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Curriculum Overview

At Bonus Pastor, we believe in the importance of an ambitious broad and balanced curriculum which enables all students to develop a range of knowledge and skills to prepare them for all appropriate academic and professional pathways for a full and rich adult life.

As a Catholic school, we not only strive to encourage students to succeed academically, but to excel as Catholic Citizens of the world with an appreciation and a deep respect for their own dignity and that of others, who are made in the image and likeness of God.

We prepare pupils for a wide range of careers and life experiences by delivering a core set of transferable skills and values. Students will achieve their potential and beyond as a result of a curriculum that meets the needs of all learners.

Strategic Intent and Vision

  • To foster spiritual, intellectual, cultural, creative, physical, moral and social development.

  • To provide an ambitious broad and balanced curriculum which is personalised so that students at all levels can experience achievement and success.

  • To create a culture of high expectations where students are stimulated and challenged and enjoy learning in a research enquiry driven teaching and learning environment.

  • To raise attainment and achievement for all students.

  • To enable all students to be fluent communicators through a focus on oracy across the curriculum.

  • To prepare students so that they are equipped for future learning and employment.

  • To nurture students so that they are ready to make a positive contribution to society as confident young people who embody British values, can relate to their Catholic faith in daily life and have respect for the beliefs and values of others in their community and across the globe.

For further information on the curriculum please refer to the individual subjects

KS3 Curriculum content and coverage

Students study the following subjects at KS3 over a 2 week timetable.
All lessons are taught in double periods with each period lasting 50 minutes.

Core Subjects  

English: 4 double periods

Maths: 4 double periods

Science: 4 double periods

Religious Education: 3 double periods

MFL: 3 double periods

History: 2 double periods

Geography: 2 double periods

Drama: 1 double period

Music: 1 double period

PE: 2 double periods

Creative Technology & IT: 2 double periods

Art & Design: 2 double periods

The following subjects are taught on the DT carousel of 2 double periods per fortnight and pupils rotate termly 

  • Food Technology
  • Applied Art (Photography for year 9)
  • Graphic Design

KS4 Curriculum content and coverage

The following subjects are taught at GCSE level.
All lessons are taught in double periods with each period lasting 50 minutes.

Compulsory GCSE Courses

Optional GCSE Subjects
3 x Double periods per fortnight

English Literature & English Language: 
5 double periods

Maths: 5 double periods

Science (either Double Award or Separate Science): 7 double periods

Religious Education: 3 double periods

All students have the opportunity to do PE once a fortnight which is not examined: 1 double period

GCSE Courses

  • Computer Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Business
  • Art
  • Photography
  • Graphic Design
  • Music
  • Drama

BTEC Courses

  • Creative Media Production
  • Physical Education

Big Ideas

A ‘Big Idea’ is a powerful concept that enables students to contextualise the intent and purpose of the curriculum. It offers an overarching objective to make sense of otherwise disconnected elements of knowledge. Big ideas allow all students to participate in the learning by building on students' prior knowledge and skills; inviting them to share their ideas, values, and opinions. Learning is thus about examining and informing students’ various points of view-leading to new understanding.

At Bonus Pastor we use our big ideas as the backbone for an ambitious curriculum and act as a hook to hang all learning. Big ideas are broad and abstract, they cover ground "horizontally" (across subjects) and "vertically" (throughout the curriculum). They provide students with a breadth of meaning to learning, promotes curiosity, and leads them to confidently piece together ideas, information, experiences and concepts.

Bp big ideas


Teaching &Learning

The dedicated team of teachers at Bonus Pastor are committed to establishing an environment whereby all pupils feel inspired and develop a love for life long learning. Our curriculum has been designed to go beyond simply exposing our students to key concepts, but to also equip them with the learning strategies that will facilitate the transfer of key knowledge to their long-term memory. Whilst we are all committed to inspiring our students to be able to confidently apply their knowledge with fluency, we recognise that students must be able to draw upon a range of revision and independent learning strategies in order to engage with our curriculum effectively and achieve positive learning outcomes. 

 Here are some examples to illustrate the type of activities and tasks that our students might engage in to retrieve knowledge from their long-term memory into the working memory.

Retrieval Practice

Spaced / Distributed Practice


  • Low stakes testing

  • Quizzes

  • Multiple choice questions

  • “Matching” exercises

  • Going over previous tests / FIT 

  • Going over homework

  • Revisiting previous learning from a few lessons ago

  • Revisiting a concept from a previous unit

  • Switching between different types of concepts that are interrelated in order to identify the similarities and differences.

  • High benefits are seen when students are able to transfer their knowledge across to new contexts and subjects.



Enrichment is incredibly important to us at Bonus Pastor and is present throughout all aspects of the school, both within and beyond the classroom. We care deeply for developing our pupil’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, whilst nurturing and deepening an independent and curious, love for learning, helping them to be well rounded, responsible, global Catholic citizens.

We value enrichment and extracurricular provision as equally important to our academic provision. This can be in seen in the huge variety of activities and enrichment opportunities provided across the curriculum and wider school, from artistic, creative, physical, academic and community-based activities, all of which feed into the Bonus Pastor Charter, helping enable our pupils to go onto the colleges, 6th forms, universities, apprenticeships, and employment they wish. 

Enrichment at Bonus Pastor

Literacy and Oracy

Literacy is at the heart of the curriculum here at Bonus Pastor. We are committed to ensuring that all our students are not only strong and competent readers but also effective and persuasive communicators. This is why we aim to foster a love of reading and in doing so, allow our students to become effective learners through the written word. In turn, this enables students of all abilities to access all areas of the curriculum in whatever subject they are engaging with.

The love of reading should not simply be consigned to the classroom but we believe that fostering the idea of reading for enjoyment will lead our students to explore for themselves the richness of the English Language, through Literature which extends far beyond the boundaries of the UK. Young adults who are well read have a clear advantage when it comes to establishing a foothold within the workplace and helps to produce a higher degree of self-confidence.

For more information see our Literacy and Oracy subpage

Character and Personal Learning

A key part of this learning is through our Character and Personal Learning Lessons (CPL). This take place during a double period once a fortnight over the course of the year, and cover key curriculums such as PSHE, Citizenship and RSE, and are supplemented by a full "Drop Down Day" once per term. These sessions are delivered by a range of staff in school, from form tutors to specalist subject teachers and expert support staff, along with a range of external agencies and charities. 

These lessons help our students to understand, discuss and debate, of a wide range of issues from bullying, e-safety and healthy eating, to politics, money management, careers, sexual relationships and equality.

For more information please see our CPL, SMSC and British Values page


At Bonus Pastor, we aim to prepare our students for further and higher education, or skilled employment, such that they will go on to make a significant and positive contribution to society.

We ensure that all students learn about all pathways available to them including further education, higher education, apprenticeships, and all other forms of work-based learning.  In ensuring that students are knowledgeable about the pathways available to them, and equipping them with skills and attributes to get ahead in the workplace, we believe that our students are suitably prepared to make informed decisions about their own futures. 

Careers Education Programme

Careers education is embedded in all areas of the curriculum at Bonus Pastor in order to help inform and inspire our students.  Activities and events include:

  • Ada Lovelace Day Celebration of Women in STEM Careers
  • University visits and workshops
  • Work Experience for all Year 10 pupils
  • Employability Day for all Year 11 students
  • Sixth Form taster day experience for all Year 10 students
  • 1-2-1 guidance for all Year 8 and Year 11 students, in line with Key Stage transitions
  • KS4-5 Transition Information Evening for all Year 11 Parents and Students
  • Business Mentoring
  • Subject-specific careers displays across the school
  • Apprenticeship information displays
  • Subject-specific activities throughout subject curriculums
  • Extra-curricular and enrichment activities provided by Subject departments
  • Tutor-time activities embedded in the Year 8 tutor programme
  • A-Level Masterclasses at local Independent Sixth Form Providers
  • Careers library available to all students
  • Meaningful encounters with employers – through seminars and assemblies
  • Active alumni network
  • Developing skills and attributes for the workplace through working towards the Bonus Pastor Charter

Student engagement in CEIAG activities is tracked, monitored, and evaluated throughout their time at Bonus Pastor, which means we can ensure that all of the Gatsby Benchmarks are met for each and every child.

We have a proud history of 0% NEET at Bonus Pastor.  Each year we review and evaluate our destination data in order to shape our future career provision. 

For more information on our CEIAG provision please see our CEIAG page at

or email Miss Rebecca Hill at