Curriculum Content


"Leaders and managers, including school governors, are passionate advocates for the school’s Catholic mission. In particular, the headteacher is a powerful driving force in ensuring that the school’s values are seen in practice across the school." - DCI Report, 2018

The Curriculum


St Philip Howard Catholic Voluntary Academy operates a wide-ranging and well balanced curriculum that has been especially tailored to reflect the individual learning styles, interests, aspirations and abilities of our students.

The range of learning on offer encompasses the classic academic subjects, as well as the Arts, and utilises both GCSE and BTEC courses. This broad spectrum of options helps ensure that every child has the opportunity to reach their full personal potential within a happy, positive learning environment. In Year 8 students begin 'Guided Pathways' allowing them to decide their options.

St Philip Howard operates a standard single week timetable. Each school week comprises twenty five one hour lessons and each day begins with a
15 minute registration period in Tutorial Groups. Every Tutor Group has members from each of the school’s four ‘Houses’; Challenge, Courage, Endeavour or Determination. There are numerous Inter-Tutorial Group competitions which encourage students to participate and enjoy school activities in a positive spirit of friendly rivalry.

Alongside these Tutorial Groups, the Academy often also operates specific targeted intervention groups for students who require extra input. Support from these focussed groups can be for a period of just a few weeks, or can last the whole year.


Curriculum Enhancement


The subjects encompassed by Personal, Social, Health Education and Citizenship classes, or ‘PSHE’ form an important element in the development of well rounded young people. PSHE is covered by a dedicated hour long lesson each week at Key Stage 3.

The school follows the advice and framework laid down in the National Curriculum in forming a policy relating to ‘sex and relationships’ education, this policy has been agreed with staff and governors and we feel sets a healthy balance for our students and their parents and carers.

It’s an unfortunate fact of life in modern society that we must also include ‘drug awareness’ in our PSHE scheme of work. We also take the opportunity to work with a variety of other agencies to enhance this area of the curriculum.


Extra-Curricular Opportunities


St Philip Howard is not merely about academic success. Whilst maximising personal academic achievement is of enormous importance to every student, it is also important to recognise that schools are about much more than just excellent results in the ‘Three Rs’. To get the most out of their years at St Philip Howard students need to engage, enjoy and be successful in, the wider opportunities on offer.

The Academy has developed an extensive programme of clubs, trips, activities and exciting experiences for the enjoyment and development of its students. Whether it is through becoming a member of one of our respected football teams, taking part on stage or behind the scenes in one of our extremely popular musical or dramatic performances, taking up trampolining or one of the other activities on offer, there is plenty to interest and extend the skills and enjoyment of every student.

A variety of fascinating visits are regularly organised in support of the curriculum and for sheer enjoyment; students have been on cultural trips to France, Spain and Russia. In recent years St Philip Howard has also been to the Theatre for English, Maths Conferences and assisted in a range of great local community programmes.


Assessment and Reporting

Pupil performance and well-being are monitored regularly with both formal and informal assessment, as well as through professional observations by all staff within the Academy. Parents receive an ‘Academic Review’ at least three times a year, providing a clear picture of your child’s progress. Both effort and attainment are assessed providing the fullest possible picture of your child’s progress throughout the year. In addition to these termly reviews parents also receive a written report from their child’s subject teachers and form teacher which provides a more detailed description of their progress. This comprehensive progress reporting is complemented by parent consultation events, which are held twice a year in Year 7 and Year 11. They offer parents and carers the opportunity to find out how their child is settling in to life at St Philip Howard, as well as providing a one-to-one opportunity to discuss academic progress.

It is VITAL that your child attends school regularly and that they arrive on-time. Missing valuable lesson time may well result in them falling behind. Employers also place great emphasis on good attendance and good punctuality and these will be mentioned in each student’s Termly Academic Review.