At Nelmes Primary School staff have high expectations of all pupils. Our curriculum is challenging and relevant to our school community. Staff have excellent subject knowledge and are confident in teaching the skills and knowledge that ensure children make the best possible start in life. Our pupil outcomes are excellent and children leave Nelmes Primary School, at the end of Key Stage 2, having made excellent progress and achieved at their personal best.
We strongly believe in encouraging children to be lifelong and confident learners. Our key learning behaviours [developed with the school community] play an integral part in our whole school curriculum. These essential behaviours are;
- Self belief
Children are taught English and maths each day [there is more detail about these subjects on the school website in the curriculum and policy tabs]. Teachers and support staff continually assess children’s progress so that the children truly understand a skill or concept before moving on [see our assessment approach and assessment policy]. Teachers always take into account the children’s prior learning in order to plan and pitch learning so that it is suitable for the class, groups and where necessary individual children.
History, Geography, Art and D and T are taught through termly and half termly topics. The topics are linked to units of study in the National Curriculum and children are taught the key skills and knowledge outlined in this statutory document.
Each topic begins with a learning challenge question. This provokes discussion and gives the children the opportunity to think about the topic they will be learning. For example in year 6 the children learn about rivers so the learning challenge posed is, “Why is the river Thames so important to the people of London?” The lessons are cross curricular. English and maths skills are often re-enforced in the topic lessons, though the main learning objective will have a history or geography focus. This cross curricular approach to learning allows the children to use a variety of skills, transfer the learning from previous lessons and to have the opportunity to embed and master key skills and knowledge.
At the end of each topic the children will reflect on their learning and this can be done in many ways, e.g. a class discussion, a class museum or a presentation. On occasion parents are invited in to class so that the children can share and show the parents their learning and achievements.
Science is taught on a weekly basis. Where possible the science is linked to the topic and again where appropriate, links are made to English and maths.
Children are taught computer science and we have a range of IT resources and equipment that can be used alongside other subject areas. This enhances the learning and provides further opportunities to develop the children’s ICT skills and knowledge.
We teach the full curriculum, including music and sports/PE. We have invested in these subjects. We have a sports coach who provides additional PE support. They also run a wide variety of sporting clubs and from these children may be given the opportunity to take part in inter schools competitions. Specialist programmes in dance and music support the learning and ensure children are taught at a skill level appropriate to their age.
Our KS2 children learn French and we use clear schemes of work to develop appropriate skills and knowledge.
RE lessons are a wonderful opportunity to learn about religions and beliefs. We follow the local authority’s agreed syllabus and the children learn how religions can be different but also where there are similarities.
Children learn skills and knowledge from all subjects. Our children also grow and learn socially and morally. Our school code of conduct, learning behaviours and the guidance given to schools in promoting British Values all form the basis of our pupils’ personal development and growth.
We have devised our own Relationship programme. In these lessons children further develop their understanding of personal safety which includes on-line safety, road safety and stranger danger. The children also take part in lessons which develop their emotional well-being. In these lessons children learn about identifying feelings, empathy, peer pressure, bullying and strategies to cope with stress.
Lesson organisation and structures will vary depending on the learning focus. In some lessons the children may be asked to work quietly, particularly if they are developing a piece of writing or focusing on a maths challenge or problem. In other lessons the children may work in pairs or groups to share ideas and focus on a challenge together. These variances in lesson structures develop the children’s independence and interdependent skills.
Staff arrange trips, visitors and theme days. These events enrich the curriculum and give the children memorable learning experiences.
We also plan for whole school theme days and weeks. These include our travel plan week at the start of term, French day and our annual enrichment week, which has a different focus each year. The children thoroughly enjoy these days. They are challenging and fun occasions, and are often designed to take children out of their learning “comfort zone”. The children are given the opportunity to use and develop a range of key learning skills throughout these days and weeks. For example during our 2015 enrichment week the junior children made a huge iron man together, which now takes pride of place in our wildlife area.
We are fortunate to have large grounds and this includes a wildlife area. The wildlife is used for a range of curriculum areas including art, science, maths and English. All age ranges love to learn in this special place that changes and grows with the seasons.
Homework is given out on a weekly basis though we do expect children to; read, learn spellings and times tables on a daily basis. Children are often given homework in the form of a family learning project e.g. in year 3 the children were asked to learn about and make a stone age dwelling.
Further information about individual curriculum areas and content can be found in the curriculum, policy, parent and class tabs on the school website. Teachers send out termly letters outlining the learning for the term.
Our children are keen and focused learners. They love to learn and staff at Nelmes make the children’s learning challenging and engaging.
Click on the links below for more information about Science and Topic at Nelmes: