On entry to Saint Fanchea’s College, pupils are organised into three class groups and all classes are taught the full range of subjects which conforms to the requirements of The Education (Curriculum Minimum Content) Order (Northern Ireland) 2007.
The curriculum offered to our pupils aims to:(i) promote the spiritual, emotional, moral, cultural, intellectual and physical development of our pupils (ii) prepare our pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences of life by equipping them with appropriate knowledge, understanding and skills.
At Key Stage 3 (Years 8 to 10), the curriculum is common to all pupils and all class groupings are of mixed ability. There is extra help for pupils experiencing difficulties in English and also for pupils with English as an additional language. The Statutory Curriculum places an emphasis on the totality of pupils’ experiences across the curriculum and challenges teachers to make meaningful links beyond their subject emphasis. Subjects no longer stand alone with their own discretely defined areas of knowledge and skills. Rather they are set out as strands within Areas of Learning which share curriculum objectives with common key elements and skills outcomes. In order to meet our statutory requirements, St. Fanchea’s College provides learning opportunities in relation to the following Areas of Learning:
In addition to the statutory requirements, Saint Fanchea’s College also provides opportunities to enable pupils to develop their skills in Communication, using Mathematics, using Information and Communications Technology, problem solving, working with others and self management.
It is college policy that all pupils have access to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum and are entered for as many external examinations as are realistically within their capabilities and at the level which best suits their aptitudes. All pupils are offered courses leading to GCSE and other recognised qualifications such as BTEC Sport and Travel & Tourism.
During Key Stage 4, all pupils follow a common core curriculum, which ensures breadth and balance, and yet they have some choice of other courses. We recommend that all pupils take a creative or practical subject for examination and do not take more than eight GCSE subjects because of the heavy demands of coursework and assignments. Some of the GCSE courses offered are offered on the understanding that a viable group of at least ten pupils is necessary to operate most courses.
Homework has an important role in the assessment system in St. Fanchea’s College. Teachers continuously assess pupils’ work and progress throughout the year, both through classwork and homework. Homework plays a very valuable role in a pupil’s education and a wide variety of tasks may be set. It helps to consolidate learning in the classroom and clarifies the pupils’ grasp of acquired knowledge and skills. Each pupil is given a student planner in which details of all homework set is recorded. This includes the subject set, the nature of the work and the date by which the work is to be completed. Teacher comments about the pupils’ classwork will also be recorded in this planner. We encourage parents to take an active interest in their daughter’s school work by checking and signing the student planner so that they may be aware of the type of work set on each school day. Saint Fanchea’s College operates a Homework Club for all pupils on Monday and Thursday evenings from 3.30 to 4.30pm. This club is supervised in classrooms by members of the teaching staff.
In Saint Fanchea’s College we have high and consistent expectations of all of our pupils. There are a range of assessment procedures in place to ensure that our pupils attain their full academic potential and take increasing responsibility for their own learning through self evaluation and the setting of appropriate targets for improvement.
Pupils in Year 8 and Year 10 sit Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs). The outcomes of these assessments, together with information from the pupil’s primary school, allows teachers to set individual education targets for each pupil in their care and plan teaching strategies that are pitched at the needs of each individual pupil. Each pupil’s progress towards set targets is reviewed with their teachers on a regular basis to assist each pupil in maximising and realising their optimum potential.
At certain times in the year arrangements are made for formal testing and official recording of progress. All pupils engage in continual assessment during the academic year and pupils at Key Stage 4 sit formal internal examinations in December and June. Pupils are encouraged to review their own performance / progress and set targets for improvement after internal assessments. Parents are given information about pupils’ assessments and progress in the twice yearly reports and at annual Parent-Teacher meetings. These meetings afford parents and teachers the opportunity to discuss progress being made by the pupil or any matter of mutual concern. Parents are encouraged to attend these meetings as they build up a purposeful learning partnership between the home and the school. If at any other time parents wish to discuss their daughter’s progress with any member of the teaching staff, arrangements can be made by contacting the Principal.
Apps For Learning
The following apps are used to improve teaching and learning in St Fanchea’s College. Pupils are encouraged to download onto iPad or tablet devices or use on PC to improve learning.