Curriculum Intent

We are proud to have a knowledge-based curriculum which promotes good attitudes to learning, high standards and high achievements for all children. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the pupils in our school. 

Our curriculum has been designed to encompass knowledge and understanding of the world in which we live, and also the events that have shaped it in the past to make it what it is today. The topics have been designed to complement and build on one another with clear progression and links so that in subsequent year groups, children will be able to explore concepts deeper, applying their knowledge in different contexts. We are a school who strives for greatness and strongly believes that all children can achieve better than their best, whatever their starting points.

Our Aims

​​To promote a strong work ethic, high aspirations and build resilience so that all children believe they can achieve greatness.

  • To celebrate diversity and learn from each other through strong partnerships with parents, parish and the wider community.
  • To allow children to apply their knowledge and skills across the curriculum to secure new learning.
  • To prepare children for their next stage of education by giving them the requisite skills to be successful, independent and motivated learners. 

All subject leaders are given training and opportunities to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. 

A variety of cost-effective phase group and whole school learning opportunities enrich and develop the children’s learning. A carefully designed programme of after school clubs and events extend these opportunities further, helping to ensure that our children develop the knowledge and skills they need to excel, and become creative, responsible and curious citizens.

​Please contact the school office to find out more about our curriculum.

English Intent

The intent for English at St Margaret Clitherow is to develop a love of Spoken Word, Reading and Writing in all our pupils through a broad and balanced programme of learning. We intend to create passionate, competent readers and writers who are eager to learn through an integrated approach to the teaching of English. Our intent for our English curriculum is to promote a shared love and understanding of English for all. We strive to make our curriculum engaging and accessible so that our pupils leave us with a passion for reading, writing and can apply these skills in everything they choose to do.

Writing Intent

In Writing, we intend for all our pupils to be passionate, confident writers who can apply their knowledge of technical writing skills to a wide range of genres for a range of different purposes and audiences.  We provide opportunities for pupils to apply their writing skills across the Curriculum by embedding the key principles of writing to provide the tools and resources to create competent writers in all aspects of their learning.

Reading Intent

In Reading, we strive to create fluent, competent readers who apply their Phonics and decoding skills alongside their comprehension strategies to access a wide range of texts. We intend to create readers who engage with reading beyond the words on the page through their love of reading and willingness to be reading detectives to gain knowledge from the texts they read.

Spoken Language Intent

At St Margaret Clitherow, we strongly encourage the development of effective communication skills through all aspects of learning as spoken language plays an essential role in the development and knowledge of all pupils. We intend to stimulate language skills through the use of speaking and listening activities in every lesson to develop the knowledge and understanding of all pupils.

Our maths curriculum is structured using a variety of schemes including White Rose, which support planning for the teaching and learning in arithmetic, fluency, reasoning and problem solving. The new maths curriculum ensures that when a child is introduced to a key new concept, they should have the opportunity to build competency in this concept by taking this approach.

We use the 2014 National Curriculum Maths planning document as well as other resources for planning and teaching.

2014 National Curriculum Maths planning document

Children at our school have a great passion and enjoyment for Maths.  It is taught to be fun, engaging and enjoyable, as well as challenging, giving children the freedom and independence to question, investigate, test and understand a concept through their own means of investigation.  


Concrete is the ‘doing’ stage, using concrete objects to model problems. Instead of the traditional method of math teaching, where a teacher demonstrates how to solve a problem, children are encouraged to use apparatus to represent the problem how they see it using objects.


Pictorial is the ‘seeing’ stage, using representations of the objects to model problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical object by replacing it with a visual representation through drawing.


Abstract is the ‘symbolic’ stage, where children now progress to representing the object as a number or mathematical symbol showing their understanding of the problem.

​Within lessons, children are provided with a variety of tasks which test their fluency, reasoning and problem-solving skills.  They are encouraged to explain their understanding through rich conversations with peers and adults.  When they have grasped a concept, they are encouraged to tackle more challenging tasks which deepens their understanding and allows them to look for patterns, connections and generalisations.

Our aim is for all children to enjoy maths through a supportive learning environment where all questions and answers are respected, mistakes are embraced and used as part of the learning process, allowing for all children to gain a sense of achievement and pride through their hard work and determination to succeed.

Free online maths – Mathletics

All our pupils have their own username and password so they can log onto Mathletics where they can complete a variety of activities to support their learning in maths. This exciting resource funded by the school, children can earn points and gain bronze, silver or gold certificates which are celebrated during Friday’s assembly. 

Some teachers will set homework on Mathletics so it is important you become familiar with it at home.  There is also a free parent subscription where you can track your child’s progress.

As a Catholic school, we use at least 10% of our curriculum time on RE from Reception up to Year Six. This equals two hours per week in EYFS and KS1 and two and a half hours per week in KS2. 

We also conduct Collective Worship in different forms across all classes, including Nursery. As we are a part of the Nottingham Diocese, we undertake lessons using the Come and See curriculum. This scheme uses relevant resources to make learning fun, interactive, deep and meaningful in each class.  At the start of each topic, children explain what they know already about the topic being studied and by the end of the unit, children are able to celebrate their new learning. 

Science teaches an understanding of natural phenomena. It aims to stimulate a child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way that they do. It teaches methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought. 

We use the 2014 National Curriculum Science planning document as well as other resources for planning and teaching.

2014 National Curriculum Science planning document

Our children learn to ask lots of scientific questions and and answer them through research and investigations. They begin to appreciate the way in which science will affect the future on a personal, national and global level. Science is a core and valued subject in our school. 

Our science teaching objectives are for all our children:

  • to ask and answer scientific questions
  • to plan and carry out scientific investigations, with the correct use of equipment
  • to know about life processes
  • to know about materials, electricity, light, sound, and natural forces
  • to know about the nature of the solar system, including the earth
  • to know how to evaluate evidence, and to present conclusions both clearly and accurately.

Computing lessons are used to enhance learning across the curriculum through research and presentations, as well as being taught the skills of programming, internet use and eSafety. 

We use the 2014 National Curriculum Computing planning document as well as other resources for planning and teaching.

2014 National Curriculum Computing planning document

Computing work may involve whole class teaching or work in groups, pairs or as individuals. It can be taught both as a discrete subject and in a cross-curricular way.

Spanish is taught weekly and the learning consolidated with various activities. From EYFS to Year Six, our teaching approach to languages centres on giving our pupils positive experiences associated with learning languages for them to be encouraged to pursue them later in their school lives. Songs, games and other engaging verbal activities are used within our Spanish sessions to encourage enjoyment and excitement while learning, as well as giving pupils opportunities to use language in real-life, social and interactive contexts. 

Through our teaching of MFL we aim for children to be able to build on five strands of teaching and learning: Speaking, Reading, Listening, Writing and Intercultural Understanding.

These strands will enable the children to be able to:

  • Listen and respond to questions using correct pronunciation and grammar
  • Memorise and recite familiar words and phrases (including rhymes, songs and stories)
  • Interpret meaning by picking out familiar words
  • Read and write familiar vocabulary building up into short phrases and sentences including the use of dictionaries to find new words
  • Communicate with each other in French in pairs or groups
  • Recognise similarities and differences between countries and cultures.

Geography is concerned with the study of places, the human and physical processes that shape them and the people who live in them.

Throughout the school, children develop their knowledge of map reading and drawing both in their local environment and into a wider field. They also study weather, rivers, volcanoes, earthquakes, landscapes and wider Geographical issues, both in their local area and other countries.

We use the 2014 National Curriculum Geography planning document as well as other resources for planning and teaching.

2014 National Curriculum Geography planning document

Children learn about people and important events and developments from recent and more distant times in the locality, in Britain and in other parts of the world.  Children learn about historical enquiry by looking at a range of real and secondary sources and by, wherever possible, recreating events from the past. They also explore the chronological aspect of our history to better understand the development of our world today.

We use the 2014 National Curriculum History planning document as well as other resources for planning and teaching.

2014 National Curriculum History planning document

In Design and Technology, our children use creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems. Design and Technology incorporates a range of skills, for example model making, drawing, safe use of tools, food preparation and nutrition, problem solving, observation and discussion, as well drawing on other disciplines such as Mathematics, Science, Computing and Art. 

Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, the children can develop a critical understanding of the impact of Design and Technology on daily life and the wider world.

We use the 2014 National Curriculum Design and Technology planning document as well as other resources for planning and teaching.

2014 National Curriculum Design and Technology planning document

We believe that creativity, challenge and inspiration are fundamental to the development of every child. 

Our Art and Design curriculum aims to develop a deep understanding and appreciation of the role creativity has played culturally and historically, through an exploration of key artists and craftsmen through time.

We aim to increase confidence and competence in the use of different media, such as pencil, charcoal, paint, collage, inks, textiles and clay. Art teaching is embedded in other subjects, as well as taught discreetly to ensure progression. We promote the necessary skills for our children to develop their natural ability to be expressive and creative and we aim to instil pride by achieving finished work that is of a high standard.

We use the 2014 National Curriculum Art and Design planning document as well as other resources for planning and teaching.

2014 National Curriculum Art and Design planning document

Teaching music in our school follows the aims of the National Curriculum. We want children to experience music by way of practical engagement in performing, composing and appraising. Singing and work with rhythm play an important part in the development of musical skills. All children have opportunities to sing within lessons, in weekly singing assemblies and in musical production. Music progression and achievement is celebrated at the end of each term with a music concert. 

We use the 2014 National Curriculum Music planning document as well as other resources for planning and teaching.

2014 National Curriculum Music planning document

Tuition in various instruments is provided by peripatetic teachers. Parents are actively encouraged to apply for tuition when their child is considered old enough. Children can learn to play the flute, clarinet or guitar. 

There is a termly charge for instrumental tuition which is payable in addition, Children on Year 4 learn to play either the cornet, trumpet or baritone as part of the Wider opportunities initiative provided by the Nottingham Music Hub. The children also have the opportunity to be part of Area Band led by Nottingham Music Hub.

P.E. helps promote a long-term, healthy lifestyle which is both enjoyable and fulfilling.

We aim to provide a high-quality physical education curriculum that inspires all of our pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. Through our physical education culture we will enhance academic achievement, as well as the health and well-being of our pupils and by doing so, directly impact improved progress in reading, writing and maths.

We want to provide opportunities for our pupils to become confident and physically literate in a way which supports their wellbeing. Additionally, we aim to provide opportunities for children to compete in sport and other activities in order to build resilience and embed values such as team work, fairness and respect.

Our PE and sport aspires to build self-esteem, teamwork and leadership skills enabling each child to be the best they can be by:

  • Improving health and well-being
  • Providing high quality opportunities and outcomes for all
  • Encouraging community involvement
  • Promoting active participation and competition
  • Raising achievement and supporting excellence.

​We pride ourselves on the extensive range of further sporting opportunities for pupils. 

In collaboration with First Grade Sports, we work towards giving our pupils the opportunity to experience as many sports as we can. Throughout the year, there are many and varied opportunities for children to represent the school in Inter-School competitions. We aim to enter every event possible and to invite as broad a range of pupils as possible to take part.