Our curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the pupils in our school. The aim of our curriculum at New Mill Infant and New Mill Junior is a simple one: to equip all our children with the skills they require for successful and happy future lives.
Through holistic and creative learning gain a wide range of experiences which celebrate diversity and instil a sense of empathy so they are respectful and tolerant of others’ views.
To nurture a sense of confidence, competence and passion so all are able to express their feelings and opinions in an articulate and open manner.
To have the courage to take a chance rather than to choose the easy option; to try challenges and develop new skills even when success is not guaranteed.
To develop persistence and resilience to deal with challenging situations throughout life, be solution finders, problem solvers who will go on to have a positive impact in the world.
To take their skills and become contented, confident adults who recognise beauty in the world and share its gifts of joy.
The National Curriculum is delivered using an integrated topic approach to ensure coverage and progression throughout the school. More-able pupils are challenged further in their learning and children who find aspects of their learning more difficult are appropriately supported so that they too are enabled to experience success. Both schools’ curriculum is mapped out as “a whole school” showing skills and knowledge and then individual year groups plan the curriculum for their pupils accordingly. Our teachers match and adapt the curriculum to the needs of their class, ensuring it interests and stretches the class as a whole. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils and specifically British values are woven through the curriculum. Community links strengthen the relationships and experiences we can provide.
Pupils in Early Years focus on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum, preparing them for the National Curriculum which forms the basis of the teaching from Year 1. (Click here to link to Early Learning Goals)
Phonics is taught using Letters and Sounds. Materials from the DFE that concentrate on activities to promote speaking and listening skills, phonological awareness and oral blending. Within our curriculum we aim to foster a love and deep understanding of reading and words and to build on knowledge of authors and styles of writing. Daily Supported Reading in EYFS and Key Stage 1 (KS1) and in Key Stage 2 (KS2) form the basis of our teaching of reading across the school and vocabulary enrichment is a key component of every lesson taught within our school. As children progress through our schools writing is taught using strategies which develop children’s skills through imitation, innovation and independence. Alongside this, children experience lessons on grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting.
Our mathematics curriculum is currently delivered through the AET scheme of learning. The maths curriculum enables children to develop their reasoning, investigative and problem-solving skills whilst developing their mathematical skills in a range of real life contexts.
Theme weeks and days, visitors and trips, whole school activities and other opportunities within and outside school all enrich and develop the children’s learning and experiences. We recognise the importance of experiential learning and memorable lessons. Our curriculum is grouped into topics in each year group, combining different elements of our foundation subjects to bring breadth and variety to the lessons taught. This allows our pupils chance to achieve and access learning and knowledge in many different ways. Local and global issues are explored bringing relevance to our teaching. Questions and inquiries from our children can help shape where learning can travel to. After school clubs and events extend these opportunities further.
Our whole school approach is rooted in quality first teaching. Small group interventions are used in order to support pupils in gaining the key skills to become successful readers, writers and mathematicians. We aim to teach these skills in explicit English and Maths sessions, but we also aim to practise and enrich them through cross curricular learning topics. This allows our children to build independence, to experiment and to innovate, transfer knowledge and make connections between and across different areas of learning
We are developing all subject leaders, giving training and opportunity to develop their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding. This allow our curriculum to be updated and improved on a regular basis. Specialist teachers, and instructors from the Pennine Sports support physical education and music.
The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our pupils. The school grounds are used to enrich different curriculum areas, including reflective spaces.
Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with each other both within their own class and across schools, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based events, performances, competitions and events involving other schools. Developing their independence and motivation as learners and their sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all our teaching and learning. We are a place where everyone can achieve.
Each individual is respected and diversity of background is welcomed and highly valued. Our approach enables every child to flourish from their starting points and make the best progress that they are capable of, in all areas of development, equipping all our children with the skills they require for successful and happy future lives.
(Updated September 2019)