St Philip Howard Catholic School places great emphasis on providing a high-quality education that reflects the values of the Catholic faith. The school offers a broad range of subjects, including core subjects such as English, math, and science, as well as creative and vocational subjects.

When curating the curriculum for each subject, the school takes great care to ensure that it aligns with the Catholic ethos and values, while also being engaging, challenging, and relevant to the needs of all students.

The school’s curriculum is designed to foster a love of learning, encourage critical thinking, and promote the development of moral character. Catholic values such as respect, compassion, and responsibility are woven into every aspect of the curriculum, with a particular focus on religious education.

The school also provides a range of opportunities for students to deepen their faith through worship, prayer, and service to the community.

St Philip Howard is committed to providing a holistic education that nurtures the spiritual, moral, and intellectual development of every student.

Our Approach

At St Philip Howard Catholic School, we believe that our curriculum should recognise and celebrate the unique qualities of each child, who are created in the image of God. Our curriculum is designed to develop learners for life, providing them with the skills, knowledge and values they need to succeed in an ever-changing world. We challenge and push learners of all abilities and backgrounds to achieve the very high expectations we have in relation to desired behaviours and outcomes. We believe that our curriculum should provide equal opportunities for all students to succeed, regardless of their background or ability.

Our curriculum is designed to be sufficiently broad and balanced, providing students with a wide range of learning opportunities across a range of subject areas. At the heart of our curriculum are the fundamental skills of literacy and numeracy, which provide the foundation for students to access the many other learning opportunities available to them. We are committed to developing a successful future pathway for each young person, linked to their own interests and careers of interest to them. Our curriculum is designed to support students in achieving their goals and aspirations, providing them with the knowledge, skills and values they need to succeed in life beyond school.

Our Curriculum



Course details

Qualification: GCSE & A Level

Exam Board: AQA & OCR

Our hope, as a department, is that pupils leave SPH as keen readers and writers, equipped to understand how language is used as a tool and enthusiastic to use language creatively themselves. Throughout Years 7-13, we place emphasis on encouraging independent reading and developing evaluative and analytical skills.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, pupils study a range of texts, both fiction and non-fiction, in line with National Curriculum requirements. In Year 7, for instance, we begin by looking at Victorian London, exploring how authors such as Dickens presented it at the time. In doing so, we focus closely on developing pupils´ ability to write analytically about an author´s use of language. In the first term, pupils will also craft their own writing for descriptive and narrative purposes.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, we follow the AQA syllabuses for English Language and English Literature. All pupils study ´Frankenstein´ at the end of Year 9 in preparation for their GCSE course. Further texts could include ´Pigeon English´, ´Lord of The Flies´ and ´Blood Brothers´. In addition, pupils will study a play by Shakespeare and some poetry from the AQA Anthology. For their English exam, they will need to respond to unseen texts and write for a range of contexts and purposes. Pupils will undertake regular exam practice as the course is assessed wholly by exam. A separately certificated award for speaking and listening is also made.

Key Stage 5

At A-Level, we offer English Literature (AQA spec. B), English Language (AQA), Creative Writing (AQA) and Media Studies (OCR). All four A-Levels are very popular choices for Sixth Form students; we also regularly achieve some of the highest results nationally.

Trips to the British Library and A Level Conferences have recently benefitted students in their studies. Participation in local Rotary Club Public Speaking and Young Writer competitions is encouraged. A wide range of extra-curricular activities and projects for pupils in all years are co-ordinated including BBC School Report, a journalism club, public speaking competitions and transition projects (including the Arun Literary Festival), trips to local and national newspaper headquarters and theatre trips.



Course details

Qualification: GCSE

Mathematics is for everyone. It is a way of communicating the world in which we live and naturally we are all born with the ability to spot patterns and make predictions.

In Mathematics you will build on firm foundations and discover the way in which number, shape, data, ratio and algebra can be applied to the wider world. Mathematics is a subject that pervades all areas of life.

You will explore a massive universe of inter-connected ideas that all work in harmony, each supporting the other, enabling you to solve unfamiliar problems.

We look to develop your depth of understanding, improve your ability to reason logically, seek ways of becoming more efficient and ultimately create some incredibly talented and creative independent problem solvers equipped to shape the future for generations to come.



Course details

Qualification: GCSE & A Level or BTEC

Exam Board: AQA

The Science department at St Philip Howard believe it is crucial that students have the opportunity to understand and interpret the world around them. Our science curriculum is designed so that students develop and sustain curiosity, and a lifelong eagerness to learn. Studying science also ensures students become scientifically literate citizens who can make sense of reports on TV, radio, in newspapers and on the internet.

At St Philip Howard we value the importance of extracurricular opportunities outside of the curriculum. We run a popular KS3 science club and provide numerous trips and STEM opportunities for our KS4 and KS5 students such as: the Thorpe Park Physics Day, Engineering Days at Ricardo Racing, the Big Bang Fair at Ardingly, work experience at some of our local garden nurseries and the opportunity to become published in a scientific journal as part of the IRIS (Institute for Research in Schools) Whipworm Project.

Key Stage 3

At KS3 we aim to foster a sense of awe and wonder in children, encouraging them to ask big scientific questions, and challenge their pre-existing ideas of the laws which govern the universe. We believe that practical inquiry is at the root of all good scientific study and have six fully equipped teaching labs and an array of scientific equipment for students to experience hands on learning opportunities. In studying biology, chemistry and physics we ensure students appreciate the fundamental principles of science whilst developing key analytical and evaluative skills.

Key Stage 4

At KS4 we offer pathways based on the AQA Separate Science curriculum (where three GCSEs are gained in biology, chemistry and physics) or the AQA Trilogy Science curriculum (where students still study biology, chemistry and physics, and gain two GCSEs). These courses are taught by subject specialists who seek to shape and refine students scientific thinking, encouraging children to reach and exceed their potential and develop informed scientific and ethical perspectives.

Key Stage 5

We also offer a broad range of options at KS5 with students having the opportunity to study A level Biology, Chemistry and Physics or BTEC Applied Science. These courses enrich students’ engagement and continue to foster a sense of inquisitiveness, whilst providing many with a stepping stone to higher education and career opportunities in science. 

Religious Education

Religious Education

Course details

Qualification: GCSE & A Level

We are a dynamic and exciting department where not only do we teach our students to love to learn but also we try to do so much more. We want all our students to learn to love and our ultimate goal is to be ready to meet their maker whenever that time comes. We seek to offer religious perspectives on the issues that matter to their own lives and to the wider worldwide community. In our teaching we hope to develop every student to consider their own faith and to grow in awareness of a religious and Christian dimension within their lives.

About Religious Education

At the centre of all topics that we study are the fundamental questions of life. To be able to make informed opinions about such matters students are encouraged to gain knowledge, to develop their understanding and then to support their views with reasoned argument and a variety of evidence. The very nature of our subject means that we deal with the most contentious and difficult issues in society, issues of faith and issues of tradition and culture. While our department concentrates and expounds the teaching of Catholicism we also must look outwards. We examine and consider other faiths to see what insights they may give in our personal searches for meaning and to understand our society and our world in a complete and deeper manner.

Religious Education develops important life and spiritual skills but as an academic subject we concentrate on the skills of knowledge, understanding and evaluation. At A level these skills are further enhanced by looking at the skills of relevance and critical analysis of theological and philosophical theories.

Key Stage 3

We also teach students about the following religions during KS3:

  • Year 7 – Sikhism and Buddhism
  • Year 8 – Hinduism and Judaism
  • Year 9 – Islam
Why Religious Education?

Religious Education offers many transferable skills which many students can use in a wide range of subject areas and in life. In addition the subject offers many opportunities for students to develop and show their own personal learning and thinking skills that they have gained in other subject areas. Discussion and debating skills are just one skill that is used in many lessons that can be used elsewhere in other areas of school.

There are also opportunities for students to put their knowledge and efforts into practice within their church or to support the wider local community where they live. Students are encouraged to get active within the world because it is only through spiritual and personal actions that they ultimately will show the full effects of what they have learnt in the classroom.



Course details

Qualification: GCSE & A Level

At St Philip Howard, studying Art provides students with a unique opportunity to explore their own creativity, express ideas and develop an understanding of visual principles in our increasingly image-filled world. In KS3, students explore the formal elements of Art and record through a variety of traditional and less traditional techniques. Through the exploration of a variety of historical and contemporary artists, students work to inspire their practice and techniques in an individual way.

Projects for KS4 and KS5 explore Structures, Human Conditions, and A Sense of Place, among others, with increasing independence in the direction the project takes. Alongside the development of their visual language, students also become adept critical thinkers; questioning contexts, developing communication, and problem-solving. Students develop a strong visual literacy enabling them to explore aesthetic considerations and to develop their presentation skills.

In addition to regular classes, students have the opportunity to visit art galleries like the Tate Modern and Pallant House Gallery, attend life drawing sessions for KS5, and exhibit their work at local venues such as Arundel Museum. The Art department’s friendly and lively work environment is regularly open to students after-school; students who wish to use the resources and space, for additional drop-in support sessions, and for KS3 Art club.

The department aims to develop young people who are skilled and passionate about working in the creative industry, which is the fastest-growing industry in the UK, bringing in over £111bn. The annual Art exhibition celebrates the work produced by talented GCSE and A Level students, as well as work from KS3 students. St Philip Howard believes that through a study of Art, students will become people who are able to see potential, think outside the box, and use their creativity with confidence.

Modern Foreign Language

Modern Foreign Language

Course details

Qualification: GCSE

Exam Board: AQA

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”Nelson Mandela


“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.”Frank Smith


“A different language is a different vision of life.”Federico Fellini


“We have strong evidence today that studying a foreign language has a ripple effect, helping to improve student performance in other subjects.”Richard Riley


Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Here at SPH, The MFL Department provides all students with an exciting and engaging introduction to language learning, the chance to develop their skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing and an insight into other cultures. We are a passionate and dedicated team of six specialist language teachers who take great pride in their students and the progress they are making.


In the last three years, we have been organising immersive trips to France, Germany and Spain where our students had the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities with their pen pals. We have also been very privileged to be hosting two Spanish schools.

Key Stage 3

In year 7, three tutor groups study Spanish, three study French and one studies German. Students will continue learning the same language in year 8 and 9. Throughout the course of KS3, students will learn to introduce themselves and their family in the target language. They will also be able to talk and write about a range of topics such as hobbies, pets, food, school etc. 

Key Stage 4

GCSE French

GCSE German

GCSE Spanish

Course Content

The themes and topics on which the course is based come under 3 theme titles:


  • Identity and Culture
  • Local, National, International and Global Areas of Interest
  • Current and Future Study and Employment
Course Objectives

Our objective is to enable students of all abilities to develop their French, German and Spanish Language skills to their full potential, equipping them with the knowledge to communicate in a variety of contexts with confidence.  We are passionate about the benefits that learning a language can bring.  We strongly believe in languages as a skill for life and something students should enjoy and find rewarding.


Assessment for the GCSE course comprises four elements:


  • A final writing examination, 25% of the final grade
  • A final speaking examination, 25% of the final grade
  • A final reading examination, 25% of the final grade
  • A final listening examination, 25% of the final grade


Students may be entered for either Foundation or Higher tier but not both.


GCSE students will be assessed regularly throughout the year.

Key Stage 5

Qualification: A Level

Exam Board: AQA German, Edexcel French & Spanish

Course Content
  • Changes in society
  • Art
  • Immigration and integration
  • Media
  • Politics
Course Objectives

A-level languages build upon your existing knowledge gained at GCSE, giving you a sound understanding of using your language in a variety of contexts and situations.


The emphasis of the A-level language course focuses on improving communication in your foreign language through different means as well as being able to use it in a variety of situations, developing your key skills areas and most importantly to encourage you to fall in love with learning languages.


Assessment for the A level course comprises three exam papers:

  • A final writing examination, 30% of the final grade
  • A final speaking examination, 30% of the final grade 


French and Spanish

  • A final reading and listening examination, 40% of the final grade
  • A final writing examination, 20% of the final grade
  • A final speaking examination, 30% of the final grade    



  • A final reading and listening examination, 50% of the final grade
Social Science

Social Science

Course details

Qualification: A Level, BTEC Level 3

In the SPH Sixth Form you have the opportunity to study Sociology and Psychology at A-Level and Applied Psychology, Travel and Tourism and Health and Social Care at BTEC Level 3.  


Lessons involve a range of learning styles including; class debates, article and newspaper analysis and practical tasks (such as creating brain hats and skittles sampling). As an Key Stage 5 only department, Mrs Thomas, Mrs Wakley, Miss Jenking, Miss Mogan and Mrs Chapman are able to provide a range of resources which help students make the jump between GCSE and A-Level style learning, with a focus on organisation to help students become fully independent workers, so they are equipped for life after SPH, be that university or the world of work. 

A Level Courses

Sociology A-Level provides students with the skills of analysis and evaluation. They are able to examine what is happening in the world and explain it from many different perspectives including Feminism and Post-Modernism. The use of evidence is essential in this subject, and students gain an understanding of how sociological research is collected and the benefits and pitfalls of many research methods including the use of official government statistics. The A-Level develops students’ critical eyes and allows them to examine the news and current affairs in an in-depth manner, considering the impact these events may have on society in the short and long term. The course also focuses on the effectiveness of social policy and therefore gives students a historical and political awareness making the students well rounded social scientists. Currently at SPH, the topics taught are: Education, Families and Households, Mass Media and Crime and Deviance. 


Qualification: A Level

Sociology A-Level provides students with the skills of analysis and evaluation. They are able to examine what is happening in the world and explain it from many different perspectives including Feminism and Post-Modernism. The use of evidence is essential in this subject, and students gain an understanding of how sociological research is collected and the benefits and pitfalls of many research methods including the use of official government statistics. The A-Level develops students’ critical eyes and allows them to examine the news and current affairs in an in-depth manner, considering the impact these events may have on society in the short and long term. The course also focuses on the effectiveness of social policy and therefore gives students a historical and political awareness making the students well rounded social scientists. Currently at SPH, the topics taught are: Education, Families and Households, Mass Media and Crime and Deviance. 


Qualification: A Level

Psychology is one of the most popular A-Level options at SPH. In Psychology A-Level students examine a range of debates such as nature versus nurture and free will versus determinism, which allow them to critically assess the value of a range of topic areas. In addition, the A-Level develops students’ research skills and data analysis, as students have to have an in-depth awareness of methodological strengths and limitations as well as some competency in statistical testing and graphical data. They are then able to critically examine the validity and reliability of published research in essays.


The course provides students with an understanding of the uniqueness of each of us, meaning they gain the ability to empathise with others, essential in a world more complex than ever. At SPH, the optional topics which students explore are; Gender, Aggression and Schizophrenia where they consider why psychologists are in disagreement about the causes of behaviour. This is in addition to the compulsory units of Attachment, Social Influence, Memory and Psychopathology.  

BTEC Courses

These courses are made up of a balance of exam units and coursework units, meaning independent research is essential. These courses have lower entry requirements, but are still accepted as qualifications by universities, employers and apprenticeship providers. They have a more vocational outlook, applying theory to more real life settings than the A-Level courses.  

L3 Applied Psychology

Qualification: BTEC Level 3

The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it supports progression to higher education as well as the work place. The qualification provides the knowledge, understanding and skills to provide a foundation in psychology that will prepare you for further study or training.

Everyone taking this qualification will study four units, covering the following content areas: 

  • applications of psychological approaches – gender, consumer behaviour, aggression
  • conducting psychological research (coursework)
  • health psychology – ill-health, stress, addiction.
  • criminal and forensic psychology (coursework)
L3 Travel and Tourism

Qualification: BTEC Level 3

The objective of the qualification is to support progression to higher education and the work place. The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with higher education providers to ensure that it supports this progression. In addition, employers and professional bodies have been involved and consulted in order to confirm that the content is appropriate and consistent with current practice. 

This qualification includes three mandatory units covering the following content areas. 

  • The travel and tourism industry – the travel and tourism industry in the UK is growing and is of major importance to the economy. Learners will develop the skills needed to examine, interpret and analyse a variety of statistics that measure the importance of tourism to the UK.
  • Different types of destinations and their importance – learners will investigate the features and appeal of global destinations.
  • Principles of marketing in travel and tourism (coursework) – learners will explore how to develop a successful marketing plan for use by travel and tourism organisations to attract and engage with customers using research data.


Learners study the optional unit of ‘Visitor Attractions’ (coursework) where they carry out a review of two attractions in the UK, which may involve visits to these as part of the course.

L3 Health and Social Care

Qualification: BTEC Level 3

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Health and Social Care aims to provide an introduction the sector. It is for learners who are interested in learning about the health and social care sector as part of a balanced study programme.


The mandatory content of the qualification incorporates topics relevant across the health and social care sector: 

  • Human Lifespan Development
  • Working in Health and Social Care
  • Meeting Individual Care and Support Needs (coursework)
  • Psychological Perspectives (coursework) -taught by Mrs Wakley, psychology specialist


Course details

Qualification: GCSE & A Level

Exam Board: Edexcel A

‘The study of geography is more than about places and maps. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of culture that exists across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all the knowledge to help bridge divides, bring people together and solve problems’ Barack Obama

Through studying Geography, students develop knowledge, skills and understanding that will help them grow up in an increasingly complex world. Through KS3 we are aiming to encourage the awe about the world around us and understand the processes they see every day such as those which occur in both coastal and river environments within Sussex. At KS4 we follow the Edexcel A exam board which builds upon those skills developed throughout KS3 and present more in-depth place studies such as a comparison between Lagos and London. Finally, in KS5 which also follows the Edexcel exam board they branch into the Carbon Cycle, Tectonic Processes, Regeneration and Human Health just as a sample.

Where possible classwork is supported by fieldwork, and this forms an important and stimulating part of our curriculum. This develops a range of highly desirable and transferrable skills that include research, enquiry, analysis of results, evaluation of the investigation and decision making. Currently the department runs trips to Dorset, Portsmouth, Southsea and Hayling Island and are constantly looking at ways to get the students practicing their skills from the classroom out in the real world.

Geography at SPH encourages the pupils to make sense of their world, their role within it and how they can make a difference in the future. We hope to develop enthusiasm in their studies and take their knowledge of Geography everywhere they go in life. We are an innovative department and ensure that the pupils are active learners, asking questions and seeking answers as well as considering different viewpoints and scenarios.

Geography is a popular option at GCSE and A Level, and a number of students continue their studies onto university. Geography continues to be one of the most employable courses that pupils can study due to the range of skills they learn for 21st Century work. As a result, there is not really one career path for a geographer. However common careers involve international business, environmental engineering, surveying, diplomacy, environmental and risk mapping, urban plannings, international aid, travel and tourism as a taster.



Course details

Qualification: A Level

Exam Board: Edexcel

A two-year course that focuses, in the first year, on building knowledge of core concepts and applying them to a wide range of contexts in order to understand how businesses work. The second year develops knowledge of more complex theories and encourages learners to develop a sophisticated strategic understanding of how businesses operate.   


There are four Themes studied in the course: Theme 1 Marketing & People, Theme 2 Managing Business Activity, Theme 3 Business Decisions and Strategy, and Theme 4 Global Business. 

Requirements: Grade 6 in English & Maths

Grade 6 in Business if applicable

Style of Assessment
Paper 1: Marketing, People and Global Business

2 hour examination / 35% of A Level 

Section A & B each comprise of a business case study followed by a series of questions that assess students’ understanding of business theories and how they may be applied in order to resolve the challenges facing a range of businesses.  

This paper will draw from Themes 1 & 4 

Paper 2: Business Activities, Decisions & Strategy

2 hour examination / 35% of A Level

Section A & B each comprise of a business case study followed by a series of questions that assess students’ understanding of business theories and how they may be applied in order to resolve the challenges facing a range of businesses.

This paper will draw from Themes 2 & 3

Paper 3: Investigating Business in a Competitive Environment

2 hour examination / 30% of A Level

A specific industry is selected for students to study in November of Year 13. Sections A & B each comprise of a business case study followed by a series of questions that assess students’ understanding of business theories and how they may be applied in order to resolve the challenges facing a range of businesses.

This paper assesses content from all four Themes

Whose kind of course?

If you are interested in understanding what business is and the factors that determine business success or failure, then this is the course for you. Students will learn a range of business theories and how they may (or may not!) apply in the real world of business.

Students who wish to be employed in any sector will find this course useful as we study how to improve organisational performance across a wide range of areas including marketing, operations, finance and human resources. Ultimately, the course is about understanding how groups of people work together to achieve shared objectives, which is helpful in the world of business, government and the non – profit sector.

Stretch & Challenge – aiming for A*: There are many opportunities to extend learning in business. Students will be challenged through the use of real world business problems, independent study tasks and extra – curricular activities such as trips and visiting speakers.

There are four Themes studied in the course: Theme 1 Marketing & People, Theme 2 Managing Business Activity, Theme 3 Business Decisions and Strategy, and Theme 4 Global Business. 

Performing Arts

Performing Arts

Course details

Qualification: GCSE & A Level

Exam Board: AQA, Edexcel & Eduqas

Performing Arts

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” – Victor Hugo

The Performing Arts curriculum at St. Philip Howard Catholic School embraces Dance, Drama and Music. These subjects are taught to every student at KS3. We cover a wide range of topics and styles within lessons, focusing on skills development.

The philosophy that underpins Performing Arts is student-centred, to promote interest in a supportive environment. The students here experience the joys of the process of making mistakes and trying different methods to reach their conclusions. Through being creative, performing and reflecting students build their confidence and have ownership of their own learning. We consciously acknowledge student’s different learning styles, prior learning, what the next step in their learning should be and their interests. St. Philip Howard students find their work relevant to them and their world. At the heart of it is learning tailored to the individual’s learning needs.

Key Stage 3

In Year 7, students start to develop their basic Drama skills, moving from role play to performance with a focus on communicating intentions to audience. In Year 8, students build on the skills needed to enable imaginative and creative theatre. This is achieved through the use of resources; such as masks, music and lights. Students will develop their group working skills, devising and developing ideas through practical exploration as well as their evaluation and response skills. By Year 9 all key Drama skills will be embedded into student practice, allowing them to develop performance skills with a strong focus on characterisation, movement, use of voice and critical analysis of their own and other peoples work.

Key Stage 4

In Year 10 & 11, Key Stage 4 GCSE students have six/seven lessons a fortnight. The GCSE course (Edexcel Specification) builds on the Key Stage 3 course. Students work on a variety of projects where they study plays, playwrights and theatre practitioners and may be assessed on acting and technical skills. All assessment is linear, with written exams taking place at the end of the course. 60% of the GCSE will be assessed through non-exam assessment, 40% through a written exam.

Key Stage 5

In Year 12 & 13, Key Stage 5 A Level students have at least ten lessons a fortnight. The A Level course (Edexcel Specification) build on the Key Stage 3 & 4 courses. Students work on a variety of projects where they study new plays, styles and approaches. There are many opportunities for performance and students have the opportunity to devise a completely original performance. All assessment is linear, with written exams taking place at the end of the course. 60% of the A Level will be assessed through non-exam assessment, 40% through a written exam.


The Drama department offers a KS3 Drama Club afterschool and G&T workshops during the course of the year. In addition, there is a Whole School Musical Production at the end of the Summer Term and additional smaller productions throughout the year. We also arrange various theatre visits. At Key Stage 4/5 rehearsals are also held for the preparation of practical coursework and parents/guardians and friends are invited to see GCSE/A Level work showcases several times a year.

Key Stage 3

In year 7, students start to develop basic Dance skills, replicating and building on phrases of movement using a range of different themes. Each topic has a focus on developing movement that communicates these ideas to an audience in a performance-based assessment.

In year 8, students build on the dance skills and techniques learnt in year 7 to create and develop movement content that accurately follows different themes and a wider range of styles. Students are assessed on their ability to respond to a theme as well as their use of choreographic dance devices and creativity.

In year 9, key techniques, styles and dance skills have been taught and developed. Students now use these key skills to create work more independently when working from a theme. Students are able to evaluate their choices, identify strengths and weaknesses and challenge their ability to show original and imaginative movement responses. Students in year 9 will get a taster of what GCSE Dance has to offer, with some areas studied that have direct links into the GCSE specification.

Key Stage 4

Key stage 4 – GCSE Dance have seven lessons a fortnight. The specification is AQA which builds on key skills that have been taught across KS3. The course is split into two sections – 60% practical and 40% theory. Students study an anthology of six set professional works across the two-year course, which are embedded in the course through Dance appreciation and practical performances. Students are expected to complete a body of practical work through solo and group performances and choreography, all of which are assessed on the evidence of physical, technical, expressive skills, structural and choreographic devices. A written exam is sat at the end of year 11, which covers elements of choreographic processes and performing skills, critical appreciation of own work and critical appreciation of professional works studied.

Key Stage 5

Key stage 5 – A Level Dance have at least 10 lessons a fortnight. The specification is AQA and looks at both historical and current Dance practices. The full A level is studied across two years and is split into two equal components. Performance and choreography 50% and critical engagement 50%. The students have the opportunity to create and perform in a range of solo and group performances throughout the course. All assessment are liner with the written element of the course which is completed at the end of the second year. This covers students gained knowledge, understanding and critical appreciation of two set professional works.


The Dance department offers a range of KS3 clubs afterschool from year group clubs and mixed curricular clubs covering different styles.

Workshops are offered to KS4/5 students to help with their continued Dance studies.

GCSE/A Level have open room rehearsal time after school to develop performances and choreography.

Theatre Visits are offered in KS4 and where possible KS3 to give an insight into live theatre performances.

Showcases are held for KS4/5 so work can be shared with parents/guardians throughout the course.

Opportunity to perform at Dance House and Performing Arts concerts throughout the school year.

Key Stage 3

The Key Stage 3 curriculum focuses on developing students´ performing, composing and listening skills through a variety of activities. There is a strong focus on singing and percussion skills, learning to play a melody line and chords on the keyboard and ukulele as well as composing melodic ideas and song lyrics. With the introduction of technology into the department, students will also be taught to use music software to record and edit their musical ideas and performances.
Students will have the opportunity to work individually and in groups and will develop their ability to lead group tasks, organise and structure their own time. They are encouraged to reflect on their progress to improve their success and productivity.

Key Stage 4

In Year 10 & 11 GCSE students have seven lessons a fortnight. The GCSE course (Eduqas) builds on the Key Stage 3 course. Students focus on 3 main areas: composing (30%), performing (30%) and analysis (40%). Throughout the course they complete a series of performances and compositions linked to the areas of study for the listening exam, helping to inform their understanding in a practical way.

Key Stage 5

In Year 12 & 13 A Level students have ten lessons a fortnight. The A Level course (Eduqas) leads students through detailed analysis of set works from across several genres of music. Students also have to develop their understand of music theory through harmonic exercises and composition and perform an extended recital. Students can choose to specialise in either Composing or Performing with a 35%/25% weighting to the chosen specialism.


A range of activities are available for students to enjoy out of lesson. These include:
Band – open to players of all abilities from all year groups. This group perform all genres of music, including classical works and modern film scores.
Singing Group – a vocal ensemble that sing a range of modern repertoire.
Ukulele Group – a free session of tuition open to all students led by our guitar teacher.
Keyboard Club – An opportunity for students to have time on the keyboards to rehearse their own songs or pieces learnt in class.

Concerts and theatre trips

Performance Opportunities for all specialisms

Whole School Musical

Christmas Showcase

Summer Concert

St Philip Howard’s Got Talent

Assembly Performances

Whole School Mass

Showcase Evenings

Instrumental Tuition
We actively encourage students to further their musical understanding and ability by having tuition on a musical instrument. The benefits of learning an instrument include developing new skills, the discipline and commitment to practice regularly and the opportunity to join in with extra-curricular groups; which in turn, helps students to meet new people and make friends across all year groups.

Instrumental tuition with private teachers:
Piano – Charlotte Davidson
Guitar – Richard Rahaman
Woodwind – Ian Monnery
Violin & Viola – Hannah Mcilwrath

Drums – Ben Van Driel

DJing – Deen Nauthoa

Singing – Kerry Hiller

We ask that any instruments brought into school be clearly labelled and insured. Instruments can be stored safely in the Music Department during the school day. If we do not currently offer lessons on your child’s preferred instrument then we will do our best to accommodate this. Please contact the Music team directly.

Charlotte Davidson komusicstudio@outlook.com – Piano

I offer fun and rewarding piano lessons from beginners to advanced levels. I specialise in teaching genres such as Pop, Classical and blues. I tailor the lessons to each students’ needs and what they require from the lessons, if this is graded exams (ABRSM or Trinity) or learning your favourite songs and exploring different styles of music.

For more information, look up www.komusic.ukRichard Rahaman BA Hons rcrahaman@hotmail.co.uk – Guitar, Ukulele, Bass Guitar.
I offer fun and friendly lessons to students of all abilities from complete beginners to advanced levels. Lessons are available in all styles of guitar including rock, pop, blues and classical. Students can learn for fun focusing on music by their favourite bands and singers or can work towards taking a guitar examination. Lessons are tailored to the students´ needs whether they are learning for pleasure or wish to take a more formal approach to learning the guitar.

Ian Monnery LRSM ianmonnerywoodwind@gmail.com – Woodwind

Playing any instrument in a fun way to enjoy making music whether on your own or as part of an ensemble. My musical experience has been gamed from 22 years serving in the Royal Marine Band Service and then teaching woodwind instruments for the past 18 years. I am able to offer enjoyable lessons on flute, saxophone and clarinet. This is for students of all abilities from beginners playing for pleasure or students preparing for grade exams or GCSE Music.

Hannah McilWrath hmcilwrath81@gmail.com – Violin & Viola

Violin is so fun! It’s such a great instrument to learn and can be used in many genres of music these days- it’s not all classical! I am a trained suzuki teacher and have taught for over 15 years. The Suzuki method is so fun and nurturing. You learn to play from memory, you really listen to the music you are playing. It’s a wonderful skill.

I play electric violin in a band so this is an avenue you can go down too!

The main thing about music is to have fun! It’s amazingly good for you brain and social skills, and learning to play with others! Looking forward to meeting you!

Ben Van Dreil ben@benjaminvandriel.co.uk   – Drums

Benjamin van Driel is a gifted teacher, trainer and drummer who provides people with fun and engaging drum lessons in schools in the Bognor Littlehampton & Chichester area. Grade options are available, though not expected. Most of all Ben wants his students to have fun as they learn.

Deen Nauthoa NextGen Music deen@nextgenmusic.org – Djing

At NextGen Music, our mission is to remix music education and inspire the next generation of music talent. By teaching young people the skills of DJing and music production, we ignite their passion for music and help them develop a lifelong love of creating and performing. We offer comprehensive DJ and production lessons and production classes for young people of all skill levels. Our lessons emphasise creativity, experimentation, and collaboration. We strive to help students develop a deeper appreciation for music, build confidence and self-esteem, and gain valuable technical and creative skills that will serve them well in any field.

Kerry Hiller ARSM DIPABRSM BA Hons Komusicstudio@outlook.com  -SingingI offer Piano and Singing lessons of all abilities from beginners to advanced levels with over 10 years experience. Piano lessons and singing lessons are available in all styles such as pop/rock, blues, theatre and classical. Lessons can be adjusted to pupils needs if that is learning through Grades (ABRSM or Trinity) or learning preferred repertoire. I also am available to accompany for graded exams and GCSE performances.  More info on www.komusic.uk



Course details

Qualification: GCSE

Exam Board: Edexcel

Course Intent

To deliver a broad and balanced curriculum that reflects and celebrates the diversity of the students that we teach, as well as weaving in opportunities for the discussion of contemporary global events. 

To challenge students to consider: how did we arrive here? How can we make sense of the present?

To improve students’ residue knowledge through regular and purposeful assessment of both factual knowledge and second order concept appreciation, as well as opportunities for interleaving and creativity.

To promote lifelong learners by fostering a love of History through considered analytical debates which fuels their desire to research outside the classroom. 

To help students to understand and appreciate the subjective nature of interpretations and the need to constantly question, challenge and evaluate; do they realise that History is constructed and contested?

To develop our students’ chronological framework of British and World History to ensure they can make sense of the new knowledge they acquire.

To understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims. Evidence informed


Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is based on one overarching enquiry per year. Each enquiry is broken down into 6 different units of study, which in turn have their own enquiries that feed into it.

Year 7 ‘From the beginning of humanity, migration and trade has created nothing but conflict.’ How far do you agree?

Units of study (one per half term)

Why were the Silk Roads significant?

Why did migrant groups invade Britain, and how did they change Britain?

How did the Normans change England?

Who had the most power in the medieval period?

What difference did the Black Death and Peasants‘ Revolt actually make?

Why should we study the Renaissance?

Year 8: How did revolutions transform Britain and the world between 1492 and 1900?

How did the Reformation change England?

Why did Britain experience revolutionary change during the years 1603-1658?

How can we explain the changing fortunes of Africa in the early modern period?

Why has the British Empire provoked so much controversy?

How did the Industrial Revolution change British society?

How did crime and punishment change over time?

Year 9: Can the transference of power ever be peaceful?

What impact did key individuals have on changing ideas in the early twentieth century?

What was the most significant aspect of World War One?

How can we explain the rise of dictatorships in the early twentieth century?

How should we remember the Holocaust?

Who has the strongest claim to the land between the Mediterranean and Jordan?

Who had the biggest impact on 20th century race relations? 

GCSE curriculum
Paper 1: Thematic study and historic environment

Migrants in Britain, c800–present and Notting Hill, c1948–c1970.

Paper 2: Period study and British depth study

Early Elizabethan England, 1558–88

Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941–91

Paper 3: Modern depth study

Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39

A Level curriculum

Breadth study: Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855–1964

Depth study: The Making of Modern Britain, 1951–2007

NEA (Non examined assessment/coursework) African Kingdoms: West Africa.



Course details

Increasingly, technology plays a part in every aspect of our lives. It is essential that our pupils are creators, not just consumers, and leave SPH discerning users of technology. As well as developing their creativity, we aspire for our pupils to be innovators and able to design solutions to problems using computational thinking.  


In Key Stage 3, the curriculum is designed to develop three strands – information technology, digital literacy and computer science. Students will become familiar with our school systems and develop an understanding of how computers work. They should be familiar with block-based programming and will build on this knowledge to move to text-based programming. 


In Year 9, pupils will have also experienced more creative pursuits such as Photoshop and creating animations on Blender. Pupils are able to consider both Computer Science and Creative iMedia as GCSE options for Key Stage 4 and are able to choose the qualification best suited to their skills and interests. 


In Key Stage 4, pupils can pursue Computer Science through the Edexcel GCSE course or OCR Creative iMedia. In Computer Science, students will study: systems architecture, memory and storage, network topologies, system software, system security, ethical, legal and social implications of computing alongside text-based programming. In iMedia, pupils will have the opportunity to develop visual identities for clients, plan and create original digital graphics and plan, create and review other original digital media products.  


We have high aspirations for our pupils and aim to provide an engaging, exciting and rigorous computing curriculum that enables every student to develop their resilience. Our pupils will be able to apply their computational thinking skills and creativity in school and beyond and make a positive impact on the world around them. 

Physical Education

Physical Education

Course details

Qualification: GCSE

Welcome to a busy, thriving Physical Education Department at SPH. The PE Department at St Philip Howard Catholic High School strives to develop and encourage all pupils to participate and to try their best in all aspects of Physical Education by offering a broad curriculum with engaging lessons. Throughout KS3 and KS4 each pupil has the opportunity to participate in a variety of team games/ individual based sports including football, badminton, rugby, netball, gymnastics, volleyball, athletics, rounders, cricket, table tennis, handball and basketball. 

As a department we acknowledge the importance for pupils to extend their skill through extra-curricular activity and to be given the chance to represent their school in a variety of County cups and leagues as well as National competitions. 

Our extra-curricular clubs have over 300 students participating a week and representing the school in successful teams across the year groups. 

Find out more

If you would like to know more about our curriculum and how it is developed and curated, please contact the school office via email or telephone.