As a Catholic school, we strongly value the development of the whole child. We know that good examination results are important for future success. However, we strive to provide a fully rounded education where our children become great citizens who can function effectively in life in modern Britain. With that in mind, the Wiseman Virtues are at the heart of our school. We reflect upon and use these 16 virtues across the school in many ways such as our merit system, rewards events, assemblies, prayer etc.

Alongside the curriculum of lessons such as Maths, English and Science, we also provide a broad range of lessons and activities throughout the year which are essential in the wider personal development of students.

PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education – this is taught every week during Formation time.  PSHE education gives pupils the knowledge, skills, and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe and to prepare them for life and work in modern Britain.

Only 1.6% of pupils disagreed or strongly disagreed with the following statement: I value the importance of PSHE (Personal, Social, Heath and Economic) lessons - March 2020

At Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School we cover a wide range of themes in-line with the PSHE Association under the broad headings of Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World.

Here is a copy of the proposed PSHE Long Term Plan for 2020/21. Please note that the plan may be altered due to the need to cover a specific topic that is relevant at the time either nationally, within Birmingham or as a school.

PSHE sessions are designed to provide a safe space for pupils to share their thoughts as well as listen to the opinions of others.

In the News – once a week, every child is taught about a current news story to learn more about the world we live in. The range of news stories ensure that pupils develop their understanding of fundamental British Values as well as equipping them to be responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to society. In the News also develops an appreciation of diversity.

Pupils are given time to express their thoughts and opinions as well as having time to listen to one another.

Only 2.5% of pupils disagreed or strongly disagreed that PSHE and ‘In the News’ sessions allow me to listen to and respect other people's opinions - March 2020

Assemblies provide an opportunity for students to gather as a year group and hear or deliver important messages which link to PSHE, topical issues, collective worship and the Wiseman Virtues. Each half term focuses on two different virtues which those delivering assemblies will link to their message. Importantly, in a Catholic school, it allows students the opportunity to pray together as a community. Assemblies are led by a range of staff, students and visitors; but are most commonly led by our Heads of Year, Senior Leadership Team and our Lay and Student Chaplaincy Teams.

Careers – we offer a huge range of careers based opportunities including:

  • Work Experience in Year 10
  • Trips to universities and colleges
  • One-to-one careers guidance with a trained careers advisor
  • Careers lessons during PSHE
  • Careers Fair

For further information about Careers, please click here.

RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) is integral to the physical, spiritual, moral and intellectual development of our pupils. At Cardinal Wiseman, this is mapped across all five year groups and taught through RE, Science and predominantly PSHE lessons. Our RSE curriculum meets the requirements of both the Catholic Education Service and the Department for Education and aims to nurture our students, ultimately encouraging them to respect both themselves and others.

Rewards – We reward and praise our pupils for their personal achievements in many ways including merits, end of term awards assemblies and the end of year Awards Ceremony at The Holte Suite (AVFC).  Every term students celebrate as a year group with their Head of Year.  Throughout the Pastoral Awards Ceremony students will be rewarded for achieving the Wiseman Virtues, attendance, merits and a special Head of Year award. Students enjoy this time celebrating each other's achievements throughout the term.

The end of year Awards Ceremony at The Holte Suite (AVFC) is our main awards celebration.  Students are nominated by subject staff and are invited with their families to celebrate this wonderful evening.  Last year over 150 awards were handed out with a focus on academic progress and the Wiseman Virtues.

Transformation Curriculum – this initiative which started in Sept 2019 allows every child to experience a range of activities beyond the normal curriculum.  Some activities on offer are about providing new opportunities for students to discover their talents, some are about deepening and enriching their lives whilst other activities lead to qualifications.

92% of pupils believe that the Transformation Curriculum is an important part of their education - March 2020

Over 30 activities are on offer each term and have included Water Polo, Maths Mastery (working with the most able Year 6 Maths student), Chess, Baking for Beginners, Duke of Edinburgh Award, Craft for All, Sports Leaders Award, British Sign Language, Helping Primary School Children to Read, Photography - Beyond the Selfie, Yoga, Debatemate, Intergenerational Inspiration (working with senior citizens at Manor House and Digging Deep (Gardening) to name a just a few.

We do this to:

  • Develop pupils’ character - including their confidence, independence and resilience.
  • Broaden our pupils’ horizons with new opportunities and enriching experiences.
  • To enable pupils to develop and discover their interests and God given talents.
  • Prepare pupils to be active citizens who contribute positively to society.
  • Prepare them for their adult lives.
  • Strengthen pupils’ sense of belonging within our school community.
  • Develop social skills - working alongside pupils from other year groups and within the local community.

58.4% of all pupils had either completed a school or community service activity in the first two terms of the Transformation Curriculum.

The Transformation Curriculum section on the website has some short videos of different pupils talking about their Transformation activities. Check them out at:

Spiritual Development

The spiritual development of our pupils is at the heart of all that we do as a Catholic school. Our Mission statement, “All for Christ” drives this; we are a community built on the teachings and person of Jesus Christ where everyone aspires to the Wiseman Virtues so that our learning and living is “all for Christ”. Pupils, regardless of their particular religious faith, are encouraged to foster their relationship with God and to develop their spiritual life with a genuine spirit of freedom and commitment. This enables them to be enriched as human beings and to be excellent persons in every sense of the word.

93% of our pupils feel proud to attend a Catholic School

95% of our pupils feel valued as an individual

92% of our pupils appreciate opportunities we provide for collective worship

Examples of our work to promote our pupils’ spiritual development include:

  • Weekly assemblies which are explicitly linked to our Wiseman virtues.
  • Termly whole-school mass, where we come together as a whole-school community to celebrate our faith
  • Termly liturgies, led by the chaplaincy team, which allow time for our pupils to individually consider how they can be the person that God made them to be. This also gives pupils the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
  • The opportunity to be part of our student chaplaincy team, who devise, prepare and evaluate a range of activities for all pupils.
  • Annual ‘Vocations Day’ where our students are encouraged to consider how they can best use their God-given talents to serve others.
  • Daily prayer, where students use the day’s scripture and take time to reflect upon how it is applicable to them, our community and our world.
  • Annual retreats, offered to all year groups, where pupils take time away to specifically focus on growing in their faith.
  • Termly celebration assemblies which celebrate our pupils’ individual and collective talents.
  • A programme of fundraising events, running across the year, where our students support those in need.