Our Curriculum

Curriculum Overviews (Years 1 to 6)

Overviews

Subjects Road Maps

Subject Progression of Key Skills

Year Group Topic Knowledge Organisers

Spring Term 2022

Autumn Term 2021

Curriculum Intent 2021

Intent

The intention of the school curriculum at Netherbrook is based on five underlying core principles. It is stimulating and designed to ensure a thorough depth of understanding is gained in every lesson and across every sequence of learning.

Our curriculum will enable our pupils to:

  1. Gain in depth knowledge of themselves and their world through their topics. This knowledge is underpinned by the use of subject specific key skills.
  2. Develop their vocabulary and Oracy skills to become confident and articulate speakers.
  3. Celebrate equality and diversity – to be ‘young activists’ for what they believe to be right, especially in regards to race, gender, cultural stereotypes and other social aspects.
  4. Develop a strong knowledge regarding their rights and responsibilities.
  5. To understand their place in the world and how they are shaped by it. To have an awareness and readiness to tackle the challenges and opportunities that 21st century Britain provides and make meaningful links between events and issues in society and their own lives.

We also have two core high yield threads which permeate our curriculum: Local Links (bringing everything back to our local area) and Human Impact on the World (how our civilisation affects the world around us – for better or worse, with specific focus on environmental issues).

Inspiration

  • The inspiration for our curriculum design is our deep seated desire to improve our pupils’ knowledge across all areas of the curriculum and to better meet their needs in the modern world.
  • The pupils here at Netherbrook need to understand their place in the world, they need to understand and appreciate the outstandingly rich cultural heritage of the area in which they are from, they need to improve their oracy skills and their confidence in expressing themselves.
  • Our children need to be able to make meaningful links between topics and how history and current affairs affect the world in which they live.
  • We want our pupils to celebrate the rich diversity of their local area and be tolerant, respectful and socially aware and active citizens.

Implementation

  1. The Netherbrook curriculum is structured on well-designed learning sequences, where each topic builds on prior learning effectively and ensures that core concepts become embedded as pupils mature.
  2. Our Netherbrook curriculum has knowledge organisers to ensure teachers, pupils and parents are aware of the key concepts and knowledge to be learned for each topic.
  3. Every learning session begins by introducing a key learning question. This is then built upon throughout the learning sequence for that topic.
  4. Reading and oracy form the core of all lessons to ensure pupils are able to express themselves and understand the world around them.
  5. Each learning sequence is completed with a quiz and essay to assess and evaluate the quality of the knowledge pupils have gained.
Termly Topic Structure
(History, Geography, D&T and Art)
Topic 3 x Topic lessons weekly – knowledge focussed x 12 weeks Subject Assessment Quiz and Essay Curriculum ‘Shine’ Interventions as required.
English English work is linked to topic for 8 weeks. 4 weeks discrete English – A.R.E. Literary Texts Termly NTS Assessment Week

Other Key Foci

  • Meaningful links should always be made and built upon each year to show how society has changed as a result of key people and events in history.
  • We will focus on; equality, women’s rights and changes to the rights of working people.
  • Diversity is to be explored and championed – the curriculum will challenge the pupils’ thoughts and opinions and ensure that they understand our core British Values and are inspired to protect them.
  • To gain a thorough understanding of The Black Country – their home.
  • We will enrich the curriculum with high quality experiences, trips and events.

Impact

  • The impact of our curriculum is evidenced in the written work pupils produce; their attainment yearly in school, and key-stage national, assessments; through their spoken and creative work; their engagement in the school and wider community and through discussing their learning with others. We also use staff, pupil and parent voice to evaluate this.
  • Each unit of learning will be carefully assessed to gain a complete picture of the knowledge gained.
  • New subject leaders will take ownership of their subjects and assist staff to improve outcomes rapidly and progressively over time.
  • Pupils will be able to see the total knowledge they are expected to gain and will work hard and be supported to achieve these aims.
  • Pupils will have had high quality, targeted and specific teaching of carefully chosen topics. This will increase their ability to discuss what they have learned and to become confident and articulate speakers.

Our 'Cogs of Learning'

Curriculum Implementation

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

The personal, social and emotional development of our pupils is crucial to our vision at Netherbrook. It is key to developing our pupils’ awareness of themselves and others and it helps them in terms of understanding and forming effective relationships both within and outside of school.

Our personal development curriculum is reflected in our school ethos, behaviour practices, our pastoral care and other wider experiences. Our PSHE and RSE programme is delivered to our pupils through weekly lessons, visits, outside visitors and through assemblies. Our personal development curriculum aims to help children deal with real life issues which they face as they grow up and are central to their wellbeing: nutrition, physical activity; drugs, alcohol and tobacco; sex and relationships; emotional wellbeing and safety.

Our curriculum also allows pupils to build character and to discuss matters of personal concern, manage their feelings, build appropriate relationships and develop social skills with adults and peers and have a sense of belonging whilst also making their own positive contribution to a community. Our pupils learn skills of self-awareness, collaboration, reasoning, discussion, critical thinking and decision making; they actively use these to help themselves and others. Pupils learn to stay healthy and safe, take responsibility for their own actions and respect British Values.

Within our personal development curriculum at Netherbrook, one of the vehicles that we use to explore and teach equality is the ‘Jigsaw’ scheme. These lessons are blocked in each year group and cover the protected characteristics within the Equalities Act 2010.

English

The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of oracy and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

Phonics and Reading in EYFS and Lower School

Phonics is taught in EYFS and Lower School (Year 1 -3) through the new and highly rated (validated) Rocket Phonics programme to teach our pupils to read, write and spell. Our pupils do well in the phonics screening checks and by Year 2, many are fluent readers with the best chance of success in the KS1 tests. KS1 pupils have additional whole-class reading sessions called VIPERS to develop their vocabulary and comprehension skills further.

Reading in Upper School

Netherbrook’s pupils are taught through whole class reading lessons each day. Our reading sequence aims to address the common barriers to success by increasing their vocabulary; teaching the skill of analysing a text in detail; and teaching the background knowledge needed to engage with the text. Non-fiction texts are used to provide the background knowledge each week and pupils also have opportunities to study poetry and to compare texts with similar themes, characters and settings throughout the year.

Reading for pleasure is promoted through our wonderful school library. We also have regular class story times and reading for pleasure sessions (both in KS1 and KS2) which encourage a love of reading.

Writing

Our pupils follow a topic led approach to writing each term. There is also a four-week literature focus each term for the children to focus on cultural significant authors, works and genres. Each writing unit is carefully planned; identifying specific skills, which will be taught during the unit and applied to the pupil’s independent writing. We use high quality, engaging texts, which link to their termly topic.

Our teaching sequence for writing is a three-stage process which ensures pupils have a clear understanding of what a good example of that text type looks like and have familiarised themselves with the language and structures of the text before writing their own versions of the text independently. There are daily opportunities for pupils to respond to feedback and to edit and improve their writing.

Oracy

Oracy is something which is entwined throughout the curriculum. Opportunities for developing these skills are actively planned in all areas of the curriculum and pupils are actively encouraged to speak in full, accurate sentences, using a range of sentence starters. Teachers actively correct mistakes made. Pupils use hand signals in class to show their agreement or disagreement with answers to questions made by their peers along with a signal to build upon an answer.

Mathematics

At Netherbrook we ensure that all pupils achieve their full mathematical potential through the teaching of deep and sustainable learning. Pupils will manipulate and use apparatus and equipment to explore problems; delving into a process of mathematical thinking. Through representations and pictorials, pupils progress and demonstrate their own learning - enabling them to access more abstract concepts - whilst continually building and making links to prior learning. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that every child's individual needs are met in each lesson and that any gaps in learning are catered for.

Mathematics at Netherbrook both encourages and empowers pupils to construct a mathematical knowledge base, formed upon fluency, reasoning and problem-solving skills, which will prepare them for their lives far beyond that of primary school.

We equip pupils with the awareness and mind-set to believe and realise their hopes, dreams and wishes. If they put their minds to it, there is nothing they cannot accomplish.

Science

Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies their curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it engages learners of all ages.

We encourage children to be inquisitive throughout their time at the school and beyond. The science curriculum fosters a healthy curiosity in children about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes.

Throughout the programmes of study, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group, as well as the application of scientific skills.

We ensure that the working scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout children’s time at the school so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings. Our science lessons also involve the pupils finding out about famous scientists and their legacies.

Religious Education

At Netherbrook, we believe that religious education provides pupils with key life skills and the ability to develop a greater understanding, respect for and tolerance of themselves and others. It is our role, through our religious education curriculum, to enrich pupils’ own spirituality and to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable pupils to flourish in the world at large with all people and communities. This includes developing pupils’ knowledge of significant people, key festivals, practices, artefacts and places of worship.

All of our pupils from Years 1 to 6 visit a place of worship each year which reflects one of their RE topics. These visits help to create a deeper understanding and respect of the religions being studied.

At Netherbrook we follow the locally agreed Dudley RE Syllabus and it is through the R.E curriculum, we strive to help pupils to understand and appreciate all the key religions and the rich variety they bring to our city, country and world.

Topic – History, Geography, Art and Design and Technology

Our high-quality topic curriculum has been developed and evolved over several years through engagement with a range of stakeholders, including pupils on a regular basis. All topic themes are either history, geography or English led and have art, design and technology and other subjects interwoven within them where appropriate.

Skills and knowledge for all subjects have been planned to be developmental, across the year groups. English, maths and science lessons are used as important mediums for developing topic knowledge as they link, where possible, with the topics. This allows pupils to be immersed within topics and to explore them in greater depth.

All topics are designed to be motivational, engaging and to broaden the often-limited experiences of our pupils. This occurs throughout the topics: each topic begins with 6 key questions being discussed and are answered in the work the children complete. This is the chosen, core knowledge children are expected to learn. Each lesson begins with a recap of the previous learning and explains where today’s learning will take us and what happens next. At the end of a well-designed and crafted sequence of learning the pupils complete an assessment essay and mini quiz to assess what they have learned.

PE

At Netherbrook, we follow the Rising Stars PE curriculum for our physical education. We recognise the role that physical education and sport must play in promoting a healthy lifestyle. As a school we intend to provide a high-quality physical education program, which inspires our pupils to succeed and excel.

Our vision is for Netherbrook pupils to be happier, healthier and more successful through physical education and the physical curriculum. We aim to make PE and sport an integral part of the curriculum, using it as a vehicle to help pupils develop physical skills, exercise, build friendships, have fun, learn about teamwork, fair play and improve self-esteem.

Each class and every pupil does the Daily Mile every day to ensure our pupils are active and healthy. We also have a healthy break and healthy lunch policy that supports our physical exercise programmes. Our provision for PE is also enhanced through a variety of after school clubs.

We provide take part in a variety of competitions against other local schools. Opportunities to compete in sport (both intra and inter school) help to build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect. We hope that this provision will foster an environment where pupils will develop appropriate levels of confidence, competitiveness, a sense of fair play and resilience, whilst embedding crucial values, creating a well-rounded individual.

Computing

At Netherbrook, we follow the ‘iCompute’ scheme of work for computing.

Our computing curriculum is split into four areas: computer science, information technology, digital literacy and e-safety.

The computer science aspect of the curriculum teaches computational thinking. This area of the curriculum will involve coding and data representation. Computational thinking should not exclusively be taught using a computer; many topics are primarily introduced using unplugged activities.

Information technology involves using a variety of software and a range of devices, including the internet, to accomplish goals and manipulate digital content. Our pupils are lucky to have access to a range of technological resources, including iPads. This allows teachers to incorporate IT into all lessons.

Teaching digital literacy ensures that all pupils can use technology safely and respectfully. In this strand, pupils learn about how computing relates to their wider world and how to evaluate software and technologies critically.

E-safety is taught at Netherbrook through the computing curriculum and also through the personal development curriculum and through assemblies. This helps to ensure that our pupils make the right choices online and that they know what to do if they encounter an issue online.

We hope that through teaching a well-rounded computing curriculum, we will help to prepare pupils for their futures outside of school and help them to use computers safely and creatively.

Music

For our music curriculum we follow the Music Express scheme. We also supplement this where possible through whole class instrument tuition and through peripatetic lessons led by the Dudley Performing Arts Service who come in to teach specific small group lessons every week.

The music curriculum ensures students sing, listen, play, perform, review and evaluate and understand and explore how music is created. This is embedded in the classroom activities and the learning of instruments.

The elements of music are taught in the classroom lessons so that pupils are able to use some of the language of music to dissect it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed.

They also learn how to compose focussing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music.

MFL – Modern Foreign Languages

In Key Stage 2 we follow the ‘Language Angels’ Scheme. Our chosen language is Spanish as this is the language most likely to be spoken where our children go on holidays abroad. This scheme is an interactive and visual based programme which supports and develops the pupils’ acquisition new language skills.

SMSC, British Values and Human Rights

SMSC (along with British Values) is threaded throughout the curriculum and forms the main focus in some of our topics. This is also taught and explored within our assemblies (including those led by outside speakers) and through other activities that are carried out in school, such as our school wide election for our Junior Leadership Team including our: School Council, Head Boy and Head Girl and Prefect team, as well as our Playground Leaders, Playground Buddies and Anti-Bullying Ambassadors.