Departments

Departments

ART

In art pupils explore visual, tactile and other sensory experiences to communicate ideas and meanings. They work with traditional and new media, developing confidence, competence, imagination and creativity. They learn to appreciate and value images and artefacts across times and cultures, and to understand the contexts in which they were made. In art, pupils reflect critically on their own and other people’s work, judging quality, value and meaning.

The Art curriculum has been designed to give students confidence in the subject and to work creatively and intelligently. The projects we teach include learning basic skills and techniques in Art such as; printmaking, 3D sculpture in clay, painting, drawing, mixed media and more. Home learning tasks are set as a termly project in KS3 and are created to provide pupils with the extra knowledge and techniques to support them in their assessment but also in their classwork.

The GCSE specification is OCR. The course is made up of three projects over the two years; a Live Controlled Assessment (60%), an OCR Set Task (40%) and a Non-Live Project which consists of a mock exam and several technique exercises and the research of artists within art and design. During your time on the course you will develop your observational drawing and painting skills, by completing several different tasks that explore different processes and techniques used in Art.

DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

Design and Technology at St Boniface’s College is located in the DT block which offers a growing range of facilities including; a bespoke catering room, CAD suite, CNC machinery, graphics suite and workshop.

All boys coming to St Boniface’s will experience Catering, Engineering and Product Design in the first three years. Projects at KS3 aim to develop skills in these focus areas preparing for further DT courses at KS4 and KS5. Examinations may be taken at GCSE in Catering, Engineering and Product Design and at AS/A2 in Engineering and Product Design. The facilities of the Design and Technology department are available to boys for use in their free time throughout the week.

The Design and Technology department are committed to delivering a broad and holistic curriculum, within an innovative and supportive environment, where the boys can gain a sense accomplishment from their own problem solving and creativity.

ENGLISH

Our curriculum is both interesting and innovative and challenging for all abilities. We believe passionately in student centered learning which is linked to a high aspiration for achievement for all learners. We develop this through targeted support for all children who complete our courses and leave as passionate individuals with a lifelong love of literature and the written word.

At Key Stage 3 we deliver a skills based curriculum which includes a wide range of stimulating and challenging texts coupled with exciting non-fiction units, media awareness, drama, spoken language and an understanding of the great Bard himself, Shakespeare. 

We use texts as models for our own writing, reading and speaking and listening skills. We supplement this with intensive catch-up sessions for those who need additional support in developing a love of reading.

At Key Stage 4 the College follows the AQA syllabus in English, English literature and English Language. 

At Key Stage 5 we offer English Literature as part of the TLP.

GEOGRAPHY

Geography helps us think more intelligently about ourselves, how to live and the futures that we may need to face. It succeeds in doing this because as a subject it holds things together, in place, across the physical and human domains. It helps us understand the significance of scale and connectedness.

The Geography curriculum has been designed to give a broad and balanced experience of the subject. Some topics studied include Flooding; manmade or an act of God? Do we care if it’s not British? How do we survive an earthquake? Where will you live? Termly home learning projects at KS3 are intended to allow students the opportunity and flexibility to be creative and extend their learning in the areas which interest them most.

The GCSE specification is AQA A. Topics studied are Water on the Land, The Coastal Zone, Restless Earth, Tourism, Changing Urban Environments, Changing Populations, Controlled assessment (fieldwork investigation). Students have recently compared different land use zone across Plymouth and in the city centre and coastal processes at Dawlish Warren. 

The AS and A2 specification is AQA. Topics studied at AS and A2 are Energy Issues, Population Change, Rivers, Flooding and Management, Coastal Environments, World Cities, Development and Globalisation, Tectonics. Fieldwork is undertaken at several river sites on Dartmoor and at Slapton Ley.

HISTORY

History at St. Boniface’s aims to stimulate an interest in, and enthusiasm for, the past. By making history relevant, reflective, challenging and innovative we try to promote the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of human activity in the past, at a local, and international level, linking it, as appropriate, with the present. We try to ensure that student’s knowledge is rooted in an understanding of the nature and use of historical evidence. We want to help them to an understanding of the development, over time, of social and cultural values, and provide our student’s with a balanced outlook on national and international problems and some understanding and explanation of the society in which they live. We encourage them to develop essential life study skills such as the ability to locate and extract information from primary and secondary sources and analyse and organise this information to construct logical verbal or written arguments. We want our students to enjoy their learning and thrive in an environment that encourages respect and tolerance.

MFL

We strongly believe that speaking more than one language is an extremely valuable asset to have in an increasingly globalised world. Learning and knowing a foreign language does not only enrich peoples’ working life and leisure time but it also improves intercultural understanding and life skills.

It is also a great way to increases the self-confidence of students of all abilities by bringing a sense of achievement, enjoyment and purpose. That is why we believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to experience a foreign language.

At St Boniface’s we try to motivate students by delivering lessons that are interactive, inclusive and stimulating. Staff are also available to support students outside of normal lesson hours, with lunch and after school sessions offered weekly and annual school trips abroad which immerse students in foreign culture.

RE

Here at St. Boniface’s, liturgy and Gospel values are at the heart of everything we do. It is crucial to ensure that as many of our faith community are involved in liturgies so that worshipping God is a truly communal activity.

As a Catholic college we have a duty to ensure that pupils have the opportunity to take part in Mass on Holy Days of Obligation, to celebrate important events in the life of the college and to give students the opportunity to take part in liturgies which celebrate important aspects of the Church Calendar and which help to promote the school’s Catholic identity, for instance Advent Services, Ash Wednesday Services, Penitential Services, Holy Week Liturgies, Form Masses, Form Prayer Time, and by attending retreats.

Pupils are enabled to engage actively in worship and sharing the Word of God. This reinforces the importance and relevance of these within their own lives and gives them the chance to serve and minister to their peers and to staff as well. Our KS4 and Sixth Form Eucharistic Ministers and Altar Servers give a wonderful example of service. Students are also encouraged to use their gifts and talents to help the whole community of St. Boniface’s to access liturgy through different media e.g. music, dance, art, drama, ICT and so on – we all learn in a variety of ways and so need to experience liturgy being presented to us in different ways.

Liturgy is an important part of our outreach. Parents and family members are invited to Form Masses/Eucharistic Services and we have had great pleasure in welcoming them when they join us to celebrate Mass in both the college Chapel and St. Peter’s Church. In addition to this, the annual Advent Service which the school holds in St. Peter’s Parish Church helps to strengthen ties between Parish and school.

Help from parents is always gratefully received and should you wish to volunteer to help with our retreat days that are provided for years 7-11 or with our liturgical services, do please contact either: Ms. T Chapman – School Chaplain or Miss E Heduvan – Subject Leader for Religious Education.

Parents who have helped with these events invariably enjoy them thoroughly and want to help with more, enjoying the opportunity of performing an invaluable service for the school, whilst at the same time getting a lot out of the experience on a personal level.

SCIENCE

Science is an essential part of the curriculum in the 21st century and is fundamental to the individual and future development of the region and the nation.

Teaching and learning is at the heart of the science department philosophy and the acknowledgement that all in the department will strive to make the department a centre of excellence.

Students must and will believe in their capability to become good scientists and will be encouraged at all times to have confidence in their own abilities. They will also be encouraged to engage in their own learning by reflecting on the teaching within the department.

We must drive to use praise as a tool for touching the will that resides in all students to endeavour and succeed. Positive reinforcement must therefore be embedded within the philosophy of the department.

Parents are treated as partners completing a triangle of success between the three primary stake holders in a student’s education, parent, student and teacher.

We must constantly reappraise the methods of teaching used in the department and how teaching methods are understood by staff and especially the students. The best teaching and learning tools are encouraged into the syllabus and those that are ineffective are adapted or discarded.

There must reside an open and uninhibited process of communication that denies the concept of classroom privacy while teaching.

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