St Ambrose Barlow Catholic Primary School
St Ambrose Barlow Catholic Primary School

Curriculum Introduction

Curriculum Intent

At St. Ambrose Barlow Catholic School, the curriculum is designed to provide breadth of knowledge, inspiring and exciting experiences; promote resilience, confidence, responsibility and respect within a happy and ambitious school community. We provide our children with a coherently planned curriculum, delivered in an atmosphere of high expectations and mutual respect, to allow all pupils to develop as independent, successful life-long learners. It is designed with children at the heart and pupil voice is paramount.

As a Catholic school the foundation of all we do is based upon Christ and His Gospel values of Love, Peace and Justice, developing a Catholic ethos within which all pupils can grow and flourish, respect others and be respected. Every child is recognised, as a unique individual made in the image of God. Our curriculum is designed in response to the needs of each and every child considering their place in this nurturing family school, local community and the world beyond.

We prepare the pupils well for the future in multi-cultural society. The children learn to respect other faiths and beliefs, whilst comparing other religions to their own. There is a clarity of purpose, progress and direction within the curriculum, which enables all to know where the learning journey ends and what is required to get there successfully. Our curriculum provides children with the opportunity to succeed not only in statutory curricular subjects, but to participate in and engage positively with a range of artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities. We aim to give all of our pupils, particularly the most disadvantaged, the knowledge, experiences and ‘cultural capital’ necessary to become educated citizens and to succeed in life.

The curriculum is also designed to be ambitious, embed an enthusiasm for learning that encourages children, to continue their learning journey beyond the classroom and beyond their school years. 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. We aim for children to leave St Ambrose Barlow with the confidence and self-belief necessary to have high expectations of themselves and their future, enabling them to make a positive contribution to society. We live in an ever-changing world and it is our aim to ensure that our pupils are ready to face these challenges and succeed in whatever they do.​



The curriculum consists of many planned experiences in school and out: lessons, theme days, school council, assemblies, clubs, sports, trips and visits, visitors, workshops, residential trips, fund raising, and community work. At the core of our curriculum is reading, which develops learning and results in the acquisition of knowledge so that they know more, remember more and understand more. Outcomes may be designed to meet the requirements of the new National Curriculum but also to develop the skills needed for learning and for life.

Good teaching through a broad, balanced, relevant, and differentiated curriculum; develops our pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life in Britain. Catholic and British Values are embedded throughout the curriculum: (What kind of person do I want to be? What kind of society do I want?) Threaded through our curriculum is ‘Laudato Si’ – Care of our Common Home’. Lessons are well paced and engaging, and pupils work hard. Teachers ask challenging questions, thus encouraging pupils to explain their thinking and understanding. Teachers match work closely to pupils’ learning needs to build on pupils learning, ensuring that pupils of all abilities make equally good progress. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) are at the heart of our ethos and curriculum, giving children a deep understanding of the CRC. A variety of teaching strategies are used to foster creativity, engagement and good progress.

Retrieval opportunities are carefully planned and made explicit in the curriculum. So that learning and knowledge is highly retained and easily retrieved. This has always been strong in RE, Maths and English. Opportunities are now made in foundation subjects to revisit across year groups helping to boost long term memory. We also space and interleave the science curriculum; spacing and repetition ensures the science knowledge is retained in the long-term memory. Lessons are sequenced so that there is clear continuity. Pupils are productive during lessons and use a variety of ways of recording and applying their skills. Teachers create a positive climate for learning and foster effective learning relationships. We listened to pupil’s feedback from the school council and interviews with more ways to make the learning engaging.

Through our exciting, stimulating and creative curriculum we aim for every child to enjoy learning and gain knowledge, skills and attributes which will enable them to lead happy, fulfilling and successful lives in the future. We live in an ever- changing world and it is our aim to ensure that our pupils are ready to face these challenges and succeed in whatever they do. We take every opportunity to enrich the curriculum with outside providers, trips and visits, extra-curricular opportunities, celebration days, whole school themed days/weeks, cross curricular and cross year group learning cultivates attitudes to learning. It also gives context to learning and also shows our pupils that education is relevant, fun and worthwhile.

Reading, writing and maths skills are embedded across the curriculum in a meaningful way so that children have purposeful opportunities to develop and deepen their skills. Reading is a priority and reading skills and comprehension are embedded throughout all subjects to enable pupils to read widely. Reading is integral to the teaching of every subject and gives children a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. There is a strong focus on developing a love of reading.

We are implementing the new relationships and sex education and health education curriculum. We will deliver this through TENTEN scheme ‘Life to the Full’ and CES Catholic Primary RSE curriculum. During our emotional well-being week, safe relationships is covered in an age appropriate manner. This ensures children have an age appropriate understanding of safe relationships. This is revisited often throughout the year. Mental Health is covered through, exercise, meditation, mindfulness and circle time. Children become aware how to keep physically and mentally healthy with the support of staff and a variety of outside agencies.

Pupils are encouraged to self and peer assess in ways which enhance their responsible attitude to learning. Assessment is frequent and accurate and is used to set challenging work that builds on prior knowledge, understanding and skills. Procedures are in place for assessing pupil progress in all areas of the curriculum.

Also see: Whole School Curriculum Overview


Our monitoring shows that teaching and learning are very good, with much outstanding practice. Parents believe that the teaching is good and that their children enjoy learning. We continue to strive to raise standards to ensure that all pupils make good progress.

Pupils are productive during lessons and use a variety of ways of recording and applying their skills. Pupils show great interest in their learning, often presenting teachers with extra research/reports/stories they have completed at home. Standards of pupils work across the curriculum is high.

The proportion of pupils attaining the expected standard in phonics is above the national figure demonstrating good practice in the teaching of early reading skills. Standards in reading across all key stages is consistently above National Average. Percentage of expected and great depth in Reading, Writing, GPS and Maths are all above National Average.

KS2 Average scaled scores in Reading, GPS and Maths are above national averages demonstrating that children are achieving confidently within the new expectations.