At St Mary’s Catholic School we pride ourselves on providing an exemplary curriculum for all students, including our students with special educational needs.  Our Year 7 to Year 13 curriculum is ambitious, broad and balanced, allowing all students to know more and remember more in lessons, and to achieve exceptional progress.  Our curriculum is planned to stretch and challenge all learners, with highly effective scaffolding in place to ensure our students with SEND and other additional needs also achieve highly.  Our curriculum meets and exceeds all national curriculum requirements.  Due to the numerous strengths and sustained success and impact of our curriculum year on year, St Mary’s supports many other schools within the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust and more widely to share this exemplary practice.

The Health and Social Care curriculum is exemplary because:

  • We aim to inspire students to be part of the health and social care workforce of the future by developing caring and compassionate individuals, who develop a passion and desire to work within this expanding industry. The health and social care sector employs the equivalent to 1 in every 10 people in the UK – demonstrating its importance for all students. We have developed the right components and composites to give students holistic knowledge of the sector.
  • Content and knowledge is linked closely to recent news, by reading case reviews and sector updates.
  • In KS5, the course offers students to gain work experience and hands on experience and invaluable knowledge in the health and social care sector, which is then applied to classroom assignments.  
  • Cultural capital and English values are promoted throughout the curriculum focusing on how we empower individuals whilst promoting anti discriminatory practice.

The Health and Social Care curriculum is ambitious, broad and balanced:

  • Our students are introduced to new technical vocabulary that is specific to the sector, new ways of formative assessment such as role-play, and the opportunity to develop skills to work within the sector. Through reflective practice of their own actions and performance, we intend to instil values in students that will encourage them to become well-rounded individuals in society with the confidence to achieve career aspirations and to create, thoughtful and caring individuals who will be inspired to have a career in the NHS.
  • The students experience working to deadlines; working from a prescribed brief; presenting information effectively in written reports; and accurately sourcing their information using Harvard style reference technique. Complimenting other subjects and the wider school, students experience and study a vast range of Health and Social Care topic areas, requiring them to demonstrate maturity and respect for others. Students gain key competencies in the areas of research, essay writing and exam technique, which support them in further study and into their professional lives.

The Health and Social Care curriculum has effective scaffolding to support our SEND students/other students with additional needs:

  • Grouping students according to their needs and inviting to bespoke revision sessions after school.
  • Providing templates and sentence starters to help students to structure their assignment work or exam responses. 
  • Providing graphic organisers and revision mats with visual cues to support their understanding. 
  • Planning small student groupings so they can work effectively with others.
  • Seating plans to reflect the students’ needs, to enhance support and the learning experience.
  • Encouraging the use of key words in classroom discussions and in student’s written responses.
  • Regular meetings with Learning Support Assistants prior to the lesson to discuss key concepts and the work to be completed.
  • In class teaching and resources are shared on Teams and linked to each topic area.
  • Providing a quiet work area with minimal distraction and one to one support with a health and social care teacher, after school and lunchtimes, to help students with assignment work.

The Health and Social Care curriculum is worthy of sharing more widely with other schools because:

  • We believe that students deserve a broad and ambitious health and social care curriculum in KS5 that will develop their knowledge and understanding, by applying their learning skills in a work-related context. This is achieved through analysis of real life case studies and attending a health and social care/early year placements.
  • Our students explore areas that influence how we all develop throughout our life span, and in turn raise expectations of their own lives and how we can live in a successful and healthy way. Through their study of health and social care, they will become resilient, independent learners; developing empathy, supporting others and using their own initiative to solve problems and plan activities.
  • It results in excellent student uptake of the subject at both GCSE and Advanced Level, and superb results at both levels.
  • Students have excellent knowledge alongside invaluable experience, which allows them to have strong personal statements and UCAS applications helping them achieve places on competitive H&SC and early year degrees.