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National Curriculum

National Curriculum

The National Curriculum      

The latest National Curriculum (2014) covers the core and foundation subjects and their associated attainment arrangements for children in Years 1-6.  The subjects are as follows:

Core Subjects: Religious Education, English, Mathematics and Science.
Foundation Subjects: P.E, Computing, History, Geography, Music, Art, Design and Technology and Modern Foreign Language (in KS2)

The school’s curriculum policy for learning is based on a series of themes/topics to cover the National Curriculum programmes of study, where this is possible and appropriate, creating a vibrant and developing creative curriculum.  Those elements of the programmes of study which cannot be taught in this manner will be taught discretely.  English, Mathematics, R.E. & PSHE are taught discretely, though elements of these subjects are taught through cross-curricular links, particularly in relation to the current class reader and current reading being covered as part of the English curriculum. There is a strong emphasis on the children acquiring a solid basis of key skills, for example, learning phonics from Reception Class, with a consistent approach throughout Key Stage One based on the Letters and Sounds ‘Read, Write Inc’ program.  Opportunities for children to use and apply their key skills remains a priority throughout the school.

French is taught across the school by a specialist language teacher. Elements are introduced informally in Key Stage One.  Children from Years 1-4 also receive weekly tuition from a specialist music teacher.

To download The National Curriculum, A Guide for Parents, please click HERE

For guidance on the way we teach mathematical calculations, please click HERE

For EYFS Curriculum please click here

Key Stage 1

We follow the National Curriculum September 2014. We promote excellence in teaching and enjoyment in learning. We provide a rich, stimulating enquiry based curriculum distinct to our school and building on our strengths. We establish a secure foundation for all children within English, Mathematics and Computing. We ensure full access to the Arts through our emphasis on the teaching of music, dance and drama. We are creative and innovative in our use of whole school projects within sports, science, design and technology. The extensive extra-curricular activities we provide are important to develop interests and enthusiasms outside the classroom.

Key Stage One (KS1) covers both Y1 and Y2.  By the end of Reception, the vast majority of children are what we describe as ‘KS1 ready.’  Within KS1 children are introduced to core and foundation subjects.  Core subjects are for example are English, Maths and Science and foundation subjects include, for example History, Geography and Music.  Each day every child in school takes part in an English lesson that allows them to learn new skills in a meaningful way, using a range of texts to excite children’s interest and raise levels of motivation. We work in ways that encourage all children to participate fully. Some of our texts are chosen to represent to try to reflect diverse family contexts.  Reading continues to be taught specifically in short daily Phonic sessions, guided reading groups and across many curriculum areas.  Our section on ‘The Teaching of Reading’ explains in greater detail. (perhaps link to that page from here?)

We believe each child should develop fluency, confidence, competence and enjoyment in Mathematics. Children take part in a daily lesson. Children are encouraged to communicate ideas using mathematical language and our ‘Swimming in maths’ whole school approach to mathematical problem solving. Practical investigation plays a key role in allowing the children to apply these concepts and skills and develop clear logical thought.

Science involves children in lots of first hand practical experiences and activities to help them find out about the world in which they live and how it works. One of the highlights of the year is Science Week. This takes place in March each year. It involves highly motivating challenges, experiments and investigations for children in every year group. Children work with scientists in and out of school to increase their knowledge, apply new skills and learn about the world of work, including breaking down stereotypes.

Children are introduced to some basic French words in KS1 and the teaching of French continues throughout KS2.  In PE, the children participate in the Jasmine PE curriculum where they have access to real PE that gives EVERY child the physical literacy, emotional and thinking skills to achieve in PE, Sport and life. This fully differentiated P.E. scheme is fully aligned to the National Curriculum and Ofsted requirements and focuses on the development of agility, balance and coordination, healthy competition and cooperative learning through a unique and market leading approach to teaching and learning in PE. In addition children also have regular access to different types of coaching, including weekly  golf sessions and football sessions from fully qualified coaches.

We aim to develop a child’s knowledge and awareness of themselves, other people, their world and issues and dilemmas they may face. We develop the child’s confidence in themselves and their abilities; we promote caring and sharing relationships. We promote moral and social education which aims to foster the values of respect, honesty, trust, truth and fairness. As a Catholic school we encourage an understanding of all religious faiths. We learn about religious practices and the customs of world religions. We use the teaching of Philosophy for Children to encourage our pupils to pose questions, debate issues and beliefs and to appreciate the views of others. We ensure we promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, academic and physical development of children and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life. Children take part in a daily act of worship covering religious themes that reflect the aims and ethos of our school. We encourage children to see themselves as part of the family of the school and as part of a larger community where they have rights and responsibilities. As well as working closely with our local parish of St. Mary’s we are also supported by ‘Churches Together’ in Hexham who participate in assemblies and work with children in school, rein acting Bible stories in their weekly ‘Open The Book’ sessions.

To find out more about the subjects, please refer to the school prospectus by following the link below. (link to prospectus)

Key Stage 2

We follow the National Curriculum September 2014. We promote excellence in teaching and enjoyment in learning. We provide a rich, stimulating enquiry based curriculum distinct to our school and building on our strengths. We establish a secure foundation for all children within English, Mathematics and Computing. We ensure full access to the Arts through our emphasis on the teaching of music, dance and drama. We are creative and innovative in our use of whole school projects within sports, science, design and technology. The extensive extra-curricular activities we provide are important to develop interests and enthusiasms outside the classroom.

Key Stage Two (KS2) covers both Y3 and Y4 here at St. Mary’s and continues in years 5 and 6 in middle school.  By the end of Key Stage one, when most of the children are 7, the vast majority of children are what we describe as ‘KS2 ready.’  Within KS1 children have been introduced to core and foundation subjects.  Core subjects are for example are English, Maths and Science and foundation subjects include, for example History, Geography and Music.  Each of the subjects continues in KS2.   Reading continues to be taught specifically in short guided reading groups and across many curriculum areas.  Phonics teaching for the vast majority of children stops, some children however still have daily group support.  In KS2 children focus on reading comprehension and fluency using Reading Plus. Reading Plus helps students develop the skills they need to be proficient readers and lifelong learners. Through regular Reading Plus practice, reading will become easier, comprehension will increase, and children will make meaningful connections between reading and learning. To learn more about Reading Plus, visit www.readingplus.com

We believe each child should develop fluency, confidence, competence and enjoyment in Mathematics. Children take part in a daily lessons where they are encouraged to communicate ideas using mathematical language. Practical investigation plays a key role in allowing the children to apply these concepts and skills and develop clear logical thought. Children are encouraged to communicate ideas using mathematical language and our ‘Swimming in maths’ whole school approach to mathematical problem solving. Practical investigation plays a key role in allowing the children to apply these concepts and skills and develop clear logical thought.

Science involves children in lots of first hand practical experiences and activities to help them find out about the world in which they live and how it works. One of the highlights of the year is Science Week. This takes place in March each year. It involves highly motivating challenges, experiments and investigations for children in every year group. Children work with scientists in and out of school to increase their knowledge, apply new skills and learn about the world of work, including breaking down stereotypes.

Children are introduced to some basic French words in KS1 and the teaching of French continues throughout KS1. At KS2, learning a midern foreign language, such as French is compulsory. In PE, the children participate in the Jasmine PE curriculum where they have access to real PE that gives EVERY child the physical literacy, emotional and thinking skills to achieve in PE, Sport and life. This fully differentiated P.E. scheme is fully aligned to the National Curriculum and Ofsted requirements and focuses on the development of agility, balance and coordination, healthy competition and cooperative learning through a unique and market leading approach to teaching and learning in PE. In KS2 children also take part in a weekly swimming sessions. In addition to the weekly coaching sessions of golf and football there are lots of opportunities for children to take part in competitive sports such as the Northumberland Games, Cricket and Gymnastics Tournaments as well as the annual regional Swimming Gala event at Wentworth Leisure Centre.

We aim to develop a child’s knowledge and awareness of themselves, other people, their world and issues and dilemmas they may face. We develop the child’s confidence in themselves and their abilities; we promote caring and sharing relationships. We promote moral and social education which aims to foster the values of respect, honesty, trust, truth and fairness. As a Catholic school we encourage an understanding of all religious faiths. We learn about religious practices and the customs of world religions. We use the teaching of Philosophy for Children to encourage our pupils to pose questions, debate issues and beliefs and to appreciate the views of others. We ensure we promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, academic and physical development of children and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life. Children take part in a daily act of worship covering religious themes that reflect the aims and ethos of our school. We encourage children to see themselves as part of the family of the school and as part of a larger community where they have rights and responsibilities. As well as working closely with our local parish of St. Mary’s we are also supported by ‘Churches Together’ in Hexham who participate in assemblies and work with children in school, rein acting Bible stories in their weekly ‘Open The Book’ sessions.

To find out more about the subjects, please refer to the school prospectus by following the link below. (link to prospectus)