Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum intends to provide our children with the roots of their education.  It can be broken down into seven clear roots for development which intertwine to produce a holistic approach to learning, and from which our children are supported and able to grow.

These seven roots are:

1. Learning to learn

The meta-cognitive strategies embedded in our curriculum support children in becoming reflective and self-aware learners. Children observe precisely the processes used to plan and assess ones understanding and performance, and through this develop a deep understanding of what it is to learn. They maximise learning through regular evaluation of their own learning abilities and reviewing the knowledge they have acquired. Mistakes are celebrated and children are skilled in using their mistakes to strategise next steps in their learning and make continuous modifications. Children flourish through engaging with this process, finding success in everything they do. Through the use of learning ladders, children are aware of what they will be taught and self-assess at regular intervals in order to track their learning and work with their teacher to design next steps.

2. Exploring morals and values

At St Oswald’s, the development of children’s morals and values is key to our Christian ethos and vision as a school.  We want children to flourish as individuals, equally as part of the school family and part of the community.  Weaved into everything we do are our icon values of perseverance, excellence, wonder, courage and kindness.  Exploring these values and how we can make them part of our everyday lives, is integral across the curriculum and the whole school in events such as collective worship and what we do for charities.  Children are recognised for their achievements in these areas by their peers, their teachers and members of the community.  

3. Taking inspiration from everything

Making children feel inspired and driven to succeed is at the heart of our vision.  Our curriculum includes carefully chosen education visits and experiences which enrich the learning and inspire the children, making them eager to learn.  We make use of our rich local resources to inspire children to explore outdoor learning, theatre studies and sport.  The reading spine inspires children to love literature through a well-considered choices of texts from a wide range of genres and authors from a variety of backgrounds.  Our collective worship, humanities lessons and arts subjects include studies into the impact of inspirational individuals who have lead the way in defining change, challenging stereotypes and courageous advocacy.  We look at examples of courageous advocates and inspirational people at school, community, national and international level and how they can influence us to have high aspirations, be brave in our choices and make a difference.  Through inspiring our children we hope to encourage them to seek inspiration independently and learn how to take it from all elements of their lives.

4. Emotional wellbeing

Positive mental wellbeing is key to high attaining, happy children. At St Oswald’s our approach to promoting, developing and maintaining good wellbeing is inclusive, with every child benefiting from our whole-school systems. Children’s work is adapted to suit their interests where suitable, and altered where required to allow them to learn in an environment and using an approach to recording which supports their emotional wellbeing and help them feel success.

5. Questioning and problem solving

Through the use of six central questions across the curriculum each year, children discuss and debate a variety of important concepts, ideas and thought- provoking talking points. Children understand the importance of world-view, opinion, research and listening when approaching open ended questions. Children develop skills in sharing opinions, listening to the opinions of others, acceptance of the inconclusive and an understanding of the philosophy. These skills are transferable across the curriculum where children listen and question well, engaging in collaborative learning techniques designed to promote listening and questioning. Forest school experiences provide children with opportunities for open ended learning, problem solving outside the classroom and supported risk-taking. Every unit of work ends with a piece of original or enquiry work which demonstrate how children’s learning and skills have moved on using key questions and problems solving approaches.

6. Time to Reflect

Children are offered feedback and time to reflect on their learning in all areas of the curriculum. As they find pride in their achievements through skills in meta-cognition, they flourish and grow. Children use technology to record their own observations and share those of their teachers. Parents and children share moments of their learning at home, creating a holistic family-centred approach to feedback and strong relationships between learners in their different environs. Children reflect with their peers, monitor their own progress and formulate targets with teachers for their learning progression. Through the use of Reflect-Ed, our children understand how to learn and how to make the best use of their cognition to drive their learning forward and accelerate progress.

7. Awe and Wonder

Our curriculum contains a central thread of ‘awe and wonder’ where the content of every subject has received careful consideration in terms of how it will provide children with a sense of excitement about the world around them and the pleasure that learning can bring. Through a system of introducing topics with ‘stunning starts’ children’s interest is ignited through puzzles, theme days or outdoor learning; followed by their learning of a topic being concluded through an event which allows them to share and inspire others with what they have achieved. All our children experience learning through Forest School within every topic, which offers them inspirational learning opportunities beyond the traditional classroom experience. The school’s flow charts ensure that all topics follow the same structure with an initial focus on engaging children through an element of discovery.

How do we implement our curriculum vision?


The implementation of our curriculum centres on three key pedagogies which allow our children to grow and flourish by teaching them to learn:

Learning Centred Outdoor Education

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. All children receive a weekly Forest School session with a fully qualified instructor which links to classroom and home learning. Children are encouraged to connect with the outdoor world and take a lead in deciding which skills to develop.

Thrive and Emotional Wellbeing

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.


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.

Consistent Planning

We implement our school vision by an approach to planning which ensures that teaching is consistent and allows children to achieve high outcomes.  We do this through the use of:

Flow Charts

Subject leaders maintain consistency in the approach to teaching each subject across the school through the use of flow charts.  These inform teachers about how a lesson should be structured and ensure consistency of approach across the school.  

Knowledge Organisers

Medium term planning incorporates knowledge organisers which can be shared with the children as a referential upon which the key learning is pinned.  These knowledge organisers give them a bank of resources, timelines, vocabulary and key questions which will be used in the unit of work.  This supports the children in being reflective about their learning in terms of what has been taught, and also allows them to anticipate and understand the learning journey ahead of them. 

Progression Maps

 Each subject follows a progression map linked to the National Curriculum.  This form of quality control makes sure that progression is tracked through a subject from years 1 to 6 and makes sure teacher can reference what prior learning has taken place.

Long and Medium Term Planning

Each year group has a plan for the year, which is then in turn broken down into Medium Term planning units.  Termly plans are shared with the parents via Seesaw so that they can talk to their children about what they have been learning at school.

How do we know our curriculum has an impact?

At St Oswald’s we know that:

Children make excellent academic progress.  Children feel supported in their learning beyond academic knowledge and skills.  They feel supported in learning how to learn and being in the best place to learn.

“I saw St Oswald’s as a place where my children would flourish the most.” – Rachel, Parent and governor

“As a parent and a member of staff at St Oswald’s Primary School, I really like the feeling of community within the school. The friendly atmosphere means I not only enjoy coming to work, but my children are always enthusiastic when coming to school in the morning and always find time to tell me how much they have enjoyed their learning at the end of the day.” – Charlotte, Teaching Assistant and parent

Children flourish when they feel prepared.  Through the use of knowledge organisers, the children can access what they will be learning in their books and are then better equipped to think outside the box, and get involved in discussions when the key facts are there for them to refer to.  Children know what to expect from the teaching at St Oswald’s and feel comfortable that they understand what is expected of them.  Those children for whom change and the unexpected is a cause of stress are made to feel at ease with consistent lessons and use of visual timetables.

“Knowledge Organisers are really helpful to remind me what we have been learning” – Thomas, Year 6

“I really like to see what we are going to be learning before we get started so that I feel prepared.” – Jessica, Year 5

Children flourish when they feel prepared.  Through the use of knowledge organisers, the children can access what they will be learning in their books and are then better equipped to think outside the box, and get involved in discussions when the key facts are there for them to refer to.  Children know what to expect from the teaching at St Oswald’s and feel comfortable that they understand what is expected of them.  Those children for whom change and the unexpected is a cause of stress are made to feel at ease with consistent lessons and use of visual timetables.

“Knowledge Organisers are really helpful to remind me what we have been learning” – Thomas, Year 6

“I really like to see what we are going to be learning before we get started so that I feel prepared.” – Jessica, Year 5

Children are comfortable with talking about their own opinions and learning experiences.  They are accustomed to sharing their thoughts on their learning experiences in their books every day, and they share their learning on Seesaw with verbal comments. Pupil voice is carried out on a regular basis with a wide range of children.  

“I like it because my parents are able to see my work and comment. I also like that you can talk and explain your work.” – George, Year 5

“Seesaw lets me show off my abilities.” – Jessica, Year 5

Reading is at the heart of everything we do.  Children are exposed to a range of high quality authors, of both fiction and non-fiction across their seven years with us at St Oswald’s.  Through our reading spine, they become aware of different authors, from different backgrounds and nationalities which helps to broaden their horizons and become inclusive learners with awareness of global issues.  

“I like accelerated reader because it helps you choose a book that you know you are going to be able to understand” – Macey, Year 3

“I loved it when we read ‘The Boy Who Biked Around the World’ because we learned so much about different places in the world” – Albie, Year 4

Children at St Oswald’s flourish.  Their needs are identified, both academically and socio-emotionally and we provide the support they need to keep them flourishing.  The Thrive approach provides support for every child, whether in class or through intervention or 1:1 support.  Parents feel happy that their child’s needs are being considered and adjustments being made where necessary. 

“My child is now unphased by any situation and his development, including his writing and reading has improved hugely.” – Nikki, parent

“The teachers are really approachable here.You can chat to them at the beginning of school and the end of school.” – Rachel, parent

Children are provided with opportunities for holistic growth, play, exploration and supported risk taking. It is an opportunity for our children to develop spiritually, to learn with a sense of awe and wonder and to experiment with their natural surroundings, finding out about themselves and their place in the world.  Many children who find traditional classroom learning difficult, thrive in Forest School and the skills they learn are transferrable to overcoming difficulties in the classroom.

I like Forest School because I don’t like being trapped in a classroom all day.” – Amber, Year 4

“Forest School is really good because we aren’t always sitting. We can learn whilst we are active.I like it because we’re more involved and free.” – Thomas, Year 3

“We’re really excited about Forest School.The children can be outside more; playing, learning and building on their education.” -Cheryl, Parent

“Within Forest School, learners are at the heart of everything that we do, and learning is initiated by the child. Forest School creates a world where children are believed to be competent to choose and drive their own learning and development at a pace which is appropriate and meaningful to them.It embraces an approach of nurturing, supporting, inspiring, and developing the self-esteem of the children.” – Alex, Forest School Lead

Children at St. Oswald’s flourish in an environment which exposes them to a wealth of experiences and approaches to learning.  They build a set of life skills that prepares them to leave us in Year 6 ready to embark on their next adventures.  Our children grow in confidence as we expose them to new challenges and experiences.

“The Thrive approach helps our staff to nurture supportive relationships with the children at St Oswald’s so they are better able to cope with life’s ups and downs. Through simple, repeated activities in a safe environment, Thrive helps children compensate for interruptions in emotional development. This therapeutic approach firstly helps our staff assess children’s social and emotional development,and then provides practical strategies for each child’s individual needs. As a result, we are able to care and nurture for each child and promote positive mental health and well-being at school.” – Natalie, Thrive Lead

Throughout the year, our children are exposed to a wide range of trips and visitors which enhance our curriculum and give them experiences which develop both their academic understanding, but also their personal growth and give them access to new experiences which they may not otherwise be able to take part in.

“Going to Yeadon tarn was a great experience because I went kayaking for the first time and we did orienteering. We can’t usually do those things so it was new and different and we had to work as a team.” – George, Year 5

“Through regular sporting events and fixtures, children at St Oswald’s have the opportunity to collaborate with their peers, experience sport within a competitive environment and find new hobbies and interests outside of school.” – Matt, PE lead

“When the Mayan people came in it was great because everyone was so engaged and involved in all the different activities.” – Annie, Year 6

Children feel celebrated on an individual level, and also as part of a team. Children actively demonstrate the school values and witness how this contributes to growth as a school community. Children feel celebrated for flourishing academically (excellence), spiritually (wonder, courage), socially (kindness) and emotionally (perseverance).We celebrate their resilience and growth mindset.

Children feel valued through recognition of their actions, words and reflections.Children value themselves and others, understanding that we are all capable of helping each other flourish. All children are recognised every week.

“I really get the sense that the teachers understand my kids and who they are as an individual as well as their wider place in the class and the whole St Oswald’s community.” – Rachel, parent and governor

Our books mirror what we set out to achieve. The children produce high quality pieces of work, which demonstrates their academic success but also shows how they are growing as learners.  Their work is acknowledged and discussed with their teacher, and they reflect upon their successes and the journey they are on in any given subject.

Examples from Key Stage 2:

Examples from Key Stage 1:

Our children receive high quality teaching from high quality teachers. The delivery is consistent through a consistent whole school approach to every subject, and carefully chosen resources. They feel settled in lessons and know what to expect.