St Catherine's Primary School
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Curriculum at St Catherine's Primary

Committed to continuous improvement for effective learning and teaching, we are at present actively and effectively engaged in developing Curriculum for Excellence. The School Improvement Plan for 2019/2020 embraces the principles and practices of Curriculum for Excellence and sets clear goals for learning and teaching which strive to present pupils with interesting, enjoyable, exciting, challenging and worthwhile learning experiences which will enable children to develop into:

Successful Learners, Confident Individuals, Responsible Citizens and Effective Contributors.

Curriculum for Excellence:

  1. Expressive Arts
  2. Health and Wellbeing
  3. Languages
  4. Mathematics
  5. Religious and Moral Education
  6. Sciences
  7. Social Subjects
  8. Technologies

In St Catherine's Primary all areas of the curriculum are afforded time for the learning and teaching of the specific concepts necessary to equip and enable children to develop knowledge, understanding and skills required for active interdisciplinary learning.

What is Interdisciplinary Learning?

Interdisciplinary learning is an important element of Curriculum for Excellence as it provides relevant, challenging and enjoyable learning experiences to meet the varied need of children.

Interdisciplinary learning also enables teachers and learners to make connections across learning through exploring clear and relevant links across the curriculum. It supports the use of applications of what has been taught and learned in new and different ways and provides opportunities for deepening learning.

What is Active Learning?

Active Learning is based on learning which engages and challenges children’s thinking using life and imaginary situations.

It takes full advantage of opportunities presented by: spontaneous play, planned purposeful play, investigation and experiences, events and life experiences.

Active Learning involves: encouraging pupils to think logically, selecting appropriate multi-sensory strategies to extend learning, pupils working collaboratively and independently, pupils engaging in formative assessment opportunities and accepting responsibility for their own learning development.

Why Active Learning?

Active Learning provides pupils with ownership for learning and promotes pride in their achievement, fostering interest and creativity.

Active Learning inspires a fresh look at how we can inspire learning by being innovative, setting challenges and being creative in cross curricular theme based planning.

Active Learning approaches and strategies motivates, stimulates and improves pupil interest.

Literacy is fundamental to all areas of learning, as it unlocks access to the wider curriculum. Being literate increases opportunities for the individual in all aspects of life, lays foundations for lifelong learning and work, and contributes strongly to enabling children and young people to develop into: successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.

In St Catherine's Primary we use the following Programmes of Study for the purpose of developing Literacy skills.

Primary 1 – Primary 3

  • Reading Story World and Book Banded Texts
  • Story World Non Fiction Texts
  • PM Book banded Texts
  • Phonics Jolly Phonics
  • Jolly Grammar
  • Writing Big Writing
  • Handwriting Nelson

Primary 4 – Primary 7

  • Reading Kingscourt and Novels
  • Rainbow Reading
  • Lighthouse Books
  • Hi Five
  • PM Book Banded Texts
  • Spelling Nelson Spelling
  • Common Word spelling
  • Phonics into Spelling
  • Spelling Strategies
  • Grammar Nelson Grammar
  • Writing Big Writing
  • Handwriting Nelson


Children are  presented with a wide variety of opportunities to engage in writing activities across the curriculum. We use Glasgow's Literacy for All Framework to support learning and teaching in Writing.

Talking and Listening

Oral work plays a major part in the curriculum throughout the school. Children learn to express their views and feelings with confidence and listen to others. They learn the skills for speaking and the skills for listening in a range of different situations. We have a programme of lessons from Primary 1 to 7 that cover all strands of Talking and Listening. Children are presented with opportunities to practise and use these skills in Class and Whole School Presentations. In the current school session, we aim to develop children's debating skills, which will open opportunities for our children to take part in both school and inter-school debating activities.


Mathematics is important in our everyday life, allowing us to make sense of the world around us and to manage our lives. Using mathematics enables us to model real life situations and make connections informed predictions. It equips us with the skills we need to interpret and analyse information, simplify and solve problems, assess risk and make informed decisions.

A balanced programme of Mathematics is followed by each child in our school. This involves Number, Money and Measurement, Shape, Position and Movement, Information Handling and Problem Solving.

At St Catherine's Primary the following Programmes of Study and strategies are used for the purpose of developing mathematical skills.

Primary 1 – Primary 3 

  • Active Learning in Contexts
  • Teejay Mathematics
  • Problem Solving through contexts
  • Interactive software
  • Learning through games
  • Glow

Primary 4 – Primary 7 

  • Teejay Mathematics
  • Active Learning Contexts
  • Problem Solving – Glasgow City Council
  • Interactive software
  • Learning through games
  • Glow

Health and Wellbeing

Curriculum for Excellence has a very important role to play in promoting the health and wellbeing of children. Learning in health and wellbeing ensures that children develop the knowledge and understand skills, capabilities and attributes which they need for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing now and in the future.


"A health promoting school is one in which all members of the school community work together to provide pupils with integrated and positive experiences and structures, which promote and protect their health. This includes both the formal and the informal curriculum in health, the creation of a safe and healthy school environment, the provision of appropriate health services and the involvement of the family and wider community in efforts to promote health." World Health Organization (1995)

If young people are healthy they can take full advantage of every opportunity to learn. Young people who have a good education are more likely to be healthier now and in their adult lives.

A health promoting school aims to achieve a healthy lifestyle for all the school – pupils, staff and parents/carers. We display, in everything we say and do, a commitment to enhancing the emotional, social, physical and moral well-being of all the members of our school community.

St Catherine's Primary School has been identified as an establishment of Excellent Practice in the development of health and wellbeing by Glasgow City Council. This has been achieved as a result of everyone sharing the responsibility of creating a positive ethos and climate of respect and trust – one in which everyone can make a positive contribution to the wellbeing of each individual within the school and the wider community.

Social Studies

Through social studies, children develop their understanding of the world by learning about other people and their values, in different times, places and circumstances. Children also develop their understanding of their environment and of how it has been shaped.

In St Catherine's Primary social subjects are developed through six main Interdisciplinary Topics undertaken throughout the year. Contexts are identified by the class teacher and children are presented with the opportunity to plan for the learning built on previous learning experiences. In Term III, parents are invited by the children to attend a showcase presentation of work delivered by the children. This presents parents with the great opportunity to share in the learning.


Science is an important part of our heritage and we use its applications every day in our lives at work at leisure and in the home. Science and the application of science are central to our economic future and to our health and wellbeing as individuals and as a society.

Through learning in the sciences, children develop their interest in, and understanding of, the living, material and physical world. They engage in a wide range of collaborative investigative tasks, which allows them to develop important skills to become creative, inventive and enterprising adults.

At St Catherine's Primary, science concepts are taught through mini topics chosen by the class teacher and extend into aspects of Interdisciplinary Learning.

Expressive Arts

The inspiration and power of the arts play a vital role in enabling our children to enhance their creative talent and develop their artistic skills. The Expressive Arts also play a central role in shaping our sense of our personal, social and cultural identity.

Expressive Arts include Art and Design, Dance, Drama and Music.

At St Catherine's Primary the concepts for expressive arts are taught through topic contexts, major school events, religious celebrations, class and whole school assemblies, school performances and competition opportunities.


Within Curriculum for Excellence, the Technologies curriculum relates particularly to contexts that provide scope for developing technological skills, knowledge, understanding and attributes through creative, practical and work-related activities.

This aspect of the curriculum focuses on technological developments in society, ICT to enhance learning, business, computing science, food and textiles, craft, design, engineering and graphics.

At St Catherine's Primary we strive to develop technologies through effective interdisciplinary learning by making connections across and between subject boundaries. We aim to ensure that children are presented with opportunities to experience a variety of contexts for learning

Physical Education

At St Catherine's Primary, P.E. is allocated two hours per week.

Religious Education [RERC] and Observance

St Catherine's Primary is a Roman Catholic School. Our religious beliefs permeate all aspects of our curriculum and are the foundation for our positive, Christian ethos which is based on Gospel Values.

We have very positive and active links with the parishes of St Aloysius', St Catherine's and Immaculate Heart of Mary and the school is well supported by the clergy of each parish.

Whole school Masses and assemblies are celebrated regularly, with everyone being welcome to attend.

In accordance with direction from The Archdiocese of Glasgow we have now fully implemented This is Our Faith, the Programme of Study for Religious Education in Catholic Schools devised in response to the development of Curriculum for Excellence.

Through this programme we aim to develop a love and understanding of our Faith, prepare children for the Sacraments of (First) Confession (Reconciliation), First Holy Communion and Confirmation and develop knowledge and understanding of other World Religions. At St Catherine's, the curriculum area of Sexual and Moral Education is taught through a programme entitled, God's Loving Plan, produced by the Archdiocese of Glasgow, and is taught in Primary 7. Parents are invited to an information meeting prior to the programme being delivered.

Children receive the Sacraments at the following times:

  • Primary 3: Sacrament of (First) Confession
  • Primary 4: Sacrament First Holy Communion
  • Primary 7: Sacrament of Confirmation

The Parish Priests from St Catherine Laboure, St Aloysius' and Immaculate Heart of Mary parishes contact parents to make arrangements.