At Northdown, we aim to broaden our children’s horizons as well as challenge their thinking through our thematic approach. Our thought-provoking curriculum has been designed using the Primary National Curriculum and Early Years National Framework as a foundation. We have further built upon this solid foundation to met the needs of our children, incorporating key experiences and opportunities to inspire our children.
School trips and experiences play a key part in the design of our curriculum as making real-life links to concepts is key in embedding knowledge and skills into long-term memory. If the children experience it, they are going to be enthused to write about it!
Not only do we want our children to know more and remember more, to be able to apply their knowledge and skills to different concepts but also to develop the skills they need to be developed into successful, confident, and aspirational adults.
Each year group covers 6 topics throughout the year which are carefully linked to national curriculum standards as well as our subject progression documents. Each topic is designed with a thought-provoking ‘Big Question’ which is used to challenge children’s thinking throughout the topic concluding in an assessment piece to answer the question explored throughout the term.
Every topic starts with a hook lesson aimed to immerse the children in the topic of study. This hook enables a sense of awe and wonder capturing their imagination, ready for the learning ahead. Immersion and exposure to high-level vocabulary is a key aspect in all areas of our curriculum. Equipping our children with a variety of high-level vocabulary improves speaking,
School visits and experiences are carefully planned out for each topic with the key learning intentions in mind. This is mapped across the school to ensure that all visits and experiences have maximum impact on the learning. The visits and experiences bring learning to life for our children, allowing them to broaden their horizons.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Each topic has stimulating, high-quality core text which supports the curriculum coverage adding further exposure and experiences. Along with the core text, comes a range of supporting texts (both fiction and non-fiction) allowing children to extend their knowledge further and immerse them into engaging reading material.
PSHE is key within our curriculum equipping children with the skills to live healthy, safe, and productive lives resulting in responsible citizens. Key areas covered include, keeping safe and managing risk, relationships, and health, mental health, and wellbeing, drug and alcohol education, identity, society and equality as well as financial capability and economical wellbeing. This is woven within our topics and is embedded within our curriculum.
The impact of our curriculum is carefully monitored by our wider curriculum and subject leads. We track achievement 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. This analysis is then used to address any gaps that may occur in children’s learning. Regular pupil and staff voice allows us to keep our curriculum fresh and exciting but taking into account the views of all stakeholders.