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 Religious Education curriculum is exemplary because:

  • It has been designed to build on the learning in Primary School.
  • The whole Curriculum has high expectations of all students, stretching and challenging at all stages and allowing for students to excel, developing into people who can objectively look at evidence and reach justified conclusions using subject specific terminology.
  • The department is staffed by highly qualified subject specialists who are committed and passionate about sharing their subject knowledge and developing students’ love of RE.
  • It links to a variety of other subjects across the Curriculum allowing students to draw links between their subjects and seeing Religious Education as a living subject and one relevant for humanity today.
  • Each lesson has adapted learning to suit students of all abilities and allows for all students to achieve their very best.
  • Our curriculum is taught using modern methods and our resources are kept up to date using modern examples.
  • Our curriculum provides stretch and challenge for all and students all access the same curriculum across the key stages with differentiation in place to ensure all students achieve highly.

The Religious Education curriculum is ambitious, broad and balanced:

  • Students of all backgrounds and abilities achieve highly in RE.
  • We aim to ensure students become religiously literate young people who are confident in sharing their opinions with examples and scholars to support these views
  • All teachers have high expectations of students at all times of the year
  • We cover a breadth of a religions, key ideas in Philosophy and approaches to making ethical decisions.
  • A love of reading is shared with students through our lessons and we use a range of styles to explore key issues.
  • Each Year has a spiral curriculum with the different units increasing knowledge and skills. Each Year builds on the previous one, using the same knowledge and skills but in increasingly challenging ways.
  • Lessons have open discussions and students like to share their faith and what it means to them.
  • All Key stages flow into one another and build on learning at all stages. We have chosen exciting but challenging aspects of RE for students to learn and ones that can be put into practice every day.
  • Our curriculum is based on the Curriculum Directory as set out by the Bishops of England and Wales.

The Religious Education curriculum has effective scaffolding to support our SEND students/other students with additional needs:

  • Each lesson is planned with different materials to be used with students of various abilities.
  • Each KS3 assessment has been adapted for SEND students and those with additional needs.
  • Revision materials are differentiated to support students achieve their very best.
  • Links with LSA’s are well established resulting in LSA’s being able to enhance a student’s learning on a deeper level.
  • SEND students achieve highly in their RE GCSE year on year.
  • We ensure that PP/SEND students have access to all the materials needed to succeed in their lessons and not have money as a barrier to progress in school. SEND/ PP students are highlighted on seating plans so we can track their progress at all stages.

The Religious Education curriculum is worthy of sharing more widely with other schools because:

  • Our curriculum is well planned, well established and students enjoy their learning a great deal.
  • Our use of booklets has been shared with other schools and this method has been adopted by them as they have seen how the rigour increases standards.
  • RE at A Level is one of the largest cohorts in the school.
  • Our GCSE results are amongst the highest in the Diocese.
  • At our last Diocesan Inspection, the RE Department was graded outstanding.