Cardinal Heenan

Catholic High School

Curriculum Overview
Curriculum Overview

Our curriculum “makes learning challenging and enjoyable for all” enabling our students to “secure the best outcomes and remain lifelong learners who are committed to seeking truth”.  As such, we offer a wide range of subjects, enabling students to explore the fundamentals of a broad base of subjects in Key Stage 3 before selecting a balanced diet of GCSE options.

We recognise the vital importance of knowledge in building a deep understanding of the world; after all, you can’t think about something you don’t know.  Furthermore, we recognise that developing a body of powerful knowledge will allow our young people to participate fully in social, political, and moral debates thereby enabling them to make a valuable contribution to our democratic society.  To this end, we ensure students are explicitly taught the foundational knowledge that they will need in order to understand the heart of each subject, creating an interconnected web of understanding through which they can interpret, analyse and evaluate the world around them.

The subjects that we teach are intrinsically interesting; we encourage our students to appreciate the authentic core of each subject and to value learning and knowledge for its own sake.  Our schemes of learning and lessons are designed to be challenging and require our students to grapple with troublesome concepts, making connections, analysing and evaluating.  In this way, our students are learning the value of hard work, persistence and determination.  This then “inspires excellence by encouraging every individual to be the person that God calls us to be, in preparation for this life and the life to come”.


In Key Stage 3 students study: Religious Education; English; Mathematics; Science; Art; Design & Technology (including Woodwork, Graphics, Food Preparation & Nutrition and Textiles); Drama; Geography; History; Information Technology; Music; Spanish; Physical Education; and PSHCE.

In Key Stage 4 all students study: Religious Education; English Literature; English Language; Mathematics; and Science.  Some students take separate sciences (Physics, Biology and Chemistry) whilst others follow a combined GCSE.  Our science curriculum is designed to delay this decision until students have had sufficient opportunity to develop their understanding, skills and knowledge of all three sciences. In Key Stage 4 students are guided towards options that will allow them to make the most of their talents and abilities. The majority of our students take subjects that make up the English Baccalaureate. Students choose from a range of options including: Art; Business Studies; Child Play Learning & Development; Computing; Construction; Design & Technology Food Preparation & Nutrition; French; Geography; Health & Social Care; History; I-Media; Music; Spanish; Sports Studies; and Physical Education. 

In addition, all students continue to take PSHCE and Core PE.  For September 2019 we are introducing an exciting new course, Study Skills, the purpose of which is to enable students to understand how they learn, equip them with the skills that they need to be a successful learner and provide a structured way to reflect on and review their own learning skills.


For more information on each of our subjects, please choose the relevant links on this website. If you would like to find out more information about the curriculum that Cardinal Heenan follows, please email