St Christopher's Road, Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside , OL6 9DP
0161 330 5880

Information on St Christopher's Curriculum Design 

Teachers at St Christopher’s school ensure that we have the highest expectations for our children which lead to the highest possible standards. We have four core values: Faith, Friendship, Courage and Kindness and these underpin our mission for the school. These four core values guide us in devising, reviewing and delivering our curriculum. 

FAITH: Our children will have a Catholic faith that supports, gives meaning to life and guides them in today’s society. Our children will understand their spiritual side and have a belief that there is something greater than themselves. They will understand the importance of peace, meditation and reflection in their lives. Our children will understand and respect other faiths and cultures in our society so that they will have a mutual respect and tolerance of other people’s faiths, beliefs and lifestyle choices.

FRIENDSHIP: To be a school that is a happy family where everyone works as a team and knows how to be a good friend. Children love learning and enjoy their curriculum. They value and have opportunities to understand the history and resources available in the city and community in which they live. Our children will understand the importance of giving to others and supporting charities. Our children will appreciate and understand the community and city in which they live. We will develop our children’s cultural capital by exposing them to all that is available through the subjects they cover, trips and visits. Our school will promote equality of opportunity and diversity and will appreciate and respect difference in the world.

KINDNESS: Our children will understand that being kind to others, grateful, giving and positive leads to true happiness. They understand that they must be kind to themselves through learning about personal development. Children will appreciate the environment in which they live in and have opportunities to learn about it and the damage we are doing to the earth. Our children will learn to be kind to our environment and look after our natural resources.

COURAGE: A school where children have resilience, high expectations; know the value of hard work and being healthy. They are positive and well-motivated individuals. The school curriculum is ambitious, well planned and  gives the children the knowledge and skills for future learning. Children enjoy being challenged in their learning; they enjoy learning new things and are not scared to fail. They will always try and  be the best version of themselves and enjoy a brilliant school life that prepares them for the next stage of their education and enables them to reach their true potential

Our curriculum delivers a high-quality learning experience that gives the children the knowledge and skills to succeed in life, and in the next step of their education. It also gives them the opportunities to enjoy the outdoors; be involved in many sporting activities; to understand the importance of good mental health in their lives and allows the children to experience all that is available in our local community. 

St Christopher’s school curriculum is built around the 2014 National Curriculum, and for Nursery and Reception, the 2023 EYFS Statutory Framework. The curriculum has been coherently planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and progress towards clearly defined endpoints in learning for each subject.

Our curriculum enables our children, including our SEND children, to make progress by knowing more, understanding more and being able to do more. We have been focused on making sure that the curriculum shows clear progress between the year groups and that there are defined endpoints in knowledge and skills that we want the children to achieve at the end of the unit. We also make links wherever we can with our English themes from "Pathways to Write" and other subjects. 

We have written long term plans that you can download for your child's class and subject specific long-term plans. We have also have knowledge mats for all subjects that contain information on the essential learning your child will be carrying out. They also contain the information in the form of questions that we have identified for the children to know (sticky knowledge) at the end of the unit. 


In Nursery, we use a reading approach called "Concepts of Print," which teaches children pre-reading skills. Reception and KS1 use the validated DfE scheme "Rocket Phonics", which compliments the Reading Planet scheme. The children in KS2 progress through the bands that lead to free reading. We strive to promote a love of reading through focused activities and reading for pleasure.

The school has a reading mentor who teaches reading with selected children. She regularly supports those children who are having difficulty with reading every day. 

Writing & Spelling

The school uses "Pathways for Writing" and "Pathways for Spelling." Pathways forms the spine of our curriculum. "Pathways to Write" is used to structure our teaching of English. We chose to use this scheme as it is based on high-quality texts that stimulate and develop ideas for creative writing. Over a half term, pupils become immersed in high-quality literature.

The school uses "Pathways to Spell" from Y1-Y6 to ensure that a systematic, structured approach to spelling is followed. The scheme is a research-based series of lessons using a Review, Explain, Practise, Apply and Reflect model.


Assesment is so important as it helps us measure the children's progress and to find where the gaps are in their learning. Teachers are constantly assessing children everyday through the work they carry out in class. They also carry out more formal assessments in English and mathematics. In English, we carry out weekly spelling tests and in mathematics we carry our weekly arithmetic and tables tests.

We carry out end of unit assessments based on the 5 key learning questions in the non-core subjects. The final lesson in the series of six reviews the learning and makes sure the children know what they must learn. 

Every term we carry out specialist NFER assessments that we scrutinise to see where there are gaps in the children's learning and steps are put in place to support the children. Alongside this are further senior management checks on progress to validate all teacher judgements on children and to intervene if progress is not being made.


We know that information must be stored in the children's long term memory. We have picked 5 questions, not just because they relate to the half term weeks, but also because  research on memory indicates that five items are easier to remember. We use repetition and reapeated practise in lessons to make sure that the children have transferrred the skills and knowledge to their long term memory. 

We carry out end of unit assessments based on the 5 key learning questions in the non-core subjects. The final lesson in the series of six reviews the learning and makes sure the children know what they must learn.  


The curriculum for SEND children is not different, it is adapted, to include our SEND children. The SEND team identifies any areas of learning difficulty and appropriate and timely support is given. Miss Mulhall is our SENDCo and ensures that the children with SEND receive the correct support and are fully included in all lessons. Please click on the SEND section in "Information."


We have a bespoke intervention programmes that take place both inside and outside ofschool time. We carefully identify, through pupil progress meetings, those children who require support. The interventions are only for short periods of time and are teacher led. We also run a reading intervention programme called "Boost Reading" to support those children who have difficulties in reading. 

Personal Development & Mental Health 

We work hard to develop a child’s inner core. We believe that what’s on the inside – someone’s character, drive, resilience, and the ability to stick to a goal – is just as important as their academic achievements. The children’s mental health is at the core of our curriculum. We use a resource called, SUMO4Schools. This stands for “Stop, Understand and Move On.” It teaches our children about positivity, resilience, hard work and that getting things wrong is fine. It gives them techniques to cope with challenges that life throws at them. 

We also give our children a spiritual education through teaching the children about the importance of stopping and appreciating silence in their lives. Meditation and prayer is a regular feature in school life and gives children the chance to switch off and connect.

PSHE Curiculum

We use a resource called Ten:Ten to deliver some parts of our PSHE curriculum. Relationships and Health Education is taught across the school using Ten:Ten "Life to the Full."  This covers all areas of the RHE curriculum and has been planned for each year group. Working alongside this are the Catholic Social Teaching units which cover different social issue areas. The topics add a global dimension across the whole school curriculum. We also have weekly assemblies that cover different areas of PSHE and we have visits and visitors to talk about social issues. 

We teach the children about internet safety by using the Childnet slogan: "being SMART on line." SMART stands for: Safe, Meet, Accepting, Reliable & Tell. We use STOP for bullying which stands for Start, Telling, Other, People. 

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) and British Values

St Christopher’s, our SMSC curriculum and British Values curriculum are partly delivered through Catholic Social Teaching, which includes Caritas and CAFOD Universal Church units. Caritas in Action is a local Manchester charity that provides support to the most vulnerable children, families and older people to live more fulfilled and happy lives. Our school takes part in its initiatives and the children learn at first-hand about social issues through this programme. Children are encouraged to think about the less fortunate and about how justice, the law and democracy in our society effects other people’s lives.

The CAFOD Universal Church units teach the children about the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. 

Specialist Teachers

To get the absolute best for our children we employ specialist teachers for computing, Spanish and music. Under the leadership of our curriculum leaders, they ensure that the knowledge and skills required in the 2014 curriculum is being taught to a high level. These subjects are enhanced in after school clubs or involvement in Local Authority initiatives such as playing with the Halle Orchestra.

Broadening a Child’s Experience

Not everything is taught in a classroom at St Christopher’s. Enrichment opportunities are at the very heart of our curriculum and each half term we are committed that every child has a workshop, trip or unique experience. School trips and workshops are curriculum driven so that the children gain in knowledge through this experience.  As a further incentive, children are given the new topic as a project to complete over the half term holidays to prepare them and their families.

We have a Forest School which connects our children to nature and the great outdoors. It gives the children the opportunity to act successfully in a variety of challenging situations and so increase their self-confidence and self-efficacy.

It impacts on the children’s attitudes, beliefs and self-perceptions including independence, confidence, self-esteem and coping strategies. The Forest school lessons also provide them with interpersonal and social skills, such as communication and teamwork skills. It also gives them an insight into how important it is to look after the environment.

The school has a range of after school clubs: chess, drama, various dancing workshops, multi-sports, computer coding, samba drumming and netball. 

The children are taught to be responsible citizens and we have many opportunities for them to take leadership roles in school. 

Raising Environmental Awareness

We teach the children about climate change and the effect it is having on our world and the reduction in the earth’s resources. We have a group of children called the "Laudato Si" leaders who are involved with environmental issues.

We teach our children that we can work together to build, repair and heal our planet. Children see at first hand that small acts can make a huge difference: walking to school initiative, recycling; turning the heat down in school and wearing jumpers; using less water and switching off lights.

Fitness and Nutrition 

We have a challenging and well-sequenced PE curriculum called "Complete PE." There are also lots of opportunities throughout the day for the children to take part in exercise during break and lunchtimes. In addition to PE lessons children learn about the body in Science and healthy eating and cooking in DT. We have achieved the Food4Life award which recognises our work on health and fitness. 

The school takes part in lots of competitions in different sports. We are part of the Tameside Sports Partnership that organise competitions between schools.  We are also part of the Catholic Schools Sports network and in local football competitions. 

We encourage the children to carry out a variety of sports. We are taking our KS2 children to Graystoke Action Sports Park in Salford. Children spend the whole day trying new sports such as skateboarding, scootering and parkour. In the summer we take the children to Robinwood Outdoor Pursuits Centre and Venture Out Outdoor Pursuits Centre in Stockport. 


The children are growing up in one of the biggest cities in the world and one that was the birth place of the industrial revolution. We make sure the children understand about their city and the incredible history it has. The subject leaders have made sure that there are many opportunities in the curriculum for the children to study Manchester. Classes often visit the city to support their topics or take part in events. We have also named the school Houses after five of Manchester's most inspirational people. 

We are proud of our curriculum and have worked very hard in creating it.