St James’ Catholic High School provides a broad and balanced curriculum that challenges every student regardless of ability, starting point or background.
Please click the following links to learn more about the curriculum at St James’:
We aim for excellence throughout our curriculum in order to shape well rounded global Catholic citizens who achieve their full potential.
Directors of Faculties are subject specialists and lead on the content, specifications and delivery of the curriculum within each faculty area. The Directors of Faculty play a crucial role in the quality assurance of these curricula; supported and challenged by the Senior Leadership Team and Governors. Central to the St James’ Curriculum Strategy is a shared aspiration for excellence. This drive is central to our mission. Our Directors of Faculty ensure a common approach to curriculum design across the school; this means students find learning interesting, challenging and enjoyable through all their subjects, in both Key Stages
We support, encourage, guide and inspire our students and their families through the different transition points between Key Stage 2 to 3, Key Stage 3 to 4 as well as Key Stage 4 to 5. We endeavour to ensure our students are happy, engaged and make continuous progress.
As part of our St James’ family we invest heavily in Key Stage 3. Key stage 3 lasts 3 years as it is one of our core beliefs that students have the right to experience a wide range of different subjects across an extended period of time.
Our students at Key Stage 3 study a core of English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) and Physical Education. In order to ensure our students, receive a well-balanced curriculum all students also study Creative Arts; Art, Music and Drama, Humanities; Geography and History, Creative Technology; including, Food Preparation and Nutrition, Wood Work, Textiles and computing as well as a Modern Foreign Language. Our school believes that students should receive a solid foundation across a range of subjects before specialising at Key Stage 4 in Year 10. Students who require additional support in Mathematics or English may have a bespoke timetable enabling them to make rapid and accelerated progress.
Most students throughout Key Stage 4, study an academically rigorous curriculum across a range of subjects. This curriculum is informed by the choices and ambitions of the young people and their parents; we believe this parent/school partnership enhances our value of Family. As a Catholic school, with our value of Faith, every student studies Religious Education to GCSE. This allows our students to gain a greater understanding of their faith as well as developing their understanding of different religions and how they can have shared beliefs, tolerance and a mutual respect. This second value of Faith underpins our ethos within our school community. Our school has a much larger cohort of students that study single Sciences compared with other schools nationally. Our students excel in the Arts, Humanities and in Creative Technology; the results that students achieve, and the work they produce are truly outstanding.
Central to our St James’ family is our staff. They are our most valuable resource. As an outward facing school, we encourage our staff to network with other schools in Stockport and beyond through subject networks. We have a commitment to continued professional development centred around improving subject knowledge; our staff receive an additional non-teaching period each week where they are able to work together as a Faculty to develop their pedagogy and subject knowledge ensuring our pupils receive quality first teaching from subject experts in their field.
Academic success is only one part of our curriculum. Woven throughout it is our outstanding pastoral support. Students are carefully organised into form groups taking on the advice and guidance of our Primary colleagues who know our students so well. In order to ensure stability our students remain within these form groups for five years with the same form tutor and Head of Year. The form tutors and Heads of Year work to develop our students, through the academic and pastoral curricula, into well rounded global Catholic citizens who are proud to profess their faith.