Curriculum at New Town
‘A challenging and engaging curriculum, tailored to the unique needs of our school, ensures that all the requirements of the government are met as set out in the National Curriculum .’
At New Town Primary School, we are passionate about developing children as life-long learners.
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” W. B. Yeats
At New Town Primary School, we are passionate about developing children as life-long learners.
A crucial part of this is equipping children with the necessary English skills to access the curriculum with confidence and enjoyment. As soon as children join our school, they experience a wealth of Reading and Speaking and Listening opportunities. Communication skills are of the highest priority throughout the school and are developed across the curriculum.
We follow the Letters and Sounds Phonics scheme alongside Jolly Phonics and our children receive tailored Phonics provision through streaming across the school. Phonics provision continues into Key Stage Two, naturally progressing into the teaching of spelling patterns and rules. Grammar is a crucial element of both written and spoken English and as such is at the heart of every English lesson; children develop a deep understanding of English Grammar and how to use it to enhance their work. Reading is a vitally important part of the curriculum; we provide stimulating and challenging texts to read and analyse within the English lesson as well as encouraging independent reading both at home and at school. Writing skills are practised on a daily basis throughout the school focussing on: letter formation and handwriting; sentence construction; grammar, spelling and punctuation and the ability to write in different and appropriate styles for a variety of audiences.
Our children are extremely positive about English provision at New Town and especially enjoy our focus days and themed weeks where they have opportunities to explore established authors and books in more depth. We follow a range of Reading Schemes and have recently purchased a range of excellent quality books to inspire reading across the school. It is hoped that parents reinforce and nurture this love of reading by regularly sharing books at home with their children.
"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away. And in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall." — Roald Dahl
At New Town, Maths is taught through daily lessons. Fluency, reasoning and problem solving are the key areas of the curriculum. Teachers aim to embed a deep understanding of the number system and place value which then allow children to confidently implement key arithmetical skills. We aim to achieve mastery level in maths by providing rich tasks and deeper problems to build an even deeper understanding. Children are encouraged to apply mathematical skills to solve problems and apply their understanding to explain their reasoning.
Teachers provide stimulating and exciting activities which promote interest and enjoyment in order to engage the children and help develop a sense of confidence and achievement as well as resilience when tackling problems.
“Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your shoes.” Mickey Mouse
Science is a core subject in the National Curriculum. The teaching of Science begins in the Foundation Stage and centres on ‘Understanding the World’. This involves guiding the children to make sense of the physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. These opportunities are provided through activities which allow the children to play and explore, while developing their own ideas, making links between them and developing strategies for doing this.
In Key Stages One and Two, Science lessons focus on engaging students with scientific enquiry, including practical work, and developing investigation skills. Each year group has a balanced programme of study to develop knowledge and understanding across the breadth of Science and its relevance to life and the ever changing world around us.
Children at New Town are taught RE using the Discovery RE Scheme which is in line with the Pan- Berkshire RE Syllabus. They are encouraged to respect other cultures and religions through the acquisition of a deeper understanding and knowledge of the similarities and differences of other people’s beliefs.
Respect for all is reinforced in our Acts of Worship which, although broadly Christian in nature, also embraces the other main religious beliefs of the world and the children in our school.
Many faiths are represented at New Town and we see this as a major strength in the achievements of our pupils. We are one family, who work and play together, whilst respecting and celebrating the diversity of our school community.
At New Town we teach a broad and balanced curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, social and cultural development of pupils at the school. We have been working hard to develop and embed core values which form the foundation for all our learning and experiences at school. ‘Respect for all’ and making ‘good choices’ is at the core of New Town Primary School’s ethos. Good choices are celebrated at a weekly whole school assembly with termly celebrations of academic effort and achievement as well as any other awards such as handwriting, attendance or sporting events. Our behaviour policy and code of conduct, ‘Respect for all’, is evident throughout the school and embraced by all members of staff and children. Our cultural diversity is celebrated through studying our local area and the wider world. We have visiting speakers representing a variety of faiths and beliefs. Members of the local services regularly visit the school to help children develop an awareness of people who serve us and who help to make up our society.
At New Town Art and Design is taught through the Creative Curriculum where children are taught a wide range of methods, skills and techniques to enhance their Art and Design learning. They are provided with opportunities to explore, design and investigate different techniques and artists using a variety of media. Teachers encourage the children to discuss and evaluate their own and other people’s work with confidence. Art is celebrated in the displays and pictures around the school.
Design and Technology
During a child’s time at New Town Primary School, children have the opportunity to investigate, design, make and evaluate a range of products. Design and Technology is incorporated into our Creative Curriculum, which ensures an even coverage of skills. We have an annual Design and Technology focus day that encourages children to experience a wide range of Design and Technology concepts. Over the course of a year, children are encouraged to be innovative, use a range of materials and tools and as a result, develop, adapt and evaluate their ideas through a series of practical projects.
Children are naturally curious about the world around them and we are fortunate at New Town to have such a varied experience of place and culture. In FS children explore the world and key geographical vocabulary and skills are modelled. In KS1 children are taught to ask geographical questions, to observe and record and to express and communicate their learning as they compare different parts of the world such as Africa and India. Creative Curriculum topics make natural links between Geography and other subjects like Science and History. Throughout topics in KS2, children develop their geographical skills, making increasing use of maps, globes and secondary sources of information.
At New Town we believe that the study of History makes a valuable contribution to our children’s understanding of all aspects of life, enhancing a sense of identity and culture. History encompasses knowledge of the past, how this compares to the present and what impact this may have on the future. The learning of History requires children to ask pertinent and relevant questions, to think critically, to access and decipher information and to analyse opinions and arguments, thus enabling them to develop their own perception of historical events. The new National Curriculum places an emphasis on children in primary schools developing a robust understanding of the chronological order of local, national and world-wide events that have contributed to the creation of modern Britain as it is today, from the Stone Age through to post war Britain.
Information Communication Technology (ICT)
The development of ICT at New Town is very exciting, with a wide range of hardware and software available to our children. Through clearly designated ICT lessons as well as by integrating the use of ICT within other areas of the curriculum, we aim to provide opportunities for all children to:
- enjoy and use ICT, tackling all applications with confidence and a sense of achievement
- develop practical skills in the use of ICT and the ability to apply these skills in solving relevant and challenging problems
- use ICT to communicate and handle information, to design, develop, explore.
- explore and understand the potential and limitations of ICT and the implications and consequences of its use for society and the individual
- develop their ability to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding of ICT and its potential, in a range of situations, to support their learning across the curriculum
- work on the principles of simple programing
From Foundation Stage through to Year 6, children at New Town have lessons in e-Safety, which we feel is essential in order to keep children safe online and in promoting a lifelong responsible approach to using a wide range of new technologies.
Children in Foundation Stage have opportunities to learn about programmable technology through playing with remote controlled and programmable toys and vehicles. This is developed further throughout KS1 with pupils learning by using ‘Beebots’, and into KS2 whereby children use computer programs to control characters/objects within a game or activity.
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
At New Town we embrace learning modern foreign languages through our Creative Curriculum where children learn French. In addition to learning language skills through games and interactive activities, we investigate the geography, history, cultures and traditions of a country.
Music at New Town is highly valued and occurs frequently throughout the school from worship time to individual drumming lessons and singing coaching from qualified music teachers.
Children learn a range of musical skills during Foundation Stage and build on these through to Year 6. Sound is developed and experimented within the Foundation Stage through playing different instruments and singing. In Year 6 the children begin to learn notation and have opportunities to compose their own music. Musical instruments provide a great resource to support all the learning that goes on in the school and also prove to be a useful addition to celebrations and performances.
Physical Education (PE)
Pupils at New Town are given a wide variety of opportunities in PE, through timetabled lessons, extra-curricular sports clubs and organised break and lunchtime physical activities and games. We feel that well-structured competition in PE has many benefits, not only physical, but in the development of thinking, tactical awareness and evaluating performance.
It is vital that children have opportunities to acquire and develop, select and apply physical skills; create compositions of movement; evaluate and improve performance and develop their knowledge and understanding of fitness and health. Whilst many of these areas can be incorporated into competitive sports, other sports such as dance and gymnastics, outdoor and adventurous activities and team building, and swimming have just as high a priority as the more competitive games and athletics.
In Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, pupils focus on acquiring and developing physical skills, applying these and evaluating and improving performance, with a growing awareness of tactical play and games rules.
As children progress through the school, opportunities are widened and developed to incorporate a more diverse range of sports and team games which are sometimes played competitively.
All children take part in our annual Sports Day, enabling children of all levels of sporting ability to participate and succeed in a wide range of events.
Please find 'Our Learning' documents for the Autumn Term in our parents section.