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St Monica's Catholic

Primary School

Success for All within a Christ Centred Community

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Success for All within a Christ Centred Community

Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Overview




At St. Monica’s, our mission, ‘Success for all within a Christ-centred community’ permeates all that we do. Here, we strive to provide high quality education for every pupil, taking inspiration from, and responding to, the needs of our community, our duty as a Catholic school and the requirements of the National Curriculum.


We ensure that all pupils have access to a broad, balanced and stimulating curriculum where high expectations are set for both pupils and staff alike. Through this, we aim to foster a life-long love of learning whilst also developing the skills, knowledge, cultural capital and learning attitudes of our pupils so that they are prepared to be successful, responsible citizens of the future.


Through effective design and planning, our curriculum ensures that learning is sequential, progressive and purposeful in all areas. Our curriculum allows for pupils to build upon their existing knowledge whilst also developing skills to facilitate the acquisition of future learning. Furthermore, to ensure a coherent and consistent approach, five key principles are interwoven throughout our whole curriculum, giving it a voice so that it speaks to the needs of our pupils:

  • VocabularyThe explicit teaching of vocabulary happens within all areas of the curriculum to immerse pupils within a language-rich environment.
  • Oracy. Our pupils will develop key speaking and listening skills which they will apply to a variety of concepts from debates to presentations.
  • Independence. Our pupils will acquire learning behaviours and attitudes which will allow them to become independent learners, preparing them for the next stage in their life.
  • Challenge. Our curriculum provides opportunities for our pupils to challenge themselves further, fostering self-belief and increasing aspiration.
  • Enrichment opportunities. Where possible, enrichment opportunities are carefully planned to make learning meaningful and purposeful.


These key principles ensure that our curriculum is not only ambitious, but also accessible for all, meeting the needs of each individual pupil including those with disabilities and special educational needs.



All National Curriculum subjects are carefully planned, structured and sequenced to ensure progression across units of work and across year groups or key stages. It is designed specifically to help our pupils remember long term the content that they have been taught; pupils are then encouraged to integrate this new knowledge into larger areas. This has derived from a solid agreement between all subject leaders about the knowledge and skills that our pupils will need to ensure that they become resilient and independent in their learning.


Staff subject knowledge and confidence is paramount in ensuring that our pupils receive the best possible quality of education. Effective support is provided for all teaching staff through tailored continuous professional development opportunities. This has significantly improved our curriculum design and reaffirmed high standards across the school.


All lessons follow a clear format which pupils are familiar with. All lessons start with a knowledge checkback to revisit prior learning and encourage pupils to 'know more, remember more'. Within our inclusive learning environments, pupils all have the opportunity to complete our St Monica's Challenge (SMC); this is evident within each lesson and encourages pupils to further challenge their knowledge and understanding of concepts. By providing an inclusive St. Monica's Challenge (SMC) we remove barriers to pupil's expectations and cultivate self-belief whilst also promoting aspiration, one of our school's 4 core values (Faith, Aspiration, Resilience and Respect).


Reading is an essential skill for lifelong learning and learning across the school’s curriculum. Reading is therefore prioritised throughout the school, from Early Years to Year 6. Where appropriate, reading and writing skills are developed alongside key concepts to provide learning opportunities which are purposeful and engaging for all pupils, covering a range of genres. The development and application of high-quality language and vocabulary is embedded across the curriculum, whilst a rigorous approach to the teaching of reading develops pupils’ confidence and fluency. In addition, a love of reading is promoted with a daily ‘St Monica’s Reading Time’ and other reading initiatives with the aim that all children leave school with an enjoyment in reading. There is also a clear focus on phonics for our younger pupils and a programme of support is in place for any older pupils who may require additional help in this area.


Subject leaders develop year group specific, long-term curriculum maps which outline when the different subjects and topics will be taught across the academic year. Choosing subject content carefully provides space to ensure that appropriate and specialised vocabulary is introduced and consolidated with pupils. Vocabulary provides the necessary tools to speak and write with greater clarity and precision; therefore, we actively seek opportunities for pupils to extend and enhance their vocabulary whenever possible.


Along with creating vocabulary rich environments, oracy is a vital part of our curriculum across all subject areas as research has shown that improvements in pupils’ oracy skills and the quality of talk and discussion in the classroom can positively impact pupils’ attainment in core subjects such as English, maths and science. We believe that demonstrating confident and articulate communication from an early age is an essential tool in ensuring that pupils can transfer learning across the curriculum and beyond.


Within lessons, teachers  provide direct feedback, allowing them to identify misconceptions accurately and assess pupils’ understanding. In doing this, teaching is adjusted during the course of the lesson and planning for future lessons is adapted as necessary. Through this, work can be differentiated appropriately; further support can be provided and pupils can be challenged, helping to foster self-belief and increase aspiration.


Where possible, enrichment opportunities are carefully factored into the curriculum to allow learning from direct, first-hand experiences. These opportunities include visitors, visits to the local area, residentials and beyond. We firmly believe that exposing our pupils to situations in which they might not have previous experience of, is of paramount importance to their ongoing successes. By gradually widening our pupils’ experiences as they progress through St. Monica’s, we are able to further offer and inspire them through an enriching and engaging curriculum.


Our curriculum also promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of each pupil, allowing them to grow into aspirational, successful young people who not only have the necessary cultural capital to succeed but who are confident, well-rounded and able to make considered and informed choices, both when progressing to secondary school and in later life. Furthermore, through a considered approach to PSHE, we aim to address many of the specific needs of our community and respond to national trends in order to best equip our pupils with the skills and knowledge to keep themselves safe now and in the future.


Outside of the curriculum work, we encourage our pupils to engage further with their interest. Through a wide range of after-school clubs, our pupils are provided with opportunities to develop further skills and talent. The clubs are free of charge and designed to foster, maintain and enhance pupils’ enjoyment of a range of academic subjects, hobbies, sporting activities and games.




The impact and measure of implementation is to ensure children not only acquire the appropriate age-related knowledge linked to the National Curriculum but also the skills which equip them to progress from their starting points. In shaping our curriculum this way, progress can be measured and evidenced for all children, regardless of their starting points or specific needs.


As a result of a well-planned, broad and balanced curriculum, pupils are well prepared for the next stage in their education. Throughout their time at St. Monica’s, pupils acquire knowledge, skills and a love of learning that governors and staff believe will carry through to the next stage of their education, their adult lives and into the workplace. We shall assess the impact of our curriculum by high quality teacher assessment, effective intervention and support, the use of regular nationally standardised tests, professional reflection and external support and consultation with pupils and parents.


In order to measure the extent to which the curriculum is being implemented and having the impact outlined in the curriculum intent, we conduct live learning walks and observations; we discuss the books and work of our pupils; we conduct pupil voice and we analyse the data and ongoing tracking of the pupils’ progress. We conduct multiple exercises that utilise the power of collective teacher efficacy to ensure that, as a team, we are always measuring the strengths of our curriculum as well as identifying areas to develop. This way our curriculum is ever evolving, improving the quality of education that all children receive.


Formative Assessment and Verbal Feedback:


This is the foundation of our assessment strategy and is the engine for driving learning forward. Ideally, formative assessment and verbal feedback on how to improve is given at the point of learning or as soon after as possible during the lesson. This can be to individuals, groups or the class as appropriate. All lessons are assessed afterwards through a review of the work done and any knowledge, concepts, skills or understanding that need to be readdressed, consolidated or developed are noted in teacher's personal assessment and feedback books, and planning adapted appropriately. 


Verbal feedback is given at the start of the lesson and addresses important points that have been noted from the end of lesson review. The lesson may then develop and address these further depending on the teacher's informed judgement.


Summative Assessment:


R.E. is assessed and recorded in accordance with Archdiocese guidelines and recorded in keeping with our tracking system.


Pupils complete NFER standardised tests in reading and mathematics at the end of each term. Writing is Teacher Assessed and moderated across the year group as well as by the Writing Leader. Pupils are assessed as working: Working Towards the Standard, At the Expected Standard or at Greater Depth. This gives us clear, reliable data as to how effective teaching and learning has been and formative analysis of the tests enables us to identify anything that requires particular attention and respond by adapting planning for future learning.


We test the retention of knowledge at the end of the year in each foundation subject and use this alongside National Curriculum objectives to teacher assess children's attainment and progress. This is done in consultation with the experts employed to deliver those aspects of the curriculum. Pupils are assessed as being Below or At the Standard. This is used to monitor and track achievement and progress throughout their time at our school.


In addition to this, pupils complete the following nationalised tests: Reception Baseline Assessment, Year 1 Phonics Screening Check, KS1 SATs (Year 2), Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check and KS2 SATs (Year 6)


Cultural Capital:


Our pupils will be confident and enthusiastic citizens with a clear understanding of our mission, ‘Success for all within a Christ-centred community’.  We measure this not just by the learning our pupils demonstrate, but in the learning behaviours we see each and every day in all pupils in classrooms, on the playground, in our corridors, when they are representing our school and in the many roles we give them. The impact of this intention is seen in the daily interaction of all members of our community, including staff, governors and pupils from other schools too.

To find out any information, or have any questions about our curriculum, please contact the school office and we will get straight back to you.