The curriculum at Norman Court grew from a vision of a favourable learning environment.
What evolved is a well-structured programme that embraces all things good about learning and childhood. Centred on the child, the curriculum celebrates all areas of learning in a stimulating and exciting way using the beautiful setting of Norman Court to inspire and facilitate the process. Inclusivity is embraced in all areas yet not at the expense of excellence. Opportunities are wide and varied and the school genuinely lives up to its purpose of providing high quality, inspiring and well-rounded education for life.
The curriculum is the means by which Norman Court School aspires to achieve its aims. It highlights all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning and personal growth and development. It includes not only the regulatory requirements for childhood learning, but also the range of extra activities and opportunities that the school organises in order to enrich the experience of the children. The hidden curriculum or what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave is reinforced by the example of the team and parents working together.
In living the school motto, “nil nisi optimum” or “nothing but the best”, there is a big emphasis on the quality of teaching as we recognise the individuality of every child. We understand that children learn differently and teachers are supported in their efforts to seek new ways of challenging and developing young minds. We have high expectations of all children in our care.
Planning & Organisation
Currently, the school is organised into 4 classes, each with a slightly different timetable/school week appropriate for different age groups. These are Reception, Infants (Yrs 1/2), Lower Juniors (Yrs 3-4) and Upper Juniors (Yrs 5-6). There is also a day nursery which operates for 51 weeks a year.
During the planning process, opportunities are sought to use the environment, talents of individuals associated with the community, and what is current.
Planning in Reception follows the Early Years Guidelines and National Curriculum, and is driven largely by the children’s interests.
The curriculum at KS 1 and 2 is built on 10 ‘branches’ of learning – see Table 1 below or click here to download a PDF version
It shows which ‘subjects’ make the most significant contribution to the different ‘branches’ of learning.
As the school grows, groups will be split further according to age group/ability. Class sizes are kept small to help facilitate learning.
Enhanced Learning Programme
Through the Enhanced Learning Programme, pupils have opportunities to develop life skills, experience adventure and learn the value of teamwork. It is a special programme built into the weekly timetable for all the children to experience as an integral part of the curriculum.
The curriculum taught in the Early Years classes meets the requirements set out in the revised Early Years Foundation Stage. Planning focuses on the Early Learning Goals and on developing children’s skills and experiences as set out in this document. All early years’ staff consider the individual needs, interests and stage of development of each child in their care, and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each pupil in all areas of learning and development. Pupils in the Reception class (Saplings) experience a phased programme of integration into the school.
Cross curricular links
Like branches of a tree, the contents and skills associated with each area of learning are intertwined and connected to each other. It is recognised that proficiency in any one area will be of benefit to achievement in the other branches of learning. It is for this reason that cross-curricular opportunities are sought during the planning phase. To facilitate this further, cross curricular themes are used at KS1 & 2 where possible, the content of which varies depending on the skills and talents of individuals and resources available.
Much the ‘extra’ is intertwined into the ordinary. Therefore, choirs, drama/musical productions, in-school tournaments (e.g. squash, tennis, chess), public speaking competitions, , inter-school sports fixtures & tournaments, house competitions, sports day, concerts, educational visits, visiting speakers are all considered as core learning experiences
Additional “Extra-Curriculum” is delivered through optional Out of School Activity Clubs. Examples include, Cricket, Dance, Gym, Tag Rugby, Bushcraft and Homework/Extra Tuition. Sports coaching courses and activity weeks are also available during school holidays. All these opportunities are open to serving pupils and children living in the wider community. An after school minibus service is organised to pick up children from selected local schools to enable them to take part in these activities.
Additional instrumental lessons in a wide variety of instruments are open to all pupils from Year R. These take place using a rotating timetable and are available for an additional charge
Educational visits (both day and residential), workshops and cultural visits are encouraged and provide further enrichment of the curriculum.
Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Norman Court School does not claim to offer specialist provision for children with Special Educational Needs; however some parents feel that the combination of smaller classes, the individual tailored curriculum, high expectations, individual action plans and pupil support programmes will benefit their child. The school has an open admissions policy and a philosophy of full integration and equality of opportunity for all pupils. There are however practical issues of accessibility due to the physical structure of the site.
Assessment and reporting
Pupils’ progress is continually assessed during their time at Norman Court. Parents are kept informed by way of Parents’ Evenings, and a formal school report at the end of the year. Pupils are not entered for SATS in Year 6, but experience formal testing on an annual basis (via the Progress in Maths and English Tests (GL Assessment)), which provide invaluable diagnostic information about pupils’ strengths and needs. Annual result also give an accurate point of comparison and help to monitor pupils’ progress based on national averages.
|Branch of Learning||Objectives||PROVISION FOR PUPIL DEVELOPMENT|
|Essential Contribution||Other contributing ‘subjects’||Extended Activities|
Understanding relationships/patterns in number/space
Logical thinking, Clear expression
|Science, History, Geography, Art, CDT, IT||Inter-school Maths competitions
Command of English through listening, speaking, reading and writing
|All subjects||Public speaking & poetry competitions
|Modern Foreign Languages||Communication Skills
Understanding of other societies
|Music, Art, IT||Experience of Latin, Cantonese, German, Spanish & French
French café for parents
|Science||Knowledge and understanding of nature, materials, forces and the skills for scientific enquiry, including observation, making and testing hypotheses, experimenting and recording findings||Science
|Maths, History, Geography, Art, CDT, IT||Inter-school competitions
|Physical Education||Physical control and coordination
Tactical skills and imaginative responses,
Evaluation and improvement of performance,
Fitness and health
|Science, Geography, Art, Music
Stories about explorers
Positions of responsibility
Matches and tournaments with other schools
|Technology||Use of ICT
Developing, planning and communicating ideas
Using tools, equipment, materials and components to produce good quality products; evaluating processes and products
|Topic||English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Art, French, Drama, ELP||Sewing
Media and communications
Personal, imaginative and practical responses
Acting & role play
|English, Maths, Science, History, Geography
CDT, IT, PE, ELP,
Area Music days
Musical Performances & shows
Visiting artists & performers
Lunchtime clubs (Music)
|Humanities||Awareness and knowledge of issues affecting people and the environment both locally and globally.||Topic
RS & Assembly
|English, Science, Art, Drama
PSHE, IT, ELP
|School Council – ECO issues
|Citizenship & PSHE||Enabling pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
Enabling pupils to distinguish right from wrong and respect the laws and to accept responsibility for their behaviour;
Support for the local and global communities;
Providing pupils with a broad general knowledge of public institutions and services; and
Assisting pupils to appreciate and respect their own and other cultures
|All subjects||Volunteering, and fundraising
Serving in the community
Visits to places of worship
Code of Conduct
|Enhanced Learning Programme||Confidence through adventure
Competence through learning new skills
Time set aside for extended activities
|Enhance Learning Programme (ELP)||All subjects,
Positions of responsibility
Bush craft & Camping
Animal Care, Gardening
First Aid, Cycling proficiency etc