Our Curriculum

St Catherine’s is proud to be a Church of England Aided School, our belief being that God has made our world and has come to it in Jesus Christ.

The Christian values of compassion, honesty, fairness, love, and respect of God’s world are at the heart of our inclusive community, giving us the inspiration for our life together as a family school, and underpin everything we do.

St Catherine’s values and mission statement support developing every child’s potential and individuality. Pupils are at the centre of this school and emphasis is on learning together. The ethos of the school is built on honesty, fairness, love, and respect of one another. The curriculum is developed to encompass creativity in developing children’s interests and engaging pupils in purposeful activity.


  • We aim to prepare our children for life through helping them to develop the educational, spiritual and social skills and qualities needed for a positive future.
  • We aim to provide an inclusive, safe and happy learning environment based on Christian values.
  • We aim to give a breadth of experiences so that each child can achieve their personal potential.
  • We aim to help each member of St Catherine’s to begin their own personal spiritual journey.

Curriculum Intent – how we designed our curriculum

As a Church of England school,  education remain at our core. This includes the pursuit of excellence and preparing our children as world citizens of the 21st Century. In order for this to be achieved our children need high levels of literacy and numeracy. We recognise R.E as a core subject, centred on the Manchester Diocese ‘Questful RE’ Syllabus and ‘Understanding Christianity’.

We have designed our curriculum to provide a breadth of experience within a subject area, drawing on outside speakers, visits and developing a sense of curiosity. Careers advice often features within the curriculum  and enables visitors (including parents) to meet with the children and expose them to life outside school, providing them with ideas for their future. We are passionate that all children realise that it is a big and wonderful world out there that they can play an active and positive part in. To do this not only do we pursue excellence but ensure the children are equipped with the correct skills in which to do this. We play an important part in providing the means for social mobility. We also plan opportunities for the children to know about keeping safe, linked to the KCSiE document. We also plan for and promote British values, (Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs) ensuring that children are aware of their rights and responsibilities as a UK citizen.

Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding. Pupils show themselves to be deep thinkers. They are able to empathise with the feelings and actions of others, seeing points of views and beliefs other than their own. Particularly in RE and PSHE, they show a keen interest in ethical issues and are able to apply their personal values to situations, giving reasons for their decisions and actions. They are ready to question arguments and situations.

Teaching staff at St. Catherine’s provide PSHE by building on the content of the HEARTSMART materials, with compliments from visitors from the community and whole school approaches to themes such as bullying, drugs awareness, internet safety and British values. In addition to this children in upper Key Stage 2 receive standalone sessions focused on their changing bodies and sex education.

HEARTSMART is designed to support children to build resilience, emotional intelligence and active empathy.  It enables children to adopt a growth mind-set whilst maintaining a healthy emotional self. HEARTSMART is about loving and accepting ourselves as well as loving and responding well to others. There are 5 themes (known as ‘High Five’) that are shared throughout the year which are linked to the principles of feeling valued, considering others and showing empathy, forgiveness, being truthful and not giving up when faced with challenge. HEARTSMART is therefore about loving and accepting ourselves as well as loving and responding well to others.

In recognising the development of the whole child the pastoral support given to children so they can access the curriculum is strong. The school has various systems which support the emotional and mental well-being of children.

Sport has remained central to both our curriculum and extra-curricular provision.  We know this is hugely beneficial to all our children. We have invested heavily with the P.E. and sport provision, with inclusion for all.

We recognise that music is as important a subject to study as English and maths  and can exert a powerful influence on our lives. We have made a commitment that from September 2018 we will invest heavily in music education because:

  • musical performance rewards individual effort and teamwork
  • learning to play an instrument teaches focus, concentration and perseverance
  • performing, composing and appreciating music is beautiful and joyful.

Subject leaders  work on curriculum coverage of foundation subjects, e.g. Geography and History, with all middle leaders being aware of the curriculum expectations and in turn working towards planning the skills within their respective curriculum areas. The curriculum is designed to ensure: deep learning, with focus made on extending those who are working at a greater depth within the curriculum areas; engagement with their learning and initiating the direction of the units of study, particularly in the foundation subjects along with breadth and balance. Not only do staff review the actual curriculum regularly, but also the principles for learning and teaching.


The English Curriculum is delivered using Curriculum 2014 for English for Key Stages 1 and 2. In Foundation Stage the EYFS Statutory Framework 2012 and Development Matters 2012 are used to ensure consistency and progression throughout the phase. For the most part, pupils will tackle English work as individuals, as a whole class or in small groups.

In all year groups the majority of English work is done in the class, with work being differentiated to match the needs of different children where required. Guided and supported work, alongside interventions are used to support children who are not on track to meet age related expectations or progress targets.

KS1 and KS2 follow our bespoke ‘Curriculum @ St Catherine’s’.


Our phonics in infants follows the Letters and Sounds programme.

Letters and Sounds is a focused teaching strategy that teaches children how the alphabet works for reading and spelling.

In EYFS and Year 1 Letters and Sounds is taught as a discrete 20 minute ‘Time to Shine’ session each day. Each lesson follows the structure of review, teach, practise and apply. The programme is broken down as follows:

Nursery – Phase 1
Reception – Phases 2-4
Year 1 – Phase 5


At St Catherine’s, through an alliance with Maths Hubs and research that includes NCETM materials, we have embarked on a mastery approach: a set of principles and beliefs. The NCETM: Teaching for Mastery 2015 states that this:

‘…includes belief that all pupils are capable of understanding and doing mathematics, given sufficient time. Pupils are neither ‘born with the maths gene’ nor ‘just no good at maths’. With good teaching, appropriate resources, effort and a ‘can do’ attitude all children can achieve in and enjoy mathematics.’ (NCTEM: Teaching for Mastery 2015)

We understand that teaching for mastery means that a class works together on the same topic, providing all pupils with the opportunity to master the curriculum and for some to gain greater depth of proficiency and understanding. Mastery is not just being able to memorise key facts and procedures and answer test questions accurately and quickly. It involves knowing ‘why’ as well as knowing ‘that’ and knowing ‘how’. It means being able to use one’s knowledge appropriately, flexibly and creatively and to apply it in new and unfamiliar situations. Rather than accelerating into new mathematical content, children are challenged through a deeper understanding of the same content (mastery in greater depth).

In order to achieve our aim to ensure that learning is sufficiently embedded and sustainable over time, teaching is clearly focused during our daily hour long lesson. Children are then provided with the opportunity to consolidate and deepen their understanding the next day during a ‘Maths Workshop’ which is a twenty minute session that proceeds the maths lesson. This time also allows for teacher intervention with those children who are not secure with the content from the previous day, before moving on. As a result, long term gaps in learning should be prevented.

Maths No Problem

Here at St Catherine’s from Years 1 to 4 we use Maths No Problem to enable children to master maths skills (Maths No Problem will be implemented into Year 5 in 2018 and Year 6 in 2019).

It is based on the research and lesson approaches used in Singapore.

To find out some more about the fundamental idea behind the structure as well some great videos demonstrating the approach to calculations please follow the link


Creative Curriculum

We provide a creative curriculum based around the Cornerstones Curriculum.
With the new National Curriculum being introduced by the Government (2014-15) we have worked hard to refresh our school approach and provision for pupils. As part of this work we have  implemented the new Cornerstones Curriculum, a nationally recognised approach for delivering outstanding learning opportunities for children.

What is the Cornerstones Curriculum?

The Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the new 2014 Primary National Curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Our new curriculum will be delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) which will provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of our 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 lots of learning challenges throughout the academic year that requires children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum.

Cornerstones also provides a rigorous essential skills framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects. These essential skills are tied to activities and are age related so that staff can track children’s progress and identify their individual learning needs.

How it Works?

Children will progress through four stages of learning in each ILP – Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express. Find out more about these stages on the Cornerstones website

Each year group’s curriculum is shown below.

Year 1:

Autumn:  Y1 superheroes Y1 bright lights big city

Spring:Y1 Dinosaur planet Y1 Moon Zoom

Summer: Y1 Paws claws and whiskers Y1 splendid skies

Year 2

Autumn: Y2 beat band boogie Y2 towers, tunnels and turrets

Spring: Y2 land ahoy  Y2 muck,  mess and mixtures

Summer: Y2 wriggle and crawl  Y2 beachcombers

Year 3

Autumn: Y3 tremors Y3 gods and mortals

Spring: Y3 scrumdiddlyumptious Y3 Tribal Tales

Summer:  Y3 predator  Y3 mighty metals  

Year 4:

Autumn: Y4 I am warrior Y4 playlist

Spring: Y4 road trip USA Y4 Blue abyss

Summer: Y4 burps, bottoms and bile  Y4 traders and raiders

Year 5

Autumn: Y5 Off with her head Y5 stargazers

Spring: Y5 pharaohs Y5 allotment

Summer: Y5 alchemy island  Y5 scream machine

Year 6

Autumn: Y6 blood heart  Y6 revolution

Spring: Y6 a child’s war Y6 darwin’s delights

Summer:  Y6 frozen kingdom Y6 tomorrow’s world

Our primary school delivers the revised Early Years Foundation Stage EYF, which you can read about in our downloadable documents

  • nursery-non-negotiable.pdf

  • reception-non-negotiable.pdf

  • yearly-overvieweyfs.pdf

  • EYFS_Parents_Guide-amended.pdf

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01204 332636

St Catherine's CE Primary School
Greenstone Avenue
Bolton, BL6 5SJ