St Boniface Context
● SBC is a Roman Catholic boys’ comprehensive school in Plymouth of 330 students in Years 7 to 11.
● As a faith-based school, we accept students of all faiths and we foster their spiritual development, no matter what faith they practice, during their years with us.
● We serve boys within our community in Plymouth with higher levels of deprivation, with 35% of students eligible for Pupil Premium funding
● Our community is multicultural compared with other Plymouth schools and above national levels of SEND students attend our school. We are in the highest quintile for SEND students nationally.
● Our New Group Reading Test outcomes tell us that attainment on entry is relatively low in literacy, reading and writing, with 42% of students in Years 7 and 38% in Year 8 below Standard Age Score. Our boys are close to average attainment in Maths on entry.
We are a Faith school; nourishing and fostering spirituality is part of our core purpose. It is essential that the curriculum is organised in such a way that it provides students with the opportunity to ‘Do Good through Honour, Integrity Service’, to learn expected behaviours and be successful in their learning so that we can deliver our mission (to Do Good through Honour, Integrity and Service) and so that all students leave our school ready to embrace their chosen career path.
The school continues this tradition today to create:
- Successful learners who enjoy learning; make good progress and achieve excellence.
- Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.
- Responsible citizens who can make a positive contribution to society as local and global citizens.
St Boniface Hallmarks
The St Boniface Hallmarks are the essential characteristics, values and activities of our faith based learning community. The 7 Hallmarks concisely and beautifully express the values and are related to the 7 Catholic Virtues within our curriculum design.
- Faith: We proclaim by our lives even more than by our words that God is good.
- Temperance: We honour the dignity and sacredness of each person.
- Justice: We educate for and act on behalf of justice and peace in the world.
- Charity: We commit ourselves to community service.
- Hope: We embrace the gift of diversity.
- Fortitude: We create community among those with whom we work and with those we serve.
- Prudence: We develop holistic learning communities which educate for life.
FAITH: We proclaim by our lives even more than by our words that God is good.
- We believe, even in the midst of today’s reality, that God is good, and we stand firm in our commitment to honour that goodness in ourselves, in others, and in our world.
- We value life as an on-going spiritual journey of deepening relationships with self, others and God.
- We create decisions and policies that reflect the mission and values of St Boniface – to Do Good through Honour Integrity and Service and that also reflect the Catholic Virtues and are thus sensitive to the various stakeholders.
- We make decisions respecting, and informed by, traditions and teachings of the Catholic Church and in particular the Catholic Virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity, Fortitude, Justice, Prudence and Temperance.
TEMPERANCE: We honour the dignity and sacredness of each person.
- We develop and appreciate relationships that respect individual differences.
- We create environments that encourage the development of the whole person.
- We dedicate time, space, and personnel in support of the individual’s spiritual/personal journey.
JUSTICE: We educate for and act on behalf of justice and peace in the world.
- We educate on behalf of justice and are willing to take socially responsible actions against injustice (e.g., issues of discrimination against gender, sexual orientation and racial discrimination).
- We ground our action on behalf of justice in the spiritual practice of reflection-action-reflection.
- We infuse classroom experience with global perspectives and integrate classroom learning with civic and cultural interactions.
- We live and act with reverence for the Earth and the environment.
- We commit ourselves to create just systems and relationships within our learning community.
- We make conscious the effect our decisions and actions will have on the lives of the poor by making choices which are rooted in the Gospel.
- We foster responsible global citizenship and to that end we commit ourselves to the practice of dialogue, nonviolence and conflict resolution.
CHARITY: We commit ourselves to community service.
- We integrate service-learning (community-based learning) into the academic curriculum and co-curricular activities.
- We ground our service in the spiritual practice of reflection-action-reflection, and we incorporate this process into our service-learning commitments.
HOPE: We embrace the gift of diversity.
- We welcome to our community people of diverse cultures, ethnicity, race, socio-economic circumstances, gender, age, sexual orientation and faith traditions.
- We develop educational programs which expand our knowledge and understanding of the diversity in our world community and which celebrate the richness of that heritage.
- We initiate strategies and support services which respect individual learning styles and which build the self-esteem of each student.
FORTITUDE: We create community among those with whom we work and with those we serve.
- We foster a spirit of friendship and ‘brotherhood.’
- We value and implement community-building activities, both social and spiritual, between and among all members of our learning community.
- We design and foster collaborative processes wherever possible; we ground decision-making in active participation and the principle of subsidiarity.
- We create interactive and collaborative educational experiences.
- We create an atmosphere of open and direct communication.
PRUDENCE: We develop holistic learning communities which educate for life.
- We design and implement academically excellent educational experiences.
- We create curricular/cross- curricular interactions that facilitate student-centered learning/teaching environments.
- We actively support the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, psychological and social growth of the members of our learning community.
- We provide an environment and appropriate training for leadership development.
- We foster educational activities that develop self-directed learners capable of self-evaluation, critical thinking and creative responses to life situations.
- We work with and within a risk-taking and flexible organization which exhibits compassionate and socially responsible actions in response to issues of justice, bases its curriculum on cross-cultural perspectives and understandings and respects and explores the unique and complementary roles and gifts of women and men in society.
We have a broad KS3 Curriculum covering 15 subjects meeting all National Curriculum requirements. This is taught in 25 hours of contact time each week through our KS3 curriculum. Teachers have reviewed schemes of work, and evaluated pedagogical approaches to ensure students are challenged and taught with rigour.
A fundamental aspect of our curriculum that underpins and enriches the learning experience is our Guided Reading programme. Taking place on 3 mornings a week, students are exposed to, and immersed in, challenging texts that support their understanding of the world and their cross curricular learning – providing the context to knowledge and vocabulary that will support them on their journey.
Ubuntu and Kairos are delivered in years 7 and 8 in addition to Religious Studies lessons. Ubuntu, ‘I am who I am because of others’, focuses on respect, listening, belonging, kindness, forgiveness, understanding and tolerance. Kairos introduces students to making a difference in their community and the wider community. These subjects are unique to our school and ensure all students, no matter what their background, understand what it is to be a St Boniface student (to Do Good; Honour, Integrity, Service) and are given the opportunity to reflect and develop this aspect of their life.
All students take RS GCSE as a core subject and to make sure our students are work ready, we deliver employability along with the core subjects and three option subjects. Our option subjects are organised into option blocks and students are free to select a subject from each block (see implementation). PSHE and PE remain in our curriculum, as being healthy in mind and body is integral to our mission.
Each subject makes a contribution to opening students’ eyes to the possibilities in the world around them and equipping them with the skills necessary to explore that world in full. The intent in these subjects is that students:
Art: develop an understanding that art is the path towards the visual literacy which every citizen needs in order to maximize awareness and appreciation of the world we inhabit in order to live effectively and productively.
English: develop a love of Literature and Language which encourages them to explore their own understanding of the world and themselves.
Geography: should enquire about the relationships and interactions between mankind and the environment and develop an awareness of the global future.
History: develop an interest in and enjoyment of studying the past whilst acquiring transferrable skills, habits of mind and concepts essential to the 21st century citizen.
ICT: are equipped with the digital skills needed to succeed in school, further education and life.
Kairos: are encouraged to see themselves as a citizen of the world. One of the key messages from the course is that ‘This is a time to act, a time to make a difference’.
Maths: should develop an appreciation for the role that numbers, patterns and functions play in our society, as well offering an opportunity to reflect and appreciate the intricate and beautiful ways in which these patterns are constructed and realised in God’s world.
Modern Foreign Language: develop a range of skills to become both culturally and linguistically aware of the world around them, equipping them with the knowledge needed in a global community.
Music: develop their musical skills to communicate effectively through written appraisal, performance and composition and to develop their confidence and self-esteem through all aspect of music.
PE: achieve their potential and lead healthy and active lifestyles.
PSHE: are encouraged to form their own informed opinions whilst respecting the rights of others to hold different ones and to develop the skills required and develop an understanding of the issues which will help them to navigate life’s twists and turns.
RS: are encouraged to think about meaning and purpose in life from beginning to end and to reflect and wonder who and why. They are expected to evaluate viewpoints and reach justified conclusions based on evidence.
Science: are encouraged to understand the world in an engaging and scientific manner, to make informed decisions based on evidence, to encourage curiosity and solve problems whilst considering the bigger picture and the future impact. Pupils are armed with practical skills which will allow them to become successful citizens.
Technology: develop confidence in both their own ability to design and create, whilst also equipping them with the skills to work by utilizing the designs of others.
Ubuntu: learn about the school ethos and our community whilst also developing an understanding of self-worth.
Our fundamental aim is to meet the individual needs of all students across the full ability range by delivering a differentiated and supported curriculum which has high expectations, encourages active learning, delivers academic success and builds self-worth.
For students below age-related expectations or behind in their chronological reading age, additional support is provided through withdrawal to enable them to rapidly catch up. These interventions are completed 1:1 or in small groups either within tutor times, in class through paired reading opportunities or in small groups via timetable reductions. The intensity of intervention is delivered dependent on the individual need of the student.
The Learning Support Department also coordinates a reduced enhanced curriculum for a small cohort of students within each year group. This curriculum offer is provided for those students identified as having a high level of need via primary school transition. This curriculum entitled the ‘Learn for Life’ programme enhances a students’ functional Numeracy and Literacy skills whilst developing essential life skills needed for life beyond the classroom. It acts as a vehicle for the personalised development of students with more acute learning needs.
Our additional whole school lunchtime and after-school enrichment programme includes a range of sporting activities, art, science and STEM. There is daily support for homework in the library and for physical fitness in the gym.
More specifically, the chief aims of the education provided by lessons, extended work and curriculum enrichment activities are as follows:
Year 7 -9 Implementation
The curriculum includes:
English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, French, History, Geography, Music, Art and Design, Technology, Computer Science, Physical Education, PSHE, Ubuntu (Y7) / Kairos (Y8).
Dimension Days, when the normal lesson timetable is suspended, take place during the year. These days allow students to learn in different ways such as off site, with external providers and a range of students. These days cover subjects as follows:
Year 10-11 Implementation
In Year 10 students start their KS4 subjects that they will study to GCSE. This curriculum is taught in 25 lessons each week, each lesson lasting 60 minutes. Students are able to select three subjects that are organised into three option blocks. We believe in students having choice in the subjects that they study and have kept breadth to the curriculum by not requiring the students to study Ebacc but staying true to choice principles.
All students must study the following:
English – Literature and Language, Mathematics, Trilogy Science, Religious Education, with Physical Education (two hours per week, non-examination), PSD and Employability.
Optional Subjects (3 of the following):
Computer Science, History, Geography, French, Art & Design, Sport Science, Food, Product Design.