The Wider Curriculum at Northdown
Here at Northdown, the wider curriculum is designed to offer a broad and balanced curriculum that nurtures curiosity and passion to inspire lifelong learning. Full of experiences, excitement and enjoyment, we have developed a bespoke broad and balanced curriculum to meet the needs, aspirations and interests of all of our pupils equipping them with the skills needed to be responsible citizens.
Through a thematic approach, the children are immersed into the topic through environment, experiences and the highest quality of teaching and learning allowing the children opportunities to remember, revisit and transfer skills and knowledge to other contexts.
The wider curriculum incorporates all subject areas other than the core subjects; maths, writing and reading. Our curriculum gives equal importance to core and foundation subjects, allowing for links to the topic in core subjects as much as possible.
The intent of our curriculum is to develop and nurture the development and application of knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes that are needed for children to development in to successful leaners. Our curriculum prepares children for further study and adult life by enabling them to become:
Resilient and ambitious children who use their initiative and aren’t afraid of making mistakes
Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
Curious children with a thirst for knowledge
Successful learners who are self-motivated to learn and achieve
Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society.
At Northdown, we feel passionately about giving children opportunities and experiences outside of the curriculum as well as in. Together, we developed our top experiences that all children should experience by the time they leave primary school. Our list includes activities such as; rolling down a hill, cooking for someone, dipping toes into the sea, looking after a pet as well as many more. We map these into our yearly curriculum planning to ensure that all children have access to these experiences that they so often miss.
We deliver our broad and balanced curriculum through a series of thematic topics which are carefully planned to incorporate both skills and knowledge acquisition detailed in the National Curriculum. Our subject progression documents ensure that previous learning is built upon at each stage and consolidated regularly allowing for the children to become ‘experts’ in each area.
The impact of our curriculum is carefully monitored by our wider curriculum team. We track progress and attainment in all subject areas regularly to ensure that all children are achieving and deepening their learning in all areas of the curriculum by building upon prior knowledge.
For information about the curriculum at Northdown, please speak to:
Roxxi West - Wider Curriculum
Natasha Mathews - Literacy Lead
Harry Fetherston - Maths Lead
Emma Stow - Science Lead
Phonics - Letters and Sounds
At Northdown, we follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme. The aim is to equip children with the skills needed for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills as well as building children's speaking and listening skills.
The programme consists of six phases. The table below is a summary based on the Letters and Sounds guidance for Practitioners and Teachers.
(Table taken from 'www.letters-and-sounds-com')
Phonic Knowledge and Skills
Phase One (Nursery/Reception)
|Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.|
Phase Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks
|Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.|
|Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks||The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.|
Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks
|No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.|
|Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)||Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.|
|Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)||
Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.