Curriculum Intent

The guiding fundamental principle, at the heart of Saint Modwen’s Catholic Primary School’s curriculum, is Catholic Social Teaching which calls us all to work for the common good, help build a just society, uphold the dignity of human life and work for justice for all our brothers and sisters, especially those in the greatest need. Through providing our children with genuine opportunities to live out their faith in action, we empower them with the skills, knowledge and desire to take responsibility and to positively contribute to our world.

The curriculum is designed to provide breadth of knowledge, to inspire and engage through exciting experiences; to promote resilience, responsibility and respect. We provide an inclusive, happy and ambitious learning community where are pupils feel confident to risk take and challenge themselves to achieve and succeed. Children are well prepared for life in modern Britain.

Aims for all our pupils

For all pupils to:

  • To actively live out their faith through prayer and action
  • Become fluent and confident readers
  • Develop an appreciation and love of Reading whilst gaining knowledge across the curriculum.
  • Confidently apply their sound Mathematical knowledge to apply problems in a range of contexts
  • Understand Mathematics is an important life skill 
  • Develop rich and deep subject knowledge
  • Confidently articulate their thoughts
  • Be resilient, independent and flexible
  • Equip pupils with fundamental skills, a positive and proactive attitude and the flexibility to adapt and thrive in their future lives (Something about being flexible and preparing pupils for an ever changing pupils)


St Modwen’s knowledge rich curriculum has been designed to be remembered in detail: to be stored in our students’ long-term memories so that they can later build on it.   Children are immersed into each topic/unit through an ‘exciting start” and knowledge is taught through a sequence of coherently planned lessons, building on children’s prior knowledge. 

Every unit starts with a ‘Big Question,’ based on Catholic Social Teaching that provides a purpose for learning which is explored through both English and foundation subjects.  This links to the other embedded approaches in particular Philosophy for Children.  These questions encourage children to offer theories, work collaboratively, use reason, think critically and encourage children to articulate their thoughts.

We are implementing our learning from cognitive science about memory and power of retrieval practise to ensure knowledge is taught to be remembered, not merely encounter.  Strategies include

  • Retrieval Practise
  • Low stakes testing
  • Sequence of knowledge ensures learning is embed and contextualised – cross curricula links –schema 
  • Structure of lessons ( starters, brain breaks, learning delivered in a multi-faceted way)


What is the Cornerstones?

Cornerstones is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the 2014 primary national curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. It is based on a  child-centred pedagogy called The Four Cornerstones and is delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) which provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of children’s learning.

We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our curriculum provides many learning challenges throughout the academic year that require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively.


  • Hook learners in with a memorable experience.
  • Set the scene and provide the context for learning.
  • Ask questions to find out children's interests.
  • Spark children's curiosity using interesting starting points.


  • Teach facts and information for deeper understanding and knowledge.
  • Demonstrate new skills and allow time for consolidation.
  • Provide creative opportunities for making and doing.
  • Deliver reading, writing and talking across the curriculum.


  • Provide imaginative scenarios that encourage creative thinking.
  • Enable children to apply previously learned skills.
  • Encourage enterprise and independent thinking.
  • Provide opportunities for collaborative working and problem solving.


  • Provide environments for reflective talk.
  • Create opportunities for shared evaluation.
  • Celebrate and share children's success.
  • Identify next steps for learning.