Curriculum has been defined as “(the curriculum) defines the purpose of a school and the journey it wants its pupils to take” (Knowledge and the Future School) this definition encapsulates our beliefs in what we want for the students of Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School. Through our curriculum aims (outlined below) it is evident that we are determined to ensure that all students are empowered to be successful through the education they receive and prepared for life outside of the classroom.

Curriculum Aims:

  • To empower all students to achieve to the best of their ability to enable them to be successful in life
  • To enable pupils to seek and find the truth about the world
  • To promote the intellectual development of all pupils

Our curriculum is best defined as ‘Knowledge-Engaged’ whereby the acquisition and understanding of knowledge is the fundamental aspect of our curriculum design and enables the application of the key skills. The core principles of our knowledge-engaged curriculum are stated below:

  • Knowledge is the entitlement for all
  • There is no ‘better’ knowledge or ‘universal’ knowledge that should be studied and learnt in each subject
  • Knowledge is fallible (not given) and open to question
  • We need knowledge to live in a complex world but we cannot live by knowledge
  • Knowledge and skills are domain specific
  • The knowledge that we want our pupils to have access to is our starting point, not the learner nor the context they face
  • Powerful knowledge can enhance and change students’ understanding of the world around them and broaden their horizons
  • The Matthew Effect – new knowledge sticks to old knowledge – “the rich get richer”… We need to ensure that our students acquire the knowledge they need to challenge this belief.

It is important to note that research has been utilised as a tool for guiding our curriculum work and is a key element in building our professional learning community. It is an expectation of staff to engage with research to ensure that they are at the forefront of research and findings within their curriculum areas.

“One who knows more, loves more” St. Catherine of Sienna

The school day consists of 6 lessons of 50 minutes and a 20-minute Formation session with their form tutor. Per week during Formation pupils will have an assembly as a year group, complete self-quizzing to revise and review the knowledge that they have been learning in lessons and have a PSHE lesson which offers a broad curriculum and covers diverse topics such as e-safety, recognising positive relationships, opportunities to interact with different news topics to raise understanding of world in which we live.

In addition to this Year 7, 8 & 9 pupils have a 30-minute period of reading every day, either of Guided reading with their reading tutor or independent reading. Year 10 & 11 pupils have a 30-minute period of additional Maths or Science study and revision to help pupils prepare for their GCSE examinations.

On Friday afternoons the whole school has an extended period of Transformation. Pupils get to opt for a range of different activities from one of the following categories - Learning New Skills, School Service or Community service. There are over 30 different activities on offer from Water Polo, Chess, Baking for Beginners, Duke of Edinburgh Award, Craft for All, Sports Leaders Award, Photography Beyond the Selfie, Yoga, Debate mate, Intergenerational Inspiration, Pantomime. All the activities are designed to help our pupils develop their character, broaden their experiences and help them to discover their interests and God given talents.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

• At Cardinal Wiseman we offer a traditional curriculum which includes Maths (Ma), English (En), Science (Sc), Physical Education (PE), the Humanities subjects of History (Hi) and Geography (Ge), Computer Science (Co), Religious Education (RE), the Performing Arts subjects (Art – Ar, Music – Mu, Drama – Dr), a Design and Technology subject (Food – Fd) and a language (Spanish – Sp).

• Pupils in Year 9 choose at the end of Year 8 to study 2 Performing Arts or Technology subjects during Year 9. All year 9 pupils study Maths (MA) English (En) Religious Education (RE), Science (Sc), both History (Hi) and Geography (Ge), Computing (Co) and Spanish (Sp). Additionally, they have two lessons of core PE (PE). At the end of Year 9 pupils will choose their options – from their chosen performing arts subjects, Sports subjects and a Humanity subject.

• The Performing Arts and Design and Technology subjects are also taught on rotation.

• The pupils are mainly taught in their house groups but some classes are set according to ability for subjects such as English and Maths. Within both year groups we have a Higher Attaining Pupil (HAP) group, where teachers seek to stretch and challenge the higher attaining and more able pupils.

Year 7 Curriculum Model

Year 8 Curriculum Model

KS4 Curriculum

• At Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School, Key Stage 4 (KS4) covers Year 9, 10 & 11 – consequently students make their option choices at the end of Year 8-9. All GCSE pupils study Maths (MA) English (En) Religious Education (RE), Science (Sc), History (Hi) or Geography (Ge) and their options subjects. Additionally, they have two lessons of core PE (PE).

• All pupils sit their English Literature GCSE at the end of Year 10 and English Language GCSE at the end of Year 11.

Year 9 Curriculum Model

Year 10 Curriculum Model

Year 11 Curriculum Model

For further information on our curriculum please see the Curriculum section of the website

Exam Board Information

Art: Art, Craft and Design; OC
English Language – AQA
English Literature – AQA
Geograpahy B – AQA
History – AQA
Maths – Edexcel
Religious Studies (Route B – Catholic Christianity – Eduqas
Combined Science: Synergy – AQA
Spanish – Edexcel
Polish & Italian – AQA
Sport & Leisure
Digital Information Technology
Level 1/2 Hospitality and Catering