Curriculum Overview


St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School

 Curriculum Overview

Our Principles for Learning and Teaching

  • ·        All children are entitled to be engaged in their  learning and to be active learners; discovering and finding out
  • ·        All children are entitled to understand what they have achieved and know what to do to make progress
  • ·        All children are entitled to be independent, enthusiastic and self-motivated learners
  • ·        All children are entitled to have their different learning styles recognised
  • ·        All children are entitled to teaching that inspires their learning
  • ·        All children are entitled to be challenged and enjoy learning
  • ·        All children are entitled to develop spiritually, morally and as members of their community and the wider community.

 Compiled by our teachers and teaching assistants, inset day January 2012.


At St Joseph’s, our aims are:

  • to provide a Catholic Christian education based on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, in which the values of the   Gospel underpin all aspects of school life;
  • to provide an environment in which the dignity of each person as a child of God is recognised and developed; and to promote the full potential of each child through a curriculum which develops spiritual, academic, social and emotional growth;
  • to provide a curriculum which is enriching and challenging, where children experience the opportunity to learn in a wide range of contexts.


Annual Review Morning – July 2016

On Friday 15th July the school held its Annual Review Morning and parents were invited in to look through their children’s work. This year parents were able to view a presentation all about “Assessment at St Joseph’s School”. This is the first year that children in Year 2 and Year 6 have been assessed on the New National Curriculum but the presentation is relevant and important to all children regardless of year group. The presentation below explains what assessment is, how we go about it, what it means and what we do with it!


Review Morning July 2016


The Curriculum

National Curriculum and Assessment

From September 2014 primary schools in England have been working with a new national curriculum. One of the most significant changes is the removal of levels to describe a child’s attainment. Each child’s achievement will then be judged on whether they are working towards, at or above these age-related expectations. Individual year group’s key skills and objectives are not a simple tick list of what a child can do because we aim for children to demonstrate their depth of learning by being able to apply the skills independently in a variety of contexts.

Have a look at the following guides to what is different under the New Curriculum and how you can support your child’s learning at home:


Supporting-Literacy at home


Supporting-Maths at home

Whats Changing maths for parents

Our school looks outward to the local community, the national community and the wider world.  Our school council enables pupils to learn about democracy in action.

We teach phonics through the Letters and Sounds Scheme.  This is used throughout the school particularly in the foundation stage and key stage one.  We use a wide variety of reading schemes, covering fiction and non-fiction, including Rigby Star and Oxford Reading Tree.  More confident readers are able to choose from class readers and a well stocked library.  The scheme is continued at home. We encourage children to read daily at home and this is monitored via a home-school communication book.

Assessment Update – Spring 2016:

Following the 2014 abolishment of National Curriculum Levels we have continued developing our own approach to measure and track both attainment and progress of pupils across their Primary Career. This summer sees the first year of the new SATS testing and judgments for pupils in both Years 2 and 6. This will all be against the New National Curriculum which came into operation in September 2014. Teachers are fully up to speed with the process and implications for effective practice and moderation and the children are working well towards these. Work is frequently moderated across local and Catholic clusters to support these important judgments.

Ducklings’ Class continues to learn and be assessed across the EYFS profile. Years 1 to 5 are being assessed against the key indicators for their curriculum year in terms of ARE (Age Related Expectations). 

Each school has the freedom to choose how it tracks progress and we are working closely with other schools to ensure our chosen route is fair, accurate and equitable as well as providing meaningful outcomes that are used to support the most appropriate learning new steps for the children both in cohorts, small groups and as individuals.

“Senior leaders have successfully introduced a new approach to tracking pupils’ progress. They scrutinise pupils’ progress very carefully and use their analysis to provide teaching that meets individual pupils’ needs.”  – Ofsted February 2015

Half termly progress and intervention talks between class teachers and Miss Buxton, Mrs. Miccoli and Mrs. Reeves continue to prove how well the teachers and teaching assistants at St Joseph’s know the children in their class, where they are with their new learning and what comes next. They always aim for a balance between challenge and support so that children develop both confidence and resilience towards their learning.

Our revised Assessment, Feedback and Marking policy will be available from Easter 2106 following ratification by the Governing body. Pupil coaching continues again this year – sessions where each child spends one to one time with their class teacher to discuss their learning to support this essential aspect of their development. Pupil feedback from these is always very positive.

You will notice at parents’ evening that we will be talking in terms of Age Related Expectations (ARE) and how these link to coverage of the new curriculum. As well as covering the essential learning objectives, children are assessed in terms of how well they have mastered what they have learnt as a measure of the depth to which they are able to apply, evaluate and use their learning. Books will be available at these meetings and class teachers will be happy to explain our current approach to marking and feedback.

Have a look at this guide to what you can expect at Parents’ Evening:-


We will soon be sending out a date for our Summer Term parents’ workshop on the New National Curriculum and our approach to the assessment of it. This will provide a key opportunity for parents to find out how this works in St Joseph’s and ask any questions you may have.

Have a look at these useful guides as to how you can help your child:-




It is fully expected that schools adapt and develop their approach to assessment of the new curriculum without traditional levels – such a time of uncertainty has not daunted our teachers and we are pleased with the start made. As things progress, we will endeavour to keep you informed of anything else you need to know and remain happy to answer any assessment related questions you may have.

The school is currently organised into 7 classes.  In KS1, 21 hours is spent each week on teaching the curriculum and in KS2, 23.5 hours.

The school curriculum overview for each year group follows:

Annual overview EYFS curriculum – 2017-18

Annual overview new curriculum 2017-Y1







At St Joseph’s, Religious Education is taught as a core subject. We follow the scheme God Matters, which is used across the diocese.  The core subjects: English, mathematics, science and information technology are taught at the heart of our creative curriculum. The following non-core subjects are taught: art, design technology, geography, history, music, PE, French and PSHE. We aim to provide an enriching cross-curricular learning experience for our pupils, through skill based lessons linked to topics. Our programmes of study are outlined in the national curriculum. Class teachers also provide parents with termly overviews of learning which can be accessed on the website in the curriculum letters. Our approach to how the curriculum is delivered is centered on our Learning and Teaching Policy, which is available on this website.

At St Joseph’s the spiritual, moral, social and cultural curriculum is highly valued and remains central to our mission.

“The Church has been intimately involved in education ever since the Lord commanded his disciples to go forth and teach. For Catholic schools, teaching cannot just simply be the imparting of information or training, no matter how worthy or important, because the human person cannot be reduced to facts and figures; rather, as Pope Benedict put it, education is formation: it is ‘about forming the human person, equipping him or her to live life to the full – in short it is about imparting wisdom’.”

Bishop Malcolm McMahon the future of Catholic education.


RE Display: Jesus, the Light of the World

RE Display: Jesus, the Light of the World


Classroom prayer table for Remembrance Day 2014

Classroom prayer table for Remembrance Day

The spiritual development of pupils is shown by:

 •Pupils’ ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values

 •Their sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them

 •Their use of imagination and creativity in their learning

 •Their willingness to reflect on their experiences


Mass celebrating the School's Golden Anniversary in 2013

Mass celebrating the School’s Golden Anniversary


The HOPE charity visiting the School

The HOPE charity visiting the School

The moral development of pupils is shown by:

 •Pupils’ ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong, readily apply this understanding in their own lives and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England

 •Their understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions

 •Their interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues, and being able to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.



Each year, the children support Operation Christmas Child

Each year, the children support Operation Christmas Child



'Into the Future' entrepreneurial week: table top sale in support of the Bamenda appeal.

‘Into the Future’ entrepreneurial week: table top sale in support of the Bamenda appeal.

The social development of pupils is shown by: 

•Pupils’ use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds

 •Their willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively

 •Their acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; the pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.


Royal Wedding Celebrations in 2011

Becoming fully immersed in national celebrations!

'What's worth fighting for' Display 2014

‘What’s worth fighting for’ Display


Dressing up to celebrate Heritage Week in 2012

Dressing up to celebrate Heritage Week


The cultural development of pupils is shown by:

 •Pupils’ understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others

•Their understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain

•Their knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values and in continuing to develop Britain

•Their willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities

•Their interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.

For more information, please visit our Community Cohesion page.

For an outline of British values and the new curriculum, please look at our overview: Overview of British Values and the New Curriculum

Display showing poems about life in the UK

Display showing poems about life in the UK

The School hosted an inter-school drama day in 2013

The School is part of the Christchurch Learning Partnership. Here the gifted and talented actors are working together.

Special Educational Needs(SEN)

For any children who experience problems with their learning, we liaise with the school’s special educational inclusion leader, who is also our special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo). Children may need intervention for a range of reasons; in certain cases, the school may draw up individual plans for children to support them in tackling their difficulties. 
Teaching assistants may support children in their learning mainly through intervention based support of a child or group of children however we expect the children to receive quality first teaching within their class as well. 
The school has appointed a new Inclusion Leader, Mrs Reeves, who looks forward to working with children and meeting parents. She is currently implementing the new national Special Educational Needs Code of Practice that was introduced September 2014 and the school will be producing a new Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy this year.  In the meantime, please contact the school if you wish to discuss policy and procedure.
Further information is available from Dorset County Council, please click the following link:  Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) reforms

Dorset Local Offer – Information for parents regarding support for SEND children

What is the Local Offer?  It is all about information for children and young people who are disabled and those with special educational needs (SEN). This information is published by local authorities. Please use the following link for more information: Dorset Local Offer – information for parents regarding support for SEND children

Sex and Relationships Education

At St Joseph’s, sex and relationships education is taught through a whole school policy and, where possible, is integrated into other areas of the curriculum such as religious education, science and PSHE. It is always taught within the context of the church’s teaching on sexual relationships. In Years 5 and 6, parents are informed prior to any lessons from the class teacher and workshops from the school nurse relating to this area of the curriculum. Parents are given the opportunity to discuss what their child will be learning so that they can support their child’s work at home. Any questions that children ask are answered sensitively and in a caring manner. Lessons and resources are always chosen to suit to the age of the children.  

Curriculum Enrichment

The school has termly enrichment weeks, where children experience the opportunity to learn beyond the classroom. The whole school moves away from the usual timetable and the learning is focused around a given theme or subject for the week. These weeks involve workshops, parents and other visitors, the children working alongside older or younger children and can involve the local community.   

At St Joseph’s, the children experience a variety of educational visits, which prove to be valuable learning experiences. In Years 5 and 6, pupils take part in residential visits. Many of our visits and visitors are celebrated on our website.

Core Principles of Assessment at St Joseph’ Catholic Primary School

(Based on DfE recommendations, May 2014 and informed by community consultation)

We will:

Give reliable information to parents about how their child, the cohort and school, are performing

a. using meaningful tracking of pupils towards end of key stage expectations in the new curriculum, including regular feedback to parents.

b. providing information which is transferable and easily understood and covers both qualitative and quantitative assessment.

c. differentiating attainment between pupils of different abilities, giving early recognition of pupils who are falling behind and those who are excelling.

d. use assessments that are reliable and free from bias.

Help drive improvement for pupils and teachers

a.  using assessments that are closely linked to improving the quality of teaching.

b. ensuring feedback to pupils contributes to improved learning and is focused on specific and tangible objectives.

c. producing recordable measures which can demonstrate comparison against expected standards and reflect progress over time.

Make sure the school is keeping up with external best practice and innovation

a. all practices and decisions are created in consultation with those delivering best practice locally.

b.  all practices and decisions are created in consideration of, and are benchmarked against, national and international best practice.