The Curriculum at St Christopher’s School

What is an independent school?

In the United Kingdom independent schools have an excellent reputation for high standards of teaching and learning and almost all pupils go on to prestigious universities when they leave.

How does our curriculum relate to the National Curriculum?

In England and Wales, the government implements the National Curriculum. This provides a framework for education between the ages of 5 – 18 which focusses on achieving a national expected standard.   Since 2015, National Curriculum tests (SATs Tests) indicate whether a student has attained the expected national standard or not.

St Christopher’s School aims to cover key elements of the National Curriculum, but to exceed it in important respects.   Our aim is to track ability and attainment over and above the national expected standard.   Our teaching in English and Maths is heavily influenced by the Independent Schools Examining Board curriculum, which we believe is more challenging and geared to 11+ exam criteria.    We also teach and practise exam skills through standardised tests and ISEB exams as well as verbal reasoning and non verbal reasoning tests.   Finally our assessment system is based on standardised scores which track each student’s ability and indicate how they have exceeded the expected national standard.  We expect most of our students to exceed the expected national standard.

We have also made a conscious decision to base our assessment on academic tests in exam conditions, which better prepare our students for the 11+ system.

How does National Curriculum work?

The National Curriculum is constructed in Key Stages:

  • Key Stage 1 – Foundation year and Years 1 to 2 – for pupils aged between 5 and 7 years old
  • Key Stage 2 – Years 3 to 6 – for pupils aged between 8 and 11 years old

Compulsory national curriculum subjects at primary school are:

  • English
  • maths
  • science
  • design and technology
  • history
  • geography
  • art and design
  • music
  • physical education (PE)
  • information and communication technology (ICT)

Schools can develop their own ICT curricula or follow the programmes of study. They must also provide religious education (RE)

Schools often also teach:

  • personal, social and health education (PSHEE)
  • citizenship
  • modern foreign languages