Curriculum Planning Design

Curriculum Planning and Design

Let's celebrate local success stories

St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon: Engineering the Curriculum

Broadening the Key Stage 4 and post-16 curriculum

Watch the video and read the case study if you are interested in:
Curriculum, community involvement, working with stakeholders, employability, transition, peer mentoring and pupil voice

St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon, has a strong focus on a broad and demand-led curriculum. The school aims to build in learning opportunities that meet the needs of a diverse range of pupils with different career aspirations. The school has successfully collaborated with the Manufacturing and Engineering Growth and Advancement (MEGA) Network to promote awareness of global opportunities right here in Northern Ireland. Find out more about MEGA on the Agenda NI page Mid Ulster in ‘MEGA’ drive to address manufacturing skills and engineering.

This video highlights the importance of project experience at Key Stage 3 and work experience at Key Stage 4, and how both expose young people to the world of work. The school has linked with industry to provide insights and progression pathways to engineering, digital technology, robotics and artificial intelligence.

For additional information on St Patrick’s Academy read the following case study:

School context:

St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon, is an 11–19 selective grammar school with an approved enrolment of 1320 pupils and a Year 8 intake of 208. The Academy attracts pupils from a wide geographical area, including Cookstown, Moy and Portadown. The vast majority of pupils remain in the school for seven years. The retention rate after GCSE is very high (97 percent). This reflects the range of courses and curriculum available, the extracurricular opportunities, the strong pastoral support and the ethos of the school. Most pupils progress to higher education, although that number has reduced recently as more pupils look to apprenticeship schemes, foundation degrees at South West College or take gap years.

Bangor Grammar School: Learning Logs and Creativity in the Curriculum

Worth reading if you are interested in:
Curriculum design, creativity in the outdoor classroom, Key Stage transitions, connected learning, skills acquisition, active learning.

School context: 

Bangor Grammar School is a boys’ interdenominational, voluntary grammar school of almost 900 pupils with an approved admission number of 125. It has a wide catchment area covering North Down and Ards and is oversubscribed at Year 8. The percentage of Year 12 students achieving seven or more GCSE grades A*–C, including English and mathematics, was 95 percent in 2019. Most of the Year 12 pupils return to post-16 study at the school. The school-leavers’ destinations data indicates that almost all Year 14 pupils in 2018 progressed to higher education study. The school is a member of the Bangor Learning Partnership, comprising the four post-primary schools in Bangor: Bangor Grammar School, Glenlola Collegiate, Bangor Academy and St Columbanus’s College. This enables sixth form pupils to study a Level 3 or A Level course at one of the partner schools. The school is also part of the North Down and Ards Area Learning Community and is engaged in a Shared Education project with Bangor Academy and St Columbanus’s College. Part of this involves working towards achieving Rights Respecting Schools status.

Lagan College, Belfast: Learning Pace Pathways at Key Stage 4

Worth reading if you are interested in:
Curriculum design, use of data, pupil tracking, pupil voice, personalised pathways

School context: 

Lagan College is Northern Ireland’s first planned integrated school. It was founded in 1981 with twenty-eight pupils. Today there are over 1350 pupils. About 27 percent are entitled to free school meals. A bilateral admissions system operates with 65 percent (130 pupils) of the annual intake entering the College without any reference to their academic ability. The College selects 35 percent (70 pupils) based on their academic ability. Lagan College draws its pupils from around fifty primary schools and is consistently oversubscribed. The approval of a development proposal in 2017 led to an increase in enrolment in the sixth form. There are currently 278 pupils studying a variety of courses at post-16 level. The school community values its new school building, which opened in 2013. Lagan College is a dynamic member of a number of partnerships, including the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education and the East Belfast Area Learning Community. The school participates in shared education work with two neighbouring post-primary schools. The staff complement is the principal plus ninety-two teaching staff (eleven of these are part-time teachers) and ninety-five support staff.