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The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust

Key Stage 3 - 4

Key Stage 3

Our two secondary schools, St John Fisher and St Mary’s Menston have worked together to produce an innovative key Stage 3 curriculum. The BWCAT curriculum encompasses opportunities within and beyond the classroom and promotes achievement for all.

Key Stage 3 (KS3) is an important part of a child’s learning journey. Learning from Year 7 will be stimulating and challenging, as they make the transition into our secondary schools and engage with subjects and acquire knowledge they may not have experienced before. The KS3 curriculum is designed with progression at its centre, aiming to ensure that learning from KS2 is sequenced effectively and appropriately for our students. There is support in place for learners at all stages ensuring that all students can access the curriculum whatever their starting point.

The secondary schools within the Trust have collaborated to develop the Bishop Wheeler Baccalaureate, in order to provide structured developmental opportunities for our pupils.  This ambitious curriculum, enables our pupils to develop socially, morally, spiritually and culturally, maximising achievement in a broad range of qualifications and experiences.

The BISHOP WHEELER BACCALAUREATE aims to fulfil each of these SIX principles: 


INCLUSION Every young person is a valued member of our diverse society on an equal basis and is entitled to be equipped with the knowledge, skills and attributes required to allow them to make the maximum contribution possible.

ASPIRATION Every young person is capable of significant achievements and successes in multiple areas, each of which deserves recognition as part of a broad and balanced education

CHALLENGE That there should be a rigorous and demanding set of learning experiences that provide appropriate levels of challenge for all learners in their context

BREADTH Opportunities offered to students encompass traditional subject disciplines in addition to an entitlement to personal development opportunities that are physical, creative and cultural and include elements of community service and extended enquiry.

BALANCE A curriculum that embraces an appropriate degree of specialisation in technical and academic subject disciplines alongside wider personal development and extended enquiry

COHERENCE A curriculum that ensures every young person receives a multi-faceted education which is deep and rich.


The Bishop Wheeler Baccalaureate recognises pupils for engaging in activities and opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. The Baccalaureate provides an appropriate level of challenge for each learner in the classroom and beyond. The award encompasses three areas of school life; core learning, the personal development of each learner, and their contribution to the community. The tasks that students complete embody the virtues of Faith, Love, Hope, Justice, Solidarity, Temperance, Courage and Practical Wisdom.


CORE LEARNING (the intellectual virtues – Autonomy, Critical Thinking, Reflection, Curiosity and Reasoning– All students at Key Stage 3 will follow a broad and balanced curriculum in line with the Government’s National Curriculum framework. The subjects taught within the Key Stage 3 curriculum represent the core foundation of knowledge that we believe all students are entitled to have before they specialise in certain subject areas at a later stage of their academic career. Students at Key Stage 3 will study the key areas of the National Curriculum: English, Maths, Science, Humanities, Languages, Technology and the Arts. In addition, all students will study Religious Education. Students will be offered a range of learning opportunities that will ‘develop character traits necessary for discernment, right action and the pursuit of wisdom.’ The Building blocks of character - Jubilee Centre

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT (the performance virtues – Confidence, Resilience, Commitment, Determination, Leadership, Team Work- All students at Key Stage 3 will follow a comprehensive programme of PSHE and RSHE. The personal development curriculum provides every young person with an equal opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge they require to thrive now and in the future. This includes helping them to deal with critical issues they face every day such as friendships, emotional wellbeing and change. The personal development curriculum enables our young people to make informed decisions and prepare for all the opportunities, challenges, life decisions and responsibilities they are likely to encounter. The Baccalaureate award encourages students to engage in a number of opportunities that will develop character traits that have an ‘instrumental value in enabling the intellectual, moral and civic virtues’ The Building Blocks of character - Jubliee Centre

COMMUNITY (moral, civic and theological virtues – Courage, Honesty, Justice, Volunteering, Temperance, Solidarity, Service– Strong communities are critical because they are an important source of social connection and create a sense of belonging. Participating in a community bonded by faith, attitudes and common values is essential as it enables individuals to flourish.’ The development of the moral virtues enable all of us to act well in a range of situations that require an ethical response.’ This element of the award encourages students to develop character traits that contribute to the common good. All students will be expected to participate in community work as part of the award. 

bwcat baccalaureate v7.pdf


Key Stage 4


Our key Stage 4 Pupils follow a two-year programme of study for the GCSE and technical qualifications taken at the end of Year 11.  A broad curriculum is maintained by offering students four optional subjects in addition to the core.

We offer three pathways, all of which feature a compulsory core of English, mathematics, religious education and science. All students also have 3 hours of Physical Education in the two-weekly cycle and 1 hour of personal development time.

  • EBACC Pathway:  Most students follow the EBacc pathway, which features a modern foreign language and a humanities subject alongside two further optional subjects.
  • Mastery Pathway:  Our Mastery pathway focuses on promoting mastery of literacy and numeracy, alongside three optional subjects
  • Bespoke Pathway:  For a small number of students with particular learning needs, the Bespoke Pathway offers an individual combination of optional subjects and personalised support.
  • Alternative Education:  As well as the Bespoke Pathway, we provide alternative education for a small number of students for whom the traditional offer may not meet their need.  This could be a college course beginning in Year 10, tailored provision or one-to-one support.  The aim is to ensure success in the core literacy and numeracy skills.

Support is tailored to need.  In addition to high-quality, inclusive teaching, further interventions from Year 10 through to Year 11 include:

  • Subject-based drop-in sessions
  • Personalised support from specialist staff
  • Pastoral and learning mentor support
  • Assertive mentoring
  • Opportunities to withdraw from some options to focus on core subjects