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Curriculum 2018-2019



At Holy Apostles’ we aim to offer a well-balanced, broad-based curriculum that is not only academic, but also includes cultural, social, spiritual and physical development and growth. Our school’s Christian ethos is at its heart and all learning is linked to our core school values: love, happiness, friendship, determination, honesty, equality and forgiveness. 

While English and mathematics are central to our curriculum, the development of essential life skills to enable all our pupils to be independent learners is also of central importance. In combination, these attributes ensure pupils’ ability to access future learning.

We aim to provide our pupils with practical, hands-on learning opportunities that enable them to experience learning in a meaningful way that reflects their interest and needs. We tailor learning to provide our pupils with opportunities to develop skills and explore concepts. These will allow them to build their knowledge and understanding through topics that will capture their interest and stimulate their imagination. Our curriculum reflects life in Modern Britain and encourages our pupils on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British society and to the world.




At Holy Apostles School the English Curriculum follows the objectives from the National Curriculum.

The aim of the English curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. In the early years and KS1 our children follow the letters and sounds phonics programme. The follow reading schemes are used throughout KS1: Ginn Lighthouse, Project X, Treetops (OUP), Ginn Reading 360, Collins Big Cats and Storyworlds (Heinemann)


At Holy Apostles School the English Curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding:
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information;
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language;
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage;
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences;
  • use discussion in order to learn by elaborating on and explaining clearly their understanding and ideas;
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.



We aim to give all our pupils a thorough understanding of number work, shape, space and data handling. A strong emphasis is also placed on investigative and problem solving activities. The work is delivered through a balance of individual programmes, group work and whole class lessons. Our mathematics curriculum has the overall aim of meeting the individual needs of pupils of all abilities, as well as offering challenge and enjoyment.

There is a strong commitment to practical activities leading to mathematical understanding as well as in mental arithmetic as a basis for the children to be able to tackle more complex mathematical operations with confidence.




This is an important subject in our Church of England School. It is systematically covered from Foundation Stage through to Yr 6 and monitored in a range of ways. As well as Christianity, children learn about Judaism, Islam and Hinduism and how to respect the faith of others. They learn about sacred writings, places of worship, beliefs and traditions as well as many other faith characteristics. The school is able to meet daily for collective worship as a whole school. This builds a real sense of family and community.


According to the Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus, adopted by the school Governing Body, the principal aim for RE is, ‘to engage pupils with key questions arising from the study of religion so as to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.’ We embrace this aim and take every opportunity – across the curriculum – to put it into practice. Additionally, our provision in RE aims to enable pupils to:


  • develop their understanding of, and their ability to respond to, Christianity, other principal world religions, other religious traditions and world views;
  • explore issues within and across faiths, to learn about, to understand and respect different religions, beliefs, values and traditions, and how they influence individuals, societies, communities and cultures;
  • consider challenging questions of the meaning and purpose of life and beliefs about God;
  • learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while exploring questions of meaning and their own beliefs;
  • develop their sense of identity and belonging and to prepare them for life as citizens in a plural, global society;
  • develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own;
  • understand how belief can be expressed in a variety of ways.




Our Science curriculum is centred on enabling our pupils to develop a sense of enquiry and to extend their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. We use a range of teaching methods in science lessons that are intended to develop pupils’ scientific concepts; enable them to be curious about the world; and lead them to work as scientists, planning and undertaking practical investigations.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, activities are planned in relation to the “Understanding the World” area of the Foundation Stage curriculum. Pupils’ progress and achievements are assessed against the Early Learning Goals at the end of their Reception year. The activities are planned in a cross-curricular way through topic areas that are interesting and enjoyable.

During Key stages 1 and 2, science is taught through specific subject lessons and wherever possible, links are made between science and other subjects, particularly English, mathematics, DT and computing.  Activities are planned to cover the relevant key science skills and knowledge for each year group, with particular importance placed on pupils working practically so that they can make discoveries for themselves.  Work is recorded in a variety of ways including the use of drawings, charts, graphs and photographs. Pupils complete at least one science investigation per half-term, with an emphasis on assessing particular investigational skills and working scientifically.  In Years 5 and 6, pupils are able to plan, carry out and then write up their full investigations. They communicate conclusions and carry out repeat tests to check results.

Every year we attend the Cheltenham Science Festival as part of our Science Week and invite visitors into school to provide exciting and ‘hands on’ activities to enhance our learning about and enjoyment of Science.




Key Stage 1

Pupils use a range of materials creatively in drawing, painting and sculpture. They begin to develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space. Pupils are taught to share their ideas and experiences and to develop their imagination. They will look at the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and making links to their own work.


Key Stage 2

Pupils will be taught to develop their techniques, including control and use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design. All pupils have a sketch book to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas.  They will continue to improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials.  Great artists, architects and designers in history are included as a part of lessons.




Key Stage 1

When designing and making, pupils are be taught to:


  • design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria;
  • generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology.



  • by selecting from and using a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing];
  • by selecting from and using a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics.



  • Explore and evaluate a range of existing products.
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria.


Technical knowledge

  • Build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable.
  • Explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products.


Cooking and Nutrition

  • Use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes.
  • Understand where food comes from.


Key Stage 2

When designing and making, pupils will be taught to:



  • Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups.
  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design.


  • Select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately.
  • Select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities.


  • Investigate and analyse a range of existing products.
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.
  • Understand how key events and individuals in design and technology have helped shape the world.
  • Technical knowledge.
  • Apply their understanding of how to strengthen, stiffen and reinforce more complex structures.
  • Understand and use mechanical and electrical systems in their products.
  • Apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.

Cooking and Nutrition

  • Understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet.
  • Prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques.
  • Understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed.





All pupils have the opportunity to listen to a wide variety of music from different cultures and times. Pupils also learn to compose and refine their own compositions. Here at Holy Apostles’ School, we offer increasingly broad opportunities for children to engage with music. Pupils have the opportunity receive individual tuition to learn to play an orchestral instrument; to join the infant or junior choir; and could be invited to join the school orchestra. These groups perform at a number of events throughout the year including the Cheltenham Performing Arts Festival as well as many others. 

Our curriculum coverage is as follows:

Key stage 1

Pupils are taught to:

  • use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes;
  • play tuned and un-tuned instruments musically;
  • listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music;
  • experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.

Key stage 2

Pupils are taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They are encouraged to develop their understanding of musical composition; to organise and manipulate ideas within musical structures; and to reproduce sounds from aural memory.

Pupils are taught to:

  • play and perform solo and in ensembles using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression;
  • improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music;
  • listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasingly accurate aural memory;
  • use and understand staff and other musical notations;
  • appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians;
  • develop an understanding of the history of music.




In an increasingly technology-dependent world, it is crucial that our pupils are prepared for what they will face in the future. At Holy Apostles’ School, our pupils are taught to develop a high level of computer literacy. This includes being able to code. All pupils are taught how to code and program and to use these skills for special projects, for example, during Science and Technology week. Becoming increasingly confident when using technology comes with its own risks and our pupils have a solid understanding of how to stay safe online. Internet safety is taught alongside Traditional British values to help tackle issues such as online bullying.



Our Curriculum coverage:

Key Stage 1

Pupils are taught to:

  • understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions;
  • create and debug simple programs;
  • use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs;
  • use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content;
  • recognise common uses of information technology beyond school;
  • use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.

Key Stage 2

Pupils are taught to:

  • design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts;
  • design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts;
  • use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output;
  • use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs;
  • understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration;
  • use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content;
  • select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information;
  • use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.




Our pupils are curious about the past and keen to understand how and why events occurred; they go on to question why people interpret the past in different ways. As a school, we believe that high-quality history lessons encourage skills of critical thinking, weighing evidence, sifting arguments, and allow pupils to develop perspective and judgement. Over their years at Holy Apostles’, pupils experience a rich and relevant curriculum, not just gaining knowledge of Britain’s past, and our place in the world, but helping them to understand the challenges of our own time through studying the past, gaining skills for the future.

At first, our pupils develop an awareness of the past and the ways in which it is similar to and different from the present; they learn about the passing of time and about some key people and events from historical periods.

In Key Stage 2 pupils learn about people and important events and developments from recent and more distant times in the locality, in Britain and in other parts of the world. There will be an emphasis on developing chronology. Our pupils will learn about historical enquiry by looking at as many real sources as possible and by recreating events from the past.

History comes alive in any way that we can make it happen. At Holy Apostles’, we succeed in achieving this, for example, by engaging visiting professionals and others from the community who have particular experiences to share.




Geography lessons at Holy Apostles’ aim to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that we expect will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Our pupils learn about diverse places, people, resources and environments, with a deepening understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes and of the formation of landscapes and environments over time.

Wherever possible, links are made between geography and history topics. Projects may have overarching themes; the learning objectives of each lesson draw from geographic and historic knowledge and skills included in the National Curriculum.

Older pupils extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area and the United Kingdom to include Europe, North and South America and the world as a whole.

Geography at Holy Apostles’ gives pupils a very good understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected. Pupils are given opportunities to carry out increasingly complex geographical enquiry, apply questioning skills and use effective analytical and presentational techniques in a wide range of contexts. They are encouraged to make their presentations to other classes and/or in assemblies to the school.

Out of classroom learning is essential and varied fieldwork/class trips happen in all year groups.

At Holy Apostles’, we aim to provide excellent experiences of geography as an active subject, essential to understanding, describing and caring for our planet and all its inhabitants.




We teach French through a fun, multi-sensory approach which offers many valuable learning opportunities. These include the development of language and language-learning skills and the ability to understand and communicate in a new language. Throughout Key Stage 2 pupils have weekly lessons based on the scheme ‘Salut’ delivered by Mrs Gifford, our Modern Foreign Languages Subject Leader, who is fluent in French. The school openly values languages through holding an annual International Day of Languages. Bi-lingual parents are a valuable resource and, from time to time, are invited in to share their languages with the pupils.




At Holy Apostles’ School, we believe that physical education is an essential part of educational development. We aim to develop a balanced programme that offers a variety of activities to enhance skills in physical education. We believe that positive participation in physical education will enable our pupils to build, self-esteem, team work and positive attitudes.

We aim to:

  • develop confidence, skills and knowledge;
  • pursue excellence;
  • promote fair play and respect;
  • educate pupils to improve health and wellbeing;
  • provide quality opportunities for children outside of school time.

You can use the link below to see how we use our Sports Premium funding and the impact it has  




We promote British Values through our daily teaching and learning.

Through our provision of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development, we aim to:

  • enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
  • enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
  • encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the local community and to society more widely;
  • enable pupils to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
  • further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
  • encourage respect for other people; and
  • encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.

We currently use ‘The Cambridgeshire Scheme of Work for PSHE for our teaching of Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education. Alongside this, we use the People in the Know (PinK) Curriculum for resources linked to areas of CPSHE, including British Values.

Collective worship and our values curriculum support quality teaching and learning, whilst promoting the development of a positive society. The values we have chosen to adopt include friendship, happiness, respect, forgiveness, determination, equality and love and relate strongly to the promotion of British Values.

Through our School Council, we ensure that all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to. We actively promote democratic processes. Our School Council is run by pupils and Council members are voted for by the pupils.

Further Information

If you require further information on our curriculum, please complete the form below.