At St Paul's C of E Primary School, we have a creative approach to our curriculum, which is specifically tailored to our children's needs. We understand the importance of an exciting, well-rounded, inclusive curriculum to prepare our pupils for the next stage of education, and for their future. Our curriculum is broad, balanced and meets the requirements of the National Curriculum.

Please scroll down to see more information.

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“The alien crash landing was amazing and using school trips to broaden a themed project have really expanded the scope of learning.”

Y2 Parent

Intent, Implementation & Impact

As a staff, we have given careful consideration to our children, their experiences and needs, and developed a curriculum model that is engaging, ambitious and develops curious, independent learners.

At the heart of our curriculum design is our school aims and vision and we strive to make learning irresistible.

Our curriculum is delivered through cross-curricular ‘Projects’ that aim to inspire and excite children with a range of rich and memorable learning experiences. The children go on a learning journey from their initial ‘WOW’ project launch experience, to the project finale. Each “Project” is built on actively promoting children’s learning and thinking through creative, practical experiences. To support this we regularly take part in educational visits to museums, theatres, art galleries and places of cultural interest and provide pupils with exciting enrichment activities and opportunities through visits into school. In addition, each term, we run a whole school curriculum week with a specific area of focus such as; Life Skills, Faith Celebration, STEM or Outdoor Learning.

In addition to the acquisition of knowledge and skills, the delivery of our curriculum supports and develops our Christian values and 'life skills' such as collaboration, perseverance, resilience and problem solving; so our pupils become confident learners, well prepared for the 21st century.

Overview of Curriculum Aims

  • Ensure our curriculum underpins our aims, vision & values.
  • Nurture a life-long love of learning.
  • Prepare children for the 21st Century.
  • Ensure all pupils are supported to achieve their full potential.
  • Take account of children's interests and fascinations.
  • Enable children to make choices about their learning.
  • Engage children through exciting topics and hands-on activities.
  • Make meaningful links between subjects.
  • Develop children's skills, knowledge and understanding of a range of themes and concepts.
  • Make effective connections to the real world.
  • Help children to think creatively and solve problems.
  • Develop children's capacity to work independently and collaboratively.
  • Foster mutual respect, understanding and a celebration of diversity.

Should you require any further information on our curriculum, please contact Miss Christie Waite, Acting Head Teacher and Curriculum & Assessment Leader, via the School Office.

As a school we use Cornerstones Education to support our curriculum design.

“Trips help us to learn more about our projects. The trip to Clifford’s Tower helped me learn more about History and helped me with my writing because I could imagine life in the past.”

Year 2 Pupil

“It feels like you have successfully tapped into ‘fun’; something I don't recall being part of learning during my time at school.”

Y1 Parent


At St Paul’s C of E Primary School we believe the teaching & learning of English enables pupils to communicate and understand the world around us; it gives children confidence and a way to express their emotions, opinions and ambitions.

We have designed our English Curriculum to compliment our cross-curricular projects and immerse and highly engage children with English as a subject. The intent is to provide creative, real purpose opportunities through writing and reading across the curriculum, which present opportunities for acquiring knowledge, skills and understanding of the English curriculum.

Phonics in EYFS & KS1

At St Paul’s C of E we follow the Phonics Letters and Sounds programme. This is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills which consists of six phases. Discreet phonics sessions are taught daily and are fun and multi-sensory to appeal to all learning styles. We use Phonics Play to help the children learn the first 42 sounds.

To support early reading development, we support our phonics programme with a range of early reading books. These reading books are all phonetically decodable and carefully matched to children's ability. This allows children to practise the skills for early reading. Children have regular, discreet reading sessions in school and opportunities to take phonetic reading books home on a daily basis are promoted within school.

We also encourage parents to get involved with this key aspect of their children's education and invite parents to a Phonics Evening, supporting parents with their understanding of phonics and ways to support their children at home. We also offer stay and play sessions that allow parents to come and get involved in their children's learning in school in a fun and practical way.


Learning to read fluently is a fundamental part of a child’s education in order to confidently access all areas of learning and prepare them for the next stage in their life.

Reading is given high status at St Paul’s C of E Primary School and is at the heart of everything that we do. We aim to teach the children the skills to enable them to read well but also aim to instil in them a love of reading and a passion for exploring a range of books. When you walk around St Paul's you will see that each classroom has a well resourced reading area which children are able to use throughout the week.

KS1 and KS2 share and read whole-class texts (fiction and non-fiction) that are linked to our Curriculum Projects that not only promote a love and engagement in reading but the design of our reading curriculum means that pupils are immersed in the necessary vocabulary and grammar before they even begin to write. The books we use to engage our pupils in Reading are selected from the “100 Books to Read before I Leave Y6”.

Our School Library is open every day after school and we would encourage all children to go up and borrow books on a regular basis. We also welcome children and parents ideas about new books to buy so if there is a new author we don't stock, please let us know!

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Shared and modelled writing takes place within English and also topic lessons for cross curricular writing. This allows the teacher to demonstrate high expectations and covers the success criteria they would expect to see in children’s writing. Children are given extended opportunities to write frequently in a range of forms and the curriculum is designed to provide real purpose experiences to promote cross curricular writing.

In the new English curriculum, children have daily dedicated time to be taught spelling, punctuation and grammar rules (SPAG). The timetable of English allows for Reading and SPAG lessons to be taught prior to writing, so that children are able to integrate their knowledge and skills into their work.

For more information about the teaching & learning of English, please contact our English Leader, Mrs Charlotte Hughes, via the School Office.

Useful Links for Parents

Please find below helpful website links that can support English learning at home:

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At St Paul’s C of E Primary School we believe a high quality Mathematics education not only develops basic skills but gives opportunities for reasoning, problem solving and generalising. We believe all children have the potential to reach the expected level for their year group, operating a ‘keep up, not catch up’ approach, providing children with additional high quality interventions to maintain this, if required.

Children can sometimes find Maths difficult because it is abstract. Maths is taught at St Paul’s C of E Primary using the ‘Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract’ (CPA) approach. This approach builds on children’s knowledge by firstly introducing abstract concepts in a concrete, or practical, way, giving children the opportunity to handle physical objects – the ‘doing’ stage. The pictorial, or ‘seeing’ stage involved represents problems visually, through drawing pictures to represent the problem. When children demonstrate a good understanding of the concrete and pictorial model of a problem, the abstract, ‘symbolic’ stage is introduced. Children then begin to use of symbols, including numbers, notation and mathematical symbols (+, -, x, ÷), to represent addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

For more information about the teaching & learning of Mathematics, please contact our Maths Leader, Mrs Sandra Evans, via the School Office.

Useful Links for Parents

Please find below helpful website links that can support Mathematics learning at home:


"I have enjoyed all the projects. The new projects have given us more of a variety and we have learnt so much."

Year 5 Pupil


Science is covered through cross-curricular learning and is linked to the Cornerstones projects but taught through the National Curriculum Objectives.

In line with the National Curriculum, pupils will be taught to ‘work scientifically’ and given opportunities to do so through each project.

We aim to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

To support the well-structured and progressive curriculum, the school makes use of a range of engaging resources such as those provided by Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Association for Science Education (ASE) and Explorify. Classes across school take part in STEM workshops run by their ambassadors to support the teaching of science.

We are committed to outdoor learning and offer a range of practical, outdoor learning experiences including lessons at our very own school allotment.

Each year we celebrate National Science week and offer children an engaging curriculum week based on enrichment workshops, trips and visitors into school.

For more information about the teaching & learning of Science, please contact our Science Leader, Miss Hannah Brookes, via the School Office.

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At St Paul's C of E Primary School, Religious Education has an important and central place within our curriculum. We teach the statutory, locally agreed, Religious Education syllabus that prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in modern Britain. As well as the study of Christianity as a living and diverse faith, the programme also includes learning about a range of religions and worldviews, fostering respect for others. Concepts and values are explored both through discrete RE lessons and Faith Days and Curriculum Weeks.

Through our RE curriculum and based on the strands of Believing, Expressing and Living, we aim to help children to:

  • Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews.
  • Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews.
  • Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews.

In order to make RE a lively, active subject, we employ a variety of teaching methods including art; music; discussion; the development of thinking skills; drama; the use of artefacts, pictures, stories; the use of periods of stillness and reflection.

Where possible we want our pupils to have opportunities to encounter local faith communities through visits to local places of worship or enrichment.

Should you require any further information about the teaching & learning of RE, please contact our RE Leader, Mrs Sarah Hann, via the School Office.


Foundation Subjects

The foundation subjects - History, Geography, Computing, Design and Technology, Art and Design, Music, Performing Arts and MFL (French and Spanish) are integrated into each of our cross-curricular 'Projects' that aim to inspire and excite children with a range of rich and memorable learning experiences.

Through the foundation subjects we aim to provide children with rich learning opportunities to develop practical skills, acquire knowledge and develop questioning to encourage curiosity through learning. Our practical, real purpose approach also develops engagement in cross-curricular writing. A high focus is placed on using quality enrichment and partnerships in school to support the teaching and learning of foundation subjects. Our location, just outside the city walls of York, means that we have a wealth of history and heritage, easily accessible from our doorstep.

Our children regularly use a range of technology such as Chromebooks, laptops and Google Classroom which develops key technology skills and promotes independent research. We are also proud to offer our pupils specialist teaching in Spanish, Physical Education and Music by expert teachers in their field. We work alongside York Music Service who offer individual and group music lessons for children in school. Performing Arts is an integral part of the curriculum: children not only learn to read music and play an instrument but we also have our very own rock band who perform regularly throughout the year. Children are also given opportunities to showcase at key events such as the Yorkshire Dance Festival, Young Voices, York Minster Choral Outreach Project and the Shakespeare Project.

Music and Performing Arts Long Term Plan
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PE & Sport

PE and Sport is central to our school curriculum, which includes outdoor games; indoor activities and educating children about healthy lifestyles and fitness. Both the PE / Sport’s curriculum and Extra-Curricular Sports Programme at St Paul’s C of E, develops children’s knowledge and skills through a wide range of sports and activities. Our school teams also participate regularly in local school leagues and tournaments.

Our current Long Term Plan is only planned for part of the year due to Covid 19 and planning around social distancing where possible. This will be updated shortly.

Our aims are:

  • To raise the profile of PE and Sport across the school.
  • To engage all pupils in regular physical activity.
  • To develop lifelong participation in healthy, active lifestyles.
  • To enhance participation in competitive sport.
  • To increase confidence, knowledge and skills of staff in teaching PE and Sport.

Should you require any further information about the teaching & learning of PE & Sport, please contact our Head of Sport, Mrs Sanderson, via the School Office.

See also: How we spend our Sports Premium funding