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St James' Catholic Primary School'Where we belong, believe and achieve'.

Our Bespoke Curriculum

Mrs Bell - Curriculum Lead



St James’ Catholic Primary School – Curriculum Statement of Intent


Our aim is to provide our children with an engaging, exciting and empowering curriculum that equips them for today and tomorrow.


At St. James’ Catholic Primary School our bespoke knowledge-based curriculum is designed with children at the heart and pupil voice is paramount.  We offer rich and vibrant learning opportunities which are ambitious for all learners.  Our intent is to develop the essential knowledge, skills and understanding which are the building blocks for later life.   We recognise children’s prior learning and always strive to build on this so that they make the best possible progress. In order to build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers we continually provide first hand learning experiences which allow the children to develop their problem solving and interpersonal skills. Furthermore, so that learning sticks, teachers use metacognition teaching techniques so that knowledge is embedded for life and can be applied and utilised as they grow. 


We constantly provide enrichment opportunities to engage learning. We believe that childhood should be a happy, investigative and enquiring time, where there are no limits to curiosity and there is a thirst for new experiences and knowledge.  Our curriculum is fully accessible - every child is recognised as unique and we celebrate and welcome diversity and individuality.  Specific needs and learning styles are catered for with an individual approach which suits each child ensuring they reach their full potential.


Cultural and ethical differences are celebrated from the very beginning of a child’s learning journey and respect for others is instilled from an early age. The importance of black lives and their influence on the world today is threaded throughout the curriculum with the intention of children having a deep understanding of the importance of cultural diversity and equality within the world they live. 


We use our gospel values of: love, respect, forgiveness and compassion alongside British values to promote positive attitudes to learning which reflect the skills needed to promote responsibility for learning and future success. Community involvement is an integral part of our curriculum, inviting families and visitors to facilitate learning new skills and sharing experiences such as assemblies, collective worships and whole school events ensures links are fostered and nurtured. 

Our intention is that children leave St James’ with a strong sense of belonging to a tightly knit family where they aspire to make decisions, self-evaluate and become lifelong learners. Children truly do become part of the loving family of St. James’.  


Curriculum Design

Four years ago, subject leader roles were reallocated to ensure teachers' skills and expertise were being fully utilised. As the children are always at the forefront of what we do, it is with them that the process began. Children in KS2 completed questionnaires and staff interviewed a selection of children from across the school in order to discover areas and subjects of immediate interest.


Staff then spent time working as a team designing a bespoke curriculum specifically with our children at the heart.  Following this, Mrs Bell (curriculum leader), met individually with each subject leader. Every new topic for each year group was systematically planned together ensuring: concise national curriculum links, clear end points, progression, possible community links, key vocabulary, clear links to British Values and evidence of previous and planned future learning.  


In 2023, we continue to evaluate and adapt our curriculum regularly to suit the needs of our children. The impact of our bespoke curriculum is clear. Children know more and remember more and learning is built upon and further embedded each year. Children can share their knowledge confidently and are inquisitive about what they would like to learn in the future. 


Involving parents:

We are aware that all children need the support of parents and staff to make good progress in school. Strong positive relationships between school and every single family is crucial right from the outset. This is achieved by keeping parents informed about the way in which the children are being taught and how well each child is progressing. The year always begins with a “Meet the teacher” either face to face or virtually.  We keep our families well informed through weekly newsletters, text messaging and the school website. Our parents/carers are also invited to use Class Dojo; a communication platform between staff and carers.


How Our Children are Assessed:

·         Teacher observations - formally and informally 

·         Discussions with children - during lessons and through meetings with subject leaders. 

·         Analysis of children’s work in: books, oral presentations, photographs, videos and display work. 

·         Self-assessment

·         Peer assessment

·         Formal assessments


To find out more about the new EYFS Framework, click on the link below:


Black Lives Matter and Equality