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St Joseph's Catholic

Primary School, Withnell

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Our Curriculum

Our Vision:

Our curriculum is integral to the fulfilment of our school vision:


Our vision is At St. Joseph’s is that each individual will learn, grow and thrive together with love and faith in Jesus. We will embrace our gospel values and enable all children to achieve their full potential in a safe, inclusive, welcoming and happy learning environment. We will strive to create responsible citizens who are independent, confident, life-long learners and are equipped to meet the challenges of a changing future – the people who God calls them to be.



INTENT: Our curriculum is driven by the need to prepare our children for lifelong learning. At St. Joseph’s, we offer a rich and vibrant curriculum which is memorable and ambitious for all learners. Through our curriculum, we develop the essential knowledge, skills and understanding which are the building blocks for later life. We want our pupils to be both interesting and interested. Our curriculum encompasses not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but goes beyond the experiences of the classroom to ensure that our children are exposed to the richest and most varied opportunities that we can provide. Our aim is to enrich every child's school experience by creating an environment where they are encouraged to succeed and be the best version of themselves. The exploration of new skills and experiences help to nurture resilience, curiosity and creativity. Our curriculum provides learning experiences which promote confident, self-motivated pupils, eager for lifelong learning.


The design of our wider curriculum is based on the research findings of cognitive science. By the time learners have left St. Joseph's, they will have mastered a range of both procedural knowledge (skills) and factual knowledge through repeated low-stakes quizzing; opportunities to deliberately practise and careful planning for progression and depth. Our curriculum is customised to meet the local needs of our learners. 

How We Teach Our Curriculum: 


3D Curriculum

This is a term that we use at St .Joseph’s which defines the way we have planned our curriculum. It is a curriculum that promotes remembering. Our philosophy is that knowledge can’t empower if it is forgotten. So as well as planning a rich curriculum with high quality material, we have also structured it in a way that makes remembering almost inevitable.


Using our long term 3D curriculum plans, leaders will then:

Create a medium plan for each unit of work, highlighting the vertical, horizontal and diagonal links across subjects and year groups to create a memorable curriculum.


Vertical: ‘high-yield’ concepts deliberately constructed within a subject that are encountered across year groups (for example, the concept of power and rule : this can be explored through learning the role of the monarchy in Early Years through to Year 6 learning of  how Henry VIII used his power to shape the justice system during his rule.


Horizontal: Links between subjects, commonly known as ‘cross-curricular’ (for example, invasion: in Class 3 History, the Viking invasion of England; in Class 3 Science, microbes invaded bodies; in Class 3 P.E. invasion games. Subject leaders work hard to ensure that horizontal links reinforce learning across the curriculum.


Diagonal: Concepts connected across both year groups and across subjects; these are our Golden Threads which weave throughout our curriculum both across subjects and year groups


What Are Our Golden Threads?

As in our mission statement, we want children to be ‘fired up’ about building God's Kingdom here on Earth, enacting positive change across all spheres of society. God’s Kingdom is one of peace, love, joy, unity, equality, respect, forgiveness and compassion. It is a Kingdom where all can flourish, finding belonging, purpose and fulfilment. It is a Kingdom where we receive God’s love and the promise of ‘life in all its fullness’ through Jesus. This is all about transforming society. We want our children to know their place in the world and know how modern-day society has been shaped and the impact they can have in the future. We want our children to be the ‘People God wants Us to Be’. Our curriculum has been carefully designed in a way as to allow this. Our Golden Threads run through our curriculum to allow children to build God’s Kingdom here on earth.



Our Curriculum Golden Threads

We help children to achieve our mission statement through our key knowledge Golden threads:









Landing Points (Planning for Progression)

Within our 3D long term plan, in order to ensure that understanding is deepened each year, in relation to the vertical links, we have developed landing points. For each vertical link, landing points set out the typical expectations for knowledge and skill development at set times.

Landing points are an invaluable tool in helping teachers to ensure progression within every national curriculum subject. They allow us to set ambitious, challenging learning goals that support pupils to develop mastery. Our curriculum is our progression model; if pupils are moving through our curriculum as expected, we are confident that they are exposed to challenging learning goals



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