St Joseph's Catholic Primary and Nursery School, Pontefract.

Curriculum Information

Curriculum Intent Statement


St. Joseph’s curriculum is closely designed around our school mission statement and has been developed to support the needs of our community and the child as a whole. Our curriculum is designed to be creative, inspiring and challenging.

‘It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.’ Albert Einstein

Encompassed within our vision, is the need for pupils to be exposed to a range of topics and experiences that broadens their understanding and equips them with the skills our children need to be successful, confident, life-long learners who reach their full potential.

We endeavour to enable all our pupils to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to enable them to thrive. We believe access to a high quality, broad and balanced curriculum is the right of all pupils.

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of true education.’ Martin Luther King, Jr.

We have a cross-curricular topic approach and, alongside this, we build in enriching and enlivening topic weeks which immerse the children in a variety of relevant themes. A curriculum that is literacy rich and language rich is must for our school if we are to open doors for our children. We, therefore, place a high focus on developing the children’s vocabulary and spoken skills and use quality texts to do this. Reading is at the heart of our school and central to the children’s learning. The wider curriculum is an opportunity for pupils to practise and consolidate Knowledge, Skills and Understanding, learnt in basic skills lessons.

As a Catholic School, we strive to ensure that the children receive an enriching experience/curriculum which reflects the person of Christ and the message the church received from Him.

‘A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. And a good Catholic school, over and above this should help all its students to become saints.’ Pope Benedict XVI


Cross curricular – Our approach to the Foundation Subjects is cross curricular and we seek opportunities to make authentic links with the core subjects whenever possible. 

WOW- a wow experience is encouraged within each topic to hook the children in and make their experiences memorable.

Stand alone – Some Foundation subjects are primarily stand alone for example PE, MFL and Music although links are still sought whenever appropriate.

Topic Weeks- whole school topic weeks take place throughout the year. These are determined by the school needs or relevant, upcoming themes. A cross curricular approach is encouraged.

RE- As a Catholic school, the RE curriculum is central to the whole school curriculum and underpins all teaching. It is a core subject and we follow the ‘The Way, the Truth and the Life’ scheme of work, along with timetabled collective worship lessons.

National Curriculum – through expert understanding of the statutory requirements we have created a curriculum that builds high level knowledge, skills and understanding for ALL pupils. It is broad, balanced and promotes depth of study.

Literacy Links- Reading and Writing are a feature of all Foundations Subjects. Links between reading and writing and the foundation subjects are encouraged.

Communication and Language- Developing communication and oral skills is a feature of all Foundation subjects. Extending vocabulary and ensuring subject specific vocabulary is taught and is a feature of planning and display.

Home School Links - Children are encouraged to research questions at home and to share their findings along with design and craft work related to their class topic.

‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ Nelson Mandela.


Assessment – through the teaching of key knowledge and skills , teachers are able to assess pupil outcomes against the Focus objectives. Outcomes in each subject are monitored and tracked. Medium term plans are evaluated and adapted.

Both summative and formative assessment approaches are used.

Quality of Leadership– A team approach to Foundation Subject Leadership is encouraged with all teachers contributing. All experienced teachers have a curriculum subject to lead.

Monitoring Cycle – A cycle of monitoring takes place which include lesson observations, book scrutiny, learning walks and pupil consultations in English and Maths and is being developed across all other subjects.

‘The habits we form from childhood make no small difference, but rather they make all the difference.’ Aristotle

If you have any questions regarding the curriculum we teach, please contact the school directly.