Curriculum

English

The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

 

The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding

  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information

  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language

  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage

  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences

  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas

  • Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

Maths

All pupils follow the National Curriculum programme of study (updated in 2014). We aim to deliver a high-quality mathematics education which provides the children with the foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.  The National Curriculum for mathematics 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, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language

  • Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions

Science

At Newnham Junior School children explore the way science will affect their future as well as broaden their scientific view of the world around them.  Children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way science has an impact on our daily lives. Through practical experiments,  children are encouraged to ask their own questions about what they observe and begin to make decisions about scientific enquiry.   

Art

Children will be encouraged to explore and develop original ideas and to gain self-esteem through a variety of forms.  By investigating and making art, craft and design, they will be able to develop their creative and technical skills.  Children will be encouraged to develop the ability to communicate ideas, opinions and feelings to become more visually literate which will allow them to evaluate and develop their own work more successfully. Developing their knowledge and understanding will help them appreciate the art work of others and the importance to society of the artist and crafts person. This will be achieved through following the National Curriculum which outlines a broad range of activities and skill progression through: - drawing - painting – printmaking, collage/textiles and 3-D modelling through construction and clay.

Computing

Children will be encouraged to solve problems using technology by learning new skills and developing their understanding of how computers work.  They use a range of computer and internet based programs to gain in depth knowledge of how these work and to improve their skills such as mouse control, navigation around a computer, typing and programming.  They will become computer literate and will recognise ways in which technology can improve and simplify our lives.  The children learn to be safe, responsible users of technology.  

Design and Technology

We encourage children to acquire the appropriate technological skills, knowledge and understanding which enable them to design, make, improve and evaluate quality products.  Design and Technology facilitates learning through doing and provides a basis for enhancing work in other curriculum areas.

 

The children start each topic with a design problem and investigative, disassemble and evaluative activities.  This may involve using a computer, books or photographs to examine and, through discussion and enquiry, generate ideas for their own product.  They will then undertake activities that practice and develop particular skills, techniques and knowledge.  These focused practical tasks allow children to conduct practical activities to test, on a small scale, their ideas individually or in pairs.  They also review and evaluate materials which are suitable for their product to ensure they meet their success criteria.  These aspects are drawn together and the children use their skills and knowledge to design and create their own products.  Finally, their own finished products are evaluated by themselves against set criteria.

Modern Foreign Languages

We support the view that learning a modern foreign language is an entitlement for all pupils, whatever their ability or special needs.  We believe that many children really enjoy learning to speak another language and the sooner the child is exposed to the language the faster the language is acquired. Teaching MFL is not only a matter of developing competence in a language, but it is also about understanding the language and developing an international outlook.  We have chosen French as our focus language and meet the 4 main learning objectives; Reading, Writing, Talking and Listening in a variety of ways.  In Year 3 and 4 the children have regular opportunities to listen to stories, join in singing French songs and learn finger rhymes.  Year 5 and 6 have a stronger emphasis on speaking in conversation and writing in sentences.

Geography

Geography should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Through a range of topics, children gain knowledge an understanding of people and places both locally and on a wider scale. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.

At Newnham, as pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. This will be achieved by using the geographical skills of observation, interpretation and the evaluation of a range of sources : looking for change/evidence, using maps, an atlas, globes and fieldwork.

History

We aim to engender in our pupils a desire to explore the past and a sense of identity through learning about the development of the history of Britain, Europe and the wider world, including some aspects of ancient civilizations and features of non-European societies.  This we aim to do through the teaching of the study units in a chronological order to help support the key skills and the children have numerous opportunities to work with and create timelines in a range of contexts.  They are taught using a variety of approaches in a creative fashion where ever possible, by involving children as much as possible in:

 

  • Role-play

  • The handling, appreciation and evaluation of evidence

  • The analysing and understanding of cause and effect

  • A questioning approach to all sources however reliable

  • The successful communication, through the use of appropriate and relevant historical terms, of their interpretation of theories and ideas through structured accounts and analysis.

 

Through our approach to teaching history, we aim to give the children experiences so that they can understand as fully as possible what it is like to be a historian - the methods of historical enquiry, the rigorous use of evidence and the skills required.   A whole school timeline has been constructed to which all year groups contribute over time as well as individual class timelines. 

Music

Music is a thriving subject at Newnham Junior School.   Weekly lessons are taught in our well-resourced music room where the emphasis is on practical music-making. Children are taught to read music through specific theory lessons and by learning tuned percussion instruments. They have opportunities to listen to music, to compose from a wide-range of starting points and to perform regularly in front of their peers. Children enjoy recording their work in order to listen back reflectively. 

 

In addition to class music, children learn unison and part-songs in our weekly singing practices. They have opportunities to attend a range of extra-curricular clubs (choir, band, ukulele, O2) and to be involved in performing both in school and to the wider community.

PE

At Newnham Juniors we aim to provide a high-quality, broad and balanced physical education curriculum that inspires and challenges all of our pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. We want our pupils to be physically literate and physically confident in a way which supports their physical health and fitness as they move towards making their own choices as young adults. In addition, to understand how sport and physical activity can support mental health and well being. We aim to use PE and school sport as a driving force within the school to create opportunities for children to build character and help embed values such as self regulation, resilience, team work, freindship, communication, fairness and respect. 

Religion and World Views

Our study of Religion and World Views is  taught through posing big questions to the children.  Through each unit children will focus on specific learning outcomes and the content is developed around active learning opportunities and investigations, using some engaging stimuli, to enable pupils to achieve the outcomes. There  are regular opportunities for pupils to revisit and recall past learning as well as making links to their own experiences. While these activities also allow pupils to develop and practise important analysis and evaluation skills, opportunities are provided for them to demonstrate their understanding and ideas.

PSHCE

PSHCE is an integral part of our school and aims to develop the whole child and give them to opportunity to learn about the world around them; think about the communities they are part of; develop respect and kindness towards others and know how to keep themselves safe and healthy. The PSHCE Curriculum is covered through weekly ‘Jigsaw’ lessons, which covers the 2019 RHE (Relationships and Health education) requirements. The children are encouraged to develop mindfulness and a growth mind set and develop the skills which will help them thrive in the wider world. The curriculum is enhanced by regular PSHCE assemblies where we focus on the children’s own choice of topic and current themes such as relevant internet safety issues or world events. We also hold workshops, themed days and other events, such as mock elections, to help the children develop their understanding of the world around them, including the concept of British values, and to broaden their horizons with new experiences.

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