Curriculum Statement

Curriculum Statement

In addition to adhering to the National Curriculum and to providing a broad and balanced experience that allows our students to progress to the next stage in their education or employment, the St John Payne curriculum, and all that we do in support of the young people in our care, is underpinned by our distinct Catholic identity; and by a philosophy not only of British values, but of the Gospel values upon which the school is founded.

Decisions regarding the curriculum are therefore invested with holistic ideals that acknowledge learning as a pursuit not only of academic progress, but equally of moral, ethical, social and spiritual growth; ideals that support students to become the best versions of themselves: the people God created them to be.
Curriculum planning is crafted to afford students opportunity to reflect, to question and to challenge. Our overarching intent is that students know themselves valued and loved as members of the St John Payne community; and equally of the wider local, national and global communities. Students are encouraged to embrace the privilege and responsibility invested in them; to understand both their place in the world and their responsibility to it.

To this end, implementation allows teachers to elevate the curriculum above and beyond the classroom and the resources that underpin course content. Knowledge is embedded as the foundation of learning, so that students are afforded a secure platform upon which to develop as the curriculum progresses. Pedagogy is rooted firmly within real world contexts, grasping opportunities to relate exploration and enquiry to students’ personal experiences and to their growing awareness of the communities, society and world of which they are citizens.

Complementing our academic curriculum, students are afforded a rich array of extra-curricular opportunities in sport; music; drama; debating; recreational visits; spiritual retreats and faith formation; public speaking; support of students from a neighbouring special school; liturgical celebrations; and many more experiences that hold learning as a life-long pursuit greater than the achievements students secure in public examinations.

The impact of our curriculum is apparent in far more than the excellent progress and attainment evidenced in pubic examinations. Visitors frequently comment upon the palpable air of tolerance, acceptance and diversity that pervades the school; upon our students’ pride at belonging to the St John Payne community; and upon their ability to articulate their hopes, aspirations and responsibilities.

Equally, it is evident in the belief of all who work here that learning and growth extend far beyond formal education; in a belief that encompasses the pursuance of self-knowledge and self-actualisation; and a commitment to educate our students not only throughout their time with us, but to ensure a capacity and commitment to learning long after they have progressed from St John Payne to enjoy the rewarding and fulfilling futures for which their time here has prepared them. At St John Payne School we aim to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum for all students. Our curriculum meets the requirements of the National Curriculum and allows our students to progress onto the next stage of education or employment.

We take pride in ensuring that within our curriculum we promote British values and also the key Christian values of tolerance and respect.


Our Curriculum Plan:

We have a flexible plan which changes each year to suit the changing needs of our students. Our Curriculum plan for the academic year 2017 /2018 is as follows:

Key Stage 3:

Art Graphics Physical Education
English History Religious Studies
Food ICT Resistant Materials
French Mathematics Science
Geography Music Textiles
German Personal,Social, Health & Economic Education  

At the end of year 9 students take three options that they will continue to study in Key Stage 4 in addition to the core subjects.

Key Stage 4

All students at Key Stage 4 study the follow core subjects at GCSE:

  • English (literature and language)
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Studies
  • Science (double or triple award)

In addition to the core subjects above, students then study three additional options from the following list:

Art Geography Resistant Materials
Asdan German Sociology
Business Studies History Sport Studies
Computer Studies ICT  
Food Preparation & Nutrition Music  
French Physical Education  


Literacy Vision Statement ‘Those who read succeed’.

At St John Payne, we recognise the importance of Literacy and its impact on students’ learning and life chances. We have a healthy and uncompromising approach to Literacy and believe in providing our students with the best possible foundation for the future.

We are committed to ensuring that our children:

  • have the necessary tools to access the curriculum
  • are able to transfer knowledge, ideas and skills between subject areas
  • recognise the importance of and enjoy reading for pleasure
  • recognise the value of writing and communicating effectively
  • are able to continue their literacy development throughout their secondary school career

These fundamental, life-enhancing skills are delivered through a rigorous programme of Literacy initiatives:

  • opportunities to read for pleasure
  • focus on extended writing across the curriculum
  • DEAR (Drop Everything and Read)
  • a range of literacy activities in all subjects across the curriculum
  • opportunities for the regular marking of spelling, punctuation and grammar across the curriculum
  • celebration of reading and writing
  • a monthly lunchtime club to promote a love of reading (staff presentations and sharing of favourite books)

Reading for Pleasure at SJP

With an abundance of evidence suggesting that reading for pleasure is an important determinant of children’s personal and academic development, we actively seek ways to infuse a culture and pleasure of reading in all students. Our reading for pleasure policy incorporates the following strategies:

  • Fiction study in English alongside main units of study
  • School reading challenges
  • Library book club
  • Library lessons
  • A wide selection of books in the library for more able and less able learners; boys and girls
  • Providing choice – students are invited to suggest specific books as part of the library stock
  • Reading displays
  • Special library events
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