Our Curriculum Statement

At Dodworth St. John’s Primary Academy, our children are at the heart of our curriculum, which has been carefully planned and sequenced to ensure children continue to build on their knowledge, skills, and experiences as they move along their educational journey.

The development of knowledge progression documents for each curriculum subject ensures that our curriculum is taught in a logical, systematic, and explicit way. Our curriculum is designed so that children can understand and embed key concepts in their long-term memory, before progressing further.

Although our curriculum is founded on the knowledge set out in the National Curriculum, 2014, it is also rooted in opportunities for children to develop their interpersonal skills, self-confidence, resilience, perseverance, independence, and empathy. We want all our children to have high aspirations, strive to be the best they can be and work towards their goals in life.

All our children are valued members of our school community, and we encourage them to share their views and ideas for what they would like to happen in school, as well as to be actively involved in taking on roles within our school such as:

  • School Council
  • Eco-Council
  • Gardening Club
  • Anti-Bullying Ambassadors
  • Collective Worship Council
  • Prefects
  • Playground Buddies
  • Junior Wardens

As well as other Personal Development opportunities, such as:

  • Residential Visits
  • Bike ability
  • Crucial Crew
  • Fire Safety
  • St John’s Ambulance First Aid
  • PSCO involvement
  • Charity Fundraising including Children in Need, MacMillan Coffee Morning, Red Nose Day, Remembrance Day, Odd Socks Day, Number Day
  • Visits to Places of Worship including: the Mosque and our local church.


At Dodworth St. John’s, we have carefully considered our children and our local community and have identified three key drivers which underpin our curriculum. These are:



Our carefully considered, intentional curriculum, is knowledge-rich and well-sequenced, offering children a pathway of learning paved by a spiral of substantive and disciplinary knowledge that is built upon as children progress through the year groups and key stages.

Our intentional, knowledge-rich curriculum aims to ensure that pupils achieve broad and deep subject expertise and aspires to widen pupils’ knowledge through developing their ability to recall, remember and further extend their prior learning.

Through our carefully considered sequences of learning, our children will be exposed to a high level and wide range of vocabulary, which will allow them to deepen their understanding of the curriculum subjects taught.

Our curriculum design is built around the National Curriculum 2014. This document forms the progression upon which our sequences of learning have been written.

Our curriculum has been written with the intention that all our children can access it and experience success. Small steps of knowledge have been identified for each subject, which work towards meeting the end points that we want our children to achieve.

A key outcome that we aim to achieve from our intentional, knowledge-rich curriculum is confidence.

We want all our children to be confident learners. By this, not only do we mean confident speakers who are able to share their knowledge in a way that can be understood by others, but we also want children to be confident to ask for help when they need it, as well as to be confident to help others. We want our children to see that a lack of knowledge or a ‘failure’, is part of learning, and not something to be disappointed by. As Albert Einstein once said, “failure is success in progress.”

As well as providing opportunities for personal development, we also place great emphasis on Music and the Arts. Through these subjects, children also get to develop their creative-self and confidence to express and reflect on who they are – what makes them unique.

Children have opportunities to develop and celebrate their creative selves through performances and extra-curricular activities, including:

  • School Choir – run by Mrs Barber
  • Weekly Guitar lessons in Year 3 provided through the Barnsley Music Service
  • Rocksteady in-school rock and pop band lessons
  • Instrumental lessons provided through the Barnsley Music Service / Barnsley Music Hub
  • Performing Arts Group – run by Mrs Barber
  • School Productions

All learning at Dodworth St. John’s provides children with opportunities to work collaboratively and independently. In working in this way, children learn from each other and their teachers. They can ask questions and challenge each other’s thinking and ideas. They are able to build their understanding, work towards independence and build confidence as well as grow their knowledge.

The aim of our curriculum is for all our children to experience success, which will then lead on to developing aspirations not only for their time in school, but beyond. As well as encouraging children to be active members of our school community, we offer a broad and balanced curriculum, which enables our children to experience all subjects of the National Curriculum, and discover which subjects are ‘for them.’ We are passionate about the wider curriculum as much as we are about the core curriculum and we understand that to have future aspirations, children need current, positive experiences. We carefully consider the way in which we teach the curriculum to our children, and how we can get new knowledge across in the best way for children to be engaged, to learn, and to remember. We also link enrichment opportunities with each subject, such as trips, visitors, and competitions, such as the NATRE Spirited Arts Competition, and in-school competitions, such as designing a logo for our PTA.

Our broad and balanced curriculum ensures that every pupil at Dodworth St. John’s Primary Academy can make excellent progress, not just academically but also personally and spiritually. We believe our curriculum stimulates enjoyment of, and commitment to, learning, and supports children to be the best they possibly can be, preparing them effectively for the next steps in their education and for life.

All our pupils are part of our school community, and we actively encourage them to participate fully in the wider life of our school. This could be through joining clubs and councils, becoming a school prefect, or through sharing ideas for making our school an even better place to be!

All our staff within school are here to meet the needs of our children and positive relationships are developed between children and staff as soon as they start school in our Early Years, and these continue right through to when the children leave us and venture off to secondary school!

As well as our in-school community, we also have our parents and families, who we welcome into school at any time. All our staff are welcoming faces to our school and are there to support in meeting the needs of our children. In order to do this, we are forming secure and trusting relationships with our families. We also have an experienced Parent Support Advisor, Mrs Harper, and SENDCo, Mrs Wood, in school to support with special educational needs, but also with wider family needs, so please do see us if you also need support with your child at home.

Mrs Harper – l.harper@smat.org.uk

Mrs Wood – s.wood@smat.org.uk

We have recently developed a new Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and the involvement in this of our support staff and pupils, has given us an exciting team to plan fun and exciting things for the pupils. If you are interested in joining our PTA, please email dsja@smat.org.uk or call 01226 286514.

Our community, however, does not stop at our school gates. We also have links with people and business in our wider community, such as our local church, the Salvation Army, Dodworth Miners, and our local PCSO.

We are always keen to expand our links with our community. Maybe you are a local tradesperson who can come and tell our children about your job? Maybe you are an elderly person with stories and memories about our local area’s history that you would like to share? If you are a local business or person and feel you have something to offer our lovely school, please do get in touch at dsja@smat.org.uk or phone 01226 286514.


If you would like to find out more about our curriculum, please contact either your child’s class teacher or Mr Smith, our Head of School:













PE & Sport



Early Years

British Values