Curriculum: Our Vision

Planning the Curriculum

Our whole curriculum is carefully and coherently planned, inter-connected and sequenced to ensure students develop and progress securely throughout their time at De La Salle.

In planning the curriculum, our staff have considered the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are required to achieve academic excellence in each subject at GCSE and beyond. Subject leaders and teachers then plan backwards from this point. This ensures that pupils receive a rigorous, coherent and intelligently sequenced curriculum, which builds on what has come before, including the work studied in our various primary schools. The curriculum at De La Salle is grounded in the strongest available evidence about how pupils learn and retain knowledge in the long term – focusing in particular on research from cognitive science.

The academic curriculum is further enhanced through high quality personal, social, careers, citizenship and economic education and by our focus upon developing the resilience, confidence and self-esteem of each individual through outstanding opportunities within the main curriculum and our wider extra-curricular offer.

The Uniqueness of Subjects

Each subject is unique, and includes its own substantive knowledge and disciplinary knowledge. Substantive knowledge relates to the core facts, ideas and concepts which are central to a subject (for example how nations make treaties, such as the Treaty of Versailles). Disciplinary knowledge, on the other hand, relates to how scholars and academics within each subject (or discipline) arrive at this knowledge – for example, how physicists use the scientific method to arrive at general principles through observation and systematic experimentation. Our curriculum ensures that all pupils carefully build a comprehensive understanding of both.

Our Curriculum Thinking

At De La Salle, all staff think about curriculum at three levels. The first is the intended curriculum – what we intend pupils to learn. Subject specialists at De La Salle set out this detail meticulously, drawing on their academic knowledge, the national curriculum and experience of what is necessary to flourish in their discipline. The second level is the implemented curriculum; the resources teachers use to deliver the curriculum. An example of these are the knowledge organisers that teachers write for each subject and year group. Alongside the way they are delivered, where our skilled teachers bring all of this knowledge to life in a way that will be meaningful and exciting for the pupils that they know so well. Finally we consider the impact of the curriculum, through well designed and meaningful formative and summative assessments, that inform us of student progress and inform our planning.

Key Stages 3 and 4

Our mission statement is clear that we strive to: provide a holistic education that challenges each of us to achieve our potential and become the person God intended us to be: spiritually, morally, academically, physically and socially.

In Key Stage 3, students follow a full three-year curriculum ensuring not only that we fully comply with the requirements of the National Curriculum but that this is supplemented by an equally broad and balanced extra-curricular offer.

How is our curriculum implemented?

The academic curriculum is delivered through a broad and balanced three-year Key Stage 3, covering all aspects of the national curriculum, and a more specialised Key Stage 4, with students making their option choices in year 9 and studying 9 subjects (GCSE and vocational qualifications) throughout years 10 and 11.

Throughout KS3, subject leaders use the themes of building, exploring and discovering to develop students understanding of Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative and Communication (LORIC). This is beneficial to all students, but particularly to the most disadvantaged.

We believe in the importance of equality of opportunity and ambition for all students and therefore all of our students have access to the EBacc should they choose it. Likewise, we are ambitious to support our students to follow meaningful qualifications that will support them to be successful now and in their future learning and careers. To achieve this, we have expanded the range and variety of subjects on offer to students when they complete their options, this has been driven by student demand and interest, appropriate progression and local labour market information.


Further information about the curriculum is available via the learning area links below, or by contacting Mrs C Mulhall via email at or by telephone on 01744 20511.

Courses Available at Key Stage 4

The following courses are currently available at Key Stage 4:

English Language (AQA) GCSE

English Literature (AQA) GCSE

Mathematics (OCR) GCSE

Science (Combined and separate sciences) (AQA) GCSE

Religious Education (Edexcel) GCSE

Geography (AQA) GCSE

History (AQA) GCSE

Computer Science (OCR) GCSE

Spanish (AQA) GCSE


Photography (AQA) GCSE

Engineering (Pearson) BTEC Tech Award

Health and Social Care (Pearson) BTEC


Travel and Tourism (Pearson) BTEC

Hospitality and Catering (WJEC) L1/2 Vocational Award

Drama (AQA) GCSE

Graphics (AQA) GCSE

Music (AQA/RSL) GCSE and RSL


Curriculum Details