Curriculum

Art

Each Year Group at Norland Place School has a weekly art and design lesson with the Head of Art. Pupils are instructed in a wide range of media, including painting and drawing, printing, clay work, sculpture, graphic design, textiles (batik, weaving, screen printing, sewing) mixed media & collage, papier mâché etc. Children also undertake design and technology projects each year. Pupils in Year 3 and above develop their ideas and record their observations in a sketchbook on a regular basis.

Throughout the course of the year, every class participates in projects that cover the requirements set out in the National Curriculum for Art & Design and Technology.

Pupils learn about the approaches and practices of a range of artists, both Western and Non-Western, contemporary and traditional. Visits to Galleries and Museums further enhance the children’s learning.

Children are often given an opportunity to discuss each other’s work, as well as that of other artists. The children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 fill out a self-assessment sheet at the end of each project; thus developing their evaluations skills.


Games & Sports

A comprehensive PE programme taught by specialist teachers ensures that all children are active and find enjoyment in physical activity. Children are taught a wide range of activities including, netball, hockey, football, cricket, swimming, rounders, tennis, gymnastics and athletics, either as part of the timetable or in after-school clubs.

The children are encouraged to develop a positive attitude to sport and achieve enjoyment, satisfaction and success at their own level. Frequent fixtures against other schools and termly Inter-year matches promote the development of sportsmanship and team work. Team selection for external fixtures is based on sporting ability.

In addition, we look forward to the annual School Sports Day, held in the Summer Term.


Music

Music plays a prominent role in the life of the school and is much enjoyed by all children. Each class receives two class music lessons a week from our Director of Music.

The school has a Junior and a Senior String Ensemble, a Junior Choir (all children in Years 3 & 4), a Senior Choir (all children in Years 5 & 6) and a Chamber Choir (by audition). There are also smaller ensembles and instrumental clubs and a Lower Years’ Choir for children in Years 1 & 2.

Musical Events

Major musical events include an annual Harvest Festival, Carol Service and Lower Years’ Christmas Play (Reception-Year 2) and musical production (Year 3). A play or musical (Year 6) are also performed annually in alternation.

In addition, children perform to their peers frequently during class, assemblies and at Prize Giving, as well as on other occasions within and beyond the school community. Examples of the latter include the recent Grenfell Memorial Gala and bi-annual visits to Harrison Homes.

Private Individual Instrumental Lessons

At present near two thirds of our pupils take individual music lessons in a variety of instruments, including piano, guitar and singing as well as strings and woodwind instruments.

Private individual instrumental tuition can be arranged for children in Year 1 and above, and singing for Year 4 and above, through the Director of Music. Each child has one lesson a week given on a rotational basis during the course of the school day.

There is a separate fee for individual instrumental lessons, and this will be added to your school bill. A term’s notice is required for discontinuation of lessons.


English

The core skills of reading, writing, speaking, listening and verbal reasoning are developed from Reception to Year 6. Progression is a vital part of the learning process and teaching staff employ a wide range of strategies to accommodate each Year Group’s particular emphases and challenges.

Throughout the school, children develop their reading, speaking and listening skills in tandem with emergent and gradually more sophisticated writing skills.

Reading is a key skill to facilitate understanding of all areas of the curriculum, and is emphasised from Reception. By the spring term, Reception children are taking simple books home to read with their parents. We strongly emphasise reading for meaning, and encourage in-depth discussion of the text and pictures. Older children discuss themes, characterisation etc. during their class and nightly reading sessions.

Verbal reasoning skills are developed throughout the school with vocabulary acquisition and enrichment.  Each stage enhances their knowledge of words and puts them into practise in all subject areas.  In the Upper Years, verbal reasoning techniques are practised through verbal reasoning sessions.

By Year 6, we aim for each child to have a thoughtful response to all reading matter. They will be able to articulate their feelings towards a text and write using a range of styles and voices. Children will value the written and spoken word and understand, through both fiction and non-fiction work, that an excellent command of English is vital to their everyday communication with others.


Science

At Norland Place, we aim to deliver a science curriculum that stimulates and excites children, and answers their natural curiosity about phenomena and events in their environment. To this effect, we link children’s practical experiences to scientific facts, laws and principles, to enable them to begin to understand the world around us.

Throughout the school, science is organised on a topic basis. These topics derive from the three main divisions of the discipline at this level: Life processes and living things; Materials and their properties; and Physical processes.

Within each topic, wherever possible, children are given direct practical experience of a concept. Of paramount importance is the development of the skills associated with this practical experience. ‘Scientific enquiry’ provides opportunities to understand the investigation process. We aim to develop each child’s independence and confidence, equipping them with key scientific skills and enabling them to question, predict, experiment safely, record and present results effectively in order to make informed conclusions and evaluations.

Science in the upper part of the school differs in that the children spend a greater proportion of the timetable on this core subject, which accelerates in pace and complexity. The children usually attend lessons in the science laboratory, which is well resourced and assists us in facilitating the expectations we have for scientific enquiry work. There are high expectations for both conduct in the lab and the quality of work in the children’s books.  Year 5 girls enjoy a whole week of environmental related studies during their residential trip to Juniper Hall, near Box Hill in Surrey.


Maths

Mathematics at Norland Place broadly follows the National Curriculum from Reception up to Year 6. In addition to the National Curriculum strands the children also develop their Non-Verbal Reasoning skills, with specific lessons being timetabled from Year 2. Given the preparation needed for the external examinations taken by the boys in Year 3 and the girls in Year 6, we do not follow the National Numeracy Strategy rigidly, but where appropriate.

Throughout the school, topics are taught as whole class lessons, with children then working individually, in differentiated groups or in pairs in order to cover different learning experiences and strategies.  We take a mastery approach to mathematics, which encourages a deeper understanding and an ability to communicate more confidently.

Numeracy skills are developed primarily through oral and mental calculations in the Early Years, moving on to a variety of written methods, as well as practical activities and investigations. Rote learning of tables and formulae is still very important and the children are encouraged to learn all their tables by the end of year 3. It is an essential goal of mathematics at Norland Place that each pupil should develop a solid grounding in the subject, to the best of their ability, to give them the confidence and understanding to carry their knowledge to other subjects and areas of their lives.


French

All work in French is focused on: language awareness and enjoyment; communication skills in the foreign language; learning based on topics relevant to young children; and an understanding of some basic grammar by the end of Year 6.

The National Curriculum attainment targets of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing are followed in Years 3-6. The emphasis in Reception-Year 2 is on Listening and Speaking.

Pictorial and audio materials are the main starting points for a topic. Gradually a vocabulary develops, moving from individual words and their gender to phrases and sentences.

Textbooks with their corresponding audio tapes are used for Year 3-6 children. This leads to listening and conversation/role-play activities and a more formal presentation of grammar, particularly with regard to verbs. In Years 5 and 6, the past tense, future tense and reflexive verbs are introduced, particularly in writing activities.

During their final term at Norland, Year 6 children enjoy a residential visit to France.


Computing

Computing plays an important role in the development of children's thinking skills as well as preparing them for a world in which the way we live and work is being transformed by rapidly developing technologies. A feature of which we are proud is our emphasis on physical computing. Children in Reception and Year 1 are introduced to robotics with Cubetto, a small wooden robot with no keyboard or screen; this experience prepares them to develop their analytical skills with Crumble in Years 3 and 4 and the BBC micro:bit in Years 5 and 6. Our pupils in Years 3 and 4 develop interactive worlds in the latest version of Scratch. E-safety is an important theme, developed at age appropriate levels throughout the school. Digital literacy including effective presentations features in every year group, older pupils gain experience of spreadsheets and creating webpages for publication within the school.

Computing within the curriculum is supported by an after school club in which pupils have produced remarkable solutions to problems developed jointly with their teachers.


Humanities

In humanities at Norland Place, the focus is on the human dimension of the curriculum, and the human interaction with the environment, in its historical, geographical, religious, cultural and social context. Our aim is to develop a real interest in the humanities related subjects, which we believe are of central importance to understanding the world and our place in it. In Upper Years, subject specialists teach humanities. Pupils are encouraged to ask questions and have enquiring minds, and to develop empathy with people of the past and those living in other parts of the world today.

In geography, the pupils learn about the physical processes involved in shaping our planet. Topics include the weather, coastal features, rivers and the water cycle, human settlements and map reading skills. There is an emphasis on our role and responsibility in looking after our environment.

In history at different stages during their school life, pupils learn about the ancient civilisations including the Romans and Greeks, life in the Middle Ages, the Tudors, the Victorians and the effects that the developments of the 20th Century had on the making of modern Britain.

Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (PRE) promotes the spiritual, moral, social, cultural and intellectual development of our pupils. To help them gain a greater understanding of the world around them, children explore the beliefs of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism. Philosophical questioning and is then used to explore and debate different views. Ethics is linked with the teaching of the Norland Values and British Values.

There are many opportunities for pupils to go on field trips to further their learning. We make the most of the rich resources the capital city has to offer, as well as visits further afield to locations such as Hatfield House, Hampton Court Palace and the Verulamium Museum in St Albans.  In Year 6, the girls visit several historical sites as part of their learning during the residential trip to Northern France.


Drama

We recognise the many benefits that drama brings, principally to develop a child’s confidence and their interpersonal and performance skills.

In the Lower Years, children gain experience of performance through termly class assembly presentations to their parents in the Charter Hall.  Further opportunities are provided through the Harvest Festival and Lower Years’ Nativity performances.

Upper Years' children enjoy drama performances in their assemblies and also have timetabled lessons during the course of the academic year.  In addition to this the Year 3 are involved in the annual play (boys and girls together) and the Year 6/Year 4-6 play/musical, staged in alternate years.

Opportunities to develop public speaking skills are provided through the participation of all children in the annual Hooper Poetry Cup (Lower Years) and Reading Cup (Upper Years) competitions, as well as Debating Club.