top of page


One of our starting points for designing our new curriculum was the big question of ‘what type of a person are we trying to form?’  This has traditionally been one of the starting points for Catholic Education and we are mindful of the importance of character formation in a theological sense, whilst designing a new curriculum.

The very foundation of our school is based upon Gospel Values and our new curriculum is framed by this. The Gospel values themselves represent the guiding principles by which we strive to live our lives.  These values are drawn from the eight Beatitudes, the promises or statements made in Christ’s ‘Sermon on the Mount’

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


From this gospel, we draw the gospel values of faith, sacrifice and service, courage, truth and justice, peace, hope, love, community, tolerance and reconciliation. We strive to exhibit these values in our daily lives and through our curriculum we develop the ‘virtues’ of living out the values in all that we do.

The Catholic Pupil Profile is an approach taken by many Catholic schools to celebrating and encouraging these virtues, or character traits. Essentially, the virtues are the ‘habits’ or characteristics that are evident when the values are embedded in day-to-day practice. The virtues are generally represented in pairs and are often depicted in the diagram below.

 We aim, then, through our curriculum and pastoral support, that our pupils will lead more fulfilling lives by being:


We have been guided by position papers from the Archdiocese of Cardiff on the Curriculum for Wales within a Catholic school context. In embracing the virtues put forward by the Catholic Pupil Profile above we have aligned them with the four core purposes as shown in the table below. Throughout the school year, we look at each pair of virtues in detail through assemblies, pupil induction, PSHE and tutor time and in doing so prepare the ground for the four core purposes of the new curriculum.


Our curriculum will explore the authentic links in learning across Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLEs) in order to enhance understanding of key concepts and also to allow all learners to have the confidence to apply this knowledge in a range of genuine learning experiences and contexts.


When shaping a curriculum in a Catholic school we recognise that:

Every pupil has a divine origin and an eternal destiny. Every pupil is created imago Dei.

This is our ‘why’ at Bishop Vaughan Catholic School.

Our curriculum is therefore designed to recognise the God given talents of each pupil and to support them in making the very most of their abilities in every sense.

As a school community, we have carefully considered the needs of all of our learners and how they will be supported in order to reach their full potential. We ensure that every individual has the care, support, and guidance allowing them to reach their full potential, model the Catholic Pupil Profile virtues, realise the four core purposes of the curriculum and go on to make meaningful contributions to society as ethical citizens of the world. We encourage all our pupils to be the change makers of the future and develop the knowledge, skills and courage to call for social justice and fairness in an unequal world and to make meaningful contributions to their communities. We have, and will continue to, review our Additional Learning Needs provision to fully explore how best we will meet the needs of different groups of learners.


Our curriculum will provide opportunities and experiences to allow our learners to develop the key concepts, knowledge, and skills as stated in the statements of ‘What Matters’ as they are expressed in the Areas of Learning and Experience. Further information can be found here Curriculum for Wales - Hwb (


Our curriculum will provide learning experiences through subjects taught in line with the broader principles set out in the 6 AoLEs (Areas of Learning and Experience):

  • Languages, Literacy, and Communication;

  • Expressive Arts;

  • Science and Technology;

  • Humanities;

  • Maths and Numeracy;

  • Health and Wellbeing. 


Our curriculum will be delivered through disciplines that comprise the AOLEs. Discerning planning ensures that learning experiences are authentic and coherent across the AOLEs underpinned by strong research informed pedagogy.

Our curriculum will allow our learners to progress with their knowledge and skills and to have a clear understanding of how to access and implement the next stages in their learning in each Area of Learning and Experience (AoLE) and subject disciplines. Assessment will be part of everyday practice and used to help inform not only learners’ progression but also the school’s planning for future learning experiences and curriculum content. All new learners to the school will be assessed to help guide the levels of support that they require.


As an English medium school, learning will take place in English with Welsh being taught within the Language, Literacy, and Communication Area of Learning and Experience. However, as a school we are fully committed to our role in promoting Welsh culture and the Welsh language in all areas of the school’s curriculum and our wider communities. We promote Cynefin within our curriculum to ensure that the richness of what it means to live and to learn in Wales is identified and celebrated. Shaping cultural identity and heritage is an important part of our curriculum. 


Schools play a vital role in society to develop shared values, to nurture an understanding of difference and also to celebrate differences within communities. At Bishop Vaughan we aim to actively celebrate the cultural identities of our pupils through rich and varied curricular opportunities. Through the curriculum we explore the importance of peaceful communities and what it takes from each of us as responsible citizens of the world to create the conditions for peace.

We aim to model our school values and rich curricular learning experiences in various ways throughout the year and most notably in our annual school Festival of Peace. These opportunities reflect the diversity of our school community, where at the time of writing over 57 first languages are spoken.


Curricular opportunities are developed to stretch the progress and achievement of the More Able and Talented pupils which is supplemented by a well established ‘Masterclass’ programme. This programme provides access to eminent thinking from the fields of medicine, engineering, science, journalism and many more. This programme also supports creative thinking and raises aspirations for our learners.


Our curriculum develops the mandatory cross-curricular skills of Literacy, Numeracy, and Digital Competence. Learners will be given opportunities to develop and demonstrate these skills across all curriculum areas. These cross-curricular areas, alongside learners’ wellbeing, will be reported on in the annual report to parents and carers.

Through the pupils’ learning opportunities we aim to create:

  • Effective and creative writers

  • Eloquent and confident speakers

  • Active listeners

  • Capable and numerate problem solvers

  • Effective users of technology to support participation in and contributions to modern life


Our curriculum will incorporate career and work related experiences for all of our learners. We will work with multiple agencies to ensure that our learners have a clear idea about the opportunities which exist for them and how our curriculum can help to support them in the career choices they wish to pursue.


At Bishop Vaughan School, we teach young people how to form healthy relationships, while acknowledging that young people’s first experience of love is in the home. We encourage the young people in our school to recognise that they are all children of God, and that each person shares a God-given dignity. As they mature, we encourage them to follow the example of Jesus and live lives inspired by the Gospel virtues, enabling them to follow His commandment to “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Mark 12:31). Our RSE provision uses resources from TenTen and bespoke lessons to ensure our learners are empowered to form and maintain a range of relationships based on mutual trust and respect. We fully embrace the guidance in the Relationship and Sexuality Guidance Code alongside direction from the Bishops of England and Wales to ensure our provision develops learners' understanding in order to develop emotional well-being, resilience and empathy.


At Bishop Vaughan School, Religious Education is placed at the core of the curriculum, which helps the school promote a holistic education to fulfil its mission statement, reflecting the teaching of Jesus in John 10:10 ‘I have come so that they may have life, and have it to the full.’


Religious Education at Bishop Vaughan School is given 10% of teaching time, throughout key stages, 3, 4 and 5, in line with the Bishop’s memorandum. 5% of teaching time is allocated to General RE in the Sixth Form, where learners focus on spiritual reflection and virtues education, based on the tradition of St. Ignatius. At key stage 3, we fulfil the Religious Education Directory through bespoke lessons created to meet the needs of our learners, while paying due regard to the agreed syllabus within our local authority.  At key stages 4 and 5, all learners have the opportunity to study for external qualifications. Throughout the key stages, our religious education curriculum 'leads the way, offering everyone the opportunity to speak openly and with true freedom so that minds can meet in the pursuit of truth'. (The RED, p4).


Our school’s curriculum will be kept under constant review in order to respond to the changing needs of our learners, social contexts, and professional enquiry. All full curriculum reviews will take into account the views of all stakeholders and will be ratified by the school’s governing body. If any substantial changes are made to our curriculum are made in the interim this will be reflected in this summary document.

bottom of page