St. Mary's College
St Mary’s College, our senior school, is particularly proud of its outstanding academic success, which is based on a broad curriculum geared to maximising the potential of each individual pupil. The emphasis is on establishing a confident and self-motivating attitude to learning. At the same time, students are taught study skills, whilst daily homework complements the process of learning. The aim is to develop high levels of knowledge, understanding and essential study skills in preparation for GCSE.
There is a Credit System in Years 7 - 9 which encourages students to achieve excellence in academic spheres as well as in pastoral and sporting contexts.
All students within Key Stage 3 study the National Curriculum subjects of:
English, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Geography,History, Music, French, Art, Design & Technology and PE, with the addition of Religious Studies. ICT is formally taught in Years 7-8, with the subject becoming cross-curricular from Year 9 to Year 11.
The College curriculum at Key stage 4 ( years 10-11) consists of a traditional set of compulsory subjects. This provides all our students with a common and broad experience of academic studies. It is our expectation that students will normally progress to A/S Level studies.
GCSE examination courses in English, Mathematics, Religious Studies and the Sciences begin in Year 9, since most students take these subjects (Unit 1 of the Sciences) one year early in Year 10.
Compulsory GCSE subjects:
Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, English Language, English Literature, Statistics, French, History, Geography, Religous Education.
Optional Subjects (one only):
Art, Music, German, Classics, PE
Enrichment Subjects (Year 11 only):
(students may select one only on the basis of success with early entry subjects)
A/S Maths, A/S Philosophy and Ethics, GCSE Film Studies, Additional GCSE PE, Cert. Latin
Optional GCSE subjects (extra-curricular):
Games and Physical Education lessons are provided for all students at the College and are compulsory. In addition Swimming lessons form part of the year 7 curriculum.
Progress reports are generated each half term to help evaluate the progress of students towards their target grades. This is done through a simple and easily understood 'traffic light' system. This information is shared with parents, along with two full reports each year (Christmas, Summer) that provide more detailed information. Although parents evenings provide an opportunity to discuss formally the academic work of their child, we encourage an open dialogue that makes sure that parents are aware of any issues affecting the 'learning journey' of their child. This is achieved through dedicated Key Stage Managers, direct email to teachers and an 'open-door' approach to the Senior Leadership Team.
Revision classes, targetted learning support and mentoring systems provide additional quality time with students to make sure they feel confident and able to make progress. The small class sizes and individual attention given to our students help to build resilience and a desire to achieve the best they can.
Over the last four years, an average of 95% of the students gained higher-grade passes at GCSE in 5 or more subjects including Maths and English.