Search this Site:


Our curriculum is broad, balanced and relevant to each individual student.

The St Edmund’s curriculum encompasses all the activities included in the timetable, and those that occur beyond the classroom.

Our approach is grounded in the College’s core mission and Governor’s curriculum policy. Our curriculum is dynamic, and continually evolves to reflect national level changes and the needs of our students.

As a Christian community, we incorporate Catholic principles and values in all our subject teaching, and every student undertakes an appropriate Religious Education course.

Key Stage 3 curriculum (Years 7 to 9)



At Key Stage 3 teaching covers drawing, painting, mixed media and sculpture:

  • Elements (Year 7) – Cells and symbolic objects (pen, pencil, felting and stitch, clay)
  • Rudiments (Year 8) – Colour Theory, Gaudi, Illustration (painting, clay, pen, collage, watercolour)
  • Grammar (Year 9) – Sugar coated art, sugar coated sculpture (pencil/s painting, wire, clay)

In each year, we undertake practical design and make projects. These projects allow students to learn about the material area and develop their analysis skills.

Students have the opportunity to join the Key Stage 3 Art Club.

Design and technology

Design and technology

We cover three different material areas to support progression into GCSE. In each year group students undertake a practical design and make project. This allows students to learn about the material area and specific tools and equipment.

  • Elements (Year 7) – Metals. Students design and make a candle holder from mild steel. They learn how to measure, mark, cut and join metal as well as how to finish with a powder dip coat. A secondary project introduces the use of CAD/CAM. Students design and make a mould for a keyring that is then cast with pewter.
  • Rudiments (Year 8) – Woods. In Rudiments students produce a small wooden box. They learn how to measure, mark, and cut wood, as well as developing CAD/CAM skills in the design and laser engraving of the lid. A secondary project continues to develop CAD/CAM skills on 2D Design and students learn how to use a CNC router to machine their designs.
  • Grammar (Year 9) – Polymers and Electronics. Students design and make a USB powered nightlight. Skills involve an introduction to electronics and soldering, vacuum forming polymers, Photoshop, and sublimation printing.

Students have the opportunity to be involved in a Rotary technology tournament, and to experience Vex Robotics.

Food technology

We cover a range of practical and theoretical skills. In practical lessons students make a variety of sweet and savoury outcomes.

  • Elements (Year 7) – topics include: health and safety in food technology; food equipment names and uses; washing up procedures; the Eatwell Guide – structure, colours, specific group names and percentages; foods found in each group.
  • Rudiments (Year 8) – topics include: oven safety, nutrition, product development, food labelling and wise food shopping.

Students take part in Inter House food competitions and can join the Traybake club.


At Key Stage 3 there is an introduction to the fundamentals of devising and rehearsing in drama.

We aim to develop performance skills including use of voice and body, and focus upon developing rehearsal skills including working with others, sharing creative ideas, and developing artistic intentions.

Each term focuses upon a different style of drama – we explore texts and pupils are given the opportunity to learn lines and present short performances.

Texts include Blood Brothers, DNA and Noughts and Crosses.

Students are encouraged to devise their own work which is founded in research. In Elements (Year 7) students research the voices of the evacuees from World War Two. In Rudiments (Year 8) they create projects based upon gang warfare, using inspiration from Romeo and Juliet.

In Grammar (Year 9) students develop their physical control using physical theatre techniques influenced by Frantic Assembly.

Backstage elements of theatre are important, and students are able to use the new state-of-the-art lighting facilities to design their own lighting plans. They create radio plays using technology such as Audacity, and are able to use stage makeup in creating exciting costume designs.

This combination of devising, scripting and technical skills provides and excellent foundation for the breadth required at GCSE Drama.


At Key Stage 3 we introduce students to a range of fiction and non-fiction texts written by a diverse range of authors and including a broad variety of literary genres.

Students are encouraged to read widely and to increase the challenge of their text choices, to improve their overall comprehension and exposure to higher-level vocabulary.

Throughout these three years, students hone their technical writing skills; they work on using a range of punctuation accurately and creatively. They understand the conventions of writing for the correct form, audience and purpose.

Beginning with extract-based analyses and building to whole-text comprehension, students develop their analytical and evaluative skills, to prepare them for the demands of GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.

We believe every student has the right to engage with high-quality literature, to read empathetically and gain insights into the minds and worlds of seminal writers of the literary canon.

Teaching in English is grounded in the principles of High Performance Learning – the department believes that all students make better progress when they work collaboratively with others.


At Key Stage 3 students have opportunities to expand their world knowledge of places and their locations, investigate places at all scales, from the personal to the global.

Students consider what places are like and how they are changing, recognising that the past helps to explain the present. The following big ideas underpin the content delivered:

  • Place
  • Space
  • Scale
  • Diversity
  • Interdependence
  • Physical and human processes
  • Sustainability

Students will appreciate the world as a whole and understand that natural and human landscapes are interdependent and interconnected, formed by physical and human processes.

We develop spatial awareness using a wide range of maps and explore the world through increasingly complex, independent geographical enquiry. Students begin to make sense of places using a wide range of geographical data and be able to think critically about different viewpoints when investigating places.

Overall, students gain valuable skills that prepare them for Key Stage 4, including being able to justify their own decisions, think critically, use subject specific terminology fluently alongside being able to collate, present and analyse data.

Our approach

Lessons are interactive, enquiry based and where appropriate, supported by multimedia and technology.

Enrichment opportunities

Project based learning is commonplace within the subject and what is learnt within the classroom is extended out into the field, locally, regionally and internationally to destinations such as Iceland, Italy and Morrocco.

We also create opportunities for debate and discussion, cross curricular integration and the use of GIS.

Students regularly contribute to the school’s Eco Club and enter into the Young Geographer of the Year competition which is held on annual basis by the Royal Geographical Society.



Elements (Year 7)

We cover Medieval England including the Norman invasion 1066 up till the Peasants’ Revolt 1381/Renaissance Europe 1450 – 165.

Rudiments (Year 8)

The focus is Early Modern History:

  • England during the Tudors and Stuarts
  • The causes, key events and consequences of the French Revolution

Grammar (Year 9)

Topics include:

  • Industrial Britain 1750-1900
  • Social reform in 19th Century Britain
  • IGCSE programme
    • The development of the British Empire and the slave trade
    • The origins and course of the First World War (1905-1918)

Our approach

We build an understanding of the key concepts in history such as significance, interpretation, chronology, cause and consequence as well as change and continuity.

We then develop ability to apply and practise these concepts in studies through an investigative approach to learning. This includes developing source analysis skills, so that students can understand how the provenance and content of source material affect both its reliability and utility to the historian.

In the classroom the focus is very much on active, student-centred learning involving group tasks, and we make use of excellent online resources and simulation tasks.

Students therefore gain extensive practice of the skills needed to ensure exam success at GCSE level.

Enrichment opportunities at Key Stage 3 include: 

  • Junior History Award projects
  • Educational visits – e.g. Hampton Court Palace and the Ypres battlefields.



The Key Stage 3 series of units have been written to satisfy the National Curriculum for Computing. There is a mix of ICT and Computing teaching units that enable pupils to have the skills required for these courses at GCSE, and a mix of individual and small group work to prepare them for the GCSE courses.

Elements (Year 7)

We focus on using computers safely, effectively and responsibly, understanding computers, HTML and website development.

Rudiments (Year 8)

We build on Year 7 with topics including computer crime, cyber security, spreadsheet and modelling, and introduction to Python.

Grammar (Year 9)

Students focus on learning Python.


Languages (French, German, Spanish and Latin)

French, German and Spanish

Key Stage 3 builds knowledge and confidence in topics such as basic introductions, school, free time, my house, towns, holidays, food, shopping, pocket money, TV, film, social media, health, body, clothes and daily routines.

Solid grammar-based class lessons are delivered by highly-qualified, experienced teachers with varied, stimulating resources including textbooks, online sites, songs, games, projects.


We aim to develop an understanding of Latin word order, noun declensions (nominative, accusative, ablative, genitive, dative cases), regular verb conjugations in present, perfect and imperfect, future tenses, esse in present and imperfect tense, adjectives including comparatives and superlatives, intransitive verbs with the dative, pronouns, question words.

Students also develop an understanding of daily life in Rome, in particular, family life, houses, business, the forum, the theatre, slaves and freedmen, the amphitheatre and gladiatorial shows, the baths, education, elections.

The format utilised to develop basic skills in translation and comprehension of written Latin is the same as at GCSE level. Furthermore, students build knowledge of vocabulary and an awareness of the influence of Latin on English through reference to words derived from Latin which enriches their native language.

All language subjects include elements of:

  • Culture
  • Developing skills in empathy, critical thinking and research
  • Cross curricular opportunities and trips

Students can also benefit from:

  • The Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) Award, an internal competition
  • Enrichment activities such as Language Detectives
  • Opportunities to become Language Leaders
  • Visits by the Onatti Theatre Group who perform plays in French, German and Spanish
  • Links with other schools include joint lessons over Zoom with a class in Germany.

At Key Stage 3, our mathematics curriculum covers:

  • Algebra
  • Space/shape
  • Statistics
  • Ratio
  • Proportion
  • Number

We develop skills that form a foundation for GCSE examinations including:

  • Problem solving to interpret examination questions
  • Calculator use
  • Independent learning to support revision

Our approach includes:

  • Individual work
  • The silent method
  • Reflect, expect, check, explain
  • Minimally different questions

A combination of these approaches is very effective in developing confident mathematicians. More advanced learners compete in the National Mathematics Challenge.


At Key Stage 3 students cover:

  • Elements of music
  • The orchestra
  • Rhythm and pulse
  • Music theory
  • Piano skills
  • Ukuleles
  • Variations
  • Blues
  • Baroque music
  • Sequencing
  • Film music

In terms of skills, students experience performing whole class instrumental and singing pieces, creating and composing in groups, pairs, and individually using technology, listening and appraising music of different eras and places. These skills are central to GCSE Music and how it is assessed.

There is a lot of practical work; creating and playing music is underpinned with secure academic knowledge. Music technology is used to read, write and create music. All musical styles are valued and supported, and classroom musical learning underpins the extensive co-curricular work of the department.

Physical Education

Students enjoy a range of individual and team sports at Key Stage 3 including:

  • Table tennis
  • Badminton
  • Swimming
  • Rugby
  • Football
  • Cricket
  • Athletics
  • Tennis

Core and advanced skills for the sports are covered along with some theoretical content in the fitness units that students complete including types of training and fitness components, and this provides a solid foundation for GCSE study.

Our approach to teaching includes projects, trips, varied activities and competitions. A combination of individual and group work is included throughout these three years and leadership qualities are also taught and encouraged. A range of tours are on offer along with regular fixtures in all major College sports.

Religious education

As part of the Diocese of Westminster we teach ‘Source to Summit’ (based on the quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church CCC1324).

This programme aligns with GCSE Religious Education that each students will sit in Poetry (Year 11).

The course focuses on the following topics:

  • Creation and covenant
  • Prophecy and Promise
  • Galilee to Jerusalem
  • Desert to Garden
  • To the ends of the Earth
  • Dialogue and Encounter

This allows students to learn about the life, death and the resurrection of Jesus, the relevance of His teachings and applying them to everyday life through concepts such as stewardship linked to climate change.

The course also addresses moral and ethical dilemmas that we deal with on a daily basis with a specific reference to conscience and forgiveness. It looks at the stories told in the Bible and how they continue to influence and guide lives today.

In Rudiments (Year 7) and Grammar (Year 8) the topics will be revisited with the idea of layering and building knowledge,  understanding  and evaluation skills through the three types of activity:

  • Understand
  • Discern
  • Respond

A variety of teaching methods are used – for example:

  • Discussion and debates enhancing their ability to evaluate and look at other viewpoints helping to break down any biases or prejudices, especially when learning about other religions and practices. Allowing students to reach an informed decision and aiding them with writing a conclusion.
  • Think, pair and share
  • Personal and paired research tasks to build confidence in sharing power-point / presentations with the class.
  • Opportunities to become an RE Ambassador assisting the RE Department and meeting and greeting visitors, building leadership skills.
  • RE visits to places of Worship throughout the three years include:
    • Westminster Cathedral
    • A Hindu temple
    • St Paul’s Cathedral
    • A Jewish Synagogue

We also utilise our very special Pugin Chapel and College Museum where students explore religious artefacts and relics.

Students also benefit from our resident Priest Fr Peter Lyness, who joins lessons to discuss issues surrounding Vocation, the Sacraments including Reconciliation, Baptism and learning about the Mass.


The primary objective of our Key Stage 3 science curriculum is to inspire students to explore and comprehend the world around them.

Through scientific enquiry, students are encouraged to embrace the complexities inherent in all living organisms in the universe. Our curriculum is designed to develop their practical skills, knowledge and understanding in biology, chemistry and physics.

In Elements (Year 7) and Rudiments (Year 8), students engage with a tailored in-house curriculum aimed at fostering essential skills and encouraging scientific exploration, with experimental work at the heart.

By Grammar (Year 9), students transition to the AQA GCSE specification, laying groundwork for more advanced scientific study.

Our overarching goals for Key Stage 3 science education are as follows:

  • To develop curiosity and enthusiasm for science
  • To develop a critical approach to learning and exploration
  • To develop practical, experimental and investigative skills
  • To apply skills, knowledge and understanding to working scientifically
  • To provide a base for further study