At Castle Newnham we have a creative curriculum where children’s learning is developed through our stimulating termly and half termly topics. In the early years, we use a phonics program called Sounds-Write. We assess children’s learning and progress by building a profile of observations and photos which are regularly shared with parents via the 2Simple programme. We assess the children against the following Early Learning Goals at the end of early years:

  • Communication and language
  • Listening and attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking
  • Moving and handling
  • Health and self-care
  • Self Confidence and self awareness
  • Managing feelings and behaviour
  • Making relationships
  • Reading:
  • Writing
  • Numbers
  • Shape, space and measures
  • People and communities
  • The world
  • Technology
  • Exploring and using media and materials
  • Being imaginative

In Key stage 1 (years 1 and 2) we monitor pupils’ progress continually using a set of national curriculum key objectives. We use a phonics program called Sounds-Write together with a variety of other quality reading schemes such as Oxford Reading Tree. At the end of year 1 pupils will take part in the national Phonics Screening Check where pupils read a set of 40 words (mixture of real and nonsense words) to a teacher. At the end of year 2 pupils take part in the national end of key stage one SATs assessments. It is our intention that whilst going through these assessments pupils feel confident happy and positive about their own learning and do not feel under any pressure at such a young age.

We have introduced a handwriting programme called Letter-join. For more information, please click here to access the parents user guide. Another programme that we have introduced is Times Table Rock Stars, to download a copy of the parents handbook, click here.

From reception to year 2 pupils take part in daily phonics sessions alongside the creative curriculum in small groups and are given weekly spellings and times tables to learn at home.

In year 3 and 4 pupils continue to enjoy a rigorous, challenging and inspiring creative curriculum. Each of our topics can be seen via the Topic Trees which are sent home to parents termly and the ‘I Can’ statements which mirror the key objectives for each year group and can be found within our bespoke Home School Communication books. Please click on the links below to view examples of the Topic Tress and ‘I Can’ statements:

‘I Can’ English Year 1

Topic Tree Treasure & Archaeology – Year 4

We recognise that homework is something parents have different views on and we are aware that many of our children have extra curricular commitments outside of school. Therefore we have designed half termly homework choice boards where children can present their ideas and research in ways they feel comfortable with and parents can select the amount of work their child does.

We offer ‘Meet the Team’ evenings, parent drop in sessions and curriculum workshops to support and empower parents and carers in helping their child learn and progress.