Our Lady of Dolours Catholic Primary School

A Community of Faith and Learning




" A nurturing yet challenging environment which allows pupils to thrive"   Ofsted Feb 2018 


At Our Lady of Dolours Catholic Primary School we aim to ensure pupils receive access to a rich, broad and balanced curriculum.   As a Catholic school, our mission is to help our pupils learn and grow in a loving, supportive and nurturing environment. We want the children to become independent, confident and successful learners with high aspirations.  We want them to reach their full potential, aim high and make a meaningful contribution to the community and wider society.   We also aim to combine high-quality teaching and professionalism with our core Christian principles, both of which are shared by our staff and governors.   As a ‘Catholic Community of Faith and Learning’ we serve the community while embodying the three pillars of our School’s Behaviour Principles: Safe, Learn and Respect.   


Our aim is to develop our pupils through engaging and fun-filled learning experiences while making progress and developing their skills in all areas of the curriculum. Our bespoke creative curriculum offers a wide range of cultural experiences which reflects the diversity of our community in which we live, learn and work.   We believe that a child’s learning journey begins from within, however, through highly skilled teaching, the child will realise their personal skills and talents and will grow to learn about the world around them with a sense of excitement, joy and curiosity.     We value every learner and strive to develop each and every one, whatever their ability.   Those who are most able are challenged and supported through appropriate extension activities. Those who find aspects of their learning challenging are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.

Knowledge and skills:

We have carefully designed our creative curriculum to ensure coverage and progression.   The engaging thematic approach of our curriculum provides pupils with memorable shared experiences.   In addition to knowledge and content, we wish to provide diverse and rich opportunities from which each child can learn and develop a range of transferable skills; in particular, literacy across the curriculum.  

Cultural Capital:

Our overarching goal is to develop the whole person; spiritually, morally, socially and culturally.  We openly celebrate positive attitudes to learning and all aspects of personal growth.  A primary focus of our curriculum is to raise aspirations (Growth Mindset), engender a sense of personal pride in achievement, resilience and provide a purpose for lifelong learning.  

Our Principles for Learning and Teaching

As a staff, we believe our curriculum enables:

  •  All children to be engaged in their learning and to be active learners; discovering and    investigating.

  • All children to understand what they have achieved and know what to do to make progress.

  • All children to be independent, enthusiastic and self-motivated learners; raising their own questions.

  • All children to be given time to evaluate and reflect on their learning.

  • All children to receive teaching that inspires their learning.

  • All children to receive teaching that encourages them to be creative.

  • All children to be challenged and enjoy their learning.

  • All children to develop spiritually, morally and as members of their community and the wider community.

Our children would like a curriculum that is: 

  • active, creative and includes problem solving

  • social and collaborative

  • creates opportunities to work with friends

  • offers opportunities to learn in different situations/environments

  • promotes friendship, forgiveness, success and achievement

  • feels rewarding, personal and fun!  Feels magical!

Curriculum implementation:

Our Lady of Dolours Catholic Primary School engages all learning styles using a variety of resources which support the teaching of the curriculum. The broader learning culture is promoted through our school values of ‘Safe, Learn and Respect’ and through a culture of our aspirational ‘Higher Order Thinking’.

Curriculum Design:

Our curriculum is built through a thematic, topic-based approach which makes connections in skills and knowledge within a variety of subject areas. Where appropriate, we block learning in order to immerse children fully. Where relevant and possible, we offer enrichment activities to motivate, excite and inspire pupils in the form of ‘Stunning Starts’, ‘Marvellous Middles’ and ‘Fabulous Finishes’ – these may take the form of trips, visitors, theme days, achievement assemblies, exhibitions etc. We link our topics to key texts that will enrich language and provide context to learning; our topics will be learning challenges based around a key question ‘the big question’ as a starting point e.g. ‘What was it like to be a child during WW2?’, ‘What impact does plastic pollution have on our planet?’ Creatively produced topic books and Whole Class Big Topic Books give children a sense of shared pride in the presentation of their work.  

Literacy across the curriculum:

Literacy skills across all areas of the curriculum are vital in pupils being able to know and understand, retrieve, infer and communicate their ideas effectively, therefore the teaching of literacy skills is embedded as much as possible throughout all topic learning. 

We endeavour to use high quality texts to support topic based learning which engage and enthuse our pupils.  We nurture our pupils to develop an authentic love of learning through exploration of rich text, developing relevant and lifelong vocabulary and by providing them with a scaffold from which they can practice, use and apply their developing literacy skills; so that they will become fluent readers, readers for pleasure and articulate and skilled writers who dare to convey their ideas and tell their stories.   

At OLoD School, we are inspired by the work and pedagogy of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) and recognise the significance of reading, writing, speaking and listening and drama being embedded across all areas of learning.

Below, you will see overviews and curriculum maps that show different levels of information on our curriculum.   Overviews will give a brief outline of the themes of topics being taught in each year group or key stage.   We have provided a summary of the statutory curriculum coverage which must be taught in each year group; this will allow you to know what your child MUST be taught in each year group. 


We have provided topic maps for each key stage.  These topic webs show how themes of topics can be integrated to support the teaching of both KNOWLEDGE and SKILLS across different subjects.  Topics are exciting, relevant and bespoke units of work that are planned carefully by our skilled teachers who take care to ensure learners receive a rich learning experience that meet the needs of our pupils. 

Essential learning experiences are planned for each topic to ensure learners enjoy experiences they may not come across in everyday life e.g. attending the Royal Ballet or journeying on a Thames boat to Greenwich taking in the sights of the Tudor era.  

In order to engage learners, all themes and topics must be highly stimulating; using a 'hook' to capture interest and give purpose and context to all learning.     In children's workbooks, you will begin to see the use of two Learning Objectives that may either be knowledge OR skills based and OR subject based. 

As always, our effective but simple 'three ticks' marking will immediately inform pupils of their progress in lessons - teachers use developmental comments to support pupils of all abilities.  Progess in every lesson is vital - progression is encouraged by continued dialogue either through demonstration, oral feedback, AfL during the lessons, peer assessment or teachers marking - which does require a response to marking from pupils from time to time (RTM).

Please feel free to explore all subject areas in our curriculum section of our website.  We also hope you will take the time to read our school prospectus where you will gain a feel for our passion and love for teaching and learning - please see the school prospectus below for your convenience

 We are currently studying Year A

of our curriculum cycle during academic Year 2020-2021