The SFA curriculum and learning experience is unique and one to be proud of. Every subject curriculum is expertly sequenced from Year 7 to Year 13 so that all learning is coherent and features at the right place and time so students can interlink and interleave their learning. Nothing happens in our curriculum offer by chance because the subject experts have designed a curriculum exclusively for our school and students.
The wider curriculum is also purposefully designed. Careers advice and aspirational conversations starts early in the journey at St Francis. Extra-curricular activities are structured to give all students an opportunity to explore their gifts and talents. Residential and day trips are planned to the right locations at the right time of the year so that students can enjoy the broadest learning experience.
Lessons and learning are equally structured so that time is not lost and students are guided through their learning with clear phases to each lesson. This consistency brings a security to all and is knowledge-rich so that the expert teachers and support staff lead students who then consolidate and apply learning.
Staff are trusted to be the experts in their subject area and are research led so that they know the very best teaching techniques.
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 at SFA is the study experience in Years 7, 8 and 9. Our curriculum commitment is that we are broad, Catholic, inclusive and knowledge-rich. We are delighted to offer a wonderfully diverse curriculum including Physical Education, Music, Art, Design Technology, Fashion and Textiles, Graphics and Engineering as well as Food Technology and Languages. These are all in addition to our core subjects of Religious Education, English, Maths and Science.
Our curriculum also includes Values Education which is the study of social, cultural and ethical topics pertinent to each year groups so that students are built up to understand and participate in the world around them.
The wider curriculum and Key Stage 3 experience includes residential trips to activity centres, religious retreats as part of the archdiocese of Birmingham, curriculum visits linked to Humanities and trips abroad. Students are encouraged to take part in our rich offer of extra curricular experiences also, ranging from being ‘buddies’ to younger year groups, joining the student council or attending one of the many clubs that are offered during the school day and after school.
Key Stage 4
Key Stage 4 is an exciting transition but the cornerstones and focus of our curriculum does not change. The learning diet is broadly the same as at Key Stage 3, only now there is a greater external influence in terms of exam focus.
A key principle at SFA is that we are not preparing students for exams. We offer a broad and balanced, knowledge rich curriculum, that as a by product, will be excellent exam results.
Students take their Options in Year 9 and tailor their studies to disciplines in which they strive to be experts. The exciting curriculum offer includes Media Studies, Business Studies, Health and Social Care, and Triple Science and includes Vocational courses as well as GCSE pathways.
The wider curriculum experience grows even further in Key Stage 4 with field trips, course work and projects which stretch far beyond the classroom so that students always have an eye on Key Stage 5.