Over the past few years, we have been designing a Curriculum at Northwood that excites, motivates and catalyses the learning of our children.
Our Curriculum is…
We recently achieved the Centre of Excellence for Financial Education award and you can read more about this on our website.
Any parent/carer would want to send their child to a school that offers a Curriculum that is relevant, engaging and prepares their child for a successful and prosperous future. We believe we offer such a Curriculum!
Key features of our Curriculum include:
1. Read Write Inc.
2. Power of Reading
3. Singapore Maths
4. KAGAN Collaborative Learning Strategies
Our thematic-based approach results in learning that is relevant, meaningful and contextual for our children. Everything links, relates and meshes together into an understandable package of learning that is accessible and easy to engage with, both at school and at home!
Power of Reading:
From Year 2 upwards, the Power of Reading has transformed the way we teach Reading & Writing.
Our themes are developed around high quality children’s reading books, which we introduce through the Power of Reading (POR). The rest of our curriculum subjects are then taught through these themes.
The POR is a highly successful project that promotes the effective teaching of children’s literacy through high-quality children’s literature. At its core is the aim of leading children into reading for pleasure. In addition, we are developing new pedagogical approaches to teach Reading & Writing in exciting & effective ways.
Read Write Inc:
We use the Read Write Inc. programme to develop early reading and writing skills starting from EYFS moving through into Year 2. This excellent approach is improving the outcomes for children and the impact of the programme has been significant.
Mastery (Singapore) Maths:
We made the bold step to move to a new Mastery Maths approach in September 2016, using the Singapore model.
Singapore has become a “laboratory of Maths teaching” by incorporating established international research into a highly effective teaching approach. With its emphasis on teaching pupils to solve problems, Singapore Maths teaching is the envy of the world.
Need To Know:
Singapore consistently top the international benchmarking studies for Maths teaching
A highly effective approach to teaching Maths based on research and evidence
Builds pupils’ mathematical fluency without the need for rote learning
Introduces new concepts using Bruner’s Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach
Pupils learn to think mathematically as opposed to reciting formulas they don’t understand
Teaches mental strategies to solve problems such as drawing a bar model
Our Thematic Curriculum also has an international, global dimension. This will ensure the children master a deep understanding of the wider world in which they live; a world where international relations, skills and communication will be paramount to many future careers as the children realise their ambitions.
These elements of our Curriculum will work alongside the development of our Character-based Curriculum, which consists of the 6Rs Learning Heroes. This supports our children as they become interdependent, enthusiastic learners and responsible citizens.
The 6Rs Learning Heroes:
Each of our 6Rs has a character (a Learning Hero) behind each one that the children created. This aspect of our character-based learning is crucial to helping children develop critical thinking, learning for life and the inter-personal skills to relate to others meaningfully and respectfully.
Our Behaviour Code:
RESPECT is the bedrock of all we do and is the core of our Behaviour Code:
KAGAN Collaborative Learning Strategies:
We are also transforming the way children learn through adopting KAGAN Collaborative Learning Strategies. These are a strong part of the way we structure learning experiences so children learn together, in collaboration, rather than in competition against one another. In a nutshell, it is about PIES:
This approach to teaching is radically transforming our teaching and learning.
Think of the image of a lever. When a lever is properly placed, with little effort, we can lift a very heavy load. When KAGAN strategies are used in class, we can significantly improve educational outcomes.
Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA):
We teach the children that they have rights and use UNICEF’s RRSA to do this. This aspect of our Curriculum filters through everything we do and ties in well with our 6Rs. ‘Responsible Ron’ compliments our RRSA work as we teach the children that having rights is meaningless if they do not act responsibly with their rights!
We use the latest technology to enrich and enhance our children’s learning. We use Apple products, including the creative use of a wide range of Apps to help deepen and secure our children’s learning and thinking.
We are careful to not allow technology to take over, exposing the children to screen-saturation, but select the best approaches to catalyse learning, equip children for modern-day technology and prepare them with the skills and attitudes to technology that will enable them to make informed decisions and clever choices.
IT helps us to:
Forest School builds self-esteem and is a great way to improve social and communication skills, cooperation and interdependence. All sessions are planned to meet the children’s preferred learning styles in a fun and flexible way.
Forest School is primarily set in an Outdoor Learning Environment, which straight away sets learning in a different context for children where they can undertake a range of practical activities and carry out small, achievable tasks. They can develop their team working skills and research supports what forest school practitioners have known all along – that children and young people are stimulated by the outdoor environment and typically experience, over time, an increase in their self-belief, confidence, learning capacity, enthusiasm, communication, problem-solving skills and emotional well-being.
Philosophy for Children (P4C):
P4C is designed to get everybody thinking critically, questioning intelligently and responding respectfully. This aspect of our Curriculum is essential for our children and further develops our themes.
Not all questions can be answered but all answers can be questioned!
P4C is essentially about developing thinking and reasoning skills, through talking and posing challenging questions. Over time, these questions cover a whole range of subjects and experiences, developing in complexity as the children mature.
Some of the benefits to the children are:
• increases ability to work with others
• develops communication skills
• raises self esteem
• helps children understand social responsibility
• promotes respect and understanding
• heightens reasoning and problem solving skills