For queries regarding our curriculum please contact:
Miss C Farrelly, Deputy Headteacher

Curriculum Vision

The mission statement of our school states that;
‘With Christ at the heart of our community, we believe in the worth and dignity of each individual. Our aim is to nurture pupils’ gifts and talents by providing a caring, challenging and stimulating environment in which effective teaching and learning takes place’.

With this as our core principle we give all of our pupils every opportunity to achieve the highest possible standards in all that they do and, as such, we offer a broad and balanced curriculum which aims to promote the school’s Christian values through the word of God and develop the whole child, both academically and to provide them with the skills that prepare them for the next stage in their education.  The school, both through its taught curriculum and extra-curricular provision, aims to develop pupils’ key attributes such as self-belief, ambition, persistence, resilience and a can-do attitude towards the challenges that pupils experience at school.  British and moral values, rooted in the Catholic faith, are equally promoted and encourage a sense of empathy, acceptance and tolerance of others.  Such principles aim to serve pupils in a way that will give them the best chances for success in the next stage of their education and then beyond, promoting their development as a whole-person ready and able to make a positive contribution to society.
The curriculum offer to our pupils provides a range of courses appropriate to individual needs of learners, supported by an extensive extra-curricular provision.  It ensures that pupils acquire knowledge, understanding and skills in all aspects of their education including linguistic, mathematical, technical, human and social, physical and artistic learning.  The curriculum aims to bring about an enjoyment of learning and promote a sense of achievement.  It also contributes to pupils’ behaviour and welfare; including their physical, mental and personal wellbeing, safety, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Curriculum Intent

Religious Education

The nature, purpose and scope of Religious Education reflects the Religious Education Curriculum Directory for all Catholic Schools. The intent is to increase the knowledge and understanding of the Christian message for all pupils in Catholic schools. Religious Education at Mount Carmel is very much the “core of the core curriculum.”  Religious Education is taught in Years 7 – 11 and lesson time makes up 10% of the overall curriculum in all year groups. There is also an extensive Chaplaincy Programme in place that celebrates the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church and other world religions, in particular, Islam, due to the high percentage of Muslim pupils on the school roll.  Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) is also delivered in RE, PSHCE, science and drama lessons at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 and is in line with the Catholic Schools Directory of England and Wales. We are proud that we have had no parental requests for the removal of their children from the whole or part of sex and relationship lessons. 

Curriculum Intent

KS3 Curriculum 2023-24

In Years 7, 8 and 9, all pupils follow the full national curriculum, which is delivered through thoughtful and coherent selection and sequencing, building over a 3-year Key Stage 3 curriculum. The design and delivery of the national curriculum encourages pupils to develop independence both in and out of school and enables pupils to develop their learning from Key Stage 2, adding to their cultural capital and building a strong foundation of knowledge and skills to prepare them for Key Stage 4.  The delivery of the national curriculum across all 3 years is deliberate to ensure that we keep the curriculum as wide as possible, for as long as possible, ensuring that pupils have an opportunity to know more and remember more.  In order to best meet the needs of our pupils and to ensure they have a full 2-year Key Stage 4 curriculum, in core subjects, Year 9 pupils follow some GCSE transition units in English, maths, science and RE. Pupils with SEND are taught the full curriculum and receive additional support as is appropriate for their needs. (See SEND section of the school website).

As part of fulfilling the national curriculum, pupils are encouraged to read. Reading time is built into the English curriculum at Key Stage 3, with 1 lesson per week in the library. In addition to this, pupils in KS3 have a dedicated form period that is used to build literacy skills. Alongside this, pupils also receive a fortnightly literacy homework in years 7, 8 and 9. For more information on the form time literacy and the literacy homework, please visit our literacy page

Pupils are placed in sets in Year 7 based on Key Stage 2 scale scores in English and maths. Pupils are taught in sets according to their ability in each subject and the school setting and banding policy ensures that there are opportunities for pupils to be moved between sets and bands, depending on their progress (please see school ‘Setting and Banding Policy’).  Year groups 7, 8 and 9 are split into M band (4 sets) and C band (2 or 3 sets) depending on the subject. We aim that the curriculum is taught as much as possible by specialist staff. Non-specialists are well supported by Curriculum Leaders.

Setting arrangements at both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 (core subjects only at Key Stage 4)

Setting arrangements at KS3 & KS4
M1 Upper ability sets
M3 Middle ability sets
C1 Lower ability sets


The following tables illustrate the number of lessons available for each subject at Key Stage 3. The school timetable is organised over a two week cycle with 50 x 1 hour lessons.  

Curriculum for Year 7 (Key Stage 3)
Subject  En Ma RE Sc Hi Gg Cp Sp Mu Dr PE Art & DT PSHCE
No. of lessons 8 8 5 6 4 4 2 4 1 1 3 3 1


Curriculum for Year 8 (Key Stage 3)
Subject  En Ma RE Sc Hi Gg Cp Sp Mu Dr PE Art & DT PSHCE
No. of lessons 7 8 5 7 4 4 2 4 1 1 3 3 1


Curriculum for Year 9 (Key Stage 3)
Subject  En Ma RE Sc Hi Gg Cp Sp Mu Dr PE Art & DT PSHCE
No. of lessons 7 8 5 7 4 4 2 4 1 1 3 3 1


In addition to the curriculum allocations above, CEIAG is currently delivered through a series of drop-down days and workshops. Coverage of CEIAG is strong and tracked through the Gatsby Benchmarks. 

Curriculum Intent

KS4 Curriculum 2023-24

We remain ambitious for all our pupils at Key Stage 4, ensuring that pupils follow a broad and balanced curriculum while making appropriate adjustments that are in the best interests of pupils if necessary. During Key Stage 4, pupils work towards national qualifications – in the main these are GCSE qualifications, however greater breadth to the curriculum has been provided with a small number of Technical Awards / Cambridge Nationals and BTECs, which are all equivalent to GCSEs. The curriculum is carefully designed to ensure that all pupils have the knowledge, skills, cultural capital and qualifications to ensure a smooth transition to Key Stage 5.

All pupils follow a core curriculum made up of both GCSE and non-examined subjects. Pupils must then make a humanities choice (History or Geography) and complete their individual curriculum paths according to their band as detailed in the following option pathways*.


Year 10 M-Band Pathway (2023)


Year 10 C-Band Pathway (2023)



*Each year the pathways are reviewed and may change.


The subjects that are currently offered to pupils in Key Stage 4 include art, computer science, design technology (resistant materials, food and nutrition), health and social care, iMedia, Spanish (C Band), geography, history, performing arts and PE. Option subjects are allocated 6 lessons out of a 50 period, two-week cycle. The Key Stage 4 curriculum is taught in full by specialist staff. 

We have recruited strongly in Modern Foreign Languages and consequently we have designed a curriculum that will secure the Ebacc entry expectations as outlined by the DfE whilst meeting the high expectations we hold for our pupils. Although our curriculum has been developed around securing the Ebacc for pupils, we continue to ensure that all pupils have a broad and balanced curriculum.  

Pupils are taught in M and C band sets in maths, English, science and RE. Movement is determined by progress (see ‘Setting and Banding Policy’).  In option subjects, pupils are predominantly taught in mixed ability groups, but are set where possible.  In exceptional circumstances, a very small number of SEND pupils follow an alternative bespoke Key Stage 4 curriculum that is designed to meet their individual needs and is clearly in the best interest of the pupils.

In addition to the curriculum allocations shown below, PSHCE, computing and CEIAG is delivered through a series of drop-down days and workshops. Coverage of CEIAG at Key Stage 4 is also strong and tracked through the Gatsby Benchmarks. 


The following table shows the curriculum time allocated at Key Stage 4

Curriculum for Year 10 and Year 11 (Key Stage 4)
Subject Ma En Sc Re PE Option Block
Option Block
Option Block
Allocation of lessons
per x2 week cycle
8 8 9 5 2 6 6 6


Year 10 option subjects 2023-2025

Year 10 (2023-24)
Geography (Group 1) Design Technology Art
Geography (Group 2) Health & Social Care (BTEC L2) Computer Science
Geography (Group 3) Spanish (Group 1) Design Technology
History (Group 1) Spanish (Group 2) Food & Nutrition
History (Group 2) Spanish (Group 3) Physical Education
History (Group 3) Spanish (Group 4) Health & Social Care (BTEC L2)
    iMedia (CAMNAT)
    Performing Arts
    Sports Studies (CAMNAT)


Year 11 option subjects 2022-2024

Year 11 (2023-24)
Design Technology Art Computer Science
Geography  Computer Science Food & Nutrition
History  Design Technology Design Technology
Health & Social Care (BTEC L2 Award) Food & Nutrition Geography
iMedia (Cambridge National Award) Geography History (Group 1)
Performing Arts (Technical Award) GCSE P.E. (Group 1) History (Group 2)
Spanish (Group 1) GCSE P.E. (Group 2) History (Group 3)
Spanish (Group 2) Health & Social Care (BTEC L2 Award) Triple Science
Spanish (Group 3) Spanish (Group 1)  
  Spanish (Group 2)  


Extra Curricular / enhancements

In addition to the academic curriculum there are several enhancements that enrich the curriculum to develop pupils’ skills and interests in a vast array of areas.  For example, after school and lunchtime sporting activities include football, netball and badminton teams, handball, athletics, cricket club, gymnastics, archery, dance club, fitness clubs, and sports leadership, to mention a few.  In addition, there are chess, science, music clubs, GIFT team, school productions and Duke of Edinburgh (for Year 9 and Year 10 pupils), this is not a definitive list. We have an excellent performing arts department that regularly prepares a range of performances at partnership, whole school and community events.