The Curriculum

Inspiring People – Changing Lives

Our school curriculum supports our aim of inspiring people and changing lives. It seeks to develop the spiritual, moral, social and cultural education of every child and equip them with the qualifications and personal qualities to make a success of their lives. We emphasise the important values that characterise living in Modern Britain and ensure our students understand the responsibilities of good citizenship.

The curriculum includes all the subjects we teach and the planned learning which takes place outside school lessons. We regularly review the curriculum that our pupils experience. In doing so we aim to strike a balance between a broad, balanced curriculum and one which allows pupils to concentrate on their strengths and interests.

Our Mission

We are a Catholic family of aspiration, dedicated to all our students excelling spiritually and academically in our school and beyond.

We change lives through our culture of high standards and expectations of everyone who learns and works in our school and a belief that achievement is for all.

Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College will provide a curriculum, which inspires, challenges and safeguards all our pupils, and enables them to become:

  • Successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  • Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
  • Responsible citizens who make a social and economic contribution to society

Successful learners who:

  • Have mastered the essential learning skills of Literacy & Numeracy
  • Are creative, resourceful and able to solve problems
  • Have enquiring minds and think for themselves to process information, reason, question and evaluate
  • Communicate well in a range of ways
  • Understand how they learn and learn from their setbacks
  • Are able to learn independently and with others
  • Know about big ideas and events that shape our world
  • Enjoy learning and are motivated to achieve the best they can

Confident individuals who:

  • Have a sense of self-worth and believe in themselves
  • Relate well to others and form good relationships
  • Are self-aware and deal well with their emotions
  • Have secure values and beliefs
  • Become increasingly independent, able to take the initiative and organise themselves
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices
  • Are physically competent and confident
  • Are willing to try new things and make the most of opportunities
  • Are open to the excitement and inspiration offered by a wide range of learning

Responsible citizens who:

  • Uphold British Values
  • Are well prepared for life and work
  • Are able to work co-operatively with others
  • Respect others and act with integrity
  • Understand different cultures and traditions and have a strong sense of their own place in school and wider society
  • Appreciate the benefits of diversity
  • Challenge injustice, committed to human rights and strive to live peacefully
  • Maintain and improve the environment, locally and globally
  • Feel that they can change things for the better

Key Stage 3 (Year 7 and 8)

When pupils start at the school they are taught a broad and balanced curriculum covering all the main subjects. There is a big focus on ensuring that Literacy and Numeracy skills form a part of every lesson and are developed by all teachers.

The Key Stage 3 Curriculum is a two year programme, pupils in Year 7 and 8 take the following courses:

Year 8 LitNum Pathway

  • Year 7 pupils have 27.5 hours of curriculum time per week
  • Year 8 have 25 hours of curriculum time per week
  • English includes one hour of Literacy per week in Year 7
  • ‘Ready to Read’ programme is 2.5 hours per week in Year 7
  • Creative Technologies includes Electronics, Food Technology, Resistant Materials and Product Design and Music in Year 7

GCSE courses begin in Year 9 and last for three years.

Key Stage 4 (Year 9, 10 and 11)

During Key Stage 4 (Year 9, 10 and 11), all pupils will follow a curriculum that is suited to their needs and interests. They will finish Year 11 equipped with a range of appropriate qualifications, skills and attributes to enable them to pursue their chosen path into further education or employment.  The curriculum is divided into two parts, core curriculum and options – these are outlined below.

Understanding progress at Key Stage 4


Core Qualifications all pupils work towards at Key Stage 4

Subject time
(hours per week)
Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
4 hours English Mathematics Science English Mathematics Science English Mathematics Science
3 hours Computer Science Computer Science Religious Education Computer Science Religious Education

3 hours per week for each optional subject

2 hours Religious Education Physical Education

2 hours per week for each optional subject

2 hours per week for each optional subject Physical Education
1 hour Physical Education

Pupils can opt to study up to four of the following subjects

In addition to the subjects in the Core Curriculum, pupils can select from the following range of courses:

  • Year 9 have 25 hours of curriculum time per week (27 hours if Latin option is taken)
  • Year 10 have 25 hours of lessons per week
  • Year 11 have 29 hours of lessons per week


Citizenship is taught through a combination of discrete provision in PSHEE with each pupil studying 25 hours each academic year through targeted subjects and out of class provision.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural values are taught across the curriculum to ensure all our learners promote tolerance of and respect for people of other faiths, cultures and lifestyles.

LitNum (Literacy and Numeracy)

Pupils with a low prior attainment or Statement will study 2 Options in Key Stage 4 and the 2 hours per week due to. 1 hour on Numeracy and 1 hour on Literacy. The intervention is planned and coordinated by Head of Literacy and Numeracy.

All pupils follow a Tutorial and PSHEE course relevant to their age group Sex Education is taught in PSHEE, Science and Religious Education.

Year 9 LitNum Pathway

Year 10 LitNum Pathway

Year 11 LitNum Pathway


The governors have given their approval to the content and philosophy of sex education. Parents are welcome to enquire about the content of the Sex Education programme their child is receiving and have the right to withdraw their child by applying in writing to the Headteacher.

Our Sixth Form

We are very proud of our Sixth Form which opened in September 2011 in a brand new £6.5 million building. It is the result of the vision, hard work and commitment of many people and it is fitting that our pupils should now have the opportunity to continue their education in our school.

The Sixth Form builds on the excellence that already exists in other parts of the school. There is a dress code, a longer working day and an expectation that every Sixth Form Student will contribute to the overall school community through Community Service. Each student is encouraged to pursue a wide range of academic and cultural interests. We want our students to strive for excellence and to develop a sense of ambition and responsibility in their future lives.

We provide the highest standards of teaching and independent learning. Every student is supported by a dedicated Information and Guidance Officer who provides support and advice on university applications.  The Sixth Form offers a wide range of A Level and BTEC courses:

Sixth Form Courses

A Level

Advanced Levels (A Levels) are the more traditional route in post-16 education. The assessments are taken over the two years.

* Facilitating Subjects are considered to be the most appropriate qualifications for a student applying to a Russell Group University


The BTEC National Level Three can be studied as either an Extended Certificate (broadly equivalent to 1 A Level) or a Diploma (broadly equivalent to 2 A Levels).  The BTEC qualification is particularly suitable for those who have strong inclinations towards a chosen vocational career.

Extended Certificate
(broadly equivalent to 1 A Level)
(broadly equivalent to 2 A Levels)
Film & TV ProductionDiploma
Health & Social CareExtended Certificate
SportExtended Certificate SportDiploma


A key element of the enrichment programme will be a Religious Education course for students enhancing their religious, social, cultural, moral and personal development.

You can view more information about our Sixth Form in our Sixth Form Prospectus or from our Sixth Form website.

Last updated: 14/09/2017