Newsham Primary School offers a curriculum that is balanced and broadly based. Our curriculum promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Our school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences that we plan for our pupils. The New National Curriculum forms one part of the school curriculum. We are legally required to follow the statutory National Curriculum which sets out, in Programmes of study on the basis of key stages, subject content for those subjects taught to all pupils. In September 2014 we began using the new National Curriculum.
The purpose of English in the National Curriculum is to teach pupils to write and speak fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Our curriculum aims to promote high standards of literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word and to develop a love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. At Newsham Primary School, English is taught separately but where possible it is integrated into our topic based curriculum. Through these topics, pupils will learn to read and write through a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. Phonics, spelling punctuation, grammar and handwriting, as well being part of every lesson, will be taught discretely at specific times each week. In Foundation Stage Read Write Inc is the main tool that we use to deliver this; Letters and Sounds are taught in Years 1 and 2. English teaching is tailored to the children’s interests, abilities and the topics that they are working on. We strongly focus on developing our pupils into confident, fluent and independent readers. Our school reading scheme, the core of which is Oxford Reading Tree, draws from a range of other schemes to capture the range of abilities and interests of our pupils. Our reading scheme and library encourages pupils’ independence in choosing the texts that they wish to read at their ability levels. Weekly guided reading and writing sessions target small groups with specific objectives to ensure good progress of all pupils. A weekly school assembly has a specific focus on books and authors that children have enjoyed.
The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, reason mathematically and can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of situations. At Newsham Primary School, maths is taught on a daily basis supported by the terminology from the New National Curriculum. Maths is taught daily; every lesson includes problem solving in ‘real-life’ situations; arithmetic and reasoning in all year groups consists of number and place value; addition and subtraction; multiplication and division; and fractions. Pupils in Y1-Y6 also complete daily maths exercises using differentiated Schofield and Sims books which is marked, and any errors taught, on Friday morning..
The purpose of science education in the National Curriculum is to provide the foundations for understanding the world through biology, chemistry and physics. Children should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. The aims if the National Curriculum are that all pupils develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding, develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science and that they are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. At Newsham Primary School, the relevant programmes of study are taught for each key stage. Where possible, science is linked directly to the current topic being taught; for example, as part of their topic about Romans the children may investigate which materials are best for making Roman tools or use electrical circuits to make lighthouses during a topic about the coast. Some cross curricular topics may actually be based around a particular science programme of study. By using a topic based approach we aim to deepen pupils’ understanding of how science is linked to the real world as well as providing more opportunities for writing across the curriculum.