The Wider Curriculum at New Valley
At New Valley, we very strongly believe that learning and the curriculum are about so much more than the core areas of reading, writing and maths.
We have chosen to develop a subject-based approach to delivering our curriculum. Within each subject, we have a mapped vertical progression of knowledge and skills to ensure that each year group builds on the learning of previous years. In addition to this, where possible, we have organised topics within these subjects to build a progression of learning across a year. Where links can obviously be made across subjects, we make these explicit. Often, we find that cross-curricular links can be made within and across terms to enable children to see and build on the links between different areas of their learning.
Our Curriculum Outline gives a brief overview of the learning in each subject for each term in a year group. This has been planned carefully to ensure that learning is regularly revisited and to ensure balance, breadth and depth across the curriculum. The topics are progressive across the school and ensure suitable challenge in every year group.
In order for children to see subjects in their own right, we will often refer to our children as ‘artists’, ‘scientists’ and ‘historians’ etc. We are lucky to have specialist teachers of music and PE, who support the delivery of these subjects in parts of the school.
We continue to develop our wider curriculum through our Curriculum Teams: Arts Team (art, music); Humanities Team (geography, history, modern foreign language, religious education); STEM Team (computing, science, technology); Wellbeing Team (outdoor learning, PE, PSHE); EYFS Team. Our children see these links reflected in the books that they record their work in.
Wider Curriculum Intent Statements
Our children will become confident and passionate artists through a hands-on approach to learning. They will develop their understanding of the main visual elements of art – colour, line & tone, shape & form, texture – through a fully inclusive, broad and balanced curriculum, that ensures a progression of skills. Our children will use first-hand experiences, imagination and creativity to produce works of art, and will become proficient in various art techniques, processes, media and materials. They will have opportunities to enjoym and appreciate the visual arts, and develop a knowledge of significant artists, craftspeople and designers in history and modern culture and understand how they have impacted and shaped the world we live in. Through carefully sequenced lessons and experiences, our children will be able to develop their critical abilities by analysing their own work and the work of others’, and will be confident in using the language of art.
Design & Technology
Our children will be young designers, developing curiosity and critical appreciation of the human-made objects, systems and environments with which they interact. They will gain insight into the changing world of technology and innovation and, with an appreciation of important issues such as needs, values, sustainability and enterprise, be excited by the possibilities of designing products to solve real and relevant problems. They will develop the creative, technical and practical expertise to make high-quality prototypes and products and will use and apply their repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills gained across other STEAM subjects in order to critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others. They will understand the principles of nutrition and be able to cook and perform everyday tasks confidently. Children will learn to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative and enterprising citizens.
Our children will be young historians, curious and knowledgeable about the past. They will understand history as the study of change and continuity over time. They will be able to recognise, describe and explain differences, similarities and connections between individuals and groups of people in different places at different times. They will be able to, and want to, think critically, evaluate evidence and question assumptions. They will understand the impact of history on today’s world, and will gain perspective on their own and others’ identity.
At New Valley, we truly value outdoor learning and try to incorporate it throughout our curriculum. We base our outdoor learning on 6 key strands: Teamwork, Responsibility, Communication, Resilience, Independence and Life Skills. We are fortunate to have a large outside space that includes an outdoor classroom, campfire circle and allotment gardens, as well as access to Dollypers Hill, our local nature reserve. This means that not only are we able to frequently teach and take our learning outside, but our children are able to take part in outdoor activities throughout the year. The children are keen to engage with environmental issues that are important to them and our school community, and we have an ‘Eco Action Team’ as part of our school council. Each year the children enjoy taking part in Outdoor Classroom Day, with New Valley recently achieving the Gold Woodlands Trust Award. At New Valley, it is our intention that every pupil develops a real passion for the great outdoors and celebrates their local, natural environment. We wish for every child to develop a knowledge and passion for their local habitat and how to look after and nurture it, reinforcing our New Valley school value of ‘care for ourselves and our planet’.
Our children will be young philosophers, developing their knowledge of religion and philosophies both locally and around the world. They will be encouraged to question and reflect on how world religions underpin some of the values and beliefs of our local community. Our approach is based upon learning about faiths and from faiths, and how this relates to their own and others’ lives.
At New Valley we have adopted the Croydon Locally Agreed Syllabus 2018, which has been designed to reflect faiths within the local community, incorporating a curriculum that covers Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. We provide the children with opportunities to visit places of worship and to explore a variety of artefacts, as well as inviting guests to share personal experiences.
Our Wellbeing Curriculum provides children with the opportunities and experiences they need to develop the attitudes, attributes and values which will best prepare them for life in and beyond school. Our children will have a secure knowledge of how to look after both their mental and physical health. They will have a strong sense of self-worth and will value their individuality. Our children will appreciate and celebrate being part of a diverse and multi-cultural society and will contribute positively to the life of the school and the wider community.
The Wellbeing Curriculum incorporates financial education, keeping safe and our safeguarding curriculum, and all statutory aspects of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education, as introduced from September 2020.
Our children will become confident and literate in all aspects of computing. They will develop a curiosity and understanding of the core principles of the computing curriculum; computer science, information technology and digital literacy. They will gain an appreciation of the ever-changing world of technology in which we live and be excited by the opportunities that programming and computing provides. The skills that the children develop, will foster both their logical and their practical minds as well as challenge their creativity, encouraging them think of computing not just in a lesson but also of its real-life implications.
Our children will be young geographers, developing a curiosity and thirst for knowledge and understanding of the diverse physical and human world we inhabit. Through a largely investigative approach, they will learn how the earth’s physical features are formed and how humans live, and how they use land and resources (both natural and made). They will learn to use maps, photographs and digital technology to help their understanding, as well as conducting their own fieldwork. Their geographical knowledge will raise their awareness of the need to take care of the world and the potential impact of pollution and climate change.
Our children will become creative and expressive musicians through an approach which engenders a love and appreciation of music. They will develop their understanding of music through exploration of performing, composing and appraising, within a multicultural and inclusive curriculum that ensures a progression of skills. Our children will develop musical knowledge, skills and understanding relevant to their age, following a logical and systematic curriculum interwoven throughout their school experience. The seven elements of music (duration, pitch, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and structure) will form the backbone of the curriculum.
Our children will become individuals who lead active lifestyles and love taking part in physical activity. They will have the confidence, tools and understanding to enable them to have a positive impact on their own health and well-being. Physical Education will challenge, encourage problem solving and promote self-esteem, through a wide variety of sports and physical activities. Children will develop the resilience to cope with success and failure through individual, team and competitive-based physical challenges, embedding the values of fair play and respect. They will understand the importance of training and practice in enabling them to improve and to achieve their best. A diverse curriculum will allow children to develop physical literacy in creative activities, encouraging expression, collaboration and individuality. Talent will be identified and nurtured, with opportunities for skills development within the school curriculum and beyond.
Our children will be young scientists, developing knowledge and understanding across the disciplines of physics, chemistry and biology. They will explore how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things behave and analyse causes. Our approach is based on scientific enquiry and its five main components: comparative and fair testing; observing over time; seeking patterns; identifying, classifying and grouping; the use of secondary sources.
Children's curiosity will be challenged through engaging and investigational activities, set in meaningful contexts, ensuring careful progression through detailed curriculum mapping. We will often work outdoors.
Specialist vocabulary will be introduced regularly and progressively, and children will be taught to communicate and question ideas through both teacher- and child-led scientific discussions.
We are committed to teaching and learning about scientists from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds, both male and female, to encourage aspiration for all.
Modern Foreign Languages (Spanish)
Our children will be confident young linguists, developing a life-long love of communicating with others. At New Valley we all learn basic BSL, and in KS1 we aim to make children familiar with simple greetings in a number of languages. As part of our MFL studies, we focus not only on language but also on culture.
In KS2, our chosen modern foreign language since September 2020 has been Spanish. We will support speaking and listening skills, and help children to grow their oracy in a nurturing and safe environment.
New and specialist vocabulary will be introduced regularly and progressively, and children will learn to communicate confidently in class through teacher- and child-led activities. Children will develop their language skills by using games and songs to bring learning to life, and will develop their confidence through regular practice in speaking, writing and listening.