CURRICULUM

The New National Curriculum
- a guide for parents
Art and Design

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.

 

Year 3 children will cover investigating patterns with Bridget Riley, Islamic tile printing and silhouettes and portraits.

Year 4 children will cover expressing moods through colour, investigating natural form and the work of Van Gogh.

Year 5 children will cover observational and still life drawing, the study of aboriginal art and the work of Tony Hudson - African art and sculpture.

Year 6 children will cover pop art, street art and observational drawing pot sculpture (clay).

 

Computing

Children will be encouraged to solve problems using technology by learning new skills and developing their understanding of how computers work.  Children are given the opportunity to 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.  This will be achieved through following the National Curriculum which outlines a broad range of activities and skill progression and teaches the children to be safe, responsible users of technology.  

 

Year 3 children will cover programming, debugging, videoing, understanding computer networks, emailing and collecting data using virtual methods.

Year 4 children will cover further skills in programming, developing virtual toys, creating digital music, programming in HTML to create websites, producing wiki pages and collecting and presenting data.

Year 5 children will cover further programming skills across different software (learning new programming language), cracking codes, digital artwork, creating web pages, cyber safety,  blogging and creating virtual spaces.

Year 6 children will cover computer networks (understanding how the mobile internet and Wi-Fi work), cyber safety, programming in new programming languages, developing their own Apps, understanding management/business skills and becoming 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.

 

Year 3 children will design money containers, make bread and a moving monster.

Year 4 children will design an operational bridge, a photo frame and create a torch with a working circuit.

Year 5 children will design a hat, build a story book with a moving mechanism and a controllable vehicle.

Year 6 children will design a Victorian toy, a healthy meal and an environmental shelter.

 

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.

  •  

Some of our key texts include:

Year 3: Stig of the Dump, The Angel of Nitshill Road and Traditional Tales

Year 4: The Iron Man, King Kong and Flat Stanley

Year 5: Children of Winter, Journey to Jo’burg and Macbeth

Year 6: Street Child, How to Train your Dragon and Holes

 

Geography

Geography seeks to explain the relationship of human change and activity on the natural, physical world. Taught well, Geography should stimulate children’s interest in their surroundings, both locally and on a wider scale.  At Newnham Junior School, a deep understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes will be achieved through following the National Curriculum which outlines a broad range of skill progression through: - observation, interpreting and evaluating a range of sources, looking for change/evidence, using maps, atlas, globes, field work and presenting findings in many different ways including reports, art work, drama, creative writing etc.  The cross-curricular links, drawing on language and ICT skills, are vital in Geography in order to communicate what is learnt and understood.

 

Year 3 children will cover map skills, local area geography and focus on the continents, countries and capital cities in the world.

Year 4 children will cover polar lands, rivers and the weather cycle.

Year 5 children will expand their knowledge of the local area as well as the study of Eyam (Peak District), which links to history (Stuarts & Plague), and literacy ('Children of Winter' by Berlie Doherty).  Year 5 also cover Swanage coastal areas.

Year 6 children will cover a region within South America which links with the sustainability of rainforests, environmental change and study Snowdonia.

 

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:

 

a) Role-play

b) The handling, appreciation and evaluation of evidence

c) The analysing and understanding of cause and effect

d) A questioning approach to all sources however reliable

e) 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.          

 

Study Units

A whole school timeline has been constructed to which all year groups contribute over time as well as individual class timelines.  The study units are arranged as follows: -

 

Year 3 - Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.  The achievements of the earliest civilizations - focus on The Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greece.

Year 4 - The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.  Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots. The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor.

Year 5 - The development of society and monarchy over time and how events shaped the society in which people lived and their significance today.  1066-1666 – Normans, Tudor and Stuarts, including making links to these events within our own local history.  A non-European society that provides contrasts with British history taught in Year 5 - Benin.      

Year 6 - Continued study of the development of society in Britain (re-capping on past studies e.g. man-hunter gatherer) through the Agricultural Revolution to the Industrial Revolution.  Significant events -1st and 2nd World Wars.


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

 

Year 3 children will cover number (place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions), measurement, geometry (properties of shape), and statistics (interpreting data).

Year 4 children will cover number (place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and decimals), measurement, geometry (properties of shape, position and direction), and statistics (interpreting data).

Year 5 children will cover number (place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals and percentages), measurement, geometry (properties of shape, position and direction), and statistics (interpreting data).

Year 6 children will cover number (place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals and percentages), ratio & proportion, algebra, measurement, geometry (properties of shape, position and direction), and statistics (interpreting data).


Modern Foreign Language

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.

 

Year 3 children will cover numbers 0-31, days of the week, vocabulary for stationary and clothes and have regular opportunities to listen to stories, join in singing French songs and learn traditional finger rhymes.

Year 4 children will cover basic questions and answers for a conversation, develop knowledge of masculine and feminine nouns, learn the months of the year and begin to write sentences using a writing frame.

Year 5 children will cover more masculine and feminine vocabulary, a variety of sentence starters, adverbs of time, write longer sentences, and learn numbers 32-60 and how to tell the time.

Year 6 children will revise all everyday vocabulary and develop their confidence in holding a conversation.  They will aim to introduce themselves and ask/answers questions relating to their family and have the knowledge and confidence to speak French if they were to visit a French speaking country.

 

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 recorders and 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 onto CDs 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. Our biennial school CD provides a taste of the music covered.

 

Year 3: reading rhythms, annual Christmas nativity; compositional work includes Africa, Characters and Sports.

Year 4: descant recorders, annual Harvest production, reading and producing graphic scores; compositional work includesFilm Music and the Romans.

Year 5: treble recorders, annual Easter production, reading notation for pitch; compositional work to include Celebrations, the Tudors and Native America.

Year 6: samba drumming, writing melodies using standard notation, annual carol concert and summer production; compositional work includes Radio Jingles, Concertos and Victorian England. 

 

PSHCE

The PSHCE curriculum is covered through weekly PSHCE lessons and other activities such as workshops, themed days and assemblies. PSHCE covers three core themes: relationships, health and wellbeing and living in the wider world.  Each year group looks at similar topics but targeted to their own level, with different activities and learning objectives.

 

In the Autumn term, all year groups complete our caring for ourselves and others topic. Children learn how to stay safe (on and offline), get along with each other, solve conflicts and develop coping skills for different situations.  They also learn to think critically about their choices and information that is presented to them and think about discrimination and stereotypes.  In the Spring our philosophy for children topic helps children to develop higher level thinking skills and hold constructive class discussions.  They then look at the rights and responsibilities and how political systems work in ourcitizenship topic.  In the Summer term our changes topic allows the children to think about how their own lives change and how to cope with new circumstances and challenges.  Our final topic of the year is sex and relationship education, taught at an appropriate level in each year group.  Children learn about different relationships and the changes they will go through as they grow older, physical and otherwise, moving on to look at sexual relationships and conception in Year 6. Over the year, the curriculum is also covered through the Year 6 Junior Citizen event, pedestrian training in the lower school, schemes and events such as ‘Bike it’ and themed weeks/days such as Anti-Bullying week, healthy schools assemblies and events linked to current affairs, such as fundraising or the general election.

 

Physical Education and School Sport

We aim to provide a high-quality physical education curriculum that inspires all of our pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities.  We want to provide opportunities for our pupils to become physically literate and confident in a way which supports their health and fitness as they move towards making their own choices as young adults.  In addition we aim to provide opportunities for children to compete in sport and other activities in order to build character and help to embed values such as team work, fairness and respect.

 

Year 3 children learn and participate in the following activity areas: dance, gymnastics, games and athletics.  For outdoor and adventurous activities the children take part in a festival.   Children also develop multi-skills as part of a 6 week unit.  Dance units include: Life on the Nile, Shadows and the Greeks and are linked to other curriculum areas.

Year 4 children learn and participate in the following activity areas: dance, gymnastics, games and athletics.  For outdoor and adventurous activities children visit Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre  on a day trip.  Children also develop multi-skills as part of a 6 week unit.  Dance units include: Electricity, Diwali and Rivers and are linked to other curriculum areas.

Year 5 children learn and participate in the following activity areas: dance, gymnastics, games and athletics. Children will swim for one term.  For outdoor and adventurous activities the children go away for a one night residential trip.  Children also develop multi-skills as part of a 6 week unit and also complete a Young Leaders award.  Dance units include: Africa/Volcanoes and Native American Indians and are linked to other curriculum areas.

Year 6 children learn and participate in the following activity areas: dance, gymnastics, games and athletics.  For outdoor and adventurous activities children visit Wales on a week’s residential trip. Dance units include: Ballet Boys and Dance and are linked to other curriculum areas.

 

Science

Children learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way science will affect their future on a personal, national, and global level.  We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in science lessons.  We encourage the children to ask, as well as answer, scientific questions.  Wherever possible, we involve the pupils in ‘real’ scientific activities, for example, researching a local environmental problem or carrying out a practical experiment and analysing the results.

 

Year 3 children study rocks, nutrition, plants, light and shadows, Earth and Space and magnetism.

Year 4 children study the properties of liquids and gases, classification of vertebrates, changes of state, electricity, teeth and sound.

Year 5 children study life cycles of plants and animals, forces, properties of materials, the solar system, famous scientists and the scientific method.

Year 6 children study dinosaurs and fossils, evolution, electrical circuit diagrams, classification of invertebrates, light and the circulatory system of the body.