Our Catholic School

St. Joseph’s School was opened in 1969 and is one of two primary schools serving the Catholic community of the Parish of the Holy Family in Great Aycliffe and Shildon, through the Great Aycliffe Catholic Schools’ Federation.

There are five classrooms in the main school and a Foundation Stage Unit for the Nursery and Reception year groups.  In addition there is a large hall, two playgrounds (one for quieter activities and the other for faster or more lively activities) and a large playing field.

As a Catholic community, in partnership with parents and the parish, we have the responsibility of passing on our Catholic faith and experience to our children.  We aim to provide an atmosphere in which our children can grow to love and respect others.  This is reflected in our Federation Mission Statement:

We believe that each person is unique and created in God’s image.  In our federation, we provide a distinctive Catholic education, where each child is loved, nurtured, inspired and challenged to aspire to excellence and develop their individual abilities for themselves and others.

We consider our school to be an extension of the family and we hope to develop an atmosphere of trust and care that will enable our children to feel free to discuss any problems or concerns that they may have.

We hope that parents will also feel that they can approach the school with any query.

Class teachers are always willing to talk to parents, however, in the first instance please contact Mrs. Duffy, the Head Teacher, in order to arrange a suitable time when teachers are available.

School Aims

We aim to:

  • provide a warm and welcoming Catholic ethos through which our children will develop strong values so that the love of Jesus Christ will be evident to all who come into our school.
  • educate a child by presenting a total experience, which is right and relevant to their individuality, thus fostering the child’s intellectual, physical, cultural, moral, social, emotional and spiritual development.
  • teach a broad and balanced curriculum by carefully planning, delivering and assessing our children’s work within the Early Years Foundation Stage, National Curriculum and Religious Education curriculum.  We encourage the children to reflect upon and evaluate their own work.
  • provide quality experiences in all aspects of school life thus enabling our children to be happy, successful and keen to learn.  This, we hope, will help them to grow into young people who are fulfilled and able to make a positive contribution to society.

School Organisation

Our school is currently organised into six classes with a Nursery.  Classes may comprise of two age groups.  Children are grouped according to age.  Children in the Reception and Nursery access the facilities of the Foundation Stage Unit.

In 2016 / 2017 the classes have been as below.

Nursery (Foundation Stage)


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3 and 4

Year 4 and 5

Year 5 and 6


We aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum to develop the potential of every child.  All children are different and need different amounts of time to complete work.  During the school day, in any class, there may be different tasks and activities taking place at the same time.

The teachers plan the delivery of the curriculum using a balance of approaches, which include whole class, group and individual teaching as and when appropriate.

All children entering our school follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and the National Curriculum of core and foundation subjects as required by the 1988 Education Reform Act.  The Religious Education curriculum is based on the “Here I Am” programme.

Special Needs

Children with special educational needs follow the National Curriculum.  They will be supported either in or out of the classroom dependent upon their individual needs and the adult support time allocation available.

We aim to allow every child to reach their full potential.  We closely monitor the progress of all our children in order to be able to identify and address any causes for concern at an early stage.

If you would like further details concerning either the curriculum or the school’s policies and guidelines, please contact the Head Teacher.

KS2 Results 2014