At The Federation of Newent Schools we aim to provide the children with a curriculum which is broad, well balanced and above all stimulates the children to learn. We aim to ensure that everyone reaches their full potential in a safe, supportive and encouraging learning environment.
We deliver programmes of study that meet the National Curriculum requirements issued by the DfE. This National Curriculum comprises of:
English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Design and Technology, Art, Music, Physical Education (PE), Computing, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) and Religious Education; The teaching of Religious Education is statutory in all schools. It is taught as a subject outside the National Curriculum but following the Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus 2017.
At The Federation of Newent Schools we recognise the importance of English and Maths teaching in order to open up other areas of the curriculum and therefore a large emphasis is placed on these areas. In addition to regular Maths and English sessions teachers try to make as many cross curricular links as possible in order to utilise these skills in a range of contexts.
The planning of the curriculum is based around a rolling programme to ensure coverage of selected topics by all children who progress through the school. Planning takes the form of a topic based approach, where teachers link subjects to provide an engaging and inspiring curriculum.
Whilst the core subjects are taught on a regular basis the foundation subjects may sometimes be taught as blocks of work over a matter of weeks.
This programme is regularly reviewed to ensure compatibility with new directives or to make necessary improvements to the existing programme of work.
At The Federation of Newent Schools we seek to create opportunities for children to experience and excel in a range of activities that enhance and extend the National Curriculum. Children have opportunities both inside and outside the classroom eg Forest Schools, Residential trips, a variety of sporting events, visiting speakers and much more. We also provide a diverse range of after school clubs.
We value the role of modern foreign languages in the curriculum and French is taught from Year 3 to Year 6.
When children leave The federation at the end of Year 6, they should be equipped with the full range of skills that enables them to become lifelong learners. Through our Personal, Social, Health education (PSHE) along with Citizenship and our Spiritual, Moral Social and Cultural ethos, children are also equipped with the social skills and understanding to become good citizens in the future.
We believe that the school/parent relationship is key to promoting learning beyond the school gates and crucial in ensuring children make the best possible progress. We pride ourselves on our open, friendly and approachable nature that encourages parents to be involved in their children’s learning.
The English Curriculum is delivered using the National Curriculum 2014 and the Early learning Goals are followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Foundation Stage through to the National Curriculum.
SPEAKING AND LISTENING
The Four Strands of Speaking and Listening: Speaking; Listening; Group Discussion and Interaction, and Drama permeate the whole curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life.
The opportunities, organisation and provision for the teaching and learning of reading are as follows:
• Shared reading
• Guided reading
• Independent reading
• Phonics – Read Write Inc approach
Teachers also take time to read class novels and model reading for pleasure. It is important that children enjoy reading and also have the opportunity to experience books from classic and modern classic authors such as Michael Morpurgo, Roald Dahl and Julia Donaldson among others.
Reading/Phonics are mainly supported by the following published resources: Phonics Bug, RWI, Bug Club, Other schemes are utilised throughout the school to supplement these.
Dancing Bears – Phonics
Apples & Pears - Spelling
Sounds Write – Phonics
Fresh Start – Phonics
Rapid Writing - Writing
Rapid reading – Reading
Opportunities, organisation and provision for the teaching and learning of writing are as follows:
Teachers provide personalised targets for writing and the children work to achieve these over the course of a term. These targets are shared with parents on a regular basis and are displayed in the fronts of the children’s books. Work is marked and assessed in line with the marking and Assessment policies and three yearly meetings involve teachers moderating the assessment of this work.
Work is assessed, at present, using End of Year Objectives (Age Related Expectations). The findings of the assessment are used to inform planning to help the teaching and learning process. In line with the New National curriculum requirements and the raised expectations that this document requires teachers also assess termly whether a child is working at/below or above the level expected for their age.
The Maths Curriculum is delivered using the National Curriculum 2014 and the Early learning Goals are followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Foundation Stage through to the National Curriculum.
Maths is taught in five strands: Data Handling, Shape Space and Measure, Number, Calculation and Using and Applying.
We provide a daily Maths session that seeks to reinforce previous learning and allow children to take on new skills and apply these in a range of contexts. Children are often grouped according to ability which allows teachers to target individual needs.
Half termly assessment activities are planned which involve a range of ideas and skills linked to one or more of the key objectives covered previously. As a result of these assessments, individual targets are discussed with pupils.
Teachers provide personalised targets for Maths and the children work to achieve these over the course of a term. These targets are shared with parents on a regular basis and are displayed on the front of the children’s text books.
Long-term assessments are undertaken through a combination of teacher assessment and end of year tests. The tests used are the national tests at the end of Year 2 and 6 and the optional tests for Years 1, 3, 4 and 5.
Continuity and progression
A yearly overview is created by all teachers for Maths, English and the foundation subjects; this ensures continuity and progression throughout the school.
Each teacher has time allocated to discuss each pupil’s attainment and progress with their existing teacher at the end of the term before pupils move class.
Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies their curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling. Pupils learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.
At Key Stage 1 pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They begin to evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair. They use reference materials to find out more about scientific ideas. They share ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables with the help of ICT if it is appropriate.
At Key Stage 2 pupils learn about a wider range of living things, materials and physical phenomena. They make links between ideas and explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They think about the effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They carry out more systematic investigations, working on their own and with others. They use a range of reference sources in their work. They talk about their work and its significance, using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts, graphs and ICT to communicate their ideas.
Teaching and learning
All lessons have clear learning objectives, which are shared and reviewed with the pupils effectively.
A variety of strategies, including questioning, discussion and marking, are used to assess progress. The information is used to identify what is taught next.
Activities inspire the pupils to experiment and investigate the world around them and to help them raise their own questions such as “Why…?”, “How…?” and “What happens if…?”
Activities develop the skills of enquiry, observation, locating sources of information, selecting appropriate equipment and using it safely, measuring and checking results, and making comparisons and communicating results and findings.
Lessons make effective links with other curriculum areas and subjects, especially literacy, numeracy and ICT.
Activities are challenging, motivating and extend pupils’ learning.
Pupils have frequent opportunities to develop their skills in, and take responsibility for, planning investigative work, selecting relevant resources, making decisions about sources of information, carry out activities safely and decide on the best form of communicating their findings.
Continuity and progression
The school ensures curriculum continuity by following the two-year rolling programme of science units of work and by close liaison between staff at the planning stages.
In the most part History and Geography are the key drivers behind termly topics and other areas such as literacy will be utilised as a vehicle to explore these areas. At The Federation of Newent Schools we are keen to provide children with opportunities to experience Geography and History first hand and as such teachers organise regular excursions out or bringing people in to school to help inspire the children.
In Key Stage 1 children learn about the lives and lifestyles of familiar people in the recent past and about famous people and events in the more distant past, including those from British history.
In Key Stage 2 children learn about people and important events and developments from recent and more distant times in the locality, in Britain and in other parts of the world. Children will learn about historical enquiry by looking at as many real sources as possible and by recreating events from the past.
Geography is concerned with the study of places, the human and physical processes that shape them and the people who live in them. In the Early Years, children learn about their immediate environment and how to read and draw simple maps using invented and conventional symbols.
In Key Stage 2, the children develop this knowledge into a wider area and study transport, weather and landscapes, both in their local area and in many other countries.
Children have opportunities to draw, paint, print, make collages, use fabrics and threads and use clay. They are taught the skills and techniques and then given the opportunity to practise them to produce individual and group pieces of work. Children are encouraged to critically evaluate their own work and that of others in order to learn from their experiences.
‘DT’ incorporates many traditional skills – cooking, model making, drawing and sketching, problem solving, observation and discussion – putting them together in an approach which encourages the children to become designers and inventors.
The children are taught how to use tools and materials safely and economically.
The school has a long tradition of musical activity, offering considerable opportunities for children to develop their talents in all aspects of music including composition, singing and appreciation.
We have an established Orchestra/Music group that perform at different events and all the children are given the opportunity to learn the recorder if they wish.
Visiting peripatetic teachers for guitar, flute, piano, violin, drums and trumpet offer the opportunity to work towards music accreditation. We have an exceptional choir who regularly perform in the community, take part in singing festivals and perform at the annual Birmingham NEC Young Voices concert.
The aim of physical education is to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles. Children are taught to observe the conventions of fair play, honest competition and good sporting behaviour as individual participants, team members and spectators.
Children take part in games, gymnastic movement, dance and athletic activities using indoor and outdoor environments where appropriate. Children can take part in after school clubs and have the opportunity to compete against other schools.
In Year 5/6, children go on a residential course for outdoor activities as well as children in Year ¾ who have the opportunity to go to PGL.
Children have swimming lessons in Key Stage 2 and these are organized by year group every term.
Physical education is seen as key to developing healthy lifestyles in young people and we provide a wide array of opportunities to develop this and sporting skills outside of the normal curriculum time. Regular lunch time clubs: Multi-Skills (KS1), Football Club, Playground Leaders etc. encourage children to be as physically active as possible.
Extra Curricular Activities
We provide a large range of activities including: football, Lacrosse, netball, nature studies, orchestra, gymnastics and a cookery club to name a few. Such activities are run voluntarily by the staff and are dependent, at any time, on the interests and enthusiasm of individual teachers with the co-operation and assistance of parents and the availability of outside providers.
Religious Education is a curriculum entitlement for all children and the school follows the Gloucestershire ‘Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education’. Religious Education does not seek to urge religious beliefs on children or to compromise the integrity of their own beliefs by promoting one religion over another. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from Religious Education. Suitable alternative provision will be made.
To develop an understanding and respect for the beliefs, values and practices of other people.
To reflect on and respond to the values, beliefs and practices of religions and philosophies.
To enable pupils to develop their own insights.
Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural (SMSC)
The Federation of Newent Schools has a strong moral and behavior code underpinned by our Golden Rules. This helps to create a positive and productive learning environment for children. Through regular assemblies children are given the opportunity to discuss key themes that reflect their needs and age. Each term the PSHE and core assemblies are driven by the SEAL (Social , Emotional Aspects of Learning) programme. Each term opportunities to further enhance SMSC understanding are identified in teacher’s planning.
As a school we welcome children from all backgrounds and are proud of how children and their families from other cultures are welcomed by our children and the rest of the school community.
In all teaching the teachers look to inspire and enthuse children. Teachers look to develop a love of learning and a working atmosphere where children enjoy learning.
Children are given opportunities to take on responsibility around the school: Y6 and Y2 buddy system, class responsibilities, prefects, playground leaders and lunch time clubs.
The school has a clear behaviour policy that sets high expectations and promotes a good moral understanding, mutual respect, tolerance and understanding. Friendship, respect and tolerance are taught as part of our Personal, Social, Health Education programme.
Through a combination of approaches the school is able to ensure that children develop an understanding of the key British Values: Democracy, Rule of Law, Mutual Respect, Personal Liberty and Tolerance of other faiths and cultures.
The Federation of Newent Schools believe that involving parents in their child’s learning is crucial in ensuring that children make the best possible progress.
We try to get parents involved in a number of ways: