Here at St. Bees we pride ourselves on providing a traditional, rigorous and stimulating curriculum that allows pupils to develop an appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of the subjects that they study. It is our aim that pupils are inspired and challenged and that they develop the skills and knowledge that not only enable them to excel in examinations, but that also develop confidence, intellectual curiosity and passion for knowledge and lifelong learning that will equip them to enter the ever changing world in which we live.
Our firm belief is that to deliver the quality of education to which we aspire high quality teaching is of paramount importance and to this end we are proud of the quality, commitment and dedication of our teachers. All members of the teaching staff are subject specialists and include senior examiners. We aim to keep class sizes small so that every pupil receives the individual attention that enables them to flourish. The academic progress and pastoral welfare of each pupil is carefully monitored by their personal tutor.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Form Curriculum (Year 7, 8 & 9) Key Stage 3
The following subjects are taught in the First Form;
ICT (Information and Communications Technology)
Religious Studies is taught from first form through fifth form. In the first and second forms, pupils can an overview of the Old Testament and New Testament, gaining both a spiritual understanding of the text but also gaining the cultural and literary background of history’s most important book. In the third year, there is a basic overview of both Christian thought as well an understanding of comparative religions. Often this year includes a subject of broader interest, such as faith and film (with a recent unit offered being “The Gospel According to Pixar”).
The fourth form begins instruction to sit the GCSE exam in Religious Studies, beginning with pupils studying St Luke’s Gospel. This is followed by a year engaging Christian Ethics, after which pupils may elect to sit the examination. Pupils who wish to study Religious Studies at AS level (Philosophy of Religion & Ethics) may do so off-timetable with staff support.
Games and Physical Education form part of the timetable with PSE (Personal and Social Education). We believe in providing a broad education that doesn't simply focus on the learning of academic subjects, pupils will also have timetabled lessons on Food Technology and Adventure Training (outdoor pursuits).
The 4th and 5th Form (Year 10/11) Key Stage 4
Pupils also choose three options from the following subjects; History, Art, Home Economics, Geography, Physical Education, Spanish, Music, ICT and Latin. These subjects are planned in three option blocks which change annually to meet the demands of our pupils.
Religious Studies, PSE and Games lessons occur alongside the examination subject lessons.
Pupils typically choose four subjects to study at AS Level in the Lower Sixth Form and three of these are usually continued into the Upper Sixth Form leading to three A Levels although we seek to tailor the curriculum to the needs of each individual pupil.
The following choice of subjects is available for study in the 6th Form to A Level:
Pupils in the lower sixth all do games twice a week and will also study a non-examined programme consisting of Cookery for One, Presentation & Public Speaking and Personal Finance. The aim of this programme is to help equip pupils with additional skills and knowledge that will help both in the preparation for University life, but also entering the world of work. Pupils in the Upper Sixth will also study an examined course in A Level General Studies. For pupils whose English is not their first language we provide tuition in preparation for IELTS (International English Language Testing System).
The majority of St. Bees pupils leave to go to University (either directly or after taking a Gap Year) studying a wide range of subjects ranging from traditional courses such as Veterinary Medicine, Medicine, Engineering, Geography, English and Law through to Languages, Management, and Sports based courses.
Every year a small number of pupils continue their studies at Oxford or Cambridge Universities and a programme of guidance and support is provided for all pupils in the Sixth Form whether they wish to proceed directly to University, work or take a Gap Year.
The Careers Department, housed next to the Sixth Form Study Centre, is well resourced with University prospectuses and information on study related courses. Detailed advice and guidance is readily available to all pupils at the School. Appointments for one-to-one careers interviews can be made with the Careers Co-ordinator. Read more