Our Curriculum


We were excited to launch our new whole school curriculum at Holy Cross in September 2021. We are providing a Curriculum based on our Motto of Loved, Valued, Challenged that is rooted in Gospel values, Catholic Social Teaching principles, is knowledge rich and ambitious for all our learners. Our new curriculum follows seven themes that will allow our children to develop deeper knowledge and understanding in as they progress through each year group.  On each Class Pages you will find a class newsletter outlining what your children will be learning each term – please have a look at these and see how you can support at home!  If you would like any further information about our school curriculum, please contact our Headteacher, Mrs McNamara.

Curriculum Statement

Holy Cross Curriculum Rationale

Curriculum Policy

Holy Cross Curriculum Policy

Curriculum Subjects

In art, pupils will learn about some of the most significant pieces of art that have been created and the artists that created them. They will also learn how to producIe their own pieces of art in a range of different forms.  We place great emphasis on teaching pupils to draw with a structured drawing programme in KS2 that builds up children’s skills over time. We ensure pupils have lots of chance to practice the basics so that they are able to use their knowledge to create their own pieces of art at the end of a unit of study.

We have recently started using Kapow for our scheme of work in Art and Design.


As we are a Catholic school, it is important that we aim to develop our children’s Cultural Capital and Religious Literacy by each class studying a piece of religious art. This includes works of art from Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Rembrandt.

At Holy Cross we are very passionate about the environment and want to teach our children about becoming responsible citizens who care for God’s creation and our beautiful world. This is explored through our curriculum theme of ‘Conservation‘.

At Holy Cross we are very passionate about the environment and want to teach our children about becoming responsible citizens who care for God’s creation and our beautiful world. Children learn further about their local school environment during Forest School sessions, and this is explored through our curriculum theme of:


We are also passionate about supporting our children’s mental health and well-being and we believe that access to Forest School provision has many benefits linked to this. Research has shown that children can benefit in a multitude of ways ranging from confidence to social, emotional, intellectual, physical and language development (Murray & O’Brien, 2005). This supports our curriculum theme of:

Keeping Safe and Healthy.’

Case studies have shown children can:

  • Develop self-regulation skills.
  • Cope with and learn from failure.
  • Build resilience (the skill of coping with risk and failure).
  • Gain a sense of achievement.
  • Increase motivation and concentration.
  • Improve problem solving.
  • Expand their vocabulary and communication skills.
  • Feel empowered and have new perspectives.
  • Build positive relationships with adults and peers.
  • Have overall improved wellbeing and mental health.

Phonics Information

From September 2020, we will be following the Sounds-Write Phonic programme. This programme has been selected because it ensures that children develop their phonic understanding in a coherent and systematic way. There is direct teaching of phonics using this programme from Reception upwards.  Children in Key Stage Two will receive additional phonics support if they did not pass the screening check in Year 1 or the re-take in Year 2. Children who are still developing their phonic knowledge take home a phonetically decodable book matched closely to their phonics phase. It is one of our school priorities that our children develop confidence in phonics to enable them to become confident readers and writers. You can find additional information here  https://www.sounds-write.co.uk/

Phonics Training for Parents

We highly recommend parents to complete this Sounds-Write course for parents of children aged 4-6. This will help to ensure that parents are supporting with the teaching of phonics the same way that we are in school. It will help support your child to become effective readers and writers.  https://www.udemy.com/course/help-your-child-to-read-and-write/

Reading Books

At Holy Cross, we have a large selection of books throughout school from a variety of authors and genres. Books at Holy Cross are grouped according to their complexity and each class has a mixture of reading materials suitable to the children that are in those classes.  In Key Stage 1 children receive three books.  The first book is phonetically decodable which links to the phonics level being taught in the class.  The second book is from the colour bands, featuring repeated texts.  These books allow the children to read many high frequency words and explore more challenging vocabulary.  The third book is a library book.  Parents and cares are asked to read the library book aloud to their child.  This supports building a love of stories and many other texts.  Children hear interesting vocabulary and enjoy listening to character voices. This approach fosters a love of reading and ensures a rounded experience.

Teachers and teaching assistants listen to each child read at least once a week.  The child’s reading ability is closely monitored by staff to ensure each child is making the expected level of progress. Lunchtime staff, students and parent helpers also listen to children for an additional read where possible. Children who are not making the expected level of progress are targeted by the class teacher and booster strategies are put in place.  Children in Key Stage 2 also have allocated book colours and are regularly checked to ensure they are reading at the correct level.

Our children also have access to online reading books using Rising Stars. Access to the online reading books allowed our children to continue with regular access to quality texts to read during the remote teaching months. Teachers could continue hearing children read through the parent videos that were uploaded to the Student Portfolios on Class Dojo. Our children continue to have access to the online reading books.

It is important at Holy Cross, that the children have a good understanding of what they are reading, so therefore can talk about the story, predict endings, answer questions and use inference and relate to personal experiences.  Reading is a priority at Holy Cross Primary.  Staff communicate frequently with parents via the children’s reading records and through Class Dojo.  Staff support parents by posting videos about reading on their newsfeed.  They also promote reading by sharing home learning experiences in the class.  Every teacher promotes reading by giving rewards for regular reading at home.  Children receive, stickers, certificates, and prizes for reading often.  We also have close links with Hucknall Library and visit the library every term.  The school promote the reading challenges that are run by the library and the children that participate are celebrated in whole school assemblies.  In line with our motto, we would like children to have a love of books, value reading materials and challenge themselves to read frequently.


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