St William's Catholic Primary School

Our Curriculum

To read our Curriculum Overview for 2020/21 please follow this link - Curriculum Overview 2020/21


A curriculum designed for St. William’s Catholic Primary School, Bradford that promotes the school’s Catholic identity and aims.


‘While education rooted in Christ provides the Church with the means to promote the Catholic school’s identity, the accent on the human person is central.  The human person, made in the image of God (Gen1:27), is a unique creation with an innate dignity and is a social being whose formation is achieved in relation to others and not as a sovereign individual: Young people….discover, in the light of faith, their specific vocation…to make the world a better place (Congregation for Catholic Education, 1977:45).

The primary purpose of Catholic Religious Education is to come to know and understand God’s revelation which is fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. The Catholic school is ‘a clear educational project of which Christ is the foundation…Hence ‘the promotion of the human person’ is the goal of the Catholic school. (Religious Education Curriculum Directory 2012)

The school’s purpose is rooted in its Mission Statement: ‘The community of St. William’s Catholic Primary School uses the Gospel values to provide a loving, caring and safe learning environment.  We celebrate and welcome our rich and diverse community, recognising we are all special in the eyes of God.  Working in partnership with parents and the wider community, we provide effective learning that is positive and challenging’.

At St. William’s, our aims are:

– To provide a Catholic education based on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, in which the values of the Gospel underpin all aspects of school life;

– To provide an environment in which the dignity of each person as a child of God is recognised and developed; and to promote the full potential of each child through a curriculum which develops spiritual, academic, social and emotional growth;

– To provide a curriculum which is enriching and challenging, where children experience the opportunity to learn in a wide range of contexts.

Our Principles for Learning and Teaching:

All children are entitled to be engaged in their learning and to be active learners; discovering and finding out.

All children are entitled to understand what they have achieved and know what to do to make progress.

All children are entitled to be independent, enthusiastic and self-motivated learners; raising their own questions.

All children are entitled to time to evaluate and reflect on their learning.

All children are entitled to have their different learning styles recognised.

All children are entitled to teaching that inspires their learning.

All children are entitled to teaching that encourages them to be creative.

All children are entitled to be challenged and enjoy learning, as well as encouraging problem solving.

All children are entitled to develop spiritually, morally and as members of their community and the wider community.

Curriculum Intent – how we designed our curriculum

Good teachers possess a capacity for enabling learners to make connections. We can look for opportunities to make links across the curriculum, to look at a topic from a range of subject perspectives, to relate to those we teach as whole people but, perhaps most importantly of all, we show it by living lives that have a wholeness that comes from Christ.

As a Catholic school, the principles of Catholic education remain at our core. This includes the pursuit of excellence and preparing our children as world citizens of the 21st Century. In order for this to be achieved, our children need high levels of literacy and numeracy. We recognise R.E is central to our whole curriculum, ‘Religious education is more than just one subject in the curriculum.  In Catholic schools it is the core of the “core curriculum”’.

(Pope St. John Paul II, 1988).

We use the diocesan scheme, ‘The Way, the truth and the Life’, as well as a making links to other areas of the curriculum to enrich and provide opportunities for all children to deepen their understanding, knowledge and skills and develop a personal relationship with God. Furthermore, we are truly ‘Catholic’ and recognise that we serve a very diverse community: Catholic families, Christian families, families of a different faith and some families of no faith.  We are an inclusive school. ‘St. William’s is a school where Christ is truly at its heart, where every child matters and is cherished for who they each uniquely are, every bit as much as for what they may achieve’ (Section 48, June 2018).

‘The St. William’s Way’ directs all those within our school community to practise our core virtues, to promote human flourishing: Love of Learning, Love, Respect and Kindness; and these are fundamental to the curriculum and all aspects of school systems and relationships.

We also recognise that parents are the primary educators of our children and we work closely with parents/carers, the local parish and community in embedding these strong links with our parish and our local community.  We foster an ethos of serving both individuals and society; charitable links and service remain a focus, as does creating opportunities for pupils to experience awe and wonder.

When planning a curriculum, St. William’s School has had to recognise the very wide social and economic backgrounds of our families.  24.3% of the school cohort is eligible for Free School Meals (Nationally 13.7%) and 27.7% of the school cohort is eligible for Pupil Premium. The three main ethnicity groups that attend are any other white background (41.2%), British (20.9%) and other Pakistani (11.9%) 59.9% of the school cohort speaks English as an additional language compared to Nationally 21.2% of the primary cohort speaks English as an additional language.  Children of 17 different nationalities attend the school. 20% of the school cohort has SEN support compared to nationally 12.2%.  St. William’s is situated in the Bradford West area of the city within the City ward.  93.2% of the school cohort lives in the 30% most deprived areas of England.  Based on the index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), the school is ranked 69th out of 159 primary schools (where 1 equals the most deprived).

Hence school has a significant minority of families who require a lot of support and care. Within PSHCE and citizenship, account is made of the socio-economics of the area and we recognise that the children need both a sense of valuing themselves, and developing aspirations for their future and for their community.

The National Curriculum is used to inform curriculum planning across all subjects and we have planned enrichment weeks to provide a breadth of experience within a range of subject areas. Drawing on outside speakers, involvement of parents and developing a sense of curiosity; and organising visitors to meet with the children and expose them to life outside school, provides pupils with ideas for their future. We are passionate that all children realise that it is a big and wonderful world out there that they can play an active and positive part in; particularly as ‘Stewards of Creation’ and taking an active role to protect and care for our precious world and environment.

To achieve this, not only do we pursue excellence, but ensure the children are equipped with the correct skills in which to do this, for example we have strong links with our Catholic Secondary School, St. Bede’s & St. Joseph’s. We play an important part in providing the means for social mobility. We maintain close links with the local community and schools within the Bradford & Keighley Catholic School Partnership.  We also plan opportunities for the children to know about keeping safe, adhering to the safeguarding measures outlined in the KCSiE document. We enjoy strong links with The Schools’ Linking Network Project and The Peace Museum to promote British Values and plan for Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs ensuring that children are aware of their rights and responsibilities as a U.K. citizen.

The wellbeing of all our pupils is at the heart of St. William’s curriculum.  Pupils are able to empathise with the feelings and actions of others, seeing points of views and beliefs other than their own. Particularly in Drama, RE and PSHCE, they show a keen interest in ethical issues and are able to apply their personal values to situations, giving reasons for their decisions and actions. Music is a curriculum area that we particularly enjoy at St. William’s and we believe that musical talents must be nurtured in all our pupils. Pupils across school have opportunities to sing and learn to play a musical instrument and perform to a range of audiences.

In recognising the development of the whole child, the pastoral support given to children, so they can access the curriculum is strong; Links with Catholic Care and other external professionals enhance provision for pupils with social, emotional, mental and behavioural issues.   Emotional and mental wellbeing is also greatly enhanced by a range of before and after school clubs and specific individuals are targeted to participate in these, for example: Breakfast Club, Minecraft, Dance, Martial Arts, Choir Art & Craft, and & Cooking Club.

Teachers annually review their planning to ensure topics are relevant to the children’s interests and needs. The curriculum is designed to ensure: deep learning, with focus made on extending those who are working at a greater depth within the curriculum areas; engagement with their learning and initiating the direction of the units of study, particularly in the foundation subjects along with breadth and balance.

Throughout the school the children are taught in mixed ability classes in the care of their own class teacher with the support of the teaching assistants.

In line with the National Curriculum, pupils are taught subjects which are placed in the following categories.

English, Maths, Science, RE.




At St. William's we are working to develop a deep understanding of maths to ensure that our children can not only use the four basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, but can also use them in a range of different contexts. We ask the children to not only learn a method but also how to apply that method as well.  All our pupils are expected to explain strategies, choice of resources and how they know they have found the correct answer.  Reasoning is very much part of the White Rose Maths approach.  We want to foster a love of maths.



The scheme we use in school to teach phonics is, Letters and Sounds.   There are many resources to use at home on the Letters and Sounds website - and  


At St. William's we want to develop an appreciation of reading for pleasure as well as learning and research.  We also know that it is about understanding the text so we spend time asking and answering questions about events in the stories, poems, newspaper reports, non-fiction books and many more types of text.  Children have reading records and reading books that they independently change as needed.  All parents/carers are invited to write in their child's reading record.


Quality texts are used to teach specific reading skills and widen children's experience.  This may be in English work or part of the wider curriculum.  We believe that this supports and enhances their own writing skills and reading and writing are taught and developed together.



We follow the Diocesan programme, The Way, the Truth and the Life and all learning reflects the events/seasons of the Liturgical Year.

For more information please read your child's class curriculum newsletter or visit the Diocese of Leeds website -


The Foundation subjects are:

History, Geography, Music, Science, PE, Computing, Art & Design and Technology, Modern Foreign Language (Spanish). 

Personal, Social and Health Education and Computing are incorporated into all areas of the curriculum.

At the end of Year 2 and Year 6 pupils are subject to the National Standard Assessment Tests (SATs).  Parents will be informed of the procedures and results at the appropriate times. 

Details of the National Curriculum 2014 can be accessed through this link -

Please see our half termly curriculum newsletters in the 'Our Learning' section.



For the teaching of PSHE, we are using the website.



For the teaching of PE, we are using the website.



For the teaching of music, we are using the website.