College Curriculum

In St Columbanus’ College we offer a wide range of subject choices with a constantly evolving and flexible curriculum which is focused on the particular needs of our students. We see it as our duty to try to meet the requirements of every student and therefore deliver the best possible learning experience for every young person in our care, whatever their ability or ambitions may be.

St Columbanus’ College is a leader in the field of Collaborative Education. This progressive approach based on Area Learning Communities is part of the core vision for the future provision of education in Northern Ireland as outlined by the plans of the Minister for Education. Our curriculum accords with and exceeds the requirements of the DENI Sustainable Schools Policy and we are committed to providing our students with a high quality educational experience that is both fully accessible, and links with and benefits the entire community in our local area.

Key Stage 3 – Years 8 & 10

Each of our students follows a common curriculum from years 8 to 10.

This curriculum comprises:

Key Stage 3 Subjects

English Maths Science
Religious Education Art and Design Drama
Employability French Geography
History Home Economics Spanish
Citizenship Music Physical Education
Information and Communication Technology Technology and Design  


Key Stage 4 – Years 11 & 12

At the end of Key Stage 3 (Year 10) students make their subject choices for Key Stage 4 and GCSEs. All students take a number of prescribed subjects from the General Learning Areas. A wide choice of subjects is offered and there is an emphasis on providing our students with access to traditional, applied GCSEs and to a range of vocational courses. When making choices for Key Stage 4 the College takes into account the standards attained by students during Key Stage 3 and their aptitude for particular GCSEs or alternative forms of accreditation.

Key Stage 4 Subjects


Core Subjects GCSE Choices
English (GCSE) Art and Design History
Maths (GCSE) Biology Home Economics
Religious Education (GCSE) Business Studies Learning for Life and Work
ICT (GCSE and vocational accreditation) Construction Music
Occupational Studies* (Some students) Child Development Physical Education
Physical Education Double Award Science Technology and Design
Careers Drama Single Award Science
Spanish French Travel & Tourism
 Moving Image Arts Geography  


Post 16 – Years 13 & 14

St Columbanus’ College is proud to offer access to over 28 A level subjects. Not only do we offer many of these subjects within our College but we are proud to have achieved substantial success through collaboration with our partners in NDALC: Bangor Academy, Bangor Grammar School, Glenlola Collegiate, Strangford College, Glastry College and Priory College.

St Columbanus’ College is a leader in the field of collaborative education, and there is no doubt that this approach to widening the curriculum in this way is the future for our entire education system. We are proud to already be part of an established and nationally respected model of Collaborative Education. Through the dedication of our staff and the excellent relationships we have with our partner schools in Bangor within the Bangor Learning Partnership, we are committed to delivering an even wider choice of A levels to our pupils so that we can meet the needs of all students in the local area, both our own students and those from other Bangor schools studying with us. Our sixth form was established in 2001 with a small number of pupils and in only 10 years we have watched it grow into a sixth form of 114 pupils studying a diverse range of subjects. In recent years our pupils have achieved high success rates at A level and we are incredibly proud of this achievement.

A Level Choices for Students in Saint Columbanus’ College.

Sixth Form students in the College can access 28 A level courses through the North Down and Ards Area Learning Community.

The choice of A levels on offer to our students provides a wide range of career pathways. These pathways are identified in the College’s Sixth Form Prospectus.

Post-16 Subjects

St Columbanus' College North Down and Ards Learning Community
GCE ICT GCE Performing Arts  (BAc)
GCE Moving Image Arts GCE Chemistry (GC)
GCE Geography GCE Physics (BGS/GC)
GCE RE GCE Engineering (SIC/SERC/)
GCE Business Studies GCE Sport Science (SIC/SERC/GLC)
GCE Health & Social Care GCE Art (APP) (SIC)
BTEC PE (Level 3) GCE History (GC) (SIC) (BAc)
GCE Art GCE English (GC) (SIC)
BTEC  Public Services (Level 3)  GCE Film Studies (APP) (SIC)
GCE Biology GCE DA Science (GC) (SIC/GLC)
GCE English Literature GCE Single Science
GCE Environmental Technology GCE Travel & Tourism (BAc)
GCE Mathematics GCE Hospitality (BAc)
GCE English GCE Music (BGS)
  BTEC Level 3 Music Technology (BGS)

BAc – Bangor Academy

GLC – Glastry College

GC – Glenlola Collegiate

SU – Sullivan Upper

BG – Bangor Grammar

PR – Priory College

SIC – Strangford Integrated College


St Columbanus’ College will access, where possible, GCE A-Levels in discrete sciences, e.g. Physics and Chemistry from collaborating schools.