Holy Spirit Logo.jpg

Curriculum Design Statement:

Intent, Implementation, Impact

The Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School

Holy Spirit Logo.jpg


The Holy Spirit Catholic Primary school endeavours to offer a Curriculum that develops well-rounded and happy pupils. We aim to provide opportunities that inspire our pupils and make them excited to learn and ready for high school.


The breadth of our curriculum is designed with two goals in mind:

  • To provide a rich ‘cultural capital’;
  • To provide a coherent structured, academic curriculum that leads to Sustained mastery for all and a greater depth of understanding for those who are capable.
  1. Cultural capital is the background knowledge of the world pupils need to infer meaning from what they read. It includes vocabulary which in turn, helps pupils to express themselves in a sophisticated and mature way.
  2. The coherently planned academic curriculum at The Holy Spirit is underpinned by our curriculum drivers:

Spirituality: As a Catholic School we are driven by a spiritually rich curriculum that holds Gospel values at its heart, encompassing the importance of British values and Equality.

Possibilities: A curriculum that provides quality experiences, encouraging our children to have high aspiration for their future and to be aware of all the opportunities available to them.

Resilience: Our curriculum encourages children to learn how to think well, it seeks to remove barriers to learning through growth mind-set, developing problem-solving skills and bounce-back ability.

Our academic curriculum sets out;

  1. A clear list of the breadth of topics that will be covered.
  2. The ‘threshold’ concepts pupils should understand
  3. Criteria for progression within the threshold concepts.
  4. Criteria for depth of understanding

CQ Curriculum structure pic.png

The diagram above shows the model of the curriculum structure at The Holy Spirit Primary school. The structure also supports mixed age teaching and our assessment policy.

  1. The Curriculum Breadth for each year group ensures each teacher has clarity as to what to cover. As well as providing the key knowledge within subjects it also provides for pupils growing cultural capital.
  2. Threshold concepts are the key disciplinary aspects of each subject. They are chosen to build conceptual understanding within subjects and are repeated many times in each topic.
  3. Milestones define the standards for the threshold concepts.
  4. Depth: we expect pupils in year 1 of the milestone to have a Basic (B) understanding of the concepts and an Advancing (A) or Deep (D) understanding in year 2 of the milestone. Phase one 9, (Years 1, 3 and 5) in a milestone is the knowledge building phase that provides the fundamental foundations for later application. LEARNING AT THIS STAGE MUST NOT BE RUSHED and will involve a high degree of repetition so that knowledge enters long term memory. If all of the core knowledge is acquired quickly, teachers create extended knowledge.

Sustained mastery

Nothing is learned unless it rests in pupil’s long term memories. This does not happen, and cannot be assessed in the short term. Assessment answers two main questions. “How well are the pupils coping with Curriculum content? And “How well are they retaining previously taught content?”


The Curriculum design at the Holy Spirit is based on evidence from cognitive science; three main principles underpin it:

  1. Learning is most effective with spaced repetition
  2. Interleaving helps pupils to discriminate between topics and long-term retention
  3. Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength

In addition to the three principles we also understand that learning is invisible in the short term and that sustained mastery takes time.

Some of our content is subject specific, whilst other content is combined in a cross curricular approach. Continuous provision, in the form of daily routines, replaces the teaching of some aspects of the curriculum and, in some cases provides retrieval practice for previously learned content.


The impact of the Curriculum is judged at the end of each milestone. The goal is for the majority of pupils to have sustained mastery of the content. We aim that the children remember and are fluent in the content. We aim for those that can to have a greater depth of understanding. We track carefully to ensure pupils are on track to reach the expectations of the curriculum. We keep what we see what works for our children through evidence and we reflect adapt and change that which appears not to be working. In line with the Holy Spirit Assessment policy we review in depth at the end of each Milestone in Year 2, 4 and 6.

Our Curriculum

At The Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School, we aim to offer a curriculum that develops well-rounded, happy pupils. As a Catholic school our Mission underpins everything we do – Christ is at the Centre of our Curriculum. We aim to provide rich and varied opportunities that inspire our pupils and make them excited to learn. A broad and balanced curriculum is crucial to ensure our pupils are offered a wide range of life choices and opportunities.

We want our children to come to school filled with enthusiasm and eager to learn every day. In order to do this, we want to arrange for the children to visit interesting places, experience live performances and offer opportunities that they would never have the chance to be exposed to. We know that this will impact on their learning and improve attainment in all subjects.

We want to enable students to understand the world around them and the skills that they hold within, so that they can become passionate, fulfilled individuals and pro-active, conscientious citizens of Halton Brook and the wider community. In order to achieve our goal, we will teach engaging, inspiring lessons that cover a rich and varied curriculum. We know that this will result in happy pupils with a thirst for learning that will see them reach their vast potential in whatever field they intend to pursue.

As a school, we place a great deal of importance on academic learning. We take the progress and attainment of each child, achieving the very best they are capable of, very seriously. However, we also view each child as a complete person and our curriculum has been tailored to ensure that each child grows as a person and recognises their place in our community and in our ever-changing world.

Our curriculum has been designed to reflect that life at The Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School is rich, caring, inclusive, exciting, challenging, inspiring, but above all, rewarding. This runs through all subject areas including the use of High quality texts in English and our Maths curriculum that builds upon knowledge gained over time and applied into problems and investigations.

Our thematic approach to teaching across the whole curriculum puts children at the heart of their own learning; taking an active part in lessons and ensuring that the children are rich in language and cultural diversity.

We recognise that children have a thirst for knowledge and we are committed to nurturing young writers, performers, readers, international speakers, mathematicians, scientists, historians, geographers, artists, designers, musicians, sports persons, computer users and so much more!

We aim to provide the building blocks of knowledge that enable the children to progress and follow their dreams through fostering the qualities of resilience and inquiry as well as planning opportunities for the children to know about keeping safe.

We also plan for and promote Gospel Values, 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. They are values that give a simple message to our young people, ‘In Britain, no matter what your background, you can fit in, you can succeed and you can belong’.

While these values are not unique to Britain or British society, they are integral to our ethos.

Our curriculum aims to help children understand the tensions that can arise between faith and other legally established rights, as well as understanding how their own faith relates to the wider world, both in terms of attitudes and the prevailing law.

In order to allow the children to fully develop these aptitudes, language is a key focus for us. We aim to develop the children’s communication abilities and also provide them with the rich and specific vocabulary (from across the curriculum) that underpins their knowledge and understanding.

We are a school that proudly embraces change and does not shy away from the increasing use and dependence on ICT in the world. Everything that we do in ICT is geared towards removing the fear from using computers and the internet. Children use the internet and will continue to do so. Therefore, our responsibility is to prepare them for the digital world and motivate them to become responsible digital citizens. Staff members do everything in their power to stay up-to-date with the developments in this field and perpetually promote the importance of e-safety.

Learning is also enhanced by a carefully planned range of educational visits with their strong links to enhance the curriculum. Our curriculum is also structured to use the wealth of local resources (including those further afield) to enhance the children’s learning experiences.

Our approach to assessment is built upon these milestones, looking to use assessment to monitor and support the children’s learning over a number of years.

The aims of our curriculum are:

  1. To provide the children with firm foundations founded in knowledge, skills and understanding; preparing them for a future of learning.
  2. To provide an environment in which the dignity of each pupil is recognised and developed.
  3. To promote the full potential of each child through a curriculum that develops spiritual, academic, social and emotional growth.
  4. To encourage our pupils to live and act according to the British values and to enable children to be positive global citizens in society.
  5. To promote a positive attitude towards learning and knowledge, so that children enjoy coming to school, and acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning.
  6. To enable children to be creative and to develop their own critical thinking skills and questioning.
  7. To teach children about their changing world, including how their environment and society have changed over time.
  8. To fulfil all the requirements of the National Curriculum.
  9. To teach children to have an awareness of their own and other beliefs.
  10. To help children understand the importance of truth and fairness, so that they grow up committed to equal opportunities for all.
  11. To enable children to have respect for themselves, high self-esteem and to be able to live and work co-operatively with others.

At The Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School, our children develop respect and understanding of people who have different characteristics to themselves: whether that be age, gender, disability or race. A rigorous, well planned curriculum (delivered by inspiring staff in an ethos of love, care and support) enables our pupils to be well rounded, empathetic young people. We strongly promote self-respect for all in our school irrespective of race, creed or gender. Care will be taken to ensure that resources do not present stereo-typical images, rather role models from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

As the children’s first teachers, we aim to work closely with parents/carers to provide the very best learning opportunities for all pupils and ensure they continue to grow into happy fulfilled individuals. Parents/carers play a key role in our learning community and we look forward to sharing in the development of your children as caring, educated young citizens.

Files to Download

Other pages