St Joseph'sCatholic Primary School


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Our Curriculum

Leaders and staff work together to ensure that the wider curriculum is broad and interesting for pupils. The school motto ‘to love learning’ underpins and guides curriculum planning. Leaders design opportunities for pupils to learn in interesting ways. (Ofsted, 2021)

KCSP Curriculum – Statement of Intent

In accordance with KCSP’s shared vision and strategy, our core purpose is focused on a curriculum that is underpinned by Gospel values and in particular by John Chapter 10 Verse 10:


‘I have come that they shall have life and have it to the full.’


We are interpreting the word ‘full’ as abundance, the abundance of a broad and balanced curriculum. This is accompanied by the expectation that all children, regardless of prior attainment, are entitled to a curriculum which has at its heart concepts and big ideas that engender curiosity and creativity, leading to a place of mastery.


In accordance with the statement of intent, we would expect all our schools to offer a curriculum which at least meets the expectations of the National Curriculum in full, is broad and balanced and understands RE as part of the core curriculum. Our expectation is that the work of the school ensures outcomes for our pupils which are ambitious, relevant, prepares the pupils effectively for the next stage of their life.


We offer all our schools the autonomy to decide their own curriculum. The expectation is that the National Curriculum will be covered in full in all schools. Curriculum decisions will be made by individual schools, with support and input as necessary from Area School Improvement Partners and Education Directors.


All schools’ pedagogy must be based on sound research and all curriculum planning is informed and adapted through having access to the best evidenced based research linked to their pupil profile and local context.


If the curriculum is judged to be not sufficiently robust, we will implement specific improvements which might include specific pedagogical approaches or schemes.


Primary Curriculum

In all primary schools the curriculum will teach effective knowledge and skills to enable the pupils to ‘know more, remember more, and do more’. There will be a focus on developing the characteristics of effective learning so that pupils across all year groups acquire the behaviours that they need in order to learn and approach learning with enthusiasm, curiosity and resilience. Careful curriculum planning will ensure that pupils are presented with meaningful learning opportunities to develop their confidence and independence and support them with being able to use what they have learned and apply it in new situations.


• RE will be taught for at least 10% of curriculum time and follow the precepts of the Religious Education Directory as set out by the Bishops of England and Wales (2023)

• The Early Years curriculum must link clearly to the curriculum of the rest of the school with a clear thread from Early Years to Year 6

• The Early Years curriculum will follow the principles of Early Excellence

• The teaching of reading must be a priority and the Phonics scheme adopted by the school must be an approved DFE curriculum (e.g., Little Wandle, Read Write Inc) which is adhered to consistently and accurately in all year groups.

• Literacy must be a clear focus in all subjects, not just in English, with an emphasis on writing and oracy both of which may be taught through Talk for Writing and Topical Talk approaches.

• The curriculum will always take careful account of enabling SEND and disadvantaged pupil in planning and delivery through Quality First Teaching and the Mainstream Core Standards.

• Maths will take a mastery approach.

• Science will be investigative in approach.

• Foundation subjects must be broad and balanced and offer effective opportunities for; making links across the curriculum, broadening pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the world and be effectively assessed against what the pupils are intended to know.

• A modern foreign language must be taught at least in KS2.


Inspired by Jesus' Christ's example and the Gospel Values of love, joy and compassion, at St. Joseph's, we nurture and develop the whole child so that each unique individual grows constantly in confidence, and has the knowledge, skills and self-esteem to achieve their true potential.

All children will access a rich, ambitious, challenging curriculum; one that is broad balanced and relevant, fostering curiosity, creativity and a life-long love of learning.  


At St Joseph’s we offer an exciting, rich, and ambitious inclusive curriculum that combines learning core subjects and real-life skills that reflects the different cultures, religions, and races in our school. We have developed an inclusive curriculum that is successfully adapted, designed, and developed to encompass all our children, we aim to remove barriers so that all children can thrive during their time with us. Our ultimate goal is to prepare children with the knowledge and skills they require for their learning journey beyond our school and into adulthood.  We foster the understanding that success is what the children perceive it to be, and we celebrate successes of all pupils, whether academically or personal to them.


The curriculum includes all the planned activities that promote learning and personal growth and development. It includes the requirements of the National Curriculum, but extends more broadly to include the ‘hidden curriculum’, or what children learn from the culture and ethos of our school – the way they are treated and expected to behave. We provide opportunities for children to voice their ideas and explore their own interests through taking responsibilities, involvement in wider aspect of school life as well as in making decisions about their learning in the classroom. 


St Joseph's has some mixed age classes and some individual year groups. As our school continues to expand, we must ensure that we are adapting and changing to meet the needs of our children. The curriculum is taught for all Years 1-6. To avoid repetition and ensure progression in key skills the curriculum is taught in a 2 year cycle depending on year groups. We follow our themes and the learning process from Cornerstones and its 10 BIG Ideas, but we tailor this resource to our school so that the learning takes account of our context, locality and children’s interests.




The National Curriculum:

We follow the National Curriculum to structure our curriculum offer, as we know that this means our curriculum is ambitious for all pupils. You can find a link to the National Curriculum here:


Structuring our curriculum offer:


We teach each of the wider curriculum subjects discretely at our school.


For each subject, we have thought carefully about how we sequence learning over time and have broken down learning into small steps or building blocks, starting from when children enter primary school until they leave. At each step, we consider what specific knowledge and understanding we want our pupils to know and remember at each stage of their learning and in each subject. The end of the Foundation Stage, KS1, Lower KS2 and Upper KS2 are key end points for each of these building blocks of our curriculum. We know what we want our pupils to know and remember at each of these end points, focusing on what will be most useful to them, and have sequenced lessons over time to reach those end points.


Gaining Knowledge


Our curriculum has been carefully designed so that pupils gain more knowledge over time. Some knowledge is very important, and we return to this regularly to help it ‘stick’ in children’s memory. For example, it is crucial that children automatically know the number facts that combine to make 10 (2+8, 3+7 etc). Knowing these number facts allow pupils to make links with many areas of number throughout their school life, so we revisit this learning regularly in the first few years of school to make sure this knowledge is ‘sticky’.


Knowledge is divided into two types:


Substantive Knowledge:  This refers to specific facts to be learned, such as, for example, the names of the       countries in the United Kingdom (geography), or in history key facts about an historic event such as World War 1. In our curriculum pages, we have given you examples of the substantive knowledge that pupils need to know and remember at each stage in their learning and in each subject. Substantive knowledge refers to knowing ‘what’ specific facts need to be remembered.


Disciplinary Knowledge:  Whereas substantive knowledge is about ‘what’ facts, disciplinary knowledge is about knowing ‘how’.  For example, in music I can know that a minim is the equivalent of 2 beats, a quaver a half beat and a semi-breve four beats (substantive facts), but disciplinary knowledge helps me use this information to clap a rhythm accurately having read it on a musical stave. Sometimes people refer to disciplinary knowledge as skills.


In our curriculum pages, you will see examples of how we have identified the specific substantive knowledge and disciplinary knowledge we want our children to know, remember and use over time.

What is the Cornerstones?


Cornerstones is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the 2014 primary national curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. It is based on a  child-centred pedagogy called The Four Cornerstones and is delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) which provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of children’s learning.


We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our curriculum provides many learning challenges throughout the academic year that require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively.



  • Hook learners in with a memorable experience.
  • Set the scene and provide the context for learning.
  • Ask questions to find out children's interests.
  • Spark children's curiosity using interesting starting points.



  • Teach facts and information for deeper understanding and knowledge.
  • Demonstrate new skills and allow time for consolidation.
  • Provide creative opportunities for making and doing.
  • Deliver reading, writing and talking across the curriculum.



  • Provide imaginative scenarios that encourage creative thinking.
  • Enable children to apply previously learned skills.
  • Encourage enterprise and independent thinking.
  • Provide opportunities for collaborative working and problem solving.



  • Provide environments for reflective talk.
  • Create opportunities for shared evaluation.
  • Celebrate and share children's success.
  • Identify next steps for learning.



Our curriculum is supported by Cornerstones which is led by Big Ideas covering all aspects of learning. We believe that children deserve a balanced curriculum that enables them to develop a deep understanding of all subjects and the interconnections between them. The rationale for the Cornerstones Curriculum takes the form of 10 big ideas that provide a purpose for the aspects, skills, knowledge and contexts chosen to form the substance of the curriculum. These big ideas form a series of multi-dimensional interconnected threads across the curriculum, allowing children to encounter and revisit their learning through a variety of subject lenses. Over time, these encounters help children to build conceptual frameworks that will enable a better understanding of increasingly sophisticated information and ideas.



Further information on Cornerstones Big Ideas:

Inclusion and diversity  


At our school, we believe that the curriculum should positively promote the inclusion of all children and their families and develop respect and tolerance for their own and other cultures.


Throughout the teaching of our curriculum, children are encouraged to talk and work in mixed ability groups as this enables all children to participate in lessons and promotes the inclusion of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and children who come from a family where English is an additional or second language (EAL / ESL). Those children who are most able are challenged and supported through appropriate extension activities. This may take the form of further independent embedding of skills or application of skills and knowledge in other subject areas. Where the content of lessons would prove to be too difficult for some children within the setting, teachers differentiate their tasks in order to make learning accessible for all children.

EYFS Curriculum 


Cornerstones is perfect for developing the EYFS characteristics of effective learning: Playing and Exploring, Active Learning, Creating and Thinking Critically. The Cornerstones EYFS Curriculum is carefully designed to enable children to practise and master the necessary skills needed to achieve the Early Learning Goals. Each activity that is planned is matched to the EYFS ‘Typical Behaviours’ and the corresponding Early Learning Goals and skills.


For more information please use our EYFS tab.