Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
Loreto Crest

Curriculum Policy

The aim of the College is to make a broad and balanced curriculum available to all its pupils.  In doing so it is mindful of its statutory obligations regarding the Curriculum.

Pupils with special needs have their curriculum access maximised in accordance with the Code of Practice.

In relation to the quality of teaching and learning, differentiation variety and personalised learning is an important part of each Department’s Scheme of Work and its delivery of lessons in the classroom.

A considerable range and variety of extra-curricular activities, covering sports/games interests, skills interests and academic interests, are encouraged.

Religious Education is at the heart of the curriculum in Loreto College.

The school day begins with the first bell at 8.55 am.  Teaching begins at 9.00 am and finishes at 3.15 pm.  Extra-curricular activities go on until 4.20 pm.

There are ten 35 minute periods per day, nine teaching and one lunch period, with a 15 minute break after period two.  Fridays and Mondays have ten teaching periods.

Senior Assembly occurs on Mondays and Wednesdays, Junior Assembly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

For academic subjects each year group is divided into five mixed ability classes.  Each class has a balance of boys and girls. 

The Northern Ireland Curriculum has now been introduced into KS3.

In First Year, classes are constructed so that, where possible, each child has someone of the same sex from the same primary school.  In these classes, each of 24, pupils study English, French, Geography, History, Maths, Religious Education and Science.  They also have one period per week of Use of Library, Irish Studies, Spanish and ICT.  Pastoral Care/LLW has three periods per week.  For practical subjects - Art, Drama, Home Economics, Music, PE and Technology - pupils are divided into groups, each of 20 or fewer. 

In Second Year, pupils are asked to study a second language - Spanish or Irish.  All the courses taken in second year are continued in third year to complete Key Stage 3 (with the exception of the ICT period). 

In Third Year, pupils select their GCSE subjects in keeping with the requirements of the Curriculum for Key Stage 4. 

GCSE pupils study a core curriculum of English, Maths and Religious Education.  We also offer the following subjects at GCSE level:  Additional Maths, Art and Design, Biology, Chemistry, Double Award Science, ICT, Drama, Economics, German, History, Home Economics, Irish, Music, English Literature, French, Spanish, Geography, Physics, Technology and Physical Education.  All GCSE pupils have non-exam courses in Pastoral Care, Learning for Life and Work, PE and Careers.  All GCSE pupils follow the CCEA syllabi with the following exceptions: Religious Education, French and German (AQA), English, English Literature and Technology (OCR).

COPE is offered to a small number of pupils after school. 
Digital Technology is offered to a small number of pupils after school.

Cross Curricular Themes (EMU, Health Education, ICT, Careers, Economic Awareness) are delivered through the Programmes of Study of the Common Curriculum.

At A Level the following subjects are offered at “A” and AS levels.

Art & Design                           AS    A
Biology                                  AS    A
Chemistry                              AS    A
Design & Technology                AS A
Economics                             AS    A
English Literature                     AS    A
English Language                     AS    A
French                                      AS    A
Geography                                 AS    A
Government & Politics                 AS A
Information &
Communication Technology          AS A
Irish                                           AS    A
History                                       AS    A
Home Economics                          AS    A
Mathematics                               AS    A
Applied Mathematics                 (Yr14;nos permitting)
Music                                          AS    A
Physical Ed/Sports Studies             AS A
Physics                                        AS    A
Religious Studies                           AS    A
Spanish                                         AS A
Theatre Studies                              AS    A

Students also attend enrichment classes in Careers, PE and Religious Education.  RSA Stage 1& II Word and Text Processing (Level 2) and ICT Key Skills (Level 3) are taken at the local NR College by means of a Link Course.  Key Skills in ICT, Application of Number and Communication are offered (Level 3).  Year 13 receive Study Skills and Leadership training and the opportunity of a Retreat.  The Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (COPE) is also offered in Year 13.  A sign language course may also be offered.

New procedures for the inspection of Pastoral Care in schools have been introduced by DENI.  The staff is fully briefed on these.

The Curriculum of the College is kept under constant review by Senior Leadership Team and by the Curriculum Development Committee.  This consists of staff drawn from a wide variety of departments and is chaired by the Curriculum Development Co-ordinator.  It meets regularly throughout the year.

One of the latter’s key functions is to devise, implement and review the School Development Plan, a three-year managed programme for implementing change.  It seeks the views and opinions of the whole staff in prioritising issues for inclusion in the plan.

It is also the forum through which Government led initiatives are discussed, clarified and strategies devised for implementing these initiatives.  Any member of staff may sit on the Committee.

The allocation of teachers to classes is made after consultation between the Principal and the Head of Department.  In deciding upon this allocation the qualifications, experience, Head of Department preferences and teacher preferences are taken into account.  This allocation is always made in the best interests of the students.

A wide range and variety of extra-curricular activities has been established in the College.  Pupils are encouraged to become involved in these.

The Leadership is mindful of its obligations as set out in the Aims of the College for “ . .  education of the whole person – spiritually, intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically”.  Extra-curricular activities make a significant contribution to the Aims of the College.

A list of current extra-curricular activities is contained in Appendix 1.

As a learning-for-all school the College is committed to promoting and facilitating relevant training for both the professional and personal development of staff enabling them to carry out their duties and responsibilities more effectively.