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Naphill and Walters Ash School
We follow the National Curriculum in Key Stages 1 and 2, the Reception Curriculum is based on the Early Learning Goals. Across the school we try to plan around ‘topics’ each term and where possible link our writing, history, geography, art, DT and where possible science to these topics. We believe that this makes learning more cohesive and relevant. We try to make all subjects relevant to the children and we get them to consider why they are learning something, what key skills is this subject teaching you and why do they need to learn them.
There are times when any child may need extra support to ensure they make expected progress. Those needing this support in English and maths will be given time in small groups or 1:1 if necessary. Some children only need support to overcome a particular issue and we endeavour to ensure this happens. Our SENDCo and class teachers are more than happy to discuss the support we can offer a child with parents.
We regularly have theme weeks or days where the whole school focuses on a particular subject or idea. We have used the National Gallery’s Take 1 Picture and have studied a particular painting for a week, taking various elements of the painting and expanding them with the children.
Many of our children learn to play musical instruments and are taught by peripatetic music teachers. These musicians come together and perform in our school orchestra, often joined by the choir. Children from Year 2 onwards can learn most of the instruments offered by the teachers. If your child is interested then please ask the school office for availability and prices.
We use the Bucks Locally Agreed Syllabus for our RE planning and teaching. In Reception the focus is on the child’s own experiences e.g. their special events, their family etc. As the children move into KS1 the focus in lessons is on Christianity but still with the emphasis on their own experiences and knowledge. In KS2 the children look at a different world religion in Yrs 3-5, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. In Yr 6 the focus is on wider moral and ethical topics which do incorporate religious views. We recognise that for many children and families faith is not a key part of their lives and their views and opinions are valued too.
As well as the academic curriculum we firmly believe that the children have to develop the skills and attributes needed to become confident people, equipped to move onto their next school and stage in education. We aim to develop their ability to speak clearly; to convey their thoughts and feelings and be self-aware. For some children this will be more challenging than others and again we will support those children who need extra help developing these skills.
At NWAS it is our intent that the curriculum meets the needs of all our pupils. It is our Intent that our children use and show the 5Rs in their learning and personal skills, and as they get older they do so more and more. Many of our Foundation subjects are taught as topics making meaningful links. Where possible, English is linked to topics so as to provide a purpose for writing and for the children to use their knowledge in a written form.
Planning ensures what is covered meets National Curriculum requirements and that work follows on from unit to unit over time. However, we do have many children who join throughout the Key Stages so our curriculum allows for their learning needs to be met. No child is disadvantaged if they did not do a prior topic. Where possible, links to previous learning are made so new children have some context for what they are doing.
Our curriculum is broad and balanced; we try to give all children the opportunity to have experiences that enhance their learning through trips and visitors to school. At the heart of our curriculum is a focus on reading. We know that being able to decode and comprehend is key to our children’s success. Phonics teaching in Yr R and KS1 ensures that children have a good base to build their reading skills on; where we identify children need extra support the school puts it in place.
It is also our intent that what we teach meets the needs of the children as global citizens; we approach social issues openly and encourage the children to become aware of what is going on around them.
As well as the skills/attributes the 5Rs give the children we have sequenced our topics and subjects so that there is not just progress in knowledge but in skills too.
Why decided on this? We felt that skills and the 5Rs underpin everything we should be doing with our children. Due to our mobility, children who arrive from abroad, even other schools from within England will come with different subject knowledge. When with us if we can ensure the skills progress then whenever they leave us they can take those with them. We would hope that they can then apply these to whatever setting they go to.
This is even the case for our children who are with us all the way through; we send to most secondary schools in our wider area and so we know each of those will have a different approach to languages, music, even the core subjects. We have to ensure our children are ready for their secondary education and again, as well as knowledge it will be skills and the 5Rs that will give them a solid base to move forwards.
The teachers have worked together to plan the subjects for their year group; all staff have reviewed those plans to ensure progression and coverage. Teachers have reviewed plans before and during Covid 19 have ensured, as far as possible, that the curriculum did not ‘narrow.’
Teachers are able to adapt some subjects e.g. PSHE and esafety when something beyond school occurs so the children are supported in all aspects of their learning. The teachers and senior leaders are constantly aware of the need to ensure that what we teach is meaningful.
Our curriculum does not stand still.
All pupils access all subjects and if they need extra support in key areas it is put in place in a variety of ways.
The aim is that when a child leaves us, at no matter what stage, they are ready for their next school. We want our children to show the 5Rs in everything that they do both academic and personal. Impact is more than results: it is about enjoyment and engagement, a willingness to learn and succeed.
5Rs and the Curriculum
Reflect – we want our children to be able to take time and reflect on what they have learnt. Reflecting on ‘learning’ is essential to be a good ‘learner.’ We also give our children time to reflect on their behaviour so that they can see the impact of their actions.
Responsibility – we encourage our children to take responsibility for all aspects of their school life, from looking after their belongings to having the correct equipment to trying hard in lessons.
Resourcefulness – we want our children to be independent people; they will need to be resourceful and this starts here at school. They should be able to find the correct equipment; think ahead to what they will need. Many will leave us and go to a number of different schools so they have to be able to think about what they need as they move on.
Reasoning – our children have to be able to think through what they have done and why they have done it; this links closely to being able to reflect. We help our children to see the links between their work and why they need to do certain things. We also look at the impact of their actions and experiences and guide them through what has happened, and why.
Resilience – above all, our children have to be resilient: they live in a constantly changing world and to succeed they need to be resilient. They have to accept things will go wrong; they will find somethings harder than others; there will be subjects they are not so keen on but they still have to do their best and make their own improvements.
Our intent for the 5RS is that they are evident in planning and teaching. We want our children to be able to take these onto whichever school they go to. These, combined with a good, broad knowledge base will allow them to succeed in the next stage of their education.