Our Vision

Inspire and Flourish At St Oswald’s School we are ‘one body, many parts’ (1 Cor 12).  We take pride in each other, learn with awe and wonder, dare to dream and help each other flourish.  Together we are a body of unique individuals who come together to trust, inspire, smile and serve one another and our community. 

Our vision is the backbone of our school curriculum. Our curriculum is rooted in providing children with the opportunity to be inspired and to flourish. Through a broad, rich, child-centred curriculum, at St Oswald’s our learning is a journey of relevant experiences leading to the development of skills, knowledge and understanding. Children are encouraged to take inspiration from each other, their teachers and the world around them. From this holistic approach emerge thriving children whose academic success is underpinned by confidence and wellbeing.

View our curriculum

Our vision is rooted in values which cultivate an ethos that champions understanding and opportunities for all to flourish in different ways.

  • Perseverance – we promote the importance of always giving 100% despite the difficulties and challenges we will face.
  • Wonder – the world around us is inspiring and we want everyone to explore it with a sense of awe and wonder.
  • Excellence – we want to support everyone to be the very best version of themselves, following their passions and striving for excellence.
  • Courage – we promote having the courage to follow our moral compass, to stand up for what we believe in and to have the strength to do what we feel is right.
  • Kindness – to love our neighbours and show kindness and compassion to everyone, but especially to those in most need.

Our Foundations

St. Oswald’s Church of England Primary School is a friendly, exciting and stimulating place to learn that combines history and tradition with vision and innovation.

St. Oswald’s has served the town and families of Guiseley for centuries. The school was founded in about 1590, during the reign of Elizabeth I. The older part of the current building is Victorian, but it has been expanded and modernised in recent times.

Today, learning takes place in a spacious building and the ample grounds include a Forest School area, adventure playground, football field, pond and vegetable garden.

We are very proud of our distinctiveness as a church school. St. Oswald’s is our parish church and all major Christian festivals are celebrated there. We have strong links with the Diocese of Leeds and work in partnership with the wider church school family as well as schools in the Aireborough locale.

Our strengths as a church school


St. Oswald’s Church of England Primary School has a strong sense of community and family. Our vision is for everyone to flourish and to be inspired by the work we do, and we achieve this by working together as a community; ‘one body, many parts’ (1 Cor 12). Our vision underpins all our work and actions. It is used to help us reflect, plan and review, starting and ending many aspects of our work by considering how we are making a difference to our school community. It shines through in many ways, including our lessons, play-times, governors meetings, collective worship, staff meetings and strategic planning. The culture within our school enables us to adapt and persevere, show resilience, support one another. We work creatively and flexibly, supporting one another through coaching and challenge to build further on our successes. Our curriculum and approach is focused always on the development of the whole child. We are ambitious about what we want to achieve for every single person at St. Oswald’s.

Courageous advocacy

“Love your neighbour as yourself” Mark 12: 29-31

We are courageous advocates for the common good – locally, nationally and globally. We recognise that life is full of ups and downs and that at times all people will face challenges that they need help and support in overcoming. We believe that people are worth spending time with, that people need time and loving attention. We believe that there is something mysterious, and potentially wonderful, in everybody.

It is important for our children to appreciate their role as part of a community as courageous advocates; to take responsibility, to be able to look after themselves & to foster an understanding of their importance, impact and influence in the world.

We support a range of charities in our local area, nationally and globally. The school council work with staff, governors, parents, pupils and St. Oswald’s Church to identify worthy causes to support.

Our schools stand up for what we believe. We have met with Local Councillors to raise issues of significance to the school community, including road safety around our school.

In school we discuss the big issues, aiming to challenge injustice and to engage in activities that can bring about change.

In recent years we have carried out a range of different fund-raising projects to support many good causes, some of which include:

    • West Yorkshire Community Chaplaincy Project
    • Simon on the Streets
    • Caring for Life
    • Touchstone
    • Hollybush
    • Invictus wellbeing
    • Ambitious for Autism
    • PAFRAS

Our children have an excellent grasp on the meaning of belonging to a local and global community and the sense of responsibility that comes with belonging. Thereby developing their ability to empathise and make a small sacrifice to benefit others. Together we consider the beauty and fragility of our environment, the actions we take, and the impact these actions may have on the well-being of everyone. Our school community and curriculum actively embraces a responsibility for the world in which we live.

To have a secure understanding of what courageous advocacy is, each half term we study a different courageous advocate from across the globe, both past and present, who has faced injustice and have had to overcome barriers in order to help others for the greater good.

Our chosen courageous advocates for this year

Autumn 1 Onjali Q Rauf – refugees
Autumn 2 Oskar Schindler – race
Spring 1 Billie Jean King – LGBTQ+
Spring 2 David Attenborough – climate
Summer 1 Baron Kamlesh Patel of Bradford – race
Summer 2 Emma Watson – SEND and women’s rights


The backbone to our whole school curriculum is our school vision – inspire and flourish – as well as our Personal Social Health Education (PSHE)/Relationships Sex Education (RSE) and our Spirituality statement. Our curriculum provides opportunities for children to think, reflect, grow spiritually and understand themselves. We provide challenge through digging deeper questions that allow children to consider how learning can be applied to deepen and extend understanding. Our approach to knowledge mats for subjects focus on core knowledge and questions that support children to think deeply. Our curriculum promotes creativity, enrichment and empowering learning (STEM projects in our STEM classroom, outdoor learning in our Forest School Provision, Educational visits, Thrive time in the Thrive Room to focus on well-being and engage with our senses to provide calm and safety). Enrichment opportunities ensure that children develop a range of skills. Our philosophy is to avoid putting limits on learning, ensure that challenge is a key feature of our approach so that all children can take risks and think for themselves. Through ReflectED reflection opportunities, children self-review their learning. St. Oswald’s children develop into self-regulating learners who can articulate their successes and areas to grow and flourish further. In all that we do we encourage the children to ask questions. Our spiritual council work with peers and classes to ask deep questions that the whole school can discuss and ponder.


The school has a strong focus on spiritual development. Children are given many opportunities through reflection in lessons, ‘big questions’ within the curriculum, teacher-led worship and child-developed worship. We ensure that we make space within our curriculum for children to respond to national and international events and issues so that they are outward looking and develop empathy and understanding for others. (e.g. a whole school effort to fundraise for victims of the war in Ukraine). Our school culture allows for children to reflect, express ideas, ask questions and value a range of thoughts, individual beliefs and ideas. Our PSHE/RSE programme with regular themed days has been developed so that children can revisit concepts and as a school family we can focus on a whole school approach to personal development. We have developed our approach to reflection and worship over time, drawing on expertise within our community and the views and ideas from our pupil body. Our carefully developed approach ensures that we are inclusive and invitational, allowing children the space and time to think, reflect and pray. This can be in our school hall, classrooms and around school.

Through our pedagogical approaches to meta-cognition, emotional wellbeing and appreciation of the natural world; we aim to develop reflective individuals who embrace imagination, curiosity and a real joy discovering new skills and knowledge, and who build resilience in the face of challenge. We look to promote a strong sense of moral purpose and a love of what is good. We encourage time for stillness and for quiet reflection. Opportunities for spiritual development are presented or naturally arise and are promoted through our rich, broad and balanced curriculum and the wider life of the school.

How do we support spiritual development?

Intent Implementation
Be self-aware and empathise with the experience of others in the school and wider community. Children’s ability to reflect and be self-aware is fundamental to their ongoing success and taking ownership for their own learning.  Through the use of the Reflect-Ed approach, we actively teach this.  Through engagement in the local church and community projects, we help them to realise the importance of empathising with the differing needs and experiences within any given community.
Be self-aware and empathise with the experience of others in the school and wider community. Children’s ability to reflect and be self-aware is fundamental to their ongoing success and taking ownership for their own learning. Through the use of the Reflect-Ed approach, we actively teach this. Through engagement in the local church and community projects, we help them to realise the importance of empathising with the differing needs and experiences within any given community.
Love themselves, care for themselves, believe in their potential to achieve, and find inner strength and resilience when facing challenges. Our Thrive approach makes sure that all children have the skills they need to approach school life with resilience and self-love. Those identified receive additional support in securing these important life skills.  Our Forest School curriculum gives every child a chance to succeed and face challenges different to those experienced in the classroom. Every child is given the chance to flourish and support they need to be at their best.
Exercise imagination and creativity, appreciate beauty in the world and be alive to experiences of awe and wonder. Awe and Wonder is key to everything we present to our children. Each topic begins with something to inspire and interest them. The school’s flow charts ensure that across any subject, teachers exercise the same approach to the teaching of lessons and each lesson incorporates an element of children appreciating something interesting or special about that subject areas.
Be intrigued by mystery and be open to an awareness of the transcendent in the whole of life. Forest School helps our children to be curious about the world around them and become appreciative of how nature and the circle of life. They become intrigued by the natural world which allows them to develop intrigue across the whole curriculum. The ‘awe and wonder’ openings to all curriculum topics, in addition to our ‘Big Questions’ help children to find their own passions and interests.
Be comfortable with stillness and silence and open to engage in reflection/meditation/prayer Through collective worship both at school and in church, together with class prayers, our children quickly become comfortable with silence and value the time it gives them to reflect and meditate.
Be ready to say sorry when mistakes are made, to forgive themselves and to forgive others Our core value of forgiveness is clear across the school and in classrooms. Collective worships focus on this theme and children are recognised for demonstrating tolerance and forgiveness.
Be willing to take risks and to reflect, learn and grow following experiences of failure as well as success Through our use of the Reflect-Ed pedagogy, our children learn to reflect on their successes and failures, and learn from these. A key element of Forest School is encouragement to take calculated risks in a safe environment.
Demonstrate curiosity and open mindedness when exploring life’s big questions Running through our curriculum are 36 ‘Big Questions’ which children investigate, debate and consider. This allows them to be open-minded and understand the value of differing opinions.
Appreciate and be thankful for what is good in life and show generosity towards others We celebrate our children and their learning both in the classroom using ‘dojo’ points and also through our whole school celebration assembly. Our school values are clear and present in every classroom, with our collective worships making reference to these each week. Children are recognised and praised for showing strength in the values. Each class nurtures a plant which is brought to worship as a symbol of how we look after our world and how we help it flourish as we flourish ourselves.


As a school we have worked towards the empowerment of all children and staff to live full lives. Whilst inclusion is a passion and commitment for the whole school family, in 2022 we spent time developing a new Inclusion Team. This team is led by an Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion, and involves the school SEND Coordinator, a Family Support Worker/Early Help Practitioner, trained Thrive Practitioners and a trained children’s counsellor. This ensures that children, parents and carers can more readily be given support and there is dedicated time to listen and respond to the needs of our most vulnerable families.

The Thrive Room is a safe place of sanctuary where we can welcome and promote our vision through our daily actions. As a school we value and celebrate difference. An example has been a recent project called St. Oswald’s and Leeds United standing together to promote diversity.


At St. Oswald’s, every child has the chance to access enrichment experiences, through a variety of ways. We plan for our lessons and extra-curricular activities to be broad and enriching. In addition to this, we organise special events, visitors, off-curriculum days, and family events to enrich our pupils’ lives and challenge them to aspire to be people who leave a mark on the world.

Some opportunities are whole-school initiatives, while others are focussed on small groups or individuals.

Forest School
The learner-centred approach to Forest School creates a whole-school community where risk taking it encouraged, children learn through scaffolded tasks following careful observation, and the natural world is at the heart of the curriculum.  Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners through cultivation of their physical, social, cognitive, linguistic, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of learning. All children receive Forest School sessions with a fully qualified instructor which links to classroom and home learning.

Emotional Wellbeing – The Thrive Approach
We foster the best outcomes for our children by understanding the importance of emotional wellbeing as a foundation for academic success. Through the use of the Thrive Approach, children are supported to acquire the understanding, skills and personal relationships required to develop, and sustain, healthy social and emotional wellbeing. We believe this is paramount in giving children the best chance of positive outcomes throughout their primary school career.

Meta-cognition – The ReflectED Approach
Children at St Oswald’s are actively taught how to process thoughts and feelings. This ability encourages students to understand how they learn best. It also helps them to develop self-awareness skills that become important as they grow. The Reflect-Ed approach to learning is used throughout the school. Children receive weekly lessons in ‘metacognition’. These learner-centric lessons support and improve attainment across the entire curriculum by enhancing pupils’ ability to think about their learning, assess their progress, set and monitor goals, identify strengths and challenges in their learning and develop a learning dialogue between pupil and teacher. ReflectED teaches children to reflect on their learning and record these reflections as learning moments, assessing strategies they are using to succeed and progress. Teachers can evaluate these reflections to assess what pupils are enjoying or struggling with, and identify specific pupil needs. We use an App called Seesaw to share these learning moments with parents, enabling parents to work closely with us and also to create an important home-school link.

The STEM classroom
In 2022, we created a dedicated STEM classroom in school. First and foremost, we built this resource to further encourage our children to be excited about and engaged in learning. The children come to the STEM classroom for a range of learning opportunities, with an intentional integration of science, design, art, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In our STEM room, we want our children to be inspired as they investigate and engineer solutions to problems, and construct explanations of real-world phenomena. We aim to focus on a children’s social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs as we embark upon exciting projects in this space. Our STEM room gives primary aged children a unique opportunity to use innovative and advanced equipment and resources. We help them to develop crucial life skills and we encourage creative and collaborative thinking as we provide an opportunity to nurture St. Oswald’s children to be future participants and leaders in the important career field of STEM.

We have a history of delivering excellent musical provision. Regular music lessons, embedded music experiences in class and extra-curricular opportunities mean that the children are able to access music in a variety of ways whilst at St. Oswald’s. Many children have music tuition in school, and we also started a choir in 2022. We sing with enthusiasm and gusto in collective worship each day!

Lunchtime and after school clubs
We have a range of clubs after school, including various sports, gymnastics, dance and drama, which offer all children a wonderful opportunity to develop interests and skills. The school uses a range of external providers that bring expertise and specialisms to our extra- curricular activities.

During lunchtimes, we run sports clubs and a popular languages club is run by an outside languages teacher.

Educational Visits and workshops
At St. Oswald’s we believe very strongly that educational visits enhance interest, enthusiasm and achievement for all children.

We endeavour to ensure that all pupils from Reception age up to Year 6 have the opportunity to make termly visits to the surrounding community and beyond.

All visits link closely to the topic-based approach to learning that we promote. We also run a residential trip in Year 6.


A high focus on social capital with opportunities to understand and experience life beyond Guiseley (eg Robinwood, Herd Farm, Leeds and Bradford trips, regular focus on world events etc.) helps children to understand their place living in God’s world. As a school we give children a voice and the opportunities to express ideas and views. Children regularly survey their peers and use their findings to help improve school provision. (eg School Council and Spiritual Council and the use of pupil voice surveys). We encourage children to challenge and demonstrate courageous advocacy to promote causes and aspects of life that they believe need to change. (e.g. a 2022 project to tackle racism and a campaign to support local Simon on the Streets homeless project). We help to go the extra mile in order support, understand and transform lives so that individuals flourish. This effort was epitomised in 2022 when the school raised over £1000 for victims of the war in Ukraine.


We are proud of each and every one of the children who travel through St. Oswald’s. We hope that each child looks back on their time with us with great pride and fondness. We believe that each pupil leaves a legacy and is part of St. Oswald’s forever. In 2022-23 we started a new symbolic act which we think helps us to thank, remember and mark the legacy that each child leaves. By the Year 6 children planting a tree in the locality at the end of their time at school, it symbolises their journey of flourishing with us coming to an end, but the start of their journey beyond primary school. As they plant their tree, not only are they giving back to the Earth but they are planting the roots of the rest of the lives, continuing to flourish and grow to be the people they want to be.

We take a photograph of Year 6 planting their tree, and this forms our Legacy Wall in school. We hope that each child will either visit their tree or visit their photograph in school again one day, as they remember they will always be part of the St. Oswald’s family.