How to find out more about the curriculum our school is following
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From time to time we hold meetings for parents to explain what we teach in school and how parents can support learning.
The National Curriculum
The ‘basic’ school curriculum includes the ‘national curriculum’, religious education and relationships 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, spelling,grammar and handwriting is encouraged throughout the curriculum in order to enable the children to communicate appropriately and effectively. However, we teach English daily both as a discrete subject from Year 1 to Year 6 and included in many other subjects across the curriculum. Opportunities in the Early Years are incorporated within the child’s day according to principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2020.
Phonics is taught in Early Years and Key stage 1 every day using Letters and Sounds, usually in ability groups. We use a four part lesson structure including, revisit/ review, teach, practice and apply. In Key stage 2 children continue to develop spelling skills as part of their English lessons.
Handwriting is taught from Early Years upwards using the Nelson handwrting scheme.
Whole class reading activities are provided daily for children from Year 1-6, using a variety of texts. Children also have opportunities to read independently and to use the school library.
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. Early Years and Key Stage also have Numicon resources to help with problem solving and basic mathematical skills. White Rose maths is used as a basis for learning.
Across all groups children will develop a solid understanding of the world through the areas of biology, chemistry and physics. Children will be encouraged to inquire and develop an understanding of nature and the processes and methods of science. Teachers will help children develop a sense of excitement and curiosity towards science which will encourage them to explain their observations or predict how things might behave. During each block of study, children will be expected to develop a deep understanding which they can explain using a wide range of technical terminology. Once children have gained a good level of understanding, they will be urged to apply their mathematical knowledge to collect, present and analyse data.
What was once called ‘ICT’ has now been changed to ‘Computing.’ Under the new Curriculum, there is a greater emphasis on the need for children to be able to understand and write algorithms, create and debug simple programs and to use programming and coding. We aim to equip our children with the knowledge of safe internet use, through all Key Stages, and we place great importance on their understanding of the internet as both a tool for education and research, as well as something that is part of their everyday lives. We still intend to teach children the skills to be computer literate across a variety of software programs, aiming for them to have transferable skills they can use in the future.
We believe that computing should be embedded within all aspects of the curriculum and so, where appropriate, the subject is also taught and used in a cross curricular manner to enrich and support their learning further.
All children have access to computers and ipads in school to support their learning. Interactive whiteboards are in every classroom to promote learning. We use digital cameras and videoing equipment where necessary. We also have some kindles which are use to enhance teaching and learning.
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.
As the Agreed Syllabus was reviewed last year , the scheme of work on which we base our lessons was updated and amended accordingly. Netherton Methodist chapel and St Andrew’s church continue to be valued resources. Several classes visit during the year to enable the children to gain first hand experience of the Christian faith. The Methodist youth team has also been an huge asset to children’s learning, sharing their knowledge in a lively fashion that engages the children’s interests and enhancing their learning.
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. Collective worship is held for the whole school on Monday and Thursday, with a singing assembly on Tuesday and an achievers assembly on a Friday.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from religious education and collective worship. Please contact the Headteacher in the first instance.
History aims to inspire children’s curiosity to know more about the past, both of Britain and the wider world. It will help them understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and the relationships between different groups as well as their own identity. They will understand the methods of historical enquiry- to ask questions, to think critically, to weigh evidence and sift arguments.
In Key Stage 1 the children will learn about local history, Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, Neil Armstrong, Roald Amundsen, Captain Scott and the Great Fire of London, comparing aspects of life in different periods.
Key Stage 2 will continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British and world history. They will be taught about about;
Changes in Britain from the stone age to the Iron Age
The Roman Empire and it’s impact on Britain
Britain’s settlement by Anglo Saxons and Scots
The Viking and Anglo Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England.
Geography inspires a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, resulting in an increased awareness, knowledge and understanding of places, people and environment.
Teaching geography will equip pupils with knowledge about the diverse places, people, resources and natural and human resources together with an understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. They will learn about the formation and use of landscapes and environments and how the Earth’s features change over time.
In Key Stage One, pupils will develop their knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They will learn about physical and human geography as well as using world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, oceans, continents and other countries studied. They will use simple compass directions to identify places on a map, aerial photos to recognise landmarks and study the geography of our school and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment. The children will also learn about the weather, the Polar Regions, islands and coastal features.
In Key Stage Two, the children will extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They will use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied. In order to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world, they will use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key – including the use of Ordnance Survey maps. They will also use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area using maps, plans, graphs, sketch maps and digital technologies. Rivers, earthquakes, volcanoes, rainforests and their impact on the local environment and people are just a few of the topics that will be taught.
The purpose of an environmental education is to deliver a curriculum which provides the children with a deeper understanding of the current issues which affect the world they live in. Lessons are often delivered in a creative way to enhance and enrich pupils learning experiences. Children are encouraged to observe, investigate, research and communicate their findings.
At Netherton School, we are privileged to have many amenities to allow us to broaden the children’s environmental opportunities including: Coxley Woods, Bretton Nature Reserve and Stocksmoor Nature Reserve. We also have the Nethergreens Eco-Committee who organise events and ensure our school is working hard to become more eco-friendly and respectful of the environment in which we live.
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, percussion and woodwind instruments. There is also a School Choir. Children in year 5 are part of the wider opportunities scheme, where the whole class learn to play the Ukulele. Some year 6 children also continue this in order to gain further skills. A new ‘fitbeat’ programme from Wakefield music service is now being undertaken by KS1 children. This is a mixture of music and movement.
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. Year 6 undertake a residential at Robinwood which involves a lot of physical and adventurous opportunities.
Each class has at least two PE lessons a week in our well-equipped hall/gymnasium and KS2 have extra PE and sport sessions taught by ‘ACES’ and outside PE provider. KS1 children also undertake ‘Fitbeat’ sessions, which is a mixture of music and movement.
Children in Years 4 and 5 receive swimming lessons at Sunlane Swimming Pool in Wakefield.
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.
Relationship and 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 Relationship and sex education policy is available for parents to read by contacting the school.