The curriculum within our school aims to be creative and flexible and as far as possible follow the interests and learning styles of our pupils.
Here you will find an overview of the EYFs framework and the Curriculum offer for children in Years 1 to 6. There are also sections on Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC), and British Values.
From September 2014 Nettlesworth Primary School have adapted their curriculum in line with the new Government guidelines. In the below file (Long Term Curriculum Plans 2017-2018) we have provided an overview of each year groups curriculum with direct reference to the new National Curriculum.
In EYFS the curriculum is heavily child initiated with children choosing the topics or areas they wish to study. This is done on a half termly basis via consultation with adults and children.
In Key Stage 1 children follow National Curriculum guidelines but within this there is still the opportunity for child initiated topics to be covered. To date these have included The World, Pirates, Light and Dark, Undersea and Vehicles.
In Key Stage 2 using the National Curriculum, teachers have planned and developed exciting topic titles which connect discrete subjects together with strong links. Each subject is given individual time so that children can learn many skills and have a broad and balanced curriculum. It also allows children the opportunity to develop talents in a wide variety of skills and disciplines.
We are a UNICEF Rights Respecting School and as such give children the opportunity to explore global issues within their curriculum. Children therefore learn about issues such as Fair Trade, Land Mines, Refugees and Endangered Species.
This approach to the curriculum and learning we feel gives us a broad and balanced curriculum which allows children to have a voice in what and how they learn whilst also equipping them with the necessary skills they need in order to be effective learners.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The EYFS Framework (2012) explains how and what children in our EYFS will be learning to support their development.
Our EYFS pupils learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through seven areas of learning and development.
Children in the EYFS should mostly develop the three prime areas first. These are:
- Communication and language;
- Physical development;
- Personal, social and emotional development.
- These prime areas are those most essential for children’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in four specific areas. These are:
- Understanding the World;
- Expressive arts and design.
These seven areas are used to plan our EYFS children’s learning and activities. Our EYFS staff members teach and support the EYFS children, making sure that the activities taking place in the EYFS unit are suited to each child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like the curriculum in the rest of the school, but it is particularly aimed at and suitable for very young children; and it is designed to be really flexible so that the EYFS staff members can follow the children’s needs and interests.
In EYFS, we use the woods and the forests, as a means, to build independence and self -esteem in children. Topics are cross-curriculum including the natural environment. Personal skills of teamwork and problem solving are developed and the woodland environment is used to learn about more abstract concepts such as mathematics and communication. You can find out more in the Forest School section of our website.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC)
In our school our work with UNICEF/UNCRC on the Rights Respecting School agenda forms a vital part of and basis for all of our work in the area of SMSC.
All National Curriculum subjects provide opportunities to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Explicit opportunities to promote pupils’ development in these areas are provided in religious education and the non-statutory framework for personal, social and health education (PSHE) and citizenship. A significant contribution is also made by the school ethos, effective relationships throughout the school, collective worship, and other curriculum activities.
Pupils’ spiritual development involves the growth of their sense of self, their unique potential, their understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and their will to achieve. As their curiosity about themselves and their place in the world increases, they try to answer for themselves some of life’s fundamental questions. They develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to foster their own inner lives and non-material wellbeing.
Pupils’ moral development involves pupils acquiring an understanding of the difference between right and wrong and of moral conflict, a concern for others and the will to do what is right. They are able and willing to reflect on the consequences of their actions and learn how to forgive themselves and others. They develop the knowledge, skills and understanding, qualities and attitudes they need in order to make responsible moral decisions and act on them.
Pupils’ social development involves pupils acquiring an understanding of the responsibilities and rights of being members of families and communities (local, national and global), and an ability to relate to others and to work with others for the common good. They display a sense of belonging and an increasing willingness to participate. They develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to make an active contribution to the democratic process in each of their communities.
Pupils’ cultural development involves pupils acquiring an understanding of cultural traditions and ability to appreciate and respond to a variety of aesthetic experiences. They acquire a respect for their own culture and that of others, an interest in others’ ways of doing things and curiosity about differences. They develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to understand, appreciate and contribute to culture.
Promoting Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship
The non-statutory guidelines for PSHE and citizenship are designed to help schools establish coherence and consistency, and to promote curriculum continuity and progression in pupils’ learning. This in conjunction with our RRSA work provides a wide platform for our children to learn about their place in the world and develop into rounded individuals who are ready to take up their place in a multi-cultural, global world.
Schools have been asked to explain how they promote British values. So what are ‘British’ values? There are certain values that have been attributed to being British, by the government and some institutions. find out more about our approach to British values on our website.
You can view or download our long Term Learning Plans by clicking the links below. You can see our curriculum in action by visiting the Our Classes section of our website.
Children begin their reading journey in EYFS where they learn the sounds that each letter makes. They are then shown how to blend these sounds to read words. We use phonics and letters and sounds in EYFS and throughout school to teach children how to read. From first recognising sounds to being able to read fluently. Alongside, being shown how to blend, children are also given opportunities to learn high frequency words and common exception words. By the end of year 2, we hope that children are fluent readers and in Year 2 we begin thinking in greater depth about what children are reading, encouraging children to predict and infer meaning. Reading continues to be promoted throughout the school and children are exposed to authors and books that will help develop their imagination and love of reading.
Again the writing journey for our children begins in EYFS where children develop their fine motor skills in order to hold a pencil correctly. Children are then shown how to from letters. They are given many opportunities to write and as children move through school they gain stamina for writing at length and they are shown what they need to do to make their writing interesting and/or informative. Teachers plan interesting and engaging lessons for children using texts that model excellent writing.
At Nettlesworth Primary, we follow the National Curriculum covering the main topics of: number, place value, calculations, geometry and statistics. We use scholastic as a framework for planning. Each individual year group covers age specific material, progressing and building on last year’s work. Children are given the opportunity to revisit these topics each term.
Numeracy is daily for 1 hour with extra time given for mental maths, arithmetic and times tables. We are part of the Great North Maths Hub where we share expertise with other schools in developing challenge for all children.
At Nettlesworth Primary School, we teach science weekly as part of the curriculum. We follow the National Curriculum objectives for Science and plan exciting and imaginative activities based around these to capture children’s imaginations and allow them to ask important questions about the world around them. We follow an investigation based curriculum and allow, wherever possible hands on experience of how things work.
We deliver our computing lessons from the National Curriculum. The computing curriculum is made up of 4 key topic areas: ICT, E-safety, Digital Literacy and Computer Science.
In school we teach our children to use many forms of ICT such as : using digital cameras, tablets and computer hardware. Our children gain an understanding of how, where and when ICT is used in modern society and how they can apply ICT to their everyday lives. Children are taught to use a variety of software such as : Scratch to create algorithms and to learn coding skills and multimedia apps to create short stories and movies.
The curriculum is taught throughout school with seamless transitions where the work builds on what the child has learned the year before. We also (whenever possible) integrate our computing curriculum with other subjects such as history and science.
Pupils are given access to the past through structured teaching of important events in the history of Britain, Europe and other parts of the world. They are helped to build a clear chronological framework of the development of societies from ancient to modern times by making links across the different study units. They are given opportunities to investigate local history and to learn about and interpret the past from a range of primary sources.
At Nettlesworth Primary School, our aim is to provide a Geography Curriculum that follows guidance set out by the Government in the National Curriculum and to provide a means of exploring, appreciating and understanding the world in which we live.
We aim to:
- Stimulate curiosity about the environment around us and the wider world.
- Develop geographical skills.
- Develop and understanding of the world by studying places close to us and further afield.
- Provide knowledge of the interaction between physical and human processes and how these affect the world.
- Provide opportunities for field work and exploration of the environment around us.
Each class uses a Durham Music approved program called Charanga to deliver the Music Curriculum. This allows a broad range of styles, instruments and songs to be covered throughout the school. Children have regular opportunities to sing in assembly.
Art, Craft and Design
We follow the National Curriculum Objectives for Art and plan different activities for each year group to give the children an opportunity to explore different mediums, materials, textures and form. Each year group studies different artists and this allows our children to experience a range of cultures and concepts.
We meet the needs of the National Curriculum for Design Technology by ensuring our main focus of teaching is to give children real life problems and scenarios that give their design, production and evaluation a real life feel. Children have the opportunity to work with a range of different materials and focus across the school changes as the child gets older. We work with children to ensure they have experiences of working with construction, textiles, food among many other areas.
Modern Foreign Languages
Here at Nettlesworth Primary School, we believe that learning a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience in preparation for future life. We teach French from EYFS to Year 6 in a fun and enjoyable way through choosing interesting and relevant topics that will engage and stimulate learning and develop children’s curiosity of language.
Religious Education makes a major contribution to the education of our children. It helps pupils develop knowledge and understanding of religion and of the differing religious and non-religious beliefs represented in Great Britain today. Children start to think about their own experiences, feelings, beliefs and values. In Religious Education our children learn about people from a wide variety of faiths and beliefs. As a result, children develop respect, tolerance and friendship. At Nettlesworth Primary School, we follow the Durham Syllabus and have planned Religious Education to ensure children can build up a picture of: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism.
Pupils receive two hours of timetable PE per week through which we develop the six areas of activity as set out in the National Curriculum- Dance, Games, Gymnastics, Athletics, Outdoor and Adventurous activities and Swimming. Children are given the opportunity to swim during KS2 and we aim for all pupils leaving the school to be able to swim at least 25m in line with curriculum expectations. We also make sure children are involved in 30 minutes of activity per day through timetabled activities at break and lunch time provided by our Sports Leaders and Maths a Day. Sports taught throughout the school include football, tag rugby, netball, basketball, rounders, kwik cricket, hockey, golf, tennis aswell as athletics. All pupils take part in a range of festivals both within school between year groups and with other schools through Durham and Chester-Le-Street School Sports Partnership. We have weekly sports extra -curricular clubs including: multi-skills and Rapperdance.
At Nettlesworth Primary School, we know that pupils who have a positive attitude towards their learning will make good progress and be successful. Consequently, instilling all our pupils with ‘growth mindsets’ has become a key priority for the school from January 2018. We have introduced the theories of Dr Carol Dweck to staff and pupils and are determined to embed its ideas within our school ethos.
We want all our pupils to relish challenges, embrace their mistakes as part of the learning process, value the importance of effort, respond carefully to feedback and take inspiration from others. This will help them to achieve, not only with us, but also in their future lives as adults.
We are very excited about the prospect of nurturing a growth mindset culture at Nettlesworth Primary School. Please see the Growth Mindset presentation shown to parents.
Encouraging children to become confident and resilient learners
Learn, explore and grow together. This is what we embed in all of our pupils here at Nettlesworth Primary School. We know that in order to fulfil the potential of our pupils and encourage them to become confident and resilient learners we, as a team of parents and staff, need to be modelling the mindset of a learner who is not afraid of making mistakes but who thrives upon them, knowing that this is all part of the learning process. The way in which we encourage children to learn and explore is vital to their success, not only at school but at home as well.
At Nettlesworth, we consistently endeavour to challenge and develop the attitudes of all pupils and staff towards learning by considering what makes a successful learner. We have dedicated sessions in class to address what kind of learners we want to be and how we can positively approach challenges inside and outside the classroom. The school is buzzing with talk of perseverance, challenge, risks and celebrating mistakes.
Central to this attitude and approach to learning, are the theories and proven evidence of Growth Mindset. This is a term coined by psychologist Carol Dweck and her research has identified the characteristics of learners with a fixed and a growth mindset:
The following video explains the concept in more detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUWn_TJTrnU
Key aspects of growth mindset at Nettlesworth Primary School:
- We celebrate making mistakes – we can learn from them;
- We never give up – perseverance is the key if we are to succeed;
- We learn from each other;
- We don’t compare ourselves with others;
- We challenge ourselves and take risks;
- We remember that our brains are making new connections and growing all the time.
For further information on how to encourage confident and resilient learners at home, have a look at some of the links below.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
At Nettlesworth Primary we believe that inclusive education means providing all pupils with appropriate education and support alongside their
Further information can be found in the SEN Information Report.
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