We are currently reviewing our wider curriculum. Please find below an overview for this academic year and then a curriculum overview for each class. To read more about our approach to teaching and learning at Newton Primary School, please scroll further down our page.
The Newton approach to Teaching & Learning
At Newton Primary, children and staff are passionate about teaching and learning. We always strive to ensure that our curriculum meets the needs of all of our children. In this section, we have outlined our strategy for the teaching of English, Mathematics and the Wider Curriculum. If you have any questions, then please don't hesitate to get in contact with the school.
Our English Strategy
Speaking and Listening
Children are encouraged to communicate effectively by providing them with the opportunity to talk for a range of purposes, e.g. telling stories, describing events, and through drama. Talk for Writing strategies are used in all English sessions and, where appropriate, across other curriculum areas. They are encouraged to listen with growing attention and concentration and situations are structured to help these skills.
Reading is of key importance and progress is carefully monitored. Both Key Stages have daily Phonics/Spelling sessions. Children are encouraged to take their reading books home and if parents become involved and interested in their child’s reading it is most beneficial. Reading workshops are held for parents to offer advice and assistance so that they can become more confident in helping their child with reading. These workshops extend from Nursery age to Year 6. In KS2, the children all take part in a scheme called Accelerated Reader where they are assessed regularly and given an appropriate reading band to allow enjoyment and suitable challenge. The children are encouraged to complete whole books and are offered suitable rewards for reading at home and passing any quizzes. We use a mixture of two main reading schemes – Read Write Inc Phonics and Oxford Reading Tree, together with non-fiction and poetry books to provide the children with a variety of materials. Each day the children have many opportunities to read for a range of purposes and are listened to. Reading is taught in Whole Class sessions and Guided Reading sessions in small focus groups. Regular cross-curricular opportunities for comprehension and similar application of skills are provided.
Our writing sessions are planned on a bi-weekly basis, following a similar structure throughout school. Using Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing techniques, opportunities for immersion at the beginning of a new genre are evident including story mapping and drama-based activities. Once the children have a good understanding of the taught genre and have had enough time to engage with varied examples and a model text, we then move on to the innovation stage where the children begin to plan and compose their own examples using paired write and analysis. The final stage of the two weeks is the invention stage. This is where the children independently plan, draft, write and redraft their invented genres independently. A final extended piece of writing, ‘The Hot Task’, is produced at the end as a means of assessment. Wherever possible, this final product is celebrated and published for its intended audience. Throughout all writing sessions, appropriate taught grammar objectives are embedded and analysed. Daily spelling sessions take place across the school. KS1 use Read Write Inc phonics and spelling programs.
The children need to learn the correct way to form letters so that they can go on to join up their letters as they get older. We use the Nelson Thornes Scheme for handwriting throughout school and record any handwriting practise at the back of English books. Effective activities for strengthening hand muscles used in school are cutting and sticking activities, playing with plasticine and using clothes pegs. Opportunities for celebrating handwriting are encouraged to further engage and motivate pupils to be proud of their presentation.
Our Mathematics Strategy
We positively encourage all of our children to believe they are all mathematicians. There is no such thing as a person who can’t do maths.
High-quality mathematics education at Newton provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
The national curriculum for mathematics (September 2013) aims to ensure that all pupils: become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately, reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and being able to prove their mathematical reasoning by using mathematical language to solve problems.
We do this by following the White Rose Planning and if the children are not working at the expected standard we look at the progression in maths document (October 2015) to see where we need to take children back to become secure in their learning. Planning should include a daily fluency session https://thirdspacelearning.com/resources/resource-free-fluent-five-arithmetic-pack-weeks-1-12-years-3-6-2018-2019/ and then the standard maths lesson which follows the White Rose Scheme.
The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on. The children do not need to start at the same place, indeed different groups of children will start with different problems. The children should be encouraged to reason as often as possible using clear mathematical language, this can be modelled by stem sentences.
The children should also have regular opportunities to apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects
Our Wider Curriculum Strategy
We follow the National Curriculum for England, which forms the basis of all our planning.
Under the National Curriculum every child is entitled to a broad general education with opportunities to acquire depth of knowledge in some areas and to develop skills for learning. At Newton we follow a two-year cycle due to having mixed Year groups in classes. This is regularly reviewed as the children move between the classes. Our Curriculum is based on either a history or a geography topic, we try to link art and DT to these subjects. We teach Science, RE and French as standalone subjects, however if there is a natural link then we will organise the curriculum so that the links can be made.
In addition, we encourage each and every pupil to become skilled learners by helping pupils to develop skills and attitudes that will help them take full advantage of all the learning opportunities presented to them in life, in our school and beyond. The learning experiences we deliver will offer the opportunity for personalisation and choice. At the beginning of each topic the children will ask questions and we will weave these into our curriculum planning. Learning activities will be structured to ensure children work at a pace they can cope with and with the challenge they will thrive on. We will also include opportunities for writing across the curriculum. We will include trips or WOW days that link in with the topics.
Plans and tasks will link knowledge in one curriculum area to that in another, helping children to understand the world and to make connections, to enhance learning in one area using skills developed in other areas. Children will think for themselves, make sound judgements, challenge opinions, enquire and find solutions.