Our Primary School Curriculum
When planning the curriculum, Normanton House School has considered the needs of our pupils and families with the intent of raising aspirations among all our pupils. We want learning to be meaningful and memorable so that our pupils are ready for the next step in their journey and are able to live healthy, happy and productive lives. Staff have drawn on each other’s experience and researched teaching methods that we know to be successful with our children. After consultation with staff and Trustees, we reflected on what our curriculum offer would look like to a child in our school. We believe that our approach will create well-rounded, life-long learners who are prepared for the challenges and adventures that await them.
At Normanton House School, we are keen to promote the diversity of life and celebrate differences and promote respect for all. Through our teaching, learning and behaviour expectations, we give pupils the knowledge and understanding of how bad behaviour is dealt with, including the prevention of bullying.
Our curriculum is driven by the need to prepare our children for lifelong learning. At Normanton House, we offer a rich and vibrant curriculum which is ambitious for all learners. Subject Leaders have worked hard to think about putting learning into meaningful contexts that will build upon each other as children progress through school.
Our curriculum encompasses not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum but goes beyond the experiences of the classroom to ensure that our children are exposed to the richest and most varied opportunities that we can provide. The curriculum is enhanced by our commitment to creating a love for learning. Through this, we provide learning experiences which promote confident, self-motivated pupils, eager for lifelong learning.
We are all on a learning journey together and because of this, our staff continually reflect on the impact of our teaching through assessments, surveys, discussions, learning walks and data scrutiny.
Assessment is used to identify children’s attainment and continuously track their progress.
These assessments inform teachers’ lesson planning and are carried out across the curriculum through tests, quizzes and other means.
Children complete summative assessments termly to show progress in all subjects.
We believe our curriculum prepares our children well for their secondary education and inspires them to find out more about the world around them. We aim to provide our children with the cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
This capital is introduced through visits and events such as visits to World Heritage Sites (Trentham gardens, Chatsworth House), Interfaith trips and care home visits.
Quran teaching is divided between its recitation with tajweed, memorisation and direct understanding through the development of classical Arabic skills. The memorisation and recitation teach students discipline as well as developing their vocal techniques and confidence. Teaching is supported by lunch-time and after school clubs as well as iPads loaded with specific Quran recitation apps.
The Islamic Studies department plays a critical role in upholding the ethos of the school. Contributions are made from students in liaison with staff to assemblies, enrichment days and seasonal activities such as Ramadan and Hajj. The department also facilitates development of skills and talent for those who show an interest in public speaking, recitation of the Quran and calling the adhan. Older students are given opportunities to give Jumu’ah khutbahs and recite Quran at special events.
The department also hosts the annual Al-Qira’at Quran competition. In addition to cash prizes, the students have benefitted from a number of internationally renowned Quran scholars who attend as guest judges.
The aim of Islamic Studies is to give pupils a thorough understanding of the main aspects of their faith. The Islamic Studies curriculum caters not just for the academic needs of our students but also their spiritual well-being and pastoral care.
Key subject aims:
• Study the basic pillars of Islam and, in particular, to elaborate those specific areas
• Enhance their understanding of Islam by referring them to its traditions, laws, writings and practices
• Respond to contemporary issues from a Muslim perspective.
• Develop classical Arabic skills to understand the Quran directly
• Have a strong connection with the Quran
• Cultivate self-awareness and self-reflection
This subject is supported by lunch-time ‘Qaida’ club for younger students and after school Hifdh club for older students and has strong cross-curricular links with PSHE, Arabic and Citizenship.
Our English vision is to foster a love of language and literature through the use of quality texts and books; this inspires, excites and engages our children.
At Normanton House School, we aim to foster a love of language and reading and, therefore, attach great importance to enabling our children to become fluent, enthusiastic readers.
In Year One, we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonics programme, supported by actions used in the ‘Jolly Phonics’ programme. This teaches children the sounds and tricky words needed to support them with their reading and writing. From Year Two this is then followed by ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ which teaches the children the basic skills needed to read and write words.
Grammar and punctuation is taught both explicitly and implicitly within English lessons. In light of new changes to the National Curriculum, we have recently updated our curriculum to ensure that grammar skills are effectively embedded into the children’s everyday work.
Children will experience a wide range of authors and text types during their time at Normanton House School. In each year group, pupils will regularly hear books being read to them, in addition to reading for their own pleasure. We aim to instil a passion for reading throughout the school and hold regular events throughout the year to promote this including a book Fair and literary competitions.
The children have access to a range of different reading books, predominantly those within the Oxford Reading scheme. These include Big Cat Phonics books and Songbirds.
By providing the children with a range of books, we aim to ensure that they not only suit their ability but also allow them to experience a range of writing styles and text types.
Children are encouraged to use their knowledge of texts to write for a variety of purposes such as: explanations, instructions, reports, balanced arguments, stories and poems. They learn to plan, draft, revise, edit and present their work, before evaluating the success of their writing.
From Year 1, great emphasis is placed on letter formation using the; as they progress through school, the children are encouraged to write in a neat, legible style.
Drama and speaking and listening are an integral part of not only English but also the wider curriculum in order to encourage self-confidence, imagination and empathy. It is used to stimulate, explore and challenge ideas. Communication is a key feature of many aspects of our curriculum.
English unites the important skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
An important part of English is the process through which pupils read and compose texts. Good oral work enhances pupils’ understanding of language in both oral and written forms and enables children to develop a greater understanding of the way language can be used to communicate.
English is integral to all areas of the curriculum. Skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening should be linked to and applied in every subject.
Our aim is to enable children to:
- Speak and listen with confidence in an increasing range of contexts
- Be interested in books, read with enjoyment and evaluate and justify their preferences
- Read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding;
- Use a full range of reading cues to monitor their reading and correct their own mistakes
- Understand the sound and spelling system and use this to read and spell accurately
- Have fluent and legible handwriting
- Have an interest in words and their meanings and a growing vocabulary
- Know, understand and be able to write in a range of genres in fiction and poetry, and understand and be familiar with some of the ways in which narratives are structured through basic literary ideas of setting, character and plot
- Understand, use and be able to write a range of non-fiction texts
- Plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing
- Have a suitable technical vocabulary through which to understand and discuss their reading and writing
- Through reading and writing, develop their powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness.
Mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a 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.
We provide our mathematics lessons as a platform for pupils to develop their skills in mathematical fluency, problem solving and reasoning. Staff use a range of teaching strategies including whole class and guided groups with both oral and mental work featuring in lessons.
Children are expected to regularly practise at home to achieve their targets which are used and applied in numeracy lessons. We are committed to establishing a mastery approach in the teaching of mathematics which includes focusing on embedding basic principles in KS1 and early KS2.
Our aim is for children to be inspired to reach their academic potential. In maths, this requires a curriculum to be taught which is fully inclusive of all children. All our children should have the confidence to use their mathematical knowledge and understanding with fluency and accuracy. In teaching mathematics, we need to ensure that all children develop the ability to think logically and clearly and are able to communicate this using mathematical language. We further reinforce this through the inclusion of verbal and non-verbal reasoning across the school.
The school provides all pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum, differentiated and adjusted to meet the needs of individual pupils and their preferred learning styles.
The key principles are:
- Setting suitable learning challenges
- Responding to pupils’ diverse learning needs
- Overcoming potential barriers to learning for individuals and groups of pupils
- Engaging children with their learning at all points in the lesson
- Encouraging children to be independent learners and thinkers
- Continual formative assessment and summative assessments at the beginning and end of a topic
Science is the study of nature and how things work. It’s about making strange, mysterious, and complicated things become things we understand. It is about measuring and testing things, and trying to find rules about how things work by testing them fairly. Working scientifically helps develop critical thinking skills, and has lots of links to other subjects, especially Mathematics.
In Science, the emphasis is placed on developing an enquiring mind and children are encouraged to ask questions and find answers. Much work is done practically and through investigations where children are involved in exploring, observing, measuring, recording results and drawing conclusions. Research from secondary sources is also an important aspect of Science, particularly in Key Stage 2. Children use books, ICT resources and the internet to gain knowledge in different areas.
Through our curriculum we want the children to:
- be inspired to find out more and confident to report their findings
- understand that science is open ended and there are always opportunities to discover more
- develop and share ideas and feel able to question these ideas and those of others based on evidence generated
- record in a variety of creative ways including the use of technology
- be assessed in a formative way which challenges them by providing the next steps
confidently use scientific vocabulary
At Normanton House School, we aim to instill in our pupils a sense of awe and wonder about the world.
We want our children to:
- be knowledgeable about the world they live in, starting with their local environment and moving out to other locations in Britain, mainland Europe and countries further afield
- be aware of how the relationship between people and the environment is important
- understand some physical processes
- be skillful map readers, using grid references with ease
- experience, enjoy and learn from fieldwork experiences
Children are taught about important events, people and developments in the past. Artefacts, visits and ICT resources are used to support learning and engage pupils.
At NHS, our history curriculum aims to:
- stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the lives of people who lived in the past.
- teach children to think as historians; investigating the past by examining historical artefacts and primary sources
- help children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways
- develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving
Modern Foreign Language: Arabic
The Arabic department at NHS endeavours to introduce pupils to this modern foreign language through reading, writing, listening and speaking. The syllabus is very much an interactive one and allows for maximum pupil participation through different activities, including role play.
Arabic is the language of Quran, which makes it of huge importance to Muslims all over the world. Learning Arabic will enable pupils to develop the understanding of the Holy Quran and the Hadith of the Prophet (SAW). It will also offer pupils insights into the culture and civilisation of Arabic speaking countries
Urdu is a popular subject and keen interest shown in the subject stems from family background, as well as social, cultural and media influences. Urdu provides a solid foundation upon which further Islamic studies can be undertaken allowing students access to a significant body of Islamic literature in Urdu. Exposure to this language allows pupils to not only build up a deeper understanding and affiliation of their own culture, but also to enhance their literacy skills.
Art, Craft and technology
Work is based on both imagination and observation. Children use a variety of materials, media and tools to express their ideas and feelings about the world. They are taught to appreciate, evaluate and to make judgements about art, craft and design from different times and cultures and to make practical decisions about how to develop their own artwork.
A range of arts experiences are offered to students through the creative curriculum. Links with history, geography, literacy and Islam ensure a wide coverage of cultures, including Islamic art, Tudor portraits, Egyptian masks and Greek pottery.
Our objectives are:
* To express feelings and ideas in a variety of different forms.
* To increase children’s knowledge and understanding of the wider world and enrich their experiences.
‘Computational thinking’ is a skill children must be taught if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in this digital world.
The curriculum for computing teaches students how computers and computer systems work and encourages them to develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content.
Technology is part of everyday life and for most of us, is essential to our lives at home and at work. At Normanton House School, we learn vital Computing skills and knowledge as well as ensuring technology is embedded throughout the curriculum.
The aims of the Computing Curriculum are to equip the future generations with the necessary skills for adult life and employment within the ever-changing technological environment we live in. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is vital in achieving this, therefore here at Normanton House, we have ensured our Computing curriculum provides opportunities where children:
• understand the ethical guidelines of using the internet safely,
valuing their own identity,
• appreciate and respect advances in technology to enable them to reflect
on experiences when learning about the world around them,
• actively support each other in challenging problem-solving situations
Our vision is to provide high quality physical education and school sport through personal challenge and competition that will lead to life-long participation.
PE plays a vital role in promoting physical activities and a healthy lifestyle in a positive and enjoyable way for all pupils. Our curriculum aims to develop and challenge pupils’ abilities in a range of physical activities and sports – helping them to develop their personal fitness and learn important life skills such as teamwork, honesty and perseverance.
We endeavour to provide a wide range of physical activities to help pupils develop physical competence and to value the benefits of exercise. PE also contributes to the establishment of self-esteem and teamworking skills.
The areas of activity covered are athletics, yoga, games, gymnastics, rock climbing football, tennis, swimming and outdoor adventurous activities. We hold an annual sports day and during the Autumn and Spring terms pupils in Years 3 and 4 swim weekly at Gaton swimming pool while the Year 5 pupils attend weekly tennis sessions.
PSHE: Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education
PSHE is challenging, motivating, practical and interactive. In our diverse society, children need to develop an understanding of themselves, others and their community and how we can work together in peace and harmony. They also need to know how to maintain healthy lifestyles and relationships with others. PSHE plays an integral role in children exploring these things and helps to prepare them for the community that they live in now and in the future.
Islamic values is the driving force behind our PSHE and the curriculum also includes important Citizenship areas and key points for discussion and learning linked to keeping children safe, such as internet safety and road safety. There are also links and overlaps with other subjects, particularly Science. The ultimate aim is to produce responsible British citizens with a strong moral compass and sense of identity who know how to respect the views and choices of those around them.