Curriculum Design

Beliefs and Values

At St. Julie’s Catholic High School, we believe that all students are entitled to an education that will enable them to develop to their full potential by finding appropriate challenges in their learning environment.  All students have individual needs, which puts personalised learning at the heart of our teaching plans.  We continue to be inspired by the beliefs and values of our patron saint, St Julie Billiart of Namur, who stated “Let them be taught what is necessary for life”.  This statement is as relevant today as it was over 200 years ago when St Julie founded the Sisters of Notre Dame with an educational mission to provide young people with the skills necessary to contribute to society through a variety of means. 


Intent: What curriculum do we offer?

All students have access to a broad and balanced range of courses relevant to their needs, which fulfils the legal requirements of the National Curriculum and Religious Education.  The pathways developed at both Key Stages 4 and 5 offer a more personalised curriculum that is student focused and flexible.  The curriculum promotes differentiation of learning and teaching through the setting of students according to ability, supporting all and stretching and challenging the most able.  In some courses students are taught in mixed-ability teaching groups across Key Stages 3 and 4.

In addition to the “fixed curriculum” there is an extensive range of extra-curricular and super-curricular activities (clubs, study visits, enrichment programmes and charity projects) and other planned experiences to enhance the curriculum offer and make learning at St Julie’s Catholic High School memorable, enjoyable and successful.

Why do we offer this curriculum?

Implementation: Compulsory qualifications

Year 7 and 8 Curriculum


Yr. 7 No. of lessons per week

Yr. 8 No. of lessons per week


Yr. 7 No. of lessons per week

Yr.8 No. of lessons per week































Computer Science






D and T 






Year 8 Options process 2020/21

 Universities may ask for a specific number of GCSEs (or their equivalent). For example, a number of medical courses ask for five (sometimes more) A* grades (new grade 8). Modern Foreign Language qualifications are valued by admissions tutors across the Russell Group universities, and as such studying a Language will enhance the prospects of students applying to a range of competitive degree courses.

Compulsory qualifications

All Year 9 students will continue to study:

English Language

English Literature


Dual Award Science (worth x2 GCSEs)

Religious Studies

Physical Education (non-examined)

Computer Science



Students who plan to go on to study ‘A’ Levels and apply to go to university may be recommended to study English Baccalaureate (EBacc) qualifications, including Triple Science, Humanities (Geography and History) and/or Spanish.

Students who wish to study Separate Science must have a desire to study three sciences at A level and study competitive Science courses at university, such as Veterinary Science or Medicine.  All other students will study the Double Award Science course, which still is widely regarded as a pathway to A level studies and beyond in Science. 

GCSE examinations are now graded from 9-1, rather than A*-G.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment

Throughout each key stage students experience structured lessons based on the Common Lesson Format. This research-based method, developed by Barak Rosenshine (Professor of Education, Boston), ensures students have a full and wide-ranging approach to support their learning in the classroom. All staff follow the Common Lesson Format so that students benefit from a consistent approach to teaching and learning.

Assessment, curriculum and qualifications

GCSE exams will be graded from 9-1, rather than A*-G as has been the case previously.

Please note that many new GCSE qualifications are based 100% on exam performance and do not have a coursework or controlled assessment component.

The educational landscape has changed quite dramatically over the last five years and will continue to do so. At St. Julie’s we want to ensure that all pupils are fully prepared for these changes.

What are the new GCSEs like?

Since September 2015, new GCSEs have been taught in English Language, English Literature and Mathematics. Since September 2016, new GCSEs have been taught in the following subjects:

Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, History, Spanish, French, Religious Studies, Design and Technology, Art and Design, Drama, Dance, Music Physical Education and Computer Science

These new GCSEs are more demanding and require higher levels of literacy and numeracy to access the top grades.

Other changes include:

What does a Grade 8 or Grade 5 look like?

GCSE English Language

Grade 8 - Critical reading and comprehension - in relation to a range of texts, to achieve grade 8, candidates will be able to:

Writing - to achieve grade 8, candidates will be able to:

Grade 5 - Critical reading and comprehension - in relation to a range of texts, to achieve grade 5, candidates will be able to:

Writing - to achieve grade 5, candidates will be able to:

Mathematics - Grade 8 - to achieve grade 8, candidates will be able to:

Grade 5 - to achieve grade 5, candidates will be able to:

Science - Grade 8 - To achieve grade 8 candidates will be able to:

Grade 5 - To achieve grade 5 candidates will be able to:

For grade descriptors of other qualifications, please visit the Ofqual website for guidance:

Impact: Progression Routes and Destinations

At St. Julie’s Catholic High School, students continue to excel once they complete their studies. For the past five years we have consistently achieved a NEET figure of 0% (significantly above the national average). This means that 100% of students remain in Education, Employment and/or Training for at least two consecutive terms once they have completed their studies at St. Julie’s Catholic High School.

Students are able to access a range of providers such as: Higher Education (including Russell Group universities); Further Education; high quality apprenticeships and further employment and/or training. 96% of students receive an offer for a place at a university of their choice and we remain above the national average for acceptance offers. For further information regarding destinations, careers and success rates in Sixth Form, please go to

The latest school results can be accessed via the link below:

Any questions or queries?

If you require any further information, advice or guidance please contact:

School contact number: 0151 428 6421

Further information regarding the school curriculum and qualifications can be accessed via our school website

Assessment, curriculum and qualifications

The reformed GCSEs will remain universal qualifications, with a balance of more challenging subject content and more rigorous assessment structures, enabling pupils achieving higher grades to progress onto A Levels. The Russell Group and other leading universities will have a greater role in the design of new A Levels.

All students now follow a numerical grading system (9-1). Year 7 and 8 students mainly focus on skill and knowledge development. Targets are based against their end of year progress and not their end of key stage 4 target. The focus remains on whether students are making age-related progress against the KS3 National Curriculum. Year 9, 10 and 11 students receive end of Key Stage 4 flightpath targets based against their KS2 prior attainment. 

Please see below the curriculum content and overview for each curriculum area.

Key Stage 5 

All students from Year 11 who apply to St Julies may be offered a place in Sixth Form for either Level 2 or Level 3 courses. It is essential that each student is coursed correctly in line with their prior attainment in relation to their GCSE grades and vocational or academic pathways they may be considering Post-16 and Post-18. Clear pathways from Key Stage 4 are implemented to ensure smooth progression between Key Stages and beyond. The curriculum offer within Sixth Form is predominantly academically focused however the vocational offer has been increased in order to meet the needs of students and the regional job market. All students who do not achieve a grade 4 or above in English and Mathematics will continue to attend compulsory lessons each week Post-16. This is a statutory requirement.

Please note that the majority of A Level courses have now moved to linear assessment (i.e. no marks accrued in Year 12 A/S examinations can be carried forward to Year 13). In these subjects, students will be taught on the basis that they will follow the course for two years. If they choose to drop the course after one year and sit A/S Level examinations, they must understand that teachers will not have explicitly prepared students for A/S Level content or assessment criteria, both of which now differ from full A Level.

Year 12

AS History

Applied Business Studies

AS Art and Design

AS Chemistry

AS Spanish

AS English Literature

AS Biology

AS Drama

BTEC Music

BTEC Graphics

AS Dance

AS English Lang/Lit

AS Sociology

AS Physics

AS Health and Social Care

AS Travel and Tourism

AS Mathematics

AS Psychology

AS Religious Studies

Applied ICT


AS Geography

BTEC Science


 Year 13

A2 Chemistry

A2 Drama

A2 English Language

A2 Art and Design

A2 Geography

A2 English Lang/Lit

A2 Spanish

A2 Biology

A2 English Literature

A2 Mathematics

A2 Sociology

A2 Dance

A2 Applied ICT

A2 Religious Studies

A2 Travel and Tourism

A2 Psychology

BTEC Music

BTEC Science

A2 History

A2 Applied Business Studies


A2 Health and Social Care

BTEC Graphics

 Applied ICT