Our aim is to create a vibrant and engaging curriculum which enables all children to make progress and develop a love for learning. The National Curriculum guides the teacher in the content of the children’s learning and around this, the teacher have developed cross curricular topics to excite the children and give them opportunities to practise their skills throughout each day in meaningful ways.
When children enter our reception class, they follow the Foundation Stage Curriculum. There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in the Early Years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. The curriculum builds on what has already been learnt at home. The Early Learning Outcomes provide a framework of skills and progression which form the objectives for classroom activities and underpin all future learning.
The curriculum is designed to ignite children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and to build their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
The prime areas are:
- communication and language;
- physical development;
- personal, social and emotional development.
The specific areas are:
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design.
READING Phonics and Spelling
We are proud of the reading ability of children at Newnham Primary School, as it is fundamental to their learning potential. In phonics we follow the Read Write Inc Scheme across the school. Beginning in Early Years, the children learn their sounds at a rapid pace with rhymes and pictures to help them to remember both the sound and how the sound is written. They read decodable books with their groups: learning new vocabulary, mastering tricky words and learning to read with expression before bringing them home to share with you. We also have other decodable phonic texts which children can either bring home to read or read online. In KS2, Read Write Inc Spelling is introduced which teaches a phonetic method of spelling for older children in the school. There are series of activities which give the opportunity to practise spelling and correct mistakes through interactive ICT.
At Newnham, story-telling is at the heart of our fictional writing. Our units are introduced with enjoyable and engaging stories and poems which the children learn to tell themselves through story mapping and stepping the stories. The structure is then used to support the children in innovating and then inventing their own stories. Units are introduced though a ‘Big Hook’ at the beginning of the week and skills are then developed throughout the week leading to a Big Write on a Friday. Each class chooses their ‘Big Writers of the week’ and we celebrate their achievements in our celebration assembly and their piece of work is put onto our Star Writer Wall for all to enjoy. Non-fictional writing is also taught in our literacy lessons but we believe that children write best when they write for a purpose. Children are therefore given opportunities to develop their non-fiction writing skills across the curriculum: writing letters to advertising companies to promote their products, writing up sporting events, pitching their designs to a Dragon’s Den style panel and writing instructional texts for how to make recipes which they have deigned and made themselves.
At Newnham we want our students to not only develop maths skills, but also maths understanding. We want to build a flexible approach to how students understand numbers so that they are able to have the confidence to develop an understanding about the mathematical world around them. We build from the ground up, introducing the CPA (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract) approach, where students are shown physical examples before moving onto the pictorial representations, and then finally the abstract to prepare them for maths fluidity. Here at Newnham, we follow the Singapore style of teaching maths, ensuring that all students are included through the CPA approach, and that the more able are stretched with real life practical examples and higher order thinking tasks. We have introduced the visual method of Bar modelling, which visually shows a maths problem, thus making it easier for students to overcome the obstacle. All of these, including the high quality resources we have in place, ensure a depth of understanding and learning not seen before and that equips students with many tools in their maths ‘toolkit’, whether it be in preparation for counting up to 10, or solving algebra problems in preparation for secondary education.
The children are encouraged to observe, explore, ask questions and find answers through scientific investigations, and to develop knowledge and understanding of life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes.
Children are given the opportunity to use a range of IT equipment/software in a variety of contexts. There is a suite of 20 laptop computers, a suit of 30 chrome books and 8 Ipads in school with many apps linked to their topic of learning. ICT skills are taught discretely through the “Rising Stars” scheme of work and opportunities for using and applying ICT are offered across the curriculum.
Across the school, we have a thematic approach to our learning. This enable us to make links across the different subject areas and across classes. We aim to link enrichment opportunities with the academic areas whenever possible in the form of trips, visitors to school, focus days and theme weeks.
Our theme days give us the opportunity for the whole school to work together on topics. This year, our theme days have included:
- A whole school writing week where we looked at the Text ‘The Lost Thing’
- A STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) week which included a whole school trip to ThinkTank and a variety of investigations.
- A sporting day including a variety of activities and teams games to engage all students and promote healthy competitiveness across the school.
We also have regular whole school days where we focus on a religious festival or theme such as Spring Festivals or Light.
For full information about what we will be studying this academic year, please download the Curriculum Plan for each class to the left-hand side of the page.
As well as the academic curriculum, pupils take part in a wide range of extra curricular activities. It is our belief that education is not just about academic scores, but also making sure each pupil is a caring, well-rounded individual who is ready for their next step in education.
The children’s creative talents are developed and encouraged through their experiences of Music. They compose and create using a wide range of percussion instruments and enjoy listening to and looking at work of composers.
MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES
At Newnham we follow the Catherine Cheetah scheme of work for pupils in year 3 to 6. This enables pupils to learn french vocabulary, songs and experience the culture of this country through authentic resources.
PERSONAL, SOCIAL & HEALTH EDUCATION
We follow the Jigsaw programme for teaching PSHE which is a comprehensive scheme of learning from Early Years to Year 6. Jigsaw brings together Personal, Social, Health and Economic education, emotional literacy, social skills and spiritual development. It holds children at its heart and helps them to understand and value who they are and how they fit and contribute to the world.
At Newnham we aim to reflect the wide range of students sporting interests through our broad and balanced PE curriculum. We begin by working on the ABC’s (agility, balance and coordination) that are essential for all students to develop as these are life skills. Our students participate in a wide range of sports in lessons, which are both individual events and also team events that cover the full range of the PE curriculum. These help develop student’s communication, teamwork, work ethic, determination and these have a massive impact around the school. Our students also go on a residential to Grendon, once in Year 3 and 4, and to Ullswater, once in Year 5 and 6 where they experience the full benefits of using these attributes in Outdoor and Adventurous Activities. For a small school we are very well represented in a wide range of interschool sporting events, including the DRET Summer and Winter Cups. Our students are proud to represent our school and their achievements and success in these reflect this fact.
Swimming is offered to all pupils in both KS1 and KS2; we are committed to attain a level of safety and proficiency for all pupils, by the time they leave Newnham School.
Newnham School does not have any affiliation with a particular religion or religious denomination. We believe it is important that children learn about and from all religions. However we do value our place in the community and have a few assemblies at the village church and more frequent assemblies in school led by the Reverend Sue Falconer.
If you would like further information about the curriculum followed at Newnham Primary School please contact us.
David Ross Educational Trust and British Values:
The Trust is very supportive of the ethos of promoting British Values, and preparing our pupils for success in a modern Britain. A heavy reliance is placed upon broadening horizons for each and every child and this includes developing the core skills of tolerance, respect, teamwork, resilience and building self esteem. These are all values and qualities that we feel are relevant in order to play a full and meaningful role in society, and are promoted via our extensive house system that lends itself to cultural and sporting competition, democratic principles, social mixing, the development of greater pastoral care and enhanced PSHE.
To read more about British Values at this academy please download the document on the left-hand side of the page.