Latest Curriculum Letters
Curriculum at North Mundham School
The curriculum at North Mundham is based on:
- The school’s aims and policies
- The Programmes of Study in the National Curriculum
- The West Sussex Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education
At North Mundham we enable pupils to develop the basic skills, using and applying these skills meaningfully within a broad and balanced curriculum. We operate a cycle of topics based on the Programmes of Study in Science, Geography and History. Work in other areas of the curriculum is planned in to the topic where it is relevant and appropriate; if not, it is taught separately.
All children learn in mixed ability classes. Pupils are taught in a variety of ways – individually, in groups or as a class. All teachers work to make learning active and visual and to give opportunities for discussion and reflection. Learning is embedded through more independent work, enabling pupils to demonstrate the skills they are gaining confidence with.
Group and individual targets are set with pupils on a regular cycle and discussed with parents and carers at consultation evenings.
At each key stage, active learning, educational visits, visiting experts and outdoor work are an important part of learning.
Literacy & Language
Each class has a daily English lesson and additional time is given each day to teaching reading. Speaking, listening, reading and writing are taught through a rich programme of learning activities. These may be linked to topic work and we aim to incorporate as many ‘real’ reasons for writing as we can to motivate and engage the children.
The school has a wide variety of reading scheme books and a fiction and non-fiction library and reading for pleasure is strong in our school. During the year there are additional activities such as writing competitions, poetry recital and reading challenges and participation is high from all groups of pupils.
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Reading is a vital skill at every stage of school life and beyond. At North Mundham we know that this is a key area for families and school to work together.
In Reception, Y1 and Y2 we learn phonics through the Letters and Sounds Programme. We add in the accompanying actions from Jolly Phonics. For a few children, phonics learning continues at KS2. All year groups bring books home to share and to practice. Initially the reading books are from one of the several reading schemes we use: Rigby Star and Rigby Rocket, Collins Big Cat, Nelson and Ginn. We use several schemes, colour coded by reading age, so that the children experience a wide range of styles and genre from the very beginning. We want children to enjoy reading and have an element of choice in their reading.
After the reading schemes, children read freely from the library books in school, although staff discuss and guide their choices to ensure success, enjoyment and development. Through group and class texts the children have exposure to a wide range of authors, text types and styles.
At North Mundham we believe that mathematical learning should combine developing a thorough and clear understanding of concepts with the ability to reason and apply in problem solving situations and investigations.
Mathematical understanding is underpinned by the use of visual and kinaesthetic strategies which thoroughly embed concepts, enabling the children to make links with and build on previous learning.
Whilst working towards efficiency in calculation, we believe that it is important for children to understand what they are doing rather than simply following a method. Using this approach means that children are better able to identify errors in their working out.
Through investigative activities, children develop strategies for solving problems and how to reason and implement their core knowledge effectively
Wherever possible, mathematical learning culminates with a practical application which demonstrates the relevance of maths in our everyday lives.
During our science lessons our school uses engaging, practical experiments to help children learn about a wider range of living things, materials and nature.
We will cover the following areas to broaden their scientific knowledge:
- Life Processes and Living Things
- Materials and their properties
- Physical Processes
Through investigations the children will be planning, observing, measuring and evaluating information in systematic ways. They talk about their work and its significance, and communicate ideas using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts and graphs.
The school has an ICT suite, two class sets of laptops and a class set of Nexus tablets. Each classroom has an interactive whiteboard or touch screen and 2 desktop computers. Work in Computing includes teacher led sessions, independent activities, Computing club and the use of Computing across the curriculum. All children have their own space on the school network to enable them to save work and are taught about e-safety, demonstrated by agreeing to the school’s Acceptable Use policy.
Children learn to use computer software, the internet, email, control and digital cameras.
Design and Technology (D.T.)
Design and technology is an inspiring and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.
Using a broad range of subject knowledge our children will draw on other subjects, such as Mathematics, Science, Computing and Art to achieve their goal. Pupils learn how to take risks, consider safe practice and become entrepreneurs. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop an understanding of the wider world.
Cooking and Nutrition
Our cooking activities in each year group develop the practical skills and background knowledge of healthy eating. We also aim to build a love of cooking as an important life skill.
History is taught through topics and uses ‘enquiry’, role play, visits, first-hand experience and artefacts to bring the subject to life. Children (and teachers) dress up for special themed days, such as; being evacuees for a day and experiencing life in a new village school (writing a postcard home to Mother and Father), dressing up as Romans or Victorians and taking part in a Viking raid after writing rousing battle speeches! We hope to equip our children with the ability to ask perceptive questions, think critically and weigh up evidence. We learn about important people in history, such as Florence Nightingale and Neil Armstrong, and learn about the process of change along the way.
In Geography we hope to inspire a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. It is taught through topics and visits where possible! We visit the local area (lettuce and flower nurseries and our local village), explore Portsmouth and use interactive programmes to learn about places further afield. The children learn about river systems, local geographical features and use Ordinance Survey maps. We aim to teach children to develop geographical skills, language and knowledge, to be aware of the world around them and the importance of caring for the environment. We compare the geographical aspects of our local area with city life and learn about the mountainous landscape of North America, learning to understand the geographical similarities and differences.
The main focus in art lessons is to encourage children to be creative artists and to develop the skills to enable this. Children are taught a range of skills – drawing, painting, using textiles, dyeing, printing and working with clay. They also study the work and techniques of famous artists and art from other cultures. Children work in 3D as well as 2D. You can see our artwork all around the school – you will even see it outside if you look carefully.
Each year the school holds an Arts Week to celebrate the children’s work and the culmination of this is a wonderful exhibition.
Modern Foreign Language (MFL)
French is taught in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 to all children. The lessons are active and aim to encourage everyone to speak confidently. There Is a French club available for younger children.
The school is proud of its strong music tradition. In lessons children are taught to sing, to listen to music, to play percussion and be actively involved in composing and performing.
In Year 4 all children learn to play the clarinet in class music lessons with specialist teachers.
In addition to curriculum music children may learn to play an instrument; woodwind, brass, violin, piano, singing, drums and guitar lessons are available.
The school has a choir and a very successful wind band supported by the West Sussex Music Trust.
At North Mundham we encourage all children to participate in sport through fostering a team spirit and an enjoyment of sport. The PE curriculum includes: athletics, dance, games, gymnastics, outdoor and adventurous activities and swimming.
Approximately 2 hours per week of curriculum time is given to P.E. and in addition there is a wide range of extra curricular sports. The school takes part in a wide variety of competitive and fun-based inter-school tournaments and events.
The school takes advantage of specialist sport coaching including most recently; football, cricket, tennis, canoeing and dance.
All children follow a programme of Citizenship, Personal, Social and Health Education which in our school we call ‘Lifeskills’. This recognizes the importance of the whole child and develops children’s relationships and social skills. Keeping safe, friendship, anti-bullying, healthy living and making well informed choices are regularly revisited as age appropriate.
In the second half of KS2 Sex and Relationship education is part of our Lifeskills curriculum. Our aims in these lessons are to inform the children, maintain high self esteem and self respect and promote sensitivity and responsibility as children grow.
We are fortunate to have our own enclosed woodland and a member of staff trained to deliver high quality ‘Forest Schools’ lessons. In Forest Schools children develop their appreciation and understanding of the environment, learn practical outdoor skills and work cooperatively together developing communication, trust and problem solving.
Religious Education (R.E.)
Children are taught about the main world religions – Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. They learn about religious festivals, customs and ways of worship. Lessons encourage positive attitudes towards, and respect for, the beliefs of others and in doing so encourage understanding of the similarities and differences between people that are part of our rich culture.