The school’s curriculum includes all subjects in the National Curriculum 2014.
Teaching Methods and Organisation
Within our Foundation Stage Department, namely Nursery and Reception, the children are taught in their year groups. Occasionally, the Nursery and Reception classes will come together for R.E, assemblies, playtime, and so on. Further information about our Foundation Stage Department is available in the school’s ‘Foundation Stage Handbook’ available from the school.
Throughout KS1 and KS2, our classes and teaching groups are structured in a variety of ways to ensure the best possible learning environment for each and every child.
All the teaching is planned within an overall curriculum framework and is taught through various teaching methods and strategies. Teaching methods and classroom organisation influence the way children learn and encourage every child to reach his/her potential. These include whole class teaching, group work, team-teaching and so on.
As the school has no religious affiliation RE is taught in accordance with the agreed LEA syllabus. This provides a clear framework for the teaching of RE and aims to create citizens who can appreciate other peoples beliefs as well as their own. There is a daily collective worship for all children in attendance at the school. If a parent requests that a pupil be wholly or partly excused from attendance at religious worship or RE or both, in the school, he or she shall be excused if the request is made in writing. Copies of the agreed syllabus are available upon request.
English and Mathematics
The school has traditionally ensured that each and every child receives a minimum of 1 hour per day on English and Maths activities. This minimum entitlement is often increased at key times during the school year, e.g. at times of last minute SATs preparation or for booster classes for Key Stage 1 or 2 tests.
We believe that English and Mathematics are the key skills which children need to understand in their formative years. Literacy and Numeracy teaching normally takes place each morning or early afternoon at school. Parents are asked to ensure that, wherever possible children are punctual for school and that any medical appointments/time out of school is minimised during these vital lessons.
In KS1, the children follow the Read, Write Inc scheme to learn their phonics. Read Write Inc is a phonics scheme that we follow here at Newton. It begins in Nursery and children continue to take part in daily sessions. The aim is for all children to complete by the end of Year 1, but if necessary, they will continue to access sessions until they no longer need them further up the school. Children are placed into small groups according to their phonic knowledge and assessment are completed regularly. We teach the sound first in a specific order, then we teach your child to blend those sounds together in order to read words. The children read words in the matched Storybooks. Each Storybook is carefully matched to the sounds they can already read – setting them up for success.
Newton-le-Willows Primary School regards physical education as a vital subject within the National Curriculum. Games skills are taught from an early age which develop into traditional team games/activities in Years 5 and 6, e.g. football, rugby, netball etc. The school is equipped with two halls, two good-sized tarmac play areas and a large playing field.
Parents are reminded that P.E. and Games is seen as an important part of the National Curriculum and is compulsory on the school’s timetable. Parents should inform the school in writing if their child is unable to take part in any aspect of P.E. (including swimming where appropriate) and if the absence is expected to last more than two weeks, a medical note from a doctor will be required.
We believe that sex education is primarily the responsibility of the parents. The school does however have a complimentary role to play and we will reinforce and support the parents’ teaching in a manner which is in accordance with the LA’s guidelines. We aim to provide Sex Education within our school as part of our PSHE (Personal Social Health Education). Aspects of sex education are covered throughout the school where appropriate for the age and understanding of the children concerned, i.e. families caring for their young etc.
Parents have a right to withdraw their child from any aspect of sex education except for aspects covered by National Curriculum Science. The school will respect parents' wishes with regard to this matter. Please contact your child’s class teacher and/or the Headteacher if you have any worries or concerns.
Special Educational Needs
Children who are identified as having possible Special Educational Needs are referred to the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), who may decide to seek extra advice, support and help for the child concerned. It must be emphasised that no child will be referred to an external agency without first obtaining parental consent. The school’s special needs policy is available at school. Generally, the children are taught in whole class situations but occasionally small groups of children/individual children work together to receive specialist attention and support.
Throughout the year, various classes will be involved in visits to complement the school curriculum, e.g. visit to an historic site or visit to a farm etc. We will endeavour to ensure that each child is involved in at least one visit each academic year. It is also our intention each year to organise a residential extended visit for Year 6 children. All trips will be organised on the assumption that the school’s charging policy applies.
Parents are reassured that all educational visits are organised in line with current health and safety requirements and regulations in force, e.g. seatbelts on coaches etc.
Assessment and Monitoring
Children’s learning is regularly assessed and monitored by class teachers via the marking of work, discussions with individual/groups of children and assessments/tests when appropriate. Also, subject co-ordinators and the leadership team regularly assess teaching and learning to ensure continuity and progression across the whole school and from class to class. Formal assessment of children’s work is carried out at regular intervals. The use of standardised tests/tasks, SATs and commercial reading test etc., help us to monitor each child’s progress and identify targets and particular learning needs in their future learning programme.
Within KS1 the homework activities regularly set are mainly related to English, Reading and Maths. At KS2 the same applies but wider areas of the curriculum are covered. Parents’ support is asked for with regard to the school’s policy, copies of which are available at school.
Newton-le-Willows Primary has an increasing profile within St Helen’s, supporting and taking part in most sporting activities and events which take place during the year. Opportunities are given for older pupils to be involved in football, rugby, swimming, netball and so on. Many of these activities are school based and others are in local school’s leagues and competitions. In recent years we have taken part in swimming galas, football leagues and so on. Although we are delighted with any success in these events the most important thing we are proud of is that Newton-le-Willows Primary children are always praised for their sporting and caring attitude.
The school staff organise various extra-curricular activities which widen the educational experience of the children. These are normally held after school or occasionally at lunch times and vary from time to time. The type of activities offered includes football, rugby, netball, games and computing to name but a few.