Curriculum Intent Statement

‘Rooted and Grounded in Love’


Recognising that every one of our students is loved by God, demands a curriculum that is rich, broad and genuinely encompassing of the “best that has been thought and said.”[1] Our curriculum seeks to provide a rigorous liberal arts education for all, irrespective of social background, prior attainment or special educational need.  Through our curriculum, we are committed to empowering students to flourish in the world beyond school, teaching them knowledge which will enrich their lives and enable them to become active citizens, making a positive contribution to society.

From the starting point of wanting our students to experience a personal encounter with Christ and to know that they are deeply loved by him, we set faith and worship as the foundation to our curriculum.  In addition to being fully literate and numerate when they leave school, our curriculum aims to meet the entitlement of all young people to explore religious, philosophical and ethical thinking that has helped to answer humanity’s biggest questions,  understand the historical events that have shaped society, to appreciate the physical and social geography of our world, to be able to apply the insights of science to the wonders of the universe, and to have a grasp of languages other than English.[2]  At De Lisle, we appreciate that a high quality education extends far beyond academic success in a narrow range of qualifications.  Our curriculum is committed to providing opportunities for students to develop vital, life-enhancing attributes and values, such as sportsmanship, mutual respect, self-knowledge, resilience and how to respond positively to challenge. That is why the discipline of sport, athletics and gymnastics is integral to our curriculum; it is also why the rich cultural heritage of music, art, dance and drama is a staple component of the curricular diet of all De Lisle students.  In other words, we believe that an extensive, knowledge-based curriculum, far from being the preserve of an academic elite, is the right of every student at De Lisle College.

Through our curriculum, it is our mission as a Catholic school to provide a stimulating environment in which all students are challenged to uncover their God-given talents and develop them to the full.


  • The inclusion of specific curriculum items within each subject area is justified by their relevance to future learning, or by their contribution to the cultural capital all students require to succeed in life beyond school.  Nothing is taught to students which does not have long-lasting value.
  • The curriculum within each subject area is coherent.  Knowledge is not taught in isolation, but is explicitly located within the schema students must acquire, if their learning is to enter long term memory.
  • Students are able to articulate the “big ideas and concepts” from each subject in their own words.
  • Students joining the college with deficits in literacy or numeracy, receive swift intervention so that they may make rapid progress and catch up with their peers.
  • All students study the same full range of subjects until the end of Year 9: RE, English, maths, science, PE, French or Spanish, history, geography, music, art and design, drama and dance.  Only at the start of Year 10, are students able to relinquish certain subjects in order to follow a selected curriculum pathway.
  • All students have access to three high quality curriculum pathways at KS4: (1) Facilitating pathway; (2) STEM pathway; (3) Applied learning pathway.  Each pathway is carefully matched to students’ individual needs and aspirations.  All pathways provide for students’ progression to higher education, further education or employment with training.
  • At key stage 5, students have access to a wide range of academic and high value vocational qualifications.

Our curriculum reflects the requirements to provide a broad and balanced curriculum as per the Academies Act 2010, and the National Curriculum programmes of study which we have chosen to follow.  It also reflects requirements for inclusion and equality as set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2014 and Equality Act 2010, and refers to curriculum-related expectations of governing boards set out in the Department for Education’s Governance Handbook.

Further information on how we achieve this can be found in our statement of equality information and objectives, and in our SEND policy and information report.

[1] Arnold, M. 1869. Culture and Anarchy: An Essay in Social and Political Criticism. Oxford: Project Gutenburg.

[2] Department for Education. 2015. Consultation on Implementing the English Baccalaureate. DFE-00282-2015