The school plans a broad, inclusive and balanced curriculum working on a themed approach. The topics each half term have a focus of history, geography or science at its core incorporating all the other subjects.
The themes are planned to help all children explore, achieve and develop their understanding.
Within the Early Years Foundation Stage children will follow the Early learning Outcomes as they progress through Nursery and Reception. This helps the children learn and achieve in the following areas.
The prime areas are:
• communication and language;
• physical development; and
• personal, social and emotional development.
The specific areas are:
• understanding the world.
• expressive arts and design.
At the end of Reception children are then assessed against the Early Learning Goals.
Within Key Stage One, years 1 and 2 follow the National Curriculum.
The core subjects are Literacy, mathematics, science and ICT
The foundation subjects are history, geography, art and design, design and technology, music, physical education, religious education and personal, social and heal education (PSHE)
Within Key Stage One the children have weekly homework within their learning log. It has a specific focus to which the children can record their thoughts and ideas. Reading is also encouraged on a daily basic at home.
At Northfields we aim to develop Pupils love of maths and to inspire them to become confident mathematicians who can apply their knowledge and understanding in a vast array of concepts. We use a cross curricular approach to teaching and follow the aims of the National Curriculum of 2014 by providing opportunities for mathematical development in many other subjects. A big emphasis is placed on developing pupils understanding and use of key mathematical vocabulary and we encourage children to tackle problems confidently and without the fear of failure. Pupils have the opportunity to use high quality teaching resources in daily sessions when needed and to interact with engaging IT apps and other relevant programs. All pupils are supported at their own individual ability with intervention plans put in place for those pupils who struggle in different concepts.
Our Religious Education teaching follows the Scheme of Work set out by the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus for RE. Pupils are given the opportunity to learn about and from a range of world faiths and religions through stories, role-playing, handling artefacts and play resources and sharing ideas through circle times. We encourage pupils to explore and reflect upon challenging questions of morality, self-identity and belonging. We aim to promote tolerance and respect for others views from an early age. Working from the starting point that often there are no right or wrong answers, pupils are encouraged to express their thoughts and ideas in a supportive environment.
Humanities: History and Geography.
Our Humanities teaching follows the 2014 National Curriculum.
At Northfields we are proud of the strongly creative, topic-led approach we apply to engage pupils through the teaching of History and Geography. We work collaboratively across the key stages to ensure progression of key skills and curriculum coverage. Our creative approach also enables us to make great use of cross-curricular links especially with our English, Art and Forest School teaching.
Enrichment takes place through school trips and visits which allow pupils to benefit from hands on, practical experiences. Recent experiences have included Punch and Judy workshops, visits to Hampton Court Palace, Cambridge Botanical Gardens and Ashwell Church. We have also developed very strong links with the North Herts Museum Service who support us by providing workshops to promote historical and geographical enquiry on subjects including Florence Nightingale, Castles, Seasides and artefact loans.
Phonics is taught in a highly structured programme of daily lessons across EYFS and KS1 in groups differentiated according to children’s phonic awareness and development. The Letters and Sound programme is followed, providing a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. This is supplemented by Jolly Phonics,
Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practise together and apply what they have learned.
Phases of the Phonics Programme
Children in Nursery begin with Phase 1 which provides a range of listening activities through play, to develop their listening skills. As children move into Reception they continue to build upon the listening activities and are introduced to Phase 2 which marks the start of systematic phonic work. Grapheme-phoneme correspondence is introduced. The process of segmenting whole words and selecting letters to represent those phonemes is taught writing the letters to encode words. Phase 3 completes the teaching of the alphabet and then moves on to cover sounds represented by more than one letter, learning one representation for each of the 44 phonemes. At this stage just one spelling is given for each phoneme. When children become secure they continue into Phase 4 where they start to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants. No new phonemes are introduced at this phase.
It is expected that children will enter Phase 5 as they begin year 1, broadening their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant.
It is expected that children entering Year 2 will start Phase 6 which develops a variety of spelling strategies including word specific spellings eg see/ sea, spelling of words with prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters where necessary. Also the accurate spelling of words containing unusual GPC's eg laughs, two.
Children’s progress is continually reviewed to allow for movement between ability groups, and children move phonics group when it is felt necessary to meet their needs.
The national Phonics screening check is performed in June of Year 1. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. The children who did not meet the required standard for the check in year 1 enter again in year 2 with additional interventions having been put in place to help support and develop the children’s understanding.
Computing prepares children to participate in a digital world in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology. Children use ICT tools to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information responsibly and creatively.
Our scheme of work for computing provides a creative and interactive approach to delivering the 2014 National Curriculum. Using the learning objectives from the Herts for learning computing scheme we offer an innovative and engaging program from EYFS to Year 2. The content is broken down into strands and then organised into learning themes across the year. At the end of each strand we carry out assessments gaining an understanding of how the children demonstrate their computer capability around the knowledge and understanding of the half term. This allows the children to embrace current and emerging technologies to develop their computer science concepts, skills and experience.
At Northfields we follow the aims of the National Curriculum. We provide children with experiences that develop their practical performing, composing and appraising. Pupils have opportunities to use a vast array of instruments starting from Nursery through to Year2. Singing assemblies are carried out weekly where pupils learn new songs relating to their current Topics. Each week a new song/piece of music is played at the start and end of each assembly and the music coordinator introduces the composer/band and the genre. Pupils have opportunities to feedback on what they have heard and what emotions have been evoked from hearing it.
We aim to develop children's knowledge and skill in a board range of Physical activities.To help children understand about being healthy and active. The P.E curriculum consists of Dance, Gymnastics, Games and Athletics, which are taught progressively throughout the school from Foundation Stage to Year 2. Our Year 2 Children will also take part in the swimming in the summer term.
Design and Technology
Children are given lots of opportunities to design and make models, 3D art and collaborative constructions in school. Teachers endeavor to teach skills and offer resources and support that make DT a very inclusive experience for all pupils. In Forest School DT is Integral part of many activities.
In Nursery and School we introduce children to a variety of art skills and techniques which are linked to themes and topics. The children will look at their own interpretations of them. Art is used throughout the curriculum to support learning and also features in Forest School activities too.
Art competitions which are relevant will be shares with parents and children and we have been successful in many of these.
We follow the 2014 National Curriculum for Science. Alongside this our Science curriculum is enriched by Forest School and well developed school grounds including a growing area and allotments. The Science co-ordinator runs a successful gardening club after school on Mondays and they have won lots of competitions both locally & nationally.
Every year the Science co-ordinator plans and runs a Science week. The theme of Science week in 2017 is Investigations and Inventors. Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 take part in Science week and produce a scrap book of their learning. These scrapbooks are shared with parents on the last day at our very successful and well attended Science Fairs organised by the Science co-ordinator.
Personal, Social, Health Education and Citizenship is an important area of the curriculum helping children grow and develop as individuals and as members of families and communities. Through PSHE children are taught the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. We use the DfE’s SEAL Scheme (Social and Emotional aspects of Learning) on a weekly basis, which focuses on learning to understand and respect diversity and differences. This scheme aims to enable children to form effective relationships with others and also gives the staff the flexibility to tackle issues as and when they arise in school.
Children are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across and beyond the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of their school and communities. They reflect on their experiences and understand how they are developing personally and socially, tackling many of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. They learn to understand and respect our common humanity, diversity and differences so that they can go on to form the effective, fulfilling relationships that are an essential part of life and learning.
Whole school systems emphasising praise, recognition and reward exist to promote and celebrate positive behaviour and sustained effort and hard work.
We recognise the importance of children having a voice in decisions that affect them. The School Council is made up of elected members from each class. At half termly meetings throughout the year, School Councillors represent their peers and put forward new ideas, suggestions and recommendations.
Our Forest School sessions are run every Friday afternoon in KS1. Northfields School has been delivering Forest School since Spring 2008 when it started with 6 Year 1 Nurture group children. In 2016/17 Forest School will follow the yearly timetable: Year 2 Autumn 1 & 2, Spring 1, Summer 2 and Year 1 Spring 2 and Summer 1.
The Forest School experience is child led. The Forest School co-ordinator plans activities that are appropriate for the needs of the children they are working with. A Forest School session is varied. Sessions have a flexible structure and children are free to explore themselves and the environment they are in. Learning intentions are used, but the session can change direction if the children are interested in a particular area of learning. The learning of individuals and confidence is also taken into consideration and there is time allocated for child-initiated activities and free play alongside adult led experiences, as the session’s progress. This will hopefully lead to the children becoming lifelong learners.
Each term the children have the opportunity to go to Wymondley Wood for a day to experience Forest School in a woodland setting. The Forest School co-ordinator has developed the school grounds to enhance the experience in our setting. There is a wildlife area, sensory garden, pond and fire pit on site.