Northgate Primary School

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Teaching & Learning

Curriculum

Northgate Primary School intends to provide all children with a relevant, balanced and broadly-based education within the framework of the legal requirements which include the National Curriculum, the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education and the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Core Subjects

English

The National Curriculum is used to form the basis of English teaching. There are strong cross-curricular links with current topic work. English lessons might include opportunities for speaking, listening and drama; reading a range of fiction and non-fiction books; learning to write in different styles and for different purposes. School uses 'Letters and Sounds' phonics programme and children from Reception to Year 2 have a daily phonics lesson to encourage them to learn, revise and use sounds to build and read words. Alongside the phonics lessons children are taught spelling, punctuation and grammar to enable them to achieve the Government requirements in this area. Each child will experience individual reading and guided group reading in class once a week. However, it is essential that parents help develop the enjoyment of reading and books by sharing a book with their child as often as possible at home. Our 'Reading Challenge' is designed as an incentive to every child to read outside school at least 5 times weekly, a book prize is awarded every week in each year group. Children's reading and writing levels are assessed throughout the year. The highly successful 'Catch-Up' reading scheme is used to develop the reading skills of children found to be below their 'reading age'.

Maths

A daily maths lesson following the National Curriculum 2014 is taught throughout the school. We follow this guidance which incorporates mental arithmetic and oral work as well as written work. Supplementary resources will be used with the curriculum. Children will be expected to participate and learn the facts required for their age group. This could mean support from home to ensure your child understands the concepts taught during the week. Teachers will keep you informed as to how you can help, making the activities fun. Reception pupils follow the Early Years Foundation Stage.Investigational and collaborative work is encouraged as are games and computer programs. Children are taught their tables and mental arithmetic is encouraged in all classes.Helping your child with number bonds and mathematics is as important as reading. Teachers willingly explain our methods if you are unsure of how to support your child with any aspects.

Science

Science for children at Northgate Primary School means exploring, discovering and investigating the world around them. These activities help children gather the experience they need to understand the world in which we live. Children engage in practical investigations linked to our topic work. They develop the skills of observing and recording information accurately. The principles of prediction and fair testing are also introduced. We are very fortunate to have extensive grounds including a pond and a gardening area to enrich our studies.

Computing

The school follows the National Curriculum guidelines of teaching computing. All children have access to PC or laptop computers in their classrooms and the computing lab with PCs is available. All computers in the main school are networked. Computers are an integral part of the child's working day.  All classes have the use of a cassette recorder with headphones and a digital camera and interactive whiteboard.Discrete computing lessons teach skills which are then used across the curriculum areas.Digital video cameras, videos/DVD's, electronic magnifiers, Bee bots and Roamers are available.

Religious Education/Collective Worship

We have a daily act of worship and have accepted the revised Norfolk Agreed Syllabus. Parents wishing to withdraw their child from Religious Education or the devotional part of the morning assembly are invited to discuss the matter with the Headteacher.We encourage visits from local clergy, and visitors of other faiths to enable greater understanding and tolerance of others.

Foundation Subjects

Art

The children are able to make use of a range of art and craft materials and to develop skills and techniques in their use. Every child will have the focused experience of drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, textile, and printing in each year. Each year group studies the work of artists. Art will often be linked to topic work.

Design and Technology

We want our children to be capable of designing and making. We take ideas from the QCA documents and adapt them to fit around our topic work. We are able to encourage children to be open minded and imaginative in their designing by giving them experience of working with a wide range of materials, to teach the necessary skills, knowledge and techniques to execute their designs in a safe and successful manner. They have opportunities for exploring and experiencing various materials. They are encouraged to investigate, mould, assemble and rearrange a variety of materials and components. They are encouraged to record their ideas with pictures or words, and to reflect upon them and suggest improvements where necessary. Skills already acquired are further developed to enable the children to work with confidence. A voluntary donation is appreciated to help fund food technology and other aspects of the curriculum needing specific materials. If funding is required a letter explaining will be sent to you.

History and Geography

These subjects are taught through Topics. The plans for each year group give equality of opportunity and progression using the National Curriculum programmes of study. Care is taken to use local knowledge and artefacts to enable the children to explore and understand their immediate environment.

Music

Music is well catered for in each class area and as a whole school. Each class has the opportunity to use musical instruments and create their own compositions. Music is delivered through Music Express Scheme.

Physical Education

The children have opportunities to develop physical skills in games, athletics, movement, drama and dance. The school is well provided with equipment for indoor and outdoor use which aids our physical educational programme. We ask that children are provided with a change of clothing for PE e.g. T-shirt and shorts. Plimsolls are worn in the playground and on the field. Barefeet for movement and large apparatus work is desirable, as we feel this is safer. Key Stage 2 children also require outdoor clothing.The National Curriculum for PE is fully implemented and is delivered in partnership with Premier Sport.

Personal, Social and Health Education

In order for a child to learn successfully they need to feel happy and secure. In school we use SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) to teach our children about respect, tolerance and understanding of each other. We are careful to provide plenty of opportunities (both planned and unplanned) for our children to discuss feelings and relationships with others.

Educational Visits

The school recognises the value of educational trips, visits from the theatre and similar groups. Many of these activities require performance fees, admission charges in addition to transport costs. Some visits are funded wholly or partly out of the school budget, but sometimes parents will be asked to make a voluntary contribution towards the cost. No child will be excluded from any activity because of a parent's inability or unwillingness to pay. However, a visit may not be able to take place unless it is financially viable. A copy of the school's policy on charging and remissions is available from the office.School visits are costed to cover the trip, not to make a profit. All children are expected to contribute towards the cost and if difficulties arise, parents are asked to talk to the Headteacher.Should a trip be cancelled, money collected will be returned unless a deposit was required which the school has already forwarded and unless a medical certificate is available, cancellation by a pupil or inability to attend will not lead to a refund.We rely on CRB checked adults to offer assistance for trips especially local walks. Please volunteer to help us develop the opportunities for our children. 

Sex Education

Sex education is not listed as a timetabled subject in the school curriculum, nut it is implicitly part of the children's learning about growth and change. There is an emphasis given to the importance of love and care in all human relationships. We respond honestly, at levels appropriate to the children's age and maturity, to their questions which reflect their natural curiosity concerning births in the family. We assume parents will assist in this process. The school follows the Local Education Authority's guidelines on sex education in schools. 

Assessment

Reception children will be assessed during their first year using the early Excellence Baseline and the Early Years Profile. Any learning needs are identified which we can then address.Records of the children's progress and learning are kept throughout the year and shared with parents.Assessments are being made throughout the academics year. Year 1 take the Salford reading test in the summer term. We will monitor their English and Maths progress through termly internal assessments. Teachers use their assessments to measure progress. At the end of year 2 children take the Government Reading and Maths tests.An open evening is held in the autumn and spring terms. It provides an opportunity for parents to discuss their child's progress and see examples of their work.All parents receive a written report on their child's progress during the summer term.

Able, Gifted and Talented

Using a variety of methods we aim to identify children with a particular skill in different areas of the curriculum. Through differentiation we can then challenge and develop each child's individual needs. Being part of the GY7 group of schools means we have the opportunity for our children to participate in activities with other local schools.