Academic

 

In the first three years at St Catherine’s all girls follow a general academic programme that is designed to give each girl a broad curriculum in advance of her GCSE options in U4.  GCSE Options are taken in the Spring Term of the U4.  In the middle of the U5 year girls choose their AS options.

The curriculum at St Catherine’s may be divided into specific areas:

  • Careers –A comprehensive package of Careers advice and guidance is available to the girls both within the curriculum and also outside normal lessons.  The formal careers programme begins in U4 with a weekly lecture that aims to inform and inspire girls with regard to their career potential.  U4 girls are supported in their GCSE option choices through a combination of talks and personal discussions with Heads of academic departments and Tutors.  In the 5th form girls attend Careers lessons and complete the Morrisby profile.  This is designed to assist them in making A level choices based on their academic ability, natural aptitudes and career interests.  During the Sixth form the focus shifts to consider university applications and higher education courses together with careers implications.
     

    In addition to the curriculum time girls also benefit from a wide range of external speakers, career focused events, and the biennial careers convention at St. Catherine’s which allows girls to speak to practitioners representing a wide range of professions.

  • Creative Arts - There are 6 Creative Arts subjects: Art, DT, Drama, Food & Nutrition, Music, Textiles.  These subjects are taught on a rotation basis in the first three years.  There are three 10 week rotations, with four of the creative arts subjects taught in each rotation. Each girl will have two rotations of each of the six creative arts subjects in years U3 to U4 inclusive.  All creative arts subjects are available as single GCSE, AS and A2 options.

  • English - All girls study English throughout their first five years at St Catherine’s.  At IGCSE level two separate examinations are takn in English Language and English Literature.  In the Sixth form English is available at AS and A2 level.
  • Grey Matters - During the U3 a short course is given entitled Grey matters. This course looks at learning styles, how the brain works and underpins all work carried out throughout the curriculum.
  • Humanities - All girls study History, Geography and Religious Studies (RS) in the first three years at St Catherine’s.  RS is a GCSE option, History and Geography are IGCSE options.  Girls are required to choose either the short course RS (1 year) or the full course RS (2 years) as part of their GCSE options.
  • Information Technology (IT) - All girls study IT throughout their time at St.Catherine’s. The course is designed to equip the girls for the world of work as well as further studies after they leave us.
  • Languages - In U3 all girls will study French, German and Spanish, opting for two of these languages at the end of the U3 year to carry forward for the next 2 years of study.  In addition all girls study Latin in the first three years and there is a short taster session in the U4 of Greek. All these languages are available as GCSE, As and A2 options and each girl is required to select at least one modern foreign language at IGCSE level taken from French, German and Spanish. In the Sixth Form Italian GCSE,AS and A2 are available.
  • PE - All girls take part in a PE lesson throughout their time at St Catherine’s. In addition the curriculum option of GCSE,AS and A2 PE exists for those who wish to pursue PE as an examined subject.
  • Life Matters (formerly PSHE) - A comprehensive curriculum of personal, social and health education is taught by experienced teachers throughout the first 5 years at St Catherine’s. These lessons embrace a very wide range of issues and are designed to help promote an awareness and understanding of social, moral, cultural and ethical dimensions.
  • Sciences and Maths - All girls study Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics throughout their first five years at St Catherine’s.  Girls are placed in science divisions (sets) from the L4 onwards and in Maths divisions from the midpoint of the U3 onwards.  Movements between the divisions is possible and this normally happens at the end of an academic year. Maths and the separate sciences are available at IGCSE, AS and A2 level. The option exists at IGCSE level for either double award or triple award science.
  • Thinking Skills - St Catherine’s is accredited as a De Bono thinking school .  Thinking Skills, incorporating the six De Bono thinking hats and Cognitive Research Trust (CoRT) skills underpin all we do in the curriculum. Girls are encouraged at all stages to think and learn independently, think ‘out of the box’ and to task risks. Getting the ‘wrong’ answer is regarded as a positive step forwards and helps to raise the bar still higher!

Public Examinations - IGCSE or GCSE

The breakdown of GCSE and IGCSE subjects is as follows:

  • IGCSE: Biology, Chemistry, English Language, English Literature, French, German,  History, Maths, Physics, Spanish
  • GCSE:  Art, DT, Drama, Food & Nutrition, Geography, Greek, Information Technology, Latin, Music, PE, Religious Studies, Textiles.
  • AS and A2: Girls opt for four (or rarely five) AS subjects and have complete flexibility in their choice of nearly 30 subjects. New subjects include Business Studies, Classics, Economics, Government and Politics, and History of Art. All girls take general Studies in the L6 year.
 

The flexibility to continue with four (or five) subjects to A2 level or to drop one AS subject and pick up another is highly valued by the girls. Unlike other qualifications (where there is less flexibility) the girls can decide whether they wish to pursue a single strand in their curriculum (eg all languages,  three sciences, all  arts ) or whether they wish to mix curriculum areas (eg 2 science, 1 language and 1 humanity).

YEARS U3 - U4 (7 - 9 Core Curriculum )
Art
Biology
Careers
Chemistry
Design Technology (DT)
Drama
English
French
Geography
German
History
Home Economics (HE)

Information & Communication Technology (ICT)
Latin
Mathematics
Music
Personal, Social & Health Education (PSHE)
Physical Education (PE)
Physics
Religious Studies (RS)
Spanish
Textiles
Thinking Skills

Senior School (GCSE/KS4)

GCSE - Core Subjects
Double Award Science (IGCSE)
English (IGCSE)
Mathematics (IGCSE)
One Modern Foreign Language (French, German, Spanish) (IGCSE)

Non-Examined Subjects
PE
PSHE

HALF-GCSE COURSES 1 YEAR (year 10 l5)
ICT
RS

OPTIONS
Art
Biology (IGCSE)
Chemistry (IGCSE)
DT
Drama
French (IGCSE)
Geography
German (IGCSE)
Greek
History (IGCSE)
HE
Latin
Music
PE
Physics (IGCSE)
RS
Spanish (IGCSE)
Textiles

Sixth Form (AS/A2)

Biology
Business Studies
Chemistry
Classical Civilisation
DT
Economics
English
Food Technology
French
Further Mathematics
General Studies
Geography
German
Government and Politics
History

Art & Design
History of Art
Latin
Mathematics
Music
PE
Photography
Physics
Psychology
RS
Spanish
Theatre Studies
Textiles

GCSE Italian
Key Skills: Communication & ICT

NON-EXAMINED SUBJECTS
Careers
PE
Life Matters