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Holy Ghost Catholic Primary School

Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact

What is curriculum? 

At Holy Ghost we think of curriculum as “the totality of pupil experiences that occur in the educational process” ……..

It is designed and delivered in a way that allows pupils to transfer knowledge to long term memory; sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on previous learning, and with an expectation that children work towards clearly defined end points. (Ofsted 2019)   

The school is clear about the standards expected at specific points of learning, and acts to find and close gaps in curriculum provision.

What is learning?

Learning is a change to long term memory

Learning is dependent on:
rich learning processes; key concepts being embedded in long term memory – applied fluently; the development of understanding, and the connection of new knowledge to existing knowledge.  Pupils need to develop fluency and unconsciously apply their knowledge as skills (Ofsted handbook 2019).  

What is the function of assessment?

To check pupils’ understanding; to inform teaching, and help pupils embed and use knowledge fluently to develop understanding (Ofsted 2019)

Curriculum Intent

At Holy Ghost, the direction for all our improvement work is underpinned by our Mission Statement. Our quest is that children will love learning and as a result flourish academically and personally. First hand evidence from children will inform leadership actions and improvements.

At Holy Ghost our aspiration is to “educate” children and in the broadest sense. We want our children to attend the highest levels of literacy and numeracy, and to develop a curiosity and breadth of understanding across all subjects because teachers are ambitious for learners, and seek to instil a passion in children, and totally involve them in the learning process.

As a Catholic school, Religious Education underpins the whole curriculum – delivered though “The Way, The Truth and The Life” scheme, and supported by rich programmes for PSHE and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and education for personal relationships. Working with parents, who the primary educators of their children; with the Holy Ghost parish; our Diocese and the local communities of which we are part, we promote the UNICEF rights of the child programme. As children of God we want each child to understand their calling to serve others; and to have an innate respect for their “neighbour” (Catholic values – British values), irrespective of their faith; their gender; their background or their capability.

Learning in science, technology; computing; the humanities, the arts sport and PE – is “earthed” by building links to real-life experiences. In addition - and relevant across the curriculum – the school is currently exploring the attributes of the 21st century learner – promoting collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.


Through learning in each subject we aim to ensure that:

  • Content is sequenced to ensure that components of knowledge lead to deeper conceptual understanding. 
  • Opportunities are seized for pupils to practise what they know – so they can deepen their knowledge and retain key information. 
  • The school’s layering of knowledge and concepts are secure so that pupils can make progress in the curriculum from their starting points. 
  • Concepts are connected and a range of spiritual, social and cultural opportunities are provided for all pupils. 
  • Curriculum pathways and progression are secure. 
  • Learning experiences build cultural literacy and vocabulary. 

Principles for teaching and learning which underpin our curriculum at Holy Ghost. 

Every child is entitled to:

  • To understand how they are “equal in dignity” to their peers, irrespective of capability or need.
  • Be taught to have the highest aspirations for themselves, and expect that their efforts, and God given talents are celebrated. 
  • Understand what they have achieved and what to do to make progress. 
  • Love learning across all curriculum areas. 
  • A planned, broad and balanced curriculum, which builds their resilience to challenges and problem-solving. 

Implementation of the Holy Ghost Curriculum

Using the National Curriculum for EY, KS1 and KS2, the curriculum is implemented through the following:

  • This statement of curriculum intent, implementation and impact.
  • Curriculum maps for every subject – which provide content overview
  • Medium term plans which detail knowledge, skills and pedagogical approaches. 
  • Teachers’ individual weekly/daily planning, and timetabling. 
  • Teaching, Learning and Feedback Policy

Approaches to developing children's positive behaviour choices, and personal development include learning about: safeguarding; positive mental health; E-Safety; healthy living and education for personal relationships. 

Curriculum Impact

 The Section 48 denominational inspection detailed the school’s many strengths in teaching religious education and developing children’s personal skills. 

Historically the school’s ISDR has shown that the school usually performs in the top quintile nationally for reading and maths, and in the top 50% for writing. Early Years outcomes are typically higher than national and local outcomes. 

Consolidation of personal and leadership competencies through opportunities to serve on the school council; be a “young leader”; be responsible for duties in class, and the Year 6 leadership roles. 

Achievements in sport, as evidenced in the school’s Gold mark; the outstanding learning in PE delivered by a specialised teacher; the variety of sports on offer within and beyond the school day, and the involvement of all KS2 children in representing their school for sport. 

Achievements in art, music (taught by a range of specialists), computing, and performing arts – as evidenced in the schools public performances, music concerts and drama productions. 

Themed days / weeks (e.g. STEM week) service to celebrate talent and achievements in the wider curriculum. 

Impact of spiritual, social, moral and cultural education, and the manner in which the school promotes personal development in its Catholic context are enabling children’s high levels of achievement.