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 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.


Please see below for details of Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 subject areas.

Details of the current KS4 Options can be found here.

Please see Sixth Form Prospectus for details of courses followed in Key Stage 5

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