Our aim is to deliver an exciting, engaging and enjoyable curriculum that offers exceptional learning opportunities tailored to the needs of our children. This involves providing memorable experiences to raise aspirations and broaden knowledge, fostering a love of reading, and developing a rich and varied vocabulary.
At Norton Canes Primary Academy, we adhere to the National Curriculum and enhance the learning experience through our tailored Norton Quests, which concentrate on English and writing. These quests are designed to captivate students with engaging narratives and are supplemented by a strong emphasis on high-quality literature. Furthermore, our Norton Knowledge Curriculum is primarily used to teach students the wider curriculum, ensuring that children learn and retain essential knowledge and acquire the skills required for independent learning. This curriculum is delivered through innovative and stimulating methods, often incorporating hands-on exploration and specifically designed tasks that enable children to gain and retain knowledge more effectively.
Our curriculum is designed to develop children’s life skills and equip them with knowledge that enables them to excel beyond the classroom and in later life. It puts emphasis on the importance of being respectful to one another, the people around us, and developing our children to be model citizens. Through our 11B411 challenges, we actively promote the values of good deeds, community unity, conquering fears, and embracing new experiences.
We enrich the knowledge and understanding that takes place in school through real-life experiences and educational visits for all our children, providing experiences that last a lifetime, such as visits to France, residential trips, trips to the seaside, and visits to the theatre and museums.
Our curriculum also fosters a love of reading, with children using reading as a means of discovering more about the past and present world. Children develop their reading skills in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge, which is taught through English, reading fluency, and foundation subject lessons. Children are encouraged to use reading to seek out more information and take charge of their own learning.
Vocabulary is given prominence from EYFS onwards, creating an environment where children are urged to expand their vocabulary choices, allowing them to develop key concepts across different curriculum areas. The use of subject-specific vocabulary is a key concept that runs throughout all year groups and is built upon from previous knowledge. In addition to this, the learning environments around school reflect the children’s current Quest and the current Norton Knowledge Curriculum unit of work – showcasing new and existing vocabulary, key information and high-quality examples of work.
We take pride in being part of our local community and strive to use the local environment, when possible, to enhance our children’s understanding of locality and local history. We work closely with members of our community to support this endeavour. We value the relationships we have with parents and carers and arrange regular coffee mornings and half termly curriculum parent workshops, designed to allow parents and carers to participate in their child’s learning, with the children enjoying sharing their learning and working alongside their families. In addition to this, we hold a celebration assembly each Friday afternoon to celebrate children’s attitude and success in upholding the school’s ‘Fly High’ values.
The impact of our curriculum can be seen in the sustained achievement and progress of pupils at the end of each key stage over a number of years. Children are engaged, inspired, and motivated to be the best they can be and enjoy their learning. Our Norton Quests provide a ‘stickability’ effect where children make links and associate learned knowledge with the high quality experiences they take part in each half term. They deepen their knowledge and skills over time, developing learning dispositions needed to be successful and confident individuals. Children leave Norton Canes Primary Academy well prepared for the next stage of their education.
At Norton Canes Primary Academy, our music curriculum is covered through the implementation of Charanga across all classes weekly. Music lessons are engaging, informative, with open-ended outcomes and with a wide scope to learn many instruments. Due to the consistency and whole school approach (from Nursery accessing weekly sessions through to Year 6) we now have our pupils reading music and playing a range of instruments and understanding key musical words, discussing them with confidence. In our music lessons, we listen to and appraise all different types of music from Bach to up-to-date music such as Rock, Reggie, Pop, Soul, Rock and Roll, Ballads, etc. We also, listen and appraise music from different countries all over the world. We do weekly challenges with warm up vocal games and flexible games, this helps with our breathing and learning about Pitch, Beat, Rhythm and Pulse. We study a particular song and learn a verse each week over the term, then introduce using our instruments, so by the end of the term we can sing and play the piece of music studied and perform it.
At Norton Canes, we aim to provide a PE curriculum that pupils from Nursery to Year 6 enjoy yet also allow them to experience a wide range of activities that help them to develop their health, fitness and wellbeing. We intend to offer a high-quality physical education curriculum that inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities. It provides opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect.
The national curriculum for PE aims to ensure that all pupils:
Develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
Are physically active for sustained periods of time
Engage in competitive sports and activities
Lead healthy, active lives
Children are taught mainly by teaching staff. These staff may be working alongside an identified specialist coach in the subject field to develop PE teaching. This takes place from Nursery to Year 6. The curriculum is further enhanced by participation in numerous sporting tournaments with other schools in the area and after school clubs. We have sports captains from our Year 6 cohort, who lead clubs at lunchtimes with younger year groups.
We follow the guidelines set by the national curriculum to ensure we offer a range of PE activities that allow each child to feel challenged and offer opportunities to progress further.
At Norton Canes Primary Academy, our aim for the Personal Development curriculum is to reflect the school’s vision and FLY HIGH values. The core of this is to demonstrate and teach the skills, knowledge and understanding that pupils need to lead confident, healthy lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. Children will learn about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, sex, human sexuality and sexual health. Personal Development is taught in the context of relationships and promotes self-esteem and emotional health and wellbeing to encourage children to form healthy and meaningful relationships, based on respect for themselves and for others. We strongly believe in the importance of working in partnership with parents and carers so that the child’s physical, moral, mental well-being and emotional development can be supported at home. In addition to this, we are a Thrive school. Through our Thrive programme, we support children with their emotional health, well-being, and social skills, all of which are required to enable learning to take place. This philosophy is evident across school daily through the way adults interact with children, the bespoke Thrive assessments and action plans being implemented for each class.
We are passionate about providing all pupils with a wide range of enrichment opportunities. Our school staff run a variety of enrichment clubs during lunchtime and afterschool each week with clubs ranging from sports clubs (e.g. tag rugby, freestyle dance, netball) to a wider variety of clubs such as Pokemon, Play-Doh, cookery and gardening. As part of our curriculum offer, pupils have a Parent Workshop each half term, inviting parents to come and work with their child in school. In addition to this, each class will be offered three trips (one per term) that enrich learning and provide exceptional experiences to all children across their time at Norton Canes Primary Academy. Furthermore, we offer Forest School provision for two year groups each week (delivered to carefully identified children) led by trained Forest School staff with the ethos that promotes self-esteem, creativity, confidence and independence. It is a series of long-term sessions that build on the needs and development of the child.
Personal Development is the backbone to our entire curriculum, the golden thread that runs through it and is an integral part of everything we do at Norton Canes Primary Academy. Not only it is seamlessly embedded within our non-core curriculum such as science, computing and physical education, it is also taught as a structured lesson, once a week in all year groups.
The SCARF programme we have adopted to deliver our Personal Development curriculum has been carefully selected to ensure that it covers all RSHE statutory requirements and because it meets the varying needs of our children. The spiral curriculum design allows children to develop their skills and learning year on year with each new topic building on the last. It is sequenced, progressive and allows children to engage in discussions, debates and hands on activities which promotes positive behaviour, safety, achievement and wellbeing, along with supporting pupils’ development in terms of our FLY HIGH ethos.
There are six key themes which are taught in every year group. These are:
Me and My Relationships
Keeping Myself Safe
Rights and Responsibilities
Being my Best
Growing and Changing
British Values and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development are carefully woven throughout the Personal Development curriculum as well as within our Mini Missions. This enables our children to become successful lifelong learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.
We are passionate about delivering structured lessons which excite and motivate the children and, to further enhance the personal development of all of our pupils, we have adopted a unique addition to our curriculum in the form of specific Personal Development lessons added within our Mini Missions. Children will learn about key aspects of PD (citizenship, British Values, protected characteristics, equality, diversity) within their Mini Mission topic and context. This allows children to explore Personal Development from a wide range of perspectives throughout their time at our school.
Our school proudly offers the Reach2, 11 BEFORE 11 Initiative. These are 11 exceptional experiences that will inspire and challenge our children. Everything we do is about supporting children to develop the character traits that will help them thrive as they graduate from primary school and move on to the next phase of their education. We want every child to leave us with the ability to engage fully with the challenges of a secondary school life; both the curriculum but also the day-to-day reality of growing up and starting to discover who they are, what they are passionate about and what they are capable of.
In addition to this, every year group has a weekly Commando Joe’s session (a half termly mission). The aim is to provide a character learning journey that is personalised to the needs of children at Norton Canes Primary Academy, whatever their background or need - encouraging our children to think critically and develop a mindset that thrives on looking at themselves and others from different perspectives. It was founded by former veteran and lecturer Mike Hamilton who worked with the Department for Education to create a programme that supports pupils, parents, teachers and schools nationwide with building essential life skills and supporting positive behaviour changes. Our Commando Joe's programme is progressive from Early Years through to Year 6. One of our main goals is to build the confidence of our pupils, as we believe that children with high self-esteem are better able to make difficult decisions under peer pressure, approach adults for support, and be self-sufficient in their learning. The programme develops this resilience through many activities, being part of a team, performing challenges or having a leadership role. Activities in class, will link to homework projects. The children will develop their sense of adventure and increase their confidence and independence by taking part in new and unfamiliar activities. These transferable skills are vital as they become ready for the next stage of their learning.
Through our personal development curriculum, our children learn how to become confident, ambitious and motivated young people, people who are aware of the world around them, people who have learnt to adopt FLY HIGH values for life. The pupils at Norton Canes Primary Academy achieve all of this whilst enjoying being a child by taking part in activities which involve them getting wet, muddy and most of all – having fun!
Norton Canes Primary Academy will assess the impact of the personal development provision in several ways including lesson observations, teacher planning and book looks alongside discussion and feedback from both children and parents. The teaching and learning of personal development will be continually reviewed allowing any changes that need to be made. Achievements in the development of skills and values taught throughout personal development can be celebrated in several ways including celebration assemblies and weekly certificates in which parents are invited to share their child’s successes, displays in classrooms and around school, SCARF scrapbooks and Mini Mission experiences. Parents and carers will be informed of their child’s progress in PD through informal discussions, parents evening and the annual school report.