The Curriculum


New Qualifications in Wales

Qualifications in Wales are changing from September 2015.  The Welsh Government and 'Qualified for Life' have produced a pdfParent_Pack.pdf584.61 KB detailing the changes, which parents / carers are encouraged to read, and much more information is available at

Year 7 Curriculum

Year 7 pupils are taught through the integrated curriculum with each teaching group having their own designated base room. Within this structure, pupils are taught a number of subjects in their base room including

English, Maths, Humanities, Numeracy and Literacy. The Humanities are delivered via a half-termly intensive focus with the three subjects covered being History, Geography and RE. Pupils are taught in specialist rooms for subjects such as Technology, Art, PE and ICT. All pupils have access to a resource centre opposite the base rooms and intensive support for literacy and numeracy is also in place in the Reading Room. 

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

Every pupil will be following the requirements of the National Curriculum 2008 (unless they are exempt due to particular individual circumstances), but there will be an opportunity to refine their studies so that we can cater more closely for pupils' various needs. There is an increased emphasis on enquiry, topic-based learning, skills and investigation.

Cantonian offers a broad, balanced curriculum which challenges and supports pupils of all abilities, and satisfies the requirements of the National Curriculum. This means that certain subjects are compulsory throughout secondary education while others are compulsory only for the first three years but then become optional.

All the National Curriculum Core and Foundation subjects are taught:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Art
  • Geography
  • History
  • Music
  • P.E.
  • R.E.
  • Spanish
  • Technology
  • Welsh

In addition pupils follow courses in Drama, Information Technology and PSE.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

In Years 10 and 11 pupils proceed with a number of courses which lead to recognised qualifications. All pupils will study the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Welsh, IT, P.E., Personal, Social, Religious & Health Education, and the Welsh Baccalaureate. In addition, pupils are able to choose from a range of optional subjects. The placement of pupils on courses is subject to in-depth discussions with a range of staff. The purpose of these discussions is to ensure that each individual accesses the most appropriate learning pathway for them, thus enabling them to reach their potential and achieve success. This may mean that some pupils will attend other Learning Providers for some of their studies in Key Stage 4. The school is part of a local cluster of schools and offers pupils in mainstream access to a range of courses delivered at the school, other partner schools, the FE College and various Training Providers.

14-19 Learning Pathways

Cantonian High School is a member of the Western 14–19 Partnership Cluster of schools. The full membership includes: Cantonian, Glyn Derw / Michaelston Federation, Fitzalan High School and Radyr Comprehensive.

As a requirement of the Learning and Skills (Wales) Measure, the school has maximised the number of courses offered to pupils at both Key Stage 4 and post 16. We have developed the curriculum in line with the LA and partner schools and are now able to offer a much broader range of qualifications to learners. We currently have pupils at both Key Stage 4 and post 16 who access course provision at other providers. We also have a number of pupils who access course provision at Cantonian from the other partner schools.

All Year 9 and Year 11 pupils undertake a free choice exercise through Careers Wales on-line. This provides us with information about the range and variety of courses being selected by Year 9 and Year 11 pupils. As a result of the exercise, the partnership cluster identifies a small number of courses which will be offered on a partnership basis.

The Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is an exciting qualification that adds a valuable new dimension to the subjects and courses already available to 16 – 19 year old students at Cantonian High School. It combines personal development skills with existing qualifications to make one wider award that is valued by employers and universities. The Welsh Government introduced the Welsh Baccalaureate to transform learning for young people in Wales. It gives broader experiences than traditional learning programmes, to suit the diverse needs of young people.