foundation subjects in developing well rounded young people.

    The college aims for an equitable curriculum which allows all to access learning from their current position and aspires to move them forward. Student with lower prior attainment and SEND students are monitored closely to ensure provision is appropriate.

    As the school moves forward it recognises the importance of taking quality time to evaluate and review curriculum innovation and learn from evolving best practice. Actively sourcing good practice and continuing to have staff involved in strategic development at college, partnership, diocese and national level will allow for true reflection and the opportunity to refine and further develop a curriculum which will meet the challenges of the 21st century. 

    Year 7

    Students begin their time at St Bede’s studying 15 subjects. They build upon their learning from KS2, whilst developing completely new skills in areas such as Languages, Technology and Drama.

    Year 8

    Students continue studying 15 subjects. Their confidence grows across each area as they build on the foundations laid in Year 7. Student begin to identify subjects for which they have a passion.

    Year 9

    Students reduce their subject number to 13. This gives students the opportunity to drop two subjects they do not enjoy and spend more curriculum time on developing a better depth of understanding in the areas on which they retain. (N.B. the options to drop are only in the non-EBacc subjects – the core EBacc offer is retained throughout Year 9).

    Year 10 and 11

    Students further reduce their subject number to 12, providing their suite of examinable subject choices. All students maintain English Language, English Literature, Maths, the Sciences and Religious Studies, as well as non-examinable PE and PSHCE (both are key spokes in our development of the whole child, body and mind).

    Students then have three option choices from across a broad range of 16 subjects, spanning the Languages, Humanities, Sport, Technology, Computing and the Creative and Expressive Arts.

    The offer provides the opportunity for all students to finish Year 11 with attainment at the highest level, both in the compulsory subjects and in the areas where choice has been provided.

    Year 12 and 13

    Students are able to choose three A Levels from a broad range of 23 subjects, although some of the most gifted students may study four. These A levels are often supplemented by either Maths Studies of the Extend Project Qualification. The offer provides the opportunity for all students to finish Year 13 with attainment at the highest level, preparing them well for further study, apprenticeships or the world of work.

    The development of teaching and learning is at the core of our work at St Bede’s. There is a robust programme of CPD:

    1. Formal programme for NQTs and RQTs designed to ensure all teachers are accomplished (see appraisal policy) by at least the end of their third year.

    2. A triad programme called Professional Learning Communities for all accomplished teachers. Depending on college priorities, the focus of these can be guided but autonomy is given in how best to explore the ideas and work towards improving best practice. Results from these communities are feedback through Teach Meets.

    3. College supports attendance at exam board taring and regional subject hubs, as these provide information and guidance that is difficult to provide internally.

    Work is assessed across all seven years using Working Towards Grades. Target grades are set for the end of KS4 or KS5 and students are judged against expectations in each year as to whether they are showing work of a quality that has them on track to achieve their target.

    We recognise that the development of literacy skills is an entitlement for all students and the responsibility of the whole college community. The literacy policy should be embedded in good learning and teaching practices throughout the college.

    Literacy and Oracy Across the Curriculum

    Students across all Key Stages follow the objectives for speaking and listening, reading and writing as laid out in the National Curriculum for English.

    All elements of the college’s literacy policy are reflected across the curriculum, build on the strengths of existing practices and procedures and reflect the individual needs of every student.


    • To recognise that all teachers are facilitators of literacy through their subject
    • To raise literacy attainment at every level of ability in all subject areas to ensure that we maximise the potential of every student
    • To ensure that all students have the opportunity to become effective readers, writers and communicators


    • To assess the literacy attainment of all students more effectively and to track student progress. 
    • To involve staff in the assessment and facilitation of literacy
    • To embed whole college strategies and systems for literacy development


    The Literacy and Oracy lead, in conjunction with The English Faculty and with support of SLT, will lead and support literacy development across the college through regular, termly audits of current practice and procedures and planning, organising and leading staff training


    All teachers will seek to promote students’ appreciation of the links between speaking and listening, reading and writing and the value of each within their subject areas. The whole college curriculum will ensure that the literacy and oracy needs of all students are addressed in the following ways:

    Speaking and Listening

    Using talk for a range of purposes and audiences

    • Using talk to explore and evaluate
    • Planning, discussing and evaluating their speaking and listening and that of their peers
    • Solving problems collaboratively and working effectively in groups
    • There is a huge range of extracurricular opportunities through which students can develop their speaking and listening skills. The college has an excellent reputation across Bristol in such competitions as The Catenian, Gabblers. The ESU, Carnegie etc. 
    • Introduction of SALAD days (Speaking and Listening Development Days) started September 2022
    • Promotion of relevant school/national competitions
    • Encourage students to be actively involved in assemblies, Mass, student voice forums, college council, meetings, tutor rep meetings, prefect responsibilities, fundraising charity events etc. to develop speaking and listening skills. 


    Explicitly teaching of spelling, vocabulary and grammar at a level appropriate for each individual made possible by Bedrock software which will provide weekly closely monitored data. Available from May 2022

    • Explicit teaching of relevant forms of writing for each subject e.g. note taking, annotation, summarising, drafting, analysis etc. 
    • Explicit teaching of how to organise and structure relevant forms of writing
    • Modelling excellence in a range of forms.
    • Displaying useful words and phrases in classrooms.


    Developing an interest in a variety of texts and a college culture of reading.

    • Re-introduced class-readers into the Key Stage 3 English curriculum ensuring that three year groups have experience of reading full texts. These texts will be compelling, challenging and in line with the Catholic ethos of the college. 
    • Working out inferential meanings from texts
    • Developing an interest in words, their abbreviations and meanings
    • Making effective use of college libraries and class micro- libraries
    • Using the internet and other ICT texts effectively
    • Introducing New Group Reading Tests which will provide reading ages of Key Stage Three students directing our interventions effectively. 

    If you require further information regarding the curriculum at St. Bede's Catholic College please email us at using Curriculum Enquiry as the subject heading.

    © 2024 St. Bede's Catholic College. St Bede's Catholic College, a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, company number 07798550. Registered office: St Bede's Catholic College, Long Cross, Bristol, BS11 0SU.