The Curriculum at Nash Mills CE School
At Nash Mills CE, staff have designed the curriculum to develop the academic, physical and emotional well-being of pupils, together with the instilling of Christian values. There is a strong emphasis on Family and Respect. Behaviour for learning characteristics underpins every aspect of the curriculum. Through consistently high expectations we give children the skills to be an outstanding LEARNER:
L – Loving
E – Enthusiastic
A – Ambitious
R – Respectful
N – Nurturing
E – Engaged
R – Responsible
We have adopted a topic structure for our children’s learning experiences and we will continue to develop and build on this foundation over time. In this way, children will receive a broad and balanced curriculum through a series of carefully planned topics which add purpose to learning. Links are made across the curriculum wherever possible, so that pupils are able to relate the different aspects of their learning to each other and apply in different contexts and new situations. Pupils are provided with opportunities to write at length in foundation subjects, linked to individual targets. Some subjects, such as Design Technology, are delivered in blocks of time in order to provide extended learning; this enable pupils to achieve high quality outcomes. Links to local opportunities are made as far as possible, given the school’s proximity to the Grand Union Canal, Apsley Railway Station, parks and the rich history of the area as a centre for the production of paper.
The ‘Jigsaw’ PSHE scheme of work is being adopted by the whole school, from Nursery to Year 6, from 2019-20.
The Foundation Stage for Early years covers seven areas of learning and three learning characteristics.
Prime Areas of Learning
Specific Areas of Learning
Talk for Writing takes place from Reception to Year 6, and we use Read, Write, Inc phonics scheme for children in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. There are daily opportunities to engage in mark making or writing activities every day and, in Key Stage 1, across a range of subjects. Reading is taught through guided and one to one sessions. Specific reading skills are taught, allowing children to access high quality texts and teaching all pupils to analyse the text in greater depth. Discrete grammar and spelling lessons are taught in every class. The school adopted the No Nonsense Spelling scheme from 2019-20.
Maths skills are taught through discreet daily lessons, which reinforce mathematical fluency and reasoning. Pupils are taught problem-solving skills in weekly lessons and are provided with the opportunity to apply their knowledge through a range of levelled problems, which they are guided to select/ can self-select. Pupils demonstrating talent within the subject are provided with the opportunity to solve problems at greater depth, in order to enrich their understanding of the curriculum.
The school arranges a number of visitors each year. These include author visits, parents and carers coming in to tell the children about their job, wellbeing programmes and visits from the NSPCC to teach the children about keeping themselves safe. A local Christian youth worker visits the school every half term to deliver worship for all three key stages. There is positive liaison with a local private school, Abbots Hill, and older pupils have benefited from weekly drama lessons with a specialist teacher, discrete art lessons and our pupils have visited the school to undertake a number of science and performing arts workshops.
In addition, the children benefit from enrichment experiences off-site. Foundation Stage pupils visit local supermarkets, St Mary’s Church, take a train ride to Watford and find out about their local environment. Annual trips have included visits to local zoos and farms. Key Stage 1 pupils enjoy trips to places of interest linked to their topics. In Key Stage 2, each class visits a different place of worship to enrich RE lessons and experience some religious heritage – Year 3 visit a synagogue and St Albans Abbey, Year 4 go to a mosque, Year 5 visit a mandir and Year 6 participate in workshops offered by the British Library as part of its Holy Texts exhibition. Other visits are arranged that link directly to topics.