English Martyrs’ Curriculum

Our Aim

We aim for every child to have a happy and vibrant education at English Martyrs’ - one that is caring and supportive, working in a stimulating and structured environment, where all children are encouraged to reach their full potential. Each child is valued as a unique individual.

Our Vision

Our vision is to educate children in the spirit of the Gospel Values and the traditions of the Catholic Church, nurturing the talents and potential of each individual. Throughout the academic year, our staff, pupils and parents live out our mission statement.  This reflects our beliefs and ambitions: it is at the heart of all we do.

What we do well…

 We have enthusiastic, well behaved, loving pupils who strive to ‘be the best they can be’ and feel supported, safe, included and valued. Through the teaching of the Gospel values, we have a positive, caring, nurturing ethos with mutual respect between staff, pupils and parents. We have a hard working, committed, highly-skilled staff team who are dedicated to the mission of the school and driven to ensure ongoing improvements to raising attainment for all groups of learners. We are a school with strong community partnerships.

Our Curriculum

At English Martyrs’ Catholic Voluntary Academy, we offer a broad-based curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural and physical development of our pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences for adult life.

Our curriculum is built around the principle of greater learner engagement in their work, which requires deep critical thinking and encourages learner questioning and enquiry.  Through the cohesion of text, pupils enjoy a curriculum which is rich in language and broad in subject knowledge, providing basic skills for academic success.  Based on enquiry, through subject drivers and enhanced by wider curriculum subjects, our curriculum demands that pupils become researchers - keen to find out for themselves.

Using the information gained from pre- learning tasks, the new National Curriculum, relevant research and the school’s context, a series of topics are planned for pupils which aim to engage, motivate, inspire and teach a breadth of knowledge and skills with the hope that our pupils have the skills and confidence to embrace the world in which we live. 


The Principles of Curriculum Design at English Martyrs’


Challenge and Enjoyment  

  • All lessons based on a challenge question

  • All pupils, irrespective of ability (unless specifically targeted), have the opportunity to meet the lesson objective

  • Use of challenge to stretch and embed learning

  • Extension activities

  • Use of pre-learns and planning conferences to gauge pupils’ understanding and prior knowledge

  • Motivating and active activities

  • High expectations of and for all


  • Opportunities to apply learning in different situations and curricular areas

  • Flexible timetables

  • Knowledgeable subject leaders in curriculum coverage - vertically, horizontally and diagonally through the subjects

  • Previous learning and knowledge taken account of and built upon


  • Use of school reading and Numeracy Progression sheets and Programmes with flexibility to

  • ensure all learners follow appropriate pathways

  • Writing ladders ensure progression and coverage

  • Use of Weaving skills document and National Curriculum provide reference to ensure progression

  • Feedback where possible is progressive


  • Pupils teach others to show understanding

  • Play based learning and continuous provision a focus in Early Years

  • PLTs and higher order thinking a feature across the school and throughout the curriculums

  • Opportunities for pupils to transfer skills in other subject areas

Personalisation and Choice 

  • Pupils involved in the planning process for topics

  • End of topic products produced by learners

  • Responsive Planning

  • Use of jigsaws for flexible learning in all subjects


  • Locality considered in planning

  • Real life experiences supported

  • Outdoor learning encouraged

  • Use of real life contexts in a variety of subject areas

  • Flexible cross curricular themes which take account of current themes (community

  • based or wider world)

  • PSPs for children who require targeted support

  • Links made to support transference of skills