We have worked very hard to create a bespoke curriculum which engages, motivates and celebrates the children’s learning whilst also meeting the statutory requirements of the new National Curriculum. We like to think of our curriculum as 'a box of chocolates': a curriculum with something for everyone to enjoy. We believe in providing our Newchurch Robins with an ambitious, broad and balanced curriculum which will ignite a passion for continued learning throughout their lives - preparing them to fly.
The curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning and personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the range of extra-curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich the experience of the children. It also includes the ‘hidden curriculum’, or what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and co-operate with others while developing knowledge and skills, so that they achieve their true potential.
At Newchurch Community Primary School we strive to provide all children, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability or race, with the best possible education, based on a broad and balanced curriculum with a clear entitlement to quality education which more than fulfills national requirements. Children are encouraged to learn in a way that is stimulating, fun and meets a variety of learning styles to accommodate the needs of all pupils.
Our school curriculum is underpinned by the values that we hold dear at Newchurch. This is known as the R curriculum (see posters in school and on website for more details).
The curriculum is the means by which the school achieves its objective of educating children in the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need in order to lead fulfilling lives.
Our school is in full agreement with the values statement included in The National Curriculum Handbook for Primary Teachers in England. These are the main values of our school, upon which we have based our curriculum:
We value the way in which all children are unique, and our curriculum promotes respect for the views of each individual child, as well as for people of all cultures. We value the spiritual and moral development of each person, as well as their intellectual and physical growth.
We value the importance of each person in our community. We organise our curriculum so that we promote co-operation and understanding between all members of our community.
We value the rights enjoyed by each person in our society. We respect each child in our school for who they are, and we treat them with fairness and honesty. We aim to enable each person to be successful, and we provide equal opportunities for all the children in our school.
We value our environment, and we aim, through our curriculum, to teach respect for our world, and how we should care for it for future generations, as well as our own.
Aims and objectives
The aims of our school curriculum are:
- to enable all children to learn and develop their skills to the best of their ability;
- to promote a positive attitude towards learning, so that children enjoy coming to school, and acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning;
- to teach children the basic skills of literacy, numeracy and information technology (IT);
- to enable children to be creative and to develop their own thinking;
- to teach children about their developing world, including how their environment and society have changed over time;
- to help children understand Britain’s cultural heritage;
- to enable children to be positive citizens in society;
- to fulfill all the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Warrington Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education;
- to teach children to have an awareness of their own spiritual development, and to understand right from wrong;
- to help children understand the importance of truth and fairness, so that they grow up committed to equal opportunities for all;
- to enable children to have respect for themselves and high self-esteem, and to be able to live and work cooperatively with others.
The Foundation Stage
The curriculum in the Foundation Stage (Reception) meets the requirements of the New Early Years Foundation Stage Framework 2012 as found on the Department of Education website:
Our curriculum planning focuses on the seven areas of learning and development. The three prime areas are Communication and Language; Physical Development; and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. The four specific areas through which the three prime areas are applied are: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World, and Expressive Arts and Design. Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of teacher led and self-initiated activities. Our Early Years Team responds to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction and a bespoke topic based curriculum.
Our school fully supports the principle that young children learn through play, and by engaging in well-planned structured activities. Teaching in the reception class builds on the experiences of the children in their pre-school learning. We have planning meetings with our Nursery colleagues and do all we can to build positive partnerships with the variety of nurseries and other pre-school providers in the area.
During the children’s first term in the reception class, their teacher makes a baseline assessment to record the skills of each child on entry to the school. This assessment forms an important part of the future curriculum planning for each child. We also complete an on-entry profile for children who start the nursery.
We are well aware that all children need the support of parents and teachers to make good progress in school. We strive to build positive links with the parents of each child by keeping them informed about the way in which the children are being taught and how well each child is progressing.
Phonics is a very important aspect of acquiring reading and writing and is taught through the systematic, progressive scheme of Letters and Sounds on a daily basis. As a child progresses through the school they will encounter a variety of carefully selected reading materials which will allow them to apply their phonological awareness. The reading schemes are Rigby Star.
Children in the Foundation Stage also have the opportunity to learn French through activities planned by our French Language Assistant.
Key Stage One (Years 1 & 2) and Key Stage Two (Years 3,4,5 & 6)
Pupils in KS1 will have at least 21 hours teaching per week and those in KS2 will have 23.5 hours excluding assembly, registration and break.
In KS1 & KS2 our children follow the National Curriculum, details of the programmes of study that are used to plan lessons can be found at:
KS1 and KS2 pupils are taught English; Mathematics; Science; Computing (ICT); Religious Education (RE); History; Geography; Design and Technology; Art and Design; Physical Education; Music; Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE); and Modern Foreign Language (MFL).
Some subjects such as English, Mathematics, Religious Education and Physical Education are taught as separate subjects. Other subjects such as History and Geography etc. are either taught separately or through a topic approach. English and Mathematics are also applied across the curriculum and Computing is integrated into all subjects in addition to being taught discretely.
Pupils have 2 hours of planned PE in the curriculum in addition to opportunities to partake in after school physical activity.
Phonics is taught on a daily basis in KS1 using Letters and Sounds and it is also delivered to pupils in KS2 who still require the extra practice. The reading scheme used in KS1 and KS2 is a colour-coded scheme taken from a variety of publications and as children leave this scheme we aim to provide a complete range of fiction/non-fiction collections that will motivate children, develop their literacy skills and establish a love of reading for pleasure.
Relationships and Sex education is not taught as a separate subject but as a planned part of an ongoing programme and as part of the National Curriculum for Science and also PSHE. Puberty is addressed with Y5 & Y6 pupils, parents are given advanced notice and the resources will are made available for review.
The law allows parents to withdraw their children from lessons where sex education is being taught which is beyond the scope of the National Curriculum. Parents wishing to do so should discuss the matter with the Headteacher.
Educational Visits, Residential Visits, Visitors to the school such as authors, scientists etc. are part of the school’s curriculum enrichment and are arranged throughout the year. All these activities will be notified to parents and carers via letters home and also on the weekly newsletter.
Planning of the school curriculum is a continuous cycle that is informed by teachers’ assessments and also takes into account what pupils already know and want to find out. Parents are informed of topics being taught each term or half term via 'Share in our learning' letters from the class teacher.
The headteacher is responsible for the day to day organisation of the curriculum and is the person to whom all enquiries about the curriculum should be made.