The National Curriculum

The ‘basic’ school curriculum includes the ‘national curriculum’, religious education and sex education.

The national curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by primary and secondary schools so children learn the same things. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject.


Every aspect of the children’s work is influenced by the extent to which they use language with imagination and accuracy. Competence in reading, writing, speaking and listening is encouraged throughout the curriculum in order to enable the children to communicate appropriately and effectively. However, we teach English daily as a discrete subject from Year 1 to Year 6 following the Primary Literacy Framework. Opportunities for Literacy in the Foundation Stage are incorporated within the child’s day according to principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).


The school aims to establish confidence in the use of mathematics by ensuring that each child experiences success and is able to think clearly, and argue logically. We use exposition, discussion, appropriate practical work, practice of fundamental skills, investigational work, problem solving and the use of calculators and computers.

Through a thorough understanding of mathematics, children can present information, understand numbers, estimate, calculate and solve mathematical problems. They will be able to use mathematics in everyday situations.


We aim to develop a confidence and pleasure in the use of scientific skills, knowledge and concepts. We build on children’s natural curiosity and questions to develop children’s application of science in everyday life.

Information Technology

All children have access to computers in school to support their learning. Our intention is to give children the skills to be computer literate so that they are able to use ICT to support their learning across the curriculum.

We believe that the use of ICT should be embedded within all aspects of the curreculum so our computers are located in classrooms. We also have two fizz book trolleys which are accessed by all children in school.

Interactive whiteboards are in every classroom to promote learning. We use video conferencing, digital cameras and videoing equipment. We also have some kindles and i-pads which are use to enhance teaching and learning.

We are developing a School Learning Platform.

Religious Education

The teaching of RE is based on the Wakefield Agreed Syllabus, through which the children develop their knowledge of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism, as well as being made aware of Sikhism and Buddhism. This encourages them to recognise the right of people to hold diverse beliefs and values, and develop positive attitudes of respect towards other people.

The children are also encouraged to develop an appreciation of the world in which we live and to reflect upon their responsibility towards it. RE aims to provide opportunities to enhance the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils.

Assemblies are mainly Christian in character, but include multi-cultural stories and information, as well as stories with a moral. We invite visitors to deliver the assemblies to enrich the children’s experiences. These include the Rev Lesley Ann Mattocks from St Andrew’s Church in Netherton. Collective worship is held for the whole school every day.

Parents have the right to withdraw their children from religious education and collective worship. Please contact the Acting Headteacher in the first instance.

Please click on the link below for a report discussing current LA developments in R.E written by our R.E coordinator.

Current R.E developments


At Netherton School history is exciting and generates questions. Children develop a sense of chronology and learn about significant historical events in Britain, in recent and more distant times. They are encouraged to develop a sense of identity through the understanding of the local community and the wider society of which they form a part.


This subject teaches the children an understanding of places and environments. The children have an increased awareness, knowledge and understanding of places and people in the wider world. The children develop graphic skills, including how to use, interpret and draw plans and maps.

Geography supports the teaching of citizenship education by offering opportunities to enhance the children’s responsibility for the care of the environment, its people and the future of human habitat. They are given opportunities to recognise some human and physical processes that cause changes in a place or environment.

Environmental Studies

The Environmental Studies Scheme cuts across all subjects in the Primary School and at each level children are encouraged to observe carefully, to investigate critically and communicate meaningfully whilst exploring their environment.

The immediate vicinity of Netherton school provides a readily available rich environment including: Coxley Valley, Stocksmoor Nature Reserve, Bretton Nature Reserve and Netherton itself. These are used as a springboard to learning about places further afield. We believe all pupils should be taught to respect the environment.


Art is taught from Foundation Stage to Year 6, with skills progressing through the range of media. The children are taught to paint with powder paint, ready mixed paint then with watercolours. They draw with pastel, charcoal, pencil and ink. They learn the skills of printing and collage as well as exploring textiles through using threads to sew and embroider.

3D is explored through the use of clay, reclaimed materials and wood.

Children explore the ideas and meanings in the work of artists, craftspeople and designers. The creative arts are valued by all staff who provide a cross-curricular curriculum that is accessible to all children. Art recognises the freedom of the individual expression. It stimulates creativity and imagination. It allows children to respond to the world around them and provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences to enrich their learning.

Design and Technology

D and T prepares children to take part in the development of tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. It encourages children to become autonomous and creative problem solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team.

Through the study of D and T the children will learn the skills of design, making and evaluating, whilst at the same time, learning how to select and use appropriate tools, following safe procedures.


Music is a unique way of communicating that can inspire and motivate children. We provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music. Also, they develop the skills to appreciate a wide variety of musical forms and to begin to make judgements about the quality of music.

The children in Key Stage 1 and 2 have opportunities to be taught by peripatetic music teachers, to play brass, strings, guitar and woodwind instruments. There is also a School Choir.

Physical Education

Through PE we aim to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding so that they can perform with increasing confidence in a range of physical activities. These include dance, games, gymnastics, athletics, swimming, and outdoor and adventurous activities.

Each class has three PE lessons a week in our well-equipped hall/gymnasium.

Children in Years 5 and 6 receive swimming lessons at Sunlane Swimming Pool in Wakefield.  Y5 currently go in the Autumn and Spring term and year 6 go in the Summer term.  We review arrangements annually.

PSHCE and Citizenship

Netherton School attaches great importance to Personal, Social and Health Education, and Citizenship. These aspects of education are developed through class or school based topics linked to SEAL materials (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) and “Circle Time” activities.

Sex Education

Sex Education is taught within the Science and PSHCE Curriculum. In KS1 children will be made aware that humans produce babies, which develop into children and then into adults. KS2 children will study the main stages of the human life cycle. The Governors’ agreed policy recognises that great care should be taken to match sex education provision to the maturity of the pupils involved, and that children’s questions are handled sensitively.

The policy also recognises that parents have the right to withdraw their child from the school’s programme of Sex Education, other than those elements which are required by the National Curriculum Science order. The Sex and Relationship Policy is available for parents to read by contacting the school.


For more information on how the Government currently organises the National Curriculum please click on the image below.