St Joseph's School - A Catholic Voluntary Academy

Commando Joe's

In Summer 2019, St Joseph's School began to develop a new curriculum. After much research, we decided to centre our curriculum around the Commando Joe's scheme. We were drawn in by their primary statement - 


‘No Child Left Behind’ is our founding ethos. The primary aim of our programmes is to improve the educational outcomes for children and young people.


Our staff wholeheartedly agreed with this statement and we wanted to create a curriculum which taught every child the skills they needed to achieve their full potential and have high aspirations. The scheme provides early intervention for any children disengaged with their education, at the same time as challenging pupils who excel academically. The Commando Joe scheme also specialises in behaviour management, growth-mindset development and life skills education.

Using the Commando Joe schemes as a starting point, St Joseph's School have developed a unique, broad and balanced topic based curriculum for Y1-Y6 which incorporates the Programmes of Study (PoS) within the National Curriculum under a variety of topic headings. The senior leaders have analysed the National Curriculum and split the PoS between the classes within each Key Stage to ensure this broad and balanced curriculum is created. Since September 2023, we have taught Geography, History, Art and Design Technology through these topic based lessons. The objectives are often revisited several times throughout the key stage and we ensure progression using the Rainbow Continuum progressive skills list. 

The use of the Rainbow Continuum progressive skills lists ensures a holistic and progressive approach is created. The way in which the National Curriculum PoS are covered is adapted for the subjects covered through 'Topic' each year, based on current world events, the children's own interests and what the children have covered previously. This is often through the use of theme days and events. Some of our theme days and events are stated on the school's 'National Curriculum Coverage Document.' More evidence and information about our theme days and events can be found on the 'Curriculum Portfolio' page and the 'Extra Curricular' Page.  

One of the main aspects that made the Commando Joe scheme stand out to us is their use of missions to develop the key skills RESPECT. Examples of our missions can be seen using the links below the Commando Joe Logo. We firmly believe these key skills are essential to ensure every child becomes a confident and aspirational learner, and therefore, will achieve their full potential. 


Further information about 'Commando Joe's' can be viewed by clicking here.


Although the outline for the year is planned in advance, teachers amend their yearly plans, making amendments based on the skills the children need to cover or revisit. This has helped us to ensure a Mastery approach to the Foundation Topics - practicing, repeating, applying and embedding the skills for each subject across the year. The use of the Rainbow Continuum ensures that all subject specific skills are taught within each year group and these skills are progressive for each subject as the children progress through each year group and key stage. The use of this scheme also ensures that skills are taught, practiced, and repeated throughout a key stage to deepen the children's understanding and skillset. 

In addition to the class topics, whole class focus weeks are also incorporated into the school/class planners. (Please see class pages). The changes made to our curriculum over the past few years have provided us with the opportunity to offer an inspirational and aspirational curriculum for our children which is helping us to increase attainment for Foundation Subjects.

The Rainbow Continuum is used to assess the children's achievement in each of the skills for each subject.

Topics change termly as a minimum. At the beginning of each topic, teachers send home a topic overview and a list of ideas for topic homework. These are available to view on our class pages.

Please click here to view the class pages

Within each 'class page' and within our 'Curriculum Portfolio' pages are examples of how we make our curriculum rich and broad. The children have access to a wide variety of trips across each school year and we are always looking for opportunities to invite visitors into school. We aim for every class to have one external trip or one visitor every term. Our trips and visitors are amended each year to suit the changing topics and themes. For a list of the enrichment activities offered over the last few years, please click here. 


At the beginning of each topic lesson, the children discuss which subject they are learning about. 

"Today in our (Name) topic we are studying: (Subject).

(Subject) is…"

As a school, we have developed definitions for each of the subject areas to develop our children's understanding of the skills used in each subject. These are listed on each of the subjects below. The subject being taught is also named at the side of the WALT for all topic lessons. 

Commando Joe's Missions - 2023

Year 2 Commando Joe's homework - Summer Term (2) 2022

Year 6 Commando Joe's homework - Summer Term (2) 2022

The Queens Jubilee missions - Summer Term (1) 2022

St Josephs day - 2022

On St Josephs Day we welcomed our Father figures into school, Year 3 took part in a Commando Joe's mission as part of the celebrations. 

Commando Joe's Missions - 2022

Please click here to find out more about Commando Joe and our Missions for 2020/2021 

Please click here to find out more about Commando Joe and our Missions for 2019/2020