Teaching & Learning

At St Katherine’s School our curriculum provides an inclusive broad, well-balanced education whilst meeting the abilities, aptitudes and interests of individual students. Our aim is to provide an inspiring curriculum within a safe and caring environment. We understand that students will need a variety of skills and knowledge in order to compete in the global jobs market that they will enter. Our curriculum is structured in order to maximise the future choices of the students as they move forward into the 21st Century and to allow individuals to develop as valued members of our extended community.

Details about each subject can be found on the individual faculty pages.

Catering & Hospitality

The Faculty

Mr P Mingo-West Chef Manager/Lead Practioner
Mrs G Chu Training Restaurant Chef

The Catering and Hospitality industry is made up of many sectors, including hotels, restaurants, pubs, visitor attractions, events management and contract catering.  At St Katherine’s we offer Level 2 and 3 BTEC courses in hospitality that will give our students a taste of the huge range of job opportunities which exist in this young and dynamic service industry.

Learning takes place in our state of the art professional kitchens and training restaurant – The Leaf at Ham Green.  St Katherine’s is the only school in the nation to have full professional catering facilities including kitchens and a licensed fine-dining restaurant that is open every Thursday during term-time to paying customers.  This gives our students the chance to gain valuable practical experience under the watchful eye of their tutors.

We also offer Chef Apprenticeships through our Post-16 centre in conjunction with our partners, Weston College.  Apprentices will be able to enjoy all the support of a large college, whilst still being part of a Sixth Form community.   We work with a large number of employer partners including restaurants, hotels and even management companies in the Bristol area to provide the best environment for apprentices to do their training.

Citizenship & PSHE

All KS3 students have one Citizenship lesson per fortnight. Education in citizenship equips young people with the knowledge, skills and understanding to play an effective role in public life. Citizenship encourages them to take an interest in topical and controversial issues and to engage in discussion and debate. It brings together personal, social and health education, work-related learning, careers, enterprise, and financial capability and includes Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) and Drugs education.

Citizenship lessons are taught by a variety of St Katherine’s teaching staff. They are coordinated by Ms Ferguson and also include some sessions lead by specialists from the community.

What students will be studying in Years 7 – 9     

Year 7 Being a Citizen Drugs, smoking alcohol awareness My future Sex and relationships Caring for me.- personal health and safety
Year 8 Human Rights Why Vote? Becoming an Adult – SRE Careers Drugs, smoking alcohol awareness
Year 9 Being British Preparing for Options – careers Crime and Young People Drugs, alcohol awareness Sex and relationships
Year 10 and 11 have Citizenship and PSHE lessons covered during tutor time, core Philosophy and Belief lessons and during special off time table events.

Design, Art & Technology

The Faculty

Mr S Simmons Head of Faculty
Ms E Tallis Head of Art and Design
Mrs R Cameron Teacher of Art and Design
Mrs K Hobley Teacher of DAT
Mrs T Gudonis Teacher of DAT (Maternity Leave)
Miss R Thomas Teacher of DAT (Maternity Cover)
Miss J Walker Teacher of DAT (Maternity Cover)
Mrs A Clark Food, Textiles and Art Technicial
Mr P Mitchell Workshop Technician

The Faculty comprises two subject areas:-

  • Art and Design
  • Design Technology

We have three specialist Art and Design classrooms, a Textiles room, Food room, Design/CAD studio and two well-equipped workshops.

Design Technology

In Year 7 students are introduced to key design communication skills, and the stages of designing and making, before experiencing the different areas of design technology that St Katherine’s has to offer.   Years 8 and 9 are taught via a carousel system over five one hour periods per fortnight. By Year 9 they will have covered Food, Graphics, Electronics, Resistant Materials, Product Design and Textiles.

Art and Design

All KS3 groups are taught Art & Design two lessons per fortnight. Every year group will cover every aspect of the programme of study from the National Curriculum.


In Year 10 students will embark upon a variety of mini projects, which will be used to teach the context of the core syllabus. Students are assessed, regardless of which course, on designing and making skills. Projects have a clear design structure and are chosen to provide a wide breadth and depth of experiences. ICT forms an integral part of all courses with students being taught a wide range of applications with particular emphasis on presentation of work and manufacturing of products. For each Design and Technology strand a 3D outcome is required.

Coursework is an essential part of these courses and accounts for 60% of available marks, the examination accounts for 40% of available marks.

Design Technology

There are five different pathways through KS4 design technology:

Graphic Products

Students work with graphic materials in a fully equipped specialist room, and undertake a series of short projects covering a range of skills that may include:

  • graphical and technical illustration
  • computer graphics
  • card mechanisms and geometrical drawings
  • Some tasks will require 3D solutions using card, paper, plastics or other suitable materials
Food (OCR)

Students investigate, design, make and evaluate the use of food as a material.

Students will gain an appropriate knowledge of:

  • Food materials and components
  • Food product design, development and market influence
  • Food processes and product manufacture

The Course is taught through ‘design and make’ assignments, which will enable a range of skills and processes to be developed.

Resistant Materials (AQA)

Students work with wood, metal and plastics to develop the skills to manufacture using CAD/CAM (computer aided design and manufacture). Students will use professional techniques including the use of templates and jigs to acquire skills in material manipulation and forming.

Folio work is essential, students will examine existing products and look at design and drawing skills to present their ideas. The course also includes ICT, design development, planning the making of a product, how to select the best materials and construction methods, and evaluation techniques.

Textiles (AQA)

The Course revolves around the design and manufacture of a wide range of textile goods with particular reference to fashion and interior design. Students work with textiles in a specialist room to develop professional techniques including:

  • Colouration of fabrics – e.g. dyeing, printing, silk printing
  • Surface decoration – by hand or machine, e.g. quilting, patchwork, appliqué, embroidery
  • The construction of products
  • Yarn and fabric construction – spinning, weaving, knitting
Art and Design – GCSE

At KS4, student’s course work makes up 60% of their Art GCSE and at the end of the year their practical Art Exam which accounts for 40%. KS4 students follow the AQA examining board.   Art and Design students are expected to try out a variety of media such as painting, printmaking, clay work, sculpture and photography with links made to relevant artists/crafts people. Students are set 3 different projects for their coursework and will produce preparation work and final outcomes that can be either 2D or 3D. Students will have the opportunity to visit local art galleries to help develop and strengthen their coursework.

Extracurricular Activities

At key stage 3 the Science and Engineering Club run by Design Technology together with the Science Faculty, meets every week on a Tuesday night. Through the club students have the opportunity to enter competitions such as the Toyota challenge and the Rolls Royce innovation awards.

Every year the Faculty organises visits to the Clothes Show for Textiles students and the New Designers Exhibition for Product Design students.

There is a weekly art club for years 7, 8 and 9. There are regular artist in residence workshops including graffiti art, sculpture making and encaustic art, plus life drawing workshops and an annual Art trip to London.

Artsmark Silver Award

Arts Council England has awarded St Katherine’s a Silver Artsmark, in recognition of the school’s commitment to, and excellence in, arts education.

Students worked with a wide range of artists in residence and teachers on a variety of exciting, unique opportunities, such as Graffiti inspired panels for the school’s Dining Area, theatrical productions and a permanently sited mural for the local community.

Arts Council England, South West Executive Director Chris Humphrey said: “Arts Council England is committed to great art for everyone and we believe that if children are creatively inspired at an early age, they are more likely to have a lifelong engagement with the arts. Artsmark sets the standard for outstanding arts in schools and this Silver Artsmark Award recognises St Katherine’s passion for the arts and belief in the power of creativity. It’s great to see the enthusiasm the Award encourages in the teachers, students and local communities – they should be proud of what they have achieved.”

To receive an Artsmark, a school must dedicate a minimum of 10 per cent of its curricular teaching time to the arts; 12 per cent wins a Silver Artsmark and 15 per cent qualifies for Artsmark Gold. An Artsmark school also provides teachers’ professional development and involvement with local artists and arts groups.


The Faculty

Ms J Jefferson Head of English
Mrs H Weatherson Subject leader Media Studies
Ms I Wild Second in English
Mrs S Lomax Teacher of English
Mr G Davies Teacher of English
Miss E Myers Teacher of English
Mr H Southon Teacher of English
Mrs C Wilson LSA
Mrs M Morrison Learning Mentor
We aim for students to achieve excellence; we strive to enrich lives through the use of language and by helping young people to explore their own thoughts and experiences through literature.

We teach students to develop a high level of competence in the use of English and to confidently express themselves orally and in writing. Equally important is the ability to respond critically to the written word in a wide variety of forms, including media texts.

Reading improves imaginations, enables empathy and creates concentration. We want our students to read for pleasure for the rest of their lives.

Although English Language and English Literature are taught together, students are awarded two GCSE’s – one for each discipline. Students sitting English GCSEs from 2017 onwards will be examined at the end of the two year course and there will be no coursework element for either English Language or English Literature. Grades have been replaced by a new system of numbers; grade 9 will be the highest, down to grade 1.
KS3 (Years 7/8/9) English and English Literature: Students are taught in mixed ability, broad band sets. In all sets, teaching is tailored to students’ needs and personalised for individuals; our emphasis is on securing the most progress with each learner. Students are also taught how to self and peer assess, self-correct and edit, reflect on achievements and challenges, which enables them to take responsibility for their own learning.

KS4 (Years 10/11) English and English Literature: In Years 10 and 11, students study for two GCSEs – English Language and English Literature. Students study varied and challenging fiction texts alongside assorted poetry and non-fiction.

The English faculty strives to achieve excellence, growth and innovation for our young people; we work together in a culture of collaboration and support.

Students in Years 7 and 8 follow the Accelerated Reader Programme. Please see the attachment below for full details.

How You Can Help Your Child:

Encourage your child to read for at least 20 minutes each night. This will help accelerate their progress. Your child should ask the school librarian or their class teacher about recommended books. For the best outcomes, monitor your child’s reading, read a variety of text types together and have regular discussions about what your child is reading for pleasure.

Reading Ideas for KS3
Reading Ideas for KS4

Spelling, punctuation and grammar

Use these websites with your child to target specific areas for improvement identified in the teacher’s feedback.


Author visits and workshops, theatre trips and poetry readings, debating and public speaking, creative writing clubs and competitions are just some of the enrichment opportunities that students have the opportunity to engage with.


The Faculty

Miss M Cave Assistant Headteacher/Head of Humanities
Mr I Murdoch Head of Philosophy & Belief/Teacher of Humanities
Miss E Schofield Head of Year 10/Teacher of Humanities
Ms C Ferguson Head of PSHCE/Teacher of Humanities
Mr A McLean Head of Geography
Miss R Wilsher Teacher of Humanities

Humanities is about people: how people create the world they live in and how the environment makes people who they are.  The faculty incorporates Geography, History and Philosophy & Belief at Key Stages 3 and 4. We focus on the students’ whole learning experience, encouraging them to learn about issues and to examine their own values and attitudes as individuals.

The three main subjects are taught discretely by subject specialists. Having a Humanities Faculty allows us to share good practice across the subjects and draw on, and emphasise cross curricular links.

KS3 Curriculum

Geography at St Katherine’s is all about inspiring young people to explore their world. At KS3 we study a a spiral curriculum to reflect and build the foundations of the concepts, processes and issues studied at GCSE and A Level.  The curriculum covers a range of engaging, up-to-date topics from the Japanese tsunami to the heroin trade in Afghanistan. We provide students with the necessary skills to critically read and interpret their local and global worlds. At KS4 and 5 we follow AQA Geography courses.

KS3 Curriculum

We study a spiral curriculum at KS3 to reflect and build the foundations of the concepts, processes and issues studied at GCSE and A Level.

Year 7 Units
  • Your Geography (introduction)
  • Your Planet
Year 8 Units
  • Violent Earth
  • Crowded Earth
  • Urban Earth
  • Water Earth.
  • Eroded Earth
  • Visited Earth
Year 9 Units
  • Risky World.
  • Conflicted World
  • Urbanised World
  • Flooded World
  • Warming World
  • Extreme World
KS4 Curriculum

We study the AQA Geography A course at Year 10 it is a traditional, GCSE Geography course. We feel it sets our students up well for A’ Level and beyond.

Year 10 Units
  • Restless Earth
  • Population Change
  • Tourism
  • Controlled Assessment (Independent study 25% of GCSE mark)
Year 11 Units
  • Changing Urban Environments
  • Water on the Land
  • Coastal Zone
  • Revision
Able Gifted and Talented

The St Katherine’s Geography Department values academic excellence and we strongly believe in a culture of independence. Our Geography students have a comprehensive independent learning offer from Year 7 to Year 11. Humanities Independent Projects (or HIPs), available via our Faculty blog http://stkathshumanities.wordpress.com/, allow students to delve deeper and enrich their learning.

Extracurricular Activities/Clubs

Humanities Film Club gives students to the opportunity to enrich their love of the subject through film. Regular films showing that supplement the curriculum include Hotel Rwanda, Supervolcano and 2012.

Year 8 and above visit our Humanities blog for full details of courses and lessons.

KS3 Curriculum

St. Katherine’s encourages students to analyse the world around them. We develop the skills needed to examine the wealth of evidence that survives from the past in order for students to reach their own judgements.  At GCSE we follow Edexcel SHP History courses, studying medicine and surgery.

We follow a chronological approach with a strong emphasis on the skills used in history to reflect and build the foundations of the concepts, processes and issues studied at GCSE and A Level.

Year 7 Units
  • An introduction to the key skills used in History
  • The Battle of Hastings (Evaluating History)
  • King John (Thinking about History)
  • Medieval Muck and Mayhem (Doing History)
Year 8 Units
  • Terrible Tudors and Stuarts (Thinking about History)
  • The Slave Trade (Using History)
  • Jack the Ripper (Evaluating History)
  • Industrial Britain (Digging deeper into History)
Year 9 Units
  • The World At War (Thinking about History).
  •  ‘A Lasting Peace’?! (Using History).
  • Total war (Evaluating History).
  • The World Since 1945 (Digging Deeper into History),
KS4 Curriculum

We study the Edexcel Schools History Project at GCSE. There is a strong emphasis on developing source skills.

GCSE Units
  • The History of Medicine and Treatment
  • The American West 1840-1895
  • The Transformation of Surgery 1840-1918
  • A study of the Vietnam War
We encourage students to explore the world of Philosophy, Ethics and Religion and to reflect on their own ideas and the world in which they live. Students are given the skills to become reflective independent thinkers and encouraged to be open-minded and curious about the world around them. The KS4 curriculum builds on the themes developed in KS3 and students study the OCR GCSE course in Philosophy and Applied Ethics and the EdExcel ‘A’ Level syllabus.

KS3 Curriculum
Year 7 Units
  • What matters?
  • What does it mean to be good?
  • What are my beliefs and commitments?
Year 8 Units
  • Who am I? (know thy self)
  • Was the Buddha Right?
  • What can we learn from Rituals?
  • Is it ever right to fight?
Year 9 Units
  • What happens when we die?
  • How can we make society a fairer place?
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • Does God exist?
KS4 Curriculum

There are eight units studied at KS4 that deal with a variety of ethical, philosophical and religious issues. Where religious views are studied they are Christian. The students are examined by four one hour examinations at the end of Year 11.

Year 10/11 Units
  • Medical Ethics
  • Wealth and Poverty
  • Religion and Science
  • Good and Evil
  • Issues of Equality
  • Peace and Justice
  • The End of Life
  • God
Extracurricular Activities/Clubs

Humanities Film Club gives students the opportunity to enrich their love of the subject through film and from September 2013 the Philosophy and Belief department will seek to run a Philosophy club along the lines of the P4C programme outlined above.

Contact Details

Iain Murdoch, Head of Philosophy & Belief murdochi@stkaths.org.uk

Able, Gifted and Talented

The St Katherine’s History Department values academic excellence and we strongly believe in a culture of independence. Our History students have a comprehensive independent learning offer from reception in Year 7 through to Year 11. Humanities Independent Projects (or HIPs), available via our Faculty blog http://stkathshumanities.wordpress.com/, allow students to delve deeper and enrich their learning.

Extracurricular Activities/Clubs

Humanities Film Club gives students to the opportunity to enrich their love of the subject through film. Regular films showing that supplement the curriculum.

Useful Weblink



Contact details

Michelle Cave Head of History cavem@stkaths.org.uk

Courses and Qualifications
GCSE Geography AQA Geography A
GCE  Geography AQA Geography
GCSE History Edexcel  Geography
GCE History OCR History
GCSE Philosophy & Belief AQA Religious Studies

ICT & Business Studies

The Faculty

Mr M Green Head of ICT and Business Faculty
Mrs H Shephard Teacher of ICT and Business Studies
Mr J Humphreys Deputy Headteacher/Teacher of ICT

ICT is constantly evolving and is essential to the way we live and work.  We offer students the opportunity to work with and learn about as many different forms of ICT as possible.  We have 4 main computer suites and specialist computer facilities in the Art & Design and Technology faculties. All computers are networked and linked to the internet.

St Katherine’s is committed to developing its ICT provision in terms of curriculum development and access to hardware and software with a 5 year plan to improve resources for all. The ICT curriculum is taught by the ICT and Business Studies Faculty.

Students receive 2 lessons a fortnight of discrete ICT at KS3.  During KS3 students follow a programme of study which focuses on the following streams of learning:

  • Business – Students will learn about file management, internet research and internet safety.  Students will use a variety of business software such as Presentation, Spreadsheet and Desk Top Publishing
  • Technical – Students will learn about the different computers and what makes a computer system.  They  will also use programming software such as Scratch
  • Creative –  creating work using animation, web authoring, movie and sound editing software
  • Safety – Students will learn the importance of staying safe online and how to respond to things which concern them in the cyberworld.
GCSE Computing

Students use computational thinking and creativity. The core of computing is computer science, in which students are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.

Unit 1 is 40% and is a theory paper. Unit 2 and Unit 3 are the controlled assessment elements and add up to 60%.

BTEC Level 2 Business

Students will learn to recognise and develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of business functions, environment and finance in a way that is relevant to today’s work environment. Students study 4 units are assessed through a combination of assignments and an external exam.

  • Unit 1 – Enterprise in the business world – Coursework
  • Unit 2 – Finance for business – External exam
  • Unit 3 – Promoting a brand – Coursework
  • Unit 8 – Recruitment Selection & Employment – Coursework
BTEC Level 3 Business

Business employers value employees who have this BTEC qualification in Business. It will provide opportunities for you as a learner to develop your skill, knowledge and understanding of a wide range of business functions that help you contribute to the success of any company that employs you in the future.

The four core units gives you an important introduction to and understanding of the business environment, management of resources, marketing and communication – all fundamental to the success of business organisations.

  • Unit 1 – The Business Environment
  • Unit 2 – Business Resources
  • Unit 3 – Introduction to Marketing
  • Unit 4 – Business Communication

The programme involves a number of educational visits upon which assessments will be based.

AS/ A2 Information Communication Technology (ICT)

AS Level

Practical problem solving in the digital world enables students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the development of IT systems through practical experience in using a range of applications software in a structured way. Living in a digital age makes students aware of the numerous issues arising from the use of ICT for individuals, society and organisations.

A2 Level

The use of ICT in a digital world addresses issues associating with the management of ICT and its use within organisations. It looks at the fast changing subject of ICT and how the development of technology and systems capabilities affect how the world makes use of ICT. Practical issues involved in the use of ICT in the digital world provides student with the opportunity to complete a substantial project involving the production of an ICT related system over an extended period of time.

Able Gifted and Talented

We currently run a Computing club for KS3 Gifted and Talented students on a Wednesday lunch time and have other opportunities throughout the year during and outside of class time.

Courses and Qualifications
BTEC Business level 2 Edexcel BTEC Extended Certificate in Business –equivalent to a GCSE A*-C grade
Extracurricular Activities/Clubs

The faculty currently offer lunch time catch-up clubs for KS4 where students can access help with homework or coursework and a KS3 Gifted and Talented club, currently focusing on coding

In Post 16 we currently offer the Young Enterprise initiative. Students create business ideas and form companies with the aim of developing their business and employability skills for life after education.


The Faculty

Mr S Birtle Head of Mathematics
Mr R Walter Assistant Headteacher/Maths Teacher
Mr T Astill Maths Teacher
Miss R Hosey Maths Teacher
Miss C Perry Maths Teacher
Mr S Mullins Numeracy Intervention Mentor

All students complete three units of work during each term, focussing on Number, Algebra, Geometry or Statistics. Each unit typically lasts for two weeks. In addition a week of each term is devoted to a Functional Maths Project. Formal assessment takes place every term in order to monitor progress. Setting is reviewed regularly and changes made to ensure each student is suitably challenged and supported. At the end of the year students take the KS3 end of year optional assessments. A wide variety of resources are used, including Collins “Maths Frameworking” texts. There are opportunities for investigation, problem solving and computer based activities each term.

We use the Hegarty Maths interactive website for all maths homework.   The website features thousands of practice questions and carefully planned tutorial videos designed to support students as they work towards mastering maths at St Katherine’s. Each week every student will be assigned one task requiring them to recall a skill they have previously seen in class. They will have a homework exercise book which they need to present to their maths teacher at the start of each week to demonstrate the method they have used.  This student guide explains how to access the site and any work set.

GCSE mathematics is a natural progression from the skills developed during Key Stage 3. Setting arrangements continue across the whole year group. The GCSE course commences during terms 5 and 6 of Year 9.
Students will follow one of three pathways:


  • For students expected to achieve grades A*/A/B at Higher level GCSE
  • Two year course, with exams at the end of year 11
  • GCSE Statistics is available to the top set as enrichment (an after school class)


  • For students expected to achieve grades B / C / D
  • Tier of entry (Higher or Foundation) is based on performance in regular trial papers
  • Exam can be taken June of Y10, November of Y11, June of Y11


  • For students expected to achieve E / F / G grades, with C grade available to those who make outstanding progress.
  • GCSE Foundation level exam at the end of Year 10.
  • Option to improve GCSE grade during Y11 or complete an additional qualification, e.g. Money Management or Statistics

We use the Hegarty Maths interactive website for all maths homework.   The website features thousands of practice questions and carefully planned tutorial videos designed to support students as they work towards mastering maths at St Katherine’s.

Each week every student will be assigned one task requiring them to recall a skill they have previously seen in class. They will have a homework exercise book which they need to present to their maths teacher at the start of each week to demonstrate the method they have used.  This student guide explains how to access the site and any work set.  

Within the Maths faculty we are committed to making sure every child achieves their potential. Information from primary schools including KS2 test results is used to identify each child’s learning needs. On joining St Katherine’s, students are set for maths according to their ability which enables us to support every child individually.

During lessons, we differentiate work to provide challenge for all learners. Able, gifted and talented students access more challenging material both within and beyond their lessons. Each year we offer up to 30 students the opportunity to participate in the UKMT Maths Challenge competition. We participate in Team Challenges at Junior, Intermediate and Senior level, and our commitment to excellence is once again demonstrated by the fact we are a host venue for the Junior event. Each year we send up to eight Year 8 students to Maths Master Classes hosted at UWE.

To ensure students achieve their fullest potential, we enrich the KS4 curriculum rather than fast tracking our students and settling for lower grades. From the beginning of Year 10 our most able students are offered the opportunity to take GCSE Statistics after school, thus broadening their mathematical experience and giving them a solid grounding for study at Advanced Level.

Students may purchase a Maths Watch DVD from the Maths office for £4.  A Nelson Thornes AQA GCSE Revision Guide is also available for £3.

An excellent resource which we subscribe to is the “MY MATHS” website, it contains ‘Booster’ sections for GCSE revision: www.mymaths.co.uk

GCSE Mathematics Edexcel 1MAO GCSE Mathematics
GCSE Mathematics Modular (until Summer 2013) AQA 4360  GCSE Mathematics
Entry level Mathematics AQA 4930 Entry Level Mathematics
GCSE Statistics Edexcel 2ST01 GCSE Statistics
AS Level Mathematics Edexcel 8371 AS Mathematics
AS Level Further Mathematics Edexcel 8372 AS Further Mathematics
A Level Mathematics Edexcel 9371 A Level Mathematics
A Level Further Mathematics Edexcel 9372 A level Further Mathematics

Details of our Mathematics AS and A2 courses are in the Sixth Form Prospectus

https://hegartymaths.com/ Maths homework website 

www.mangahigh.com  Game based learning, adapts to students’ ability and progress. Gain points for your school and medals for yourself.

www.primarygames.co.uk Fun games to practise number skills at a wide range of ability levels.

www.ukmt.co.uk  Maths Challenge competitions. Access to past papers and solutions.

Media Studies


The GCSE Media course is 50% coursework (based on TV drama, film posters and CD cover design) and 50% exam (television and online drama).

Able Gifted and Talented
Courses and Qualifications
GCSE Media Studies WJEC GCSE Media Studies
AS Media Studies OCR AS Media Studies
A2 Media Studies WJEC A2 Media Studies
Useful websites





Modern Foreign Languages

The Faculty

Mrs G Maringo Head of  Modern Foreign Languages
Camille Aubret Teacher of French
Maria Sanchez Teacher of French and Spanish
People with language skills are highly thought of in the modern world. They stand out as talented and successful people, excellent communicators, with broad and exciting horizons! Taking a formal qualification in French/Spanish will mean that you will:
Be able to study French/Spanish at A Level in the sixth form, and to degree level at university, if you study A Level.
Add an extra dimension to your personal skills profile, which will impress anyone who reads your CV
Be in a stronger position to get a job in companies with international links
Be able to speak and write French/Spanish spontaneously, and have a deep understanding of the lifestyle and culture of French/Spanish speaking countries.
Useful Links
These are interactive websites to help you revise, where you can play games and complete activities on line for immediate feedback. If you require past papers or downloadable / paper resources, your MFL teacher can point you in the right direction.
If you need any logon details, just ask your MFL teacher.
KS3 Overview
In Year 7 all pupils have the chance to study two languages. They learn to speak about themselves, their families and their interests, and how to use the language for real purposes of communication. Year 7 pupils are introduced to the basic language patterns and grammatical features which gives them an understanding of how the language works. They are also taught skills in order to better equip them throughout their language learning experience at St Katherine’s, such as dictionary skills and pronunciation strategies.
In Years 8 and 9, pupils continue to study one language. They draw on the generic language learning skills that they picked up in year 7 to develop their confidence and ability as they learn to speak in different tenses across a variety of stimulating topics.
Topics covered include the following:
• Family, Friends and my interests
• Food and drink
• My home and local surroundings
• School Life
• Travelling abroad, holidays and accommodation
• The environment
AQA GCSE French/Spanish
The topics covered across the four language skills, are designed to help you to understand and be able to communicate effectively across a range of relevant contemporary and cultural themes. There are three main themes that are broken down into sub-topics:
Theme 1: Identity and culture

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

AQA AS and A Level French /Spanish
At AS and A Level you will further develop your linguistic skills alongside your understanding of the culture and society of the countries where French/ Spanish is spoken. You will study a range of different topics based on social and technological change. For example, at AS Level you will explore the changing state of the family, aspects of youth culture, including fashion, music and television. At A Level you will go on to look at integration, immigration and racism. You will also focus on the digital world, and highlights of French/Spanish speaking artistic culture, including art. You will look at festivals and traditions. At A Level you will discuss the European Union and Politics and Youth. You will also explore the influence of the past on present day French/ Spanish speaking countries, and the issues and influences that have shaped them. At AS Level you will study a film or a book. At A Level you might also study a book or an artist.
The MFL department is committed to providing a variety of opportunities for enthusiastic and talented linguists at St Katherine’s. We offer annual trips abroad to France and Spain for all pupils in Year 7 and Year 9. Pupils can go on a five day residential visit to Paris and Barcelona. Underpinning all of our trips is the aim that our pupils experience the culture and history of these vibrant cities, and use their language in a real context. We hold the European Day of Languages on 26th September every year, and encourage all staff and students to try a different language as they greet each other.
We also run a Spanish exchange with a school based in Ciudad Real, Spain. The Spanish students come and visit St Katherine’s in September and our students also visit San Francisco Javier’s school in April each year. This exchange is very popular and our students are very keen to host foreign students.
The Faculty runs a French club, a Spanish club and a film club, showing foreign language films at lunchtimes for all pupils. Year 8 and 9 students have French and Spanish penpals and they enjoy sending letters each term.

Students who miss two homework tasks in a single week are required to attend homework club in order to catch up.

Performing Arts

The Faculty

Mr J Hutchens Head of Performing Arts
Miss A Adams Head of Music
Miss L Tovey Teacher of Drama

Performing Arts is a great way to build confidence for communication by equipping students with performance skills and encouraging creativity in Drama and Music.  The faculty enables students to work individually and in teams as students collaborate to create excellent performances. These are essential transferable skills for the whole of their lives. With a positive energy, promote creative thinking and give rich feedback to learners. This means our students thrive and develop into confident and articulate performers. A large variety of opportunities are offered to develop excellence in performance through lessons, school productions, Musical evenings, concerts and gigs.

KS3 Drama Curriculum

Students study a wide range of skills and genres to develop their confidence, performance skills, and communication abilities as they work individually, in pairs and in groups to create lively performances. Drama is used to study a number of issues throughout KS3 including bullying, peer pressure, loneliness, homelessness, disability and friendships. The curriculum is delivered using various mediums such as improvisation, text work and responses to a variety of stimuli.

Key Skills include: Improvisation, Still Image, Thought-Tracking, Hot Seating, Role Play, Forum Theatre, Monologues and Cross-cutting

KS4 Drama Curriculum

Edexcel GCSE Drama allows the students to further develop their skills for creativity and performance through devising and study of set texts. The final performance exam encourages the students to bring their skills, confidence and creativity to achieve the highest grades in front of an external examiner.

Unit One: Drama Exploration

Unit Two: Exploring Play Texts – e.g. ‘Two’ by Jim Cartwright, ‘Noughts and Crosses’ by Dominic Cooke

Unit Three: Drama Performance

KS4 Performing Arts Curriculum

Edexcel BTEC Performing Arts allows the students to develop their skills in Dance, Drama, Singing and Musical Theatre. The practical emphasis of the course encourages independence and leadership in the students as they seek to stage their own versions of many of London’s popular musical theatre and dance shows such as Matilda, Spring Awakening, Rent, Grease, Hairspray, Wicked and High School Musical.

Unit One: Individual Showcase

Unit Two: Preparation, Production and Performance

Unit Five: Musical Theatre

Able Gifted and Talented

The Performing Arts Faculty regularly stages whole school productions, Musical Nights and performances of modern play texts, to provide an opportunity for the gifted and talented students to show their abilities to the local community.

The G&T workshops are aimed at the top Drama students in Year 8 and Year 9 to develop their skills outside of the classroom, and include a focus on Drama Practitioners and a variety of Drama genres. The workshops are run from January through to March.

Courses Available with the qualification
Drama and Theatre Studies A Level
Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) BTEC Level 3
Extra curricular Activities/Clubs

The Whole School Musical Production has grown from strength to strength over the last few years, and is a major feature of the St Katherine’s school calendar. Each year around 100 students take part through acting, singing and dancing, live music, as well as set design and production, to stage some of the biggest shows from West End theatre. These include: Les Miserables, Grease, Hairspray, We Will Rock You, Fame, Moulin Rouge, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Return to the Forbidden Planet. The events are tackled on a large scale and form the basis of Performing Arts in St Katherine’s. In support of the Performing Arts the faculty runs regular trips to shows in London such as Wicked, Matilda the Musical, Blood Brothers and the Woman in Black.

Other information including useful webs links etc.





KS3 Curriculum

In years 7 – 9 all students study music and are taught within mixed ability tutor groups.  They receive 2 lessons per fortnight and follow a curriculum that covers a wide range of skills and musical genres.  Students have opportunities to listen, compose and perform.  They work as soloists but also have opportunities to work in pairs and larger groups.  Students are encouraged to use their voices as well as having access to a range of instruments such as glockenspiels, xylophones, keyboards, guitars, ukuleles and a wide range of percussion.  In Years 8 and 9 students also have the opportunity to use GarageBand on our suite of iMacs to help them with arranging and composing.   They learn how to use MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) to record and how to multi-track record to create larger scale compositions.  Topics covered in KS3 include Blues, bass lines, Gamelan, African music, a 3 chord project and film music.

KS4 Curriculum

In years 10 and 11 students have the option to study music at GCSE level.  We teach the AQA specification and pupils receive 5 lessons per fortnight.  The course requires pupils to develop their skills in performing, composing and listening, with lessons tailored to cover these areas.  Where possible, pupils learn about musical features and elements through practical activities.  The course is academic yet fun and allows students to work to their musical strengths.  The department has a suite of iMacs with both GarageBand and Logic available for KS4 students to complete their composition coursework.  Topics covered include; Western classical music from 1650 – 1910, Popular music, Traditional music and Western classical music from 1910 – present.  KS4 classes are small and allow for a more individualised, personalised approach to teaching.

Extra-curricular activities and instrumental lessons

We offer a range of musical extra-curricular activities with the main focus being the whole school show.  The department builds a chorus and coaches the lead singers for the musical every year.  We also have a small school orchestra, a year 7 and 8 choir, various student led bands and a new brass group launching in September 2016.  We hold a yearly concert called the SKAMPS Live Event along with other performance opportunities during the year.  SKAMPS is a registered charity that supports the work of the music department through various fund-raising events.  We also offer  instrumental lessons on a wide range of instruments in both individual and group sessions.  All instrumental lessons are provided by visiting teachers from North Somerset Music Service.

Useful websites





Physical Education & Sport


The Faculty

Mr D Cook Head of PE
Miss G Ball Deputy Head of PE
Mr A Thomas Teacher of PE / Head of Year 8
Mrs H Price Teacher of PE / Head of Year 11

Miss R Wilsher

Teacher of PE

Core PE (KS3 and KS4)

At St Katherine’s students take part in a range of activities during their PE lessons. All students are engaged in two hours of high quality PE and Sport every week. Groups are generally set on ability and on health and safety considerations; they are normally single gender groups.

Examination PE (KS4 and KS5)

In Year 10, students can choose to be examined in Edexcel BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Sport (NQF). Currently this course involves 25% externally assessed examination and 75% coursework. The units are:

  • Fitness for Sport and Exercise – assessed via external examination (25%)
  • Practical Sports Performance – assessed via coursework (25%)
  • The Sports Performer in Action – assessed via coursework (25%)
  • Leading Sports Activities – assessed via coursework (25%)

In Year 12 students can choose to be examined in OCR A Level Physical Education which currently comprises:

  • Physiological factors affecting performance (30%) – examination
  • Psychological factors affecting performance (20%) – examination
  • Socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sport (20%) – examination
  • Practical performance in physical education (30%) – performance and coursework
More Able and Talented students are given a number of opportunities to develop their talents both within lessons and outside of curriculum time. In lessons students will have the opportunity to: develop higher level skills, officiate, help other students develop their skills, plan activities for themselves and others, act as captains and lead teams. Extra-curricular opportunities include a range of clubs and practices, selection for area trials, leadership courses, school team selection, leadership of school teams and House Sports Captain.
  • Year 10 & Year 11: Edexcel BTEC Level 1 / Level 2 First Award in Sport
  • Year 12 & Year 13: OCR H555 A Level Physical Education
  • Year 11 & Year 12: Sports Leadership Level 1 – Sports Leaders UK Course

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The Faculty

Mr A Francis Black Assistant Headteacher/Head of Science/Physics Teacher
Miss Z  Ivey 2nd in Science/Biology Teacher
Mr D Hanks Head of Teaching & Learning/Biology Teacher
Mrs J Brooke Head of Year 9/Biology & Chemistry Teacher
Mr T Hodgson Deputy Head of Sixth Form/Chemistry Teacher
Mrs K Quick Physics Teacher
Miss E Andrews Science Teacher
Mrs A Helliar Lead Science Technician
Mr C Wilson Science Technician

The Science department has undergone rapid change over the last two years with the introduction of exciting and relevant schemes of learning accompanied by a gradual move towards online assessment which provides detailed feedback, showing students how they can improve. As a consequence GCSE results have risen by 20% with almost 7 out of 10 students achieving two or more good GCSEs in Science subjects.

Students follow the Oxford Activate scheme of learning, which covers Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students study 9-12 units each year. In year 7 students are taught in mixed ability tutor groups whilst in years 8 & 9 students are set by ability. Students are assessed by end of unit online tests as well as written progress tasks. Homework is set each week and will include both online and written tasks.

Following examined assessment at the end of year 9 students who gain a minimum of level 6 will be invited to apply for Triple Science GCSE. At present almost 50% of our year 10 students study Triple Science.

There are two routes available at KS4.

Triple Science: Separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics leading to three GCSEs. This is an excellent foundation for study of GCE science A-levels.

Core and Additional Science: This option leads to two GCSEs. This forms a good foundation for the study of GCE A-levels.

The faculty supports all students by offering a range of opportunities and pathways through science. Students can extend their science experience through activities such as science challenges that run as competitions in Bristol University or local schools, ‘Science live!’ lectures at the Colston Hall, the school’s own Science Week, STEM club and cross curricular projects with other faculties. The commitment of the faculty towards the development of STEM was highlighted this year when Zoe Ivey was awarded STEM Teacher of the Year.

A range of pathways allow students to follow course that are most appropriate for them. Triple Science is an excellent pathway to stretch and challenge our most able student and is an excellent grounding for study at advanced level.

  • STEM club
  • Skirting Science – An event for year 9 girls
  • Science Week
  • Tea with a Scientist.
  • The Big Bang Science Show – NEC Birmingham
  • Visiting Speakers
  • Lectures such as “Science live!” at the Colston Hall

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)


Being part of STEMNET creates opportunities to inspire young people at St Katherine’s in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This enables young people to develop their creativity, problem-solving and employability skills, widens their choices and supports the UK’s future competitiveness.

STEMNET helps encourage young people to be well informed about STEM, able to engage fully in debate, and make decisions about STEM related issues.

The Jaguar Maths in Motion Challenge

Over the past 3 years our Key Stage 3 students have been involved in the Jaguar (car company) Challenge. This is a national schools competition where students plan a grand prix race using a computer program (Maths in Motion). It involves a number of mathematical skills including measuring lengths and angles, calculating percentages , planning pit stops and working out fuel consumption. In the past we have reached the quarter finals.

STEM in the Sixth Form

The STEM sixth form tutor groups have enjoyed visits from STEM ambassadors.

Past ambassador visitors have included:

  • Rory Shanks – Civil Engineering student Bristol University discussed Pathways into Engineering
  • Caroline Evans – a Phd student sponsored by AstraZeneca discussed careers in Chemistry and the Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Simon Stevens – Centre for Research in Analytical, Materials and Sensor Science at UWE discussed careers in Science
Past STEM events
  • Green power electric powered racing car, raced at Castle Combe
  • Science Club, including Rocket building and filming from the rockets
  • Astronomy Club, including the night sky dome
  • Design an iphone app club, KS3 students designing and producing a working iphone app
  • Trojan Horse Club, designing and making a 3 metre high Trojan horse for use in a Greek play with students studying Classics and Product Design
  • Kite Club in the summer term

BTEC Qualifications

At St Katherine’s BTECs can be taken at two levels First and/or National. The BTEC First Award is a vocational qualification at Level 2 or Level 1. The Level 2 grade is the equivalent of a GCSE grade between A*-C (dependant upon final grade achieved), the Level 1 grade is equivalent to a GCSE grade between D and G. The course is designed to give students a good grounding to progress onto the BTEC National courses in a related subject. The First Award courses are normally assessed across 4 units with one of the units being assessed externally through a written or online examination.

Students are graded with a pass, merit or distinction (highest achievable); these grades are collated at the end of the course and students awarded either Distinction* (A* at GCSE), Distinction (A at GCSE), Merit (B at GCSE), Pass (C at GCSE) or a Level 1 Pass ( D – G at GCSE). Students who wish to progress onto a BTEC National Diploma will usually need to attain merit grades or above in order to meet the entry requirements.

BTEC National courses are Level 3; a Level 3 Certificate course is equivalent to an AS level, a Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma is equivalent to one A2 award and a Level 3 Diploma is equivalent to two A2 awards. These courses are particularly suitable for those who have strong inclinations towards a particular vocational career, starting with technical level posts and leading, after experience, to supervisory and enterprise management posts. These courses also suit those students who find terminal examinations difficult as the majority of the work is coursework based. The usual entry requirement is at least four GCSE subject passes at A*, A, B or C grades.

At St. Katherine’s we offer:

Level 2 Courses
  • Pearson BTEC Level1/Level 2 First Award in Sport
  • Pearson BTEC Level1/Level 2 First Award in Performing Arts
  • Pearson BTEC Level1/Level 2 First Award in Music
  • Pearson BTEC Level1/Level 2 First Award in Business
  • Pearson BTEC Level1/Level 2 First Award in Hospitality
Level 3 Courses
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Business
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Applied Science (Forensic Science)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Hospitality
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Sport
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport
  • Safer Internet Day - 6 February
  • Year 9s win Go4Set award
  • Music technician required (occasional hours)
  • Students watch moving account from Holocaust survivor
  • Year 10 step back in time to Jane Austen's world.