At Newcomen Primary School we are passionate about enthusing our children with a love of learning which is both meaningful and relevant. Our curriculum is designed to allow our children to develop all important human qualities and dispositions. We offer children an exemplary education in a safe, calm and purposeful environment. Our aim is to nurture well-rounded, respectful and resilient children who will develop skills for life-long learning. We openly encourage all our children to be respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world.
We champion a knowledge-based curriculum which is broad and balanced, and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children. We endeavour to equip pupils to have the requisite knowledge, skills and wider understanding to be successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for their next stage of education. Within this curriculum the children will develop their learning of key facts, important events and will develop their understanding of the world around us. This is underpinned by evidence informed practice.
Our framework is well embedded with a focus on ensuring our children develop a strong and secure understating of the curriculum content relevant to their age. It enables us to gain a very clear picture about each child’s educational journey – focusing on what they already know and what they need to know to ensure they progress. Teachers demonstrate a high level of ambition for their pupils and the ongoing use of questioning, breaking down learning into chunks to help our pupils know call and remember. This allows our pupils to allow and transfer knowledge in order to complete more complex tasks and maximise children’s working memory. Repetition and reinforcement is used to secure learning into our pupils’ long term memory. This is part of our agreed shared pedagogy. Rosenshine’s 10 Principles of Instruction plays a pivotal role in this.
We strongly believe that focusing on fewer things in greater depth, enables our pupils to learn and apply knowledge in a much wider range of contexts; developing secure, deep understanding and skills. Our intent is on secure learning of the real content of the curriculum.
Reading is a priority at Newcomen Primary School and we place great importance on fostering a deep love of language and literature. Pupils enjoy reading the high-quality novels which form the basis for English and texts which classes read together both in story time and shared reading aloud. Phonics is a priority in teaching reading and our language rich environment is one in which the adults in school talk with children throughout the day.
At Newcomen Primary School we know that the personal development of pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally (SMSC) plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides pupils with opportunities to explore and develop their own values and beliefs and spiritual awareness. This results in high standards of personal behaviour, a positive, caring attitude towards other people, an understanding of social and cultural traditions and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of all cultures. This is achieved through our rich and varied curriculum where SMSC principles form the foundations. Visits into the local community and further afield broaden our children’s understanding of the wider world and make meaningful links with their learning in the classroom.
Pupil voice is given a real status at Newcomen Primary School; our children have many wonderful ideas and suggestions and they play a very important role within school. We believe that children need to be active participants in their own learning and to feel that their opinions will be heard and acted upon within our school and the wider community. At Newcomen Primary School we seek ways to listen to the views of our pupils and involve them in decision-making so that they are engaged as partners in the life of the school. We believe that this will make a positive contribution to the school environment and ethos. Pupil voice is embedded into the curriculum with teaching and learning activities being used to enable pupils to focus on how to make informed decisions about their lives, their health and well-being and the environment. The children actively contribute to whole school policies including the Single Equality Statement in which they detail their role and responsibilities. See Family Questionnaire Summary 2021for parent and carer comments and pupil voice.
Teachers have extremely strong subject knowledge and this is exemplified in the high-quality understanding and knowledge that pupils demonstrate in their own learning. High expectations of, and aspirations for all pupils to achieve, lie at the very heart of consistently high-quality teaching being delivered and received across school. Pupils’ attitudes to learning are excellent because of the structures to allow them to work both independently and collaboratively. Newcomen Primary School has a whole school consistent approach which is the strength of the school. We have a strong culture of teamwork and this can be seen in the team teaching and coaching practice which happens on a regular basis; this is integral to the way school works.
At Newcomen Primary School we champion the reinforcement of learning across all subjects, and the mastery of learning going from shallow to deep learning. We ensure learning is varied, rich, challenging and engaging for all our pupils. Teachers give feedback using incisive questioning and high-quality marking to provide opportunities for pupils to move forward with their learning. Pupils show an enthusiasm for learning as a result and are able to articulate how teachers help them to improve. Pupils demonstrate application of learned key concepts in their responses.
Pupils demonstrate impressive attitudes to learning in lessons and this makes a significant contribution to the exceptional progress they are making. There is a palpable buzz in the classrooms where our pupils are motivated and eager to learn. Pupils are supportive of each other and the behaviour of all groups around the school is highly commendable. Children want to learn and understand that having a calm and purposeful environment in conducive to this. We actively promote values of perseverance and children are able to understand how this encourages them to be effective learners. They develop a level of resilience and self-discipline that helps them to maintain effort and want to succeed. Pupils wholeheartedly buy into and embrace the school’s mission statement of Believe Achieve Succeed. This is a direct result of our whole school relentlessly consistent approach and genuine home/school partnership. Pupils demonstrate pride and independence in their wider learning; engagement in the many extra-curricular activities is extremely high.
Pupils show a high level of respect and tolerance for others, both in school and in the wider community. Pupils make a valuable contribution to wider society and feel a strong sense of moral purpose to help others locally, nationally and internationally. They support a range of local and national charities and each phase actively supports a conservation project which is linked to the curriculum.
At Newcomen Primary School we believe in collective ownership, shared accountability and continued school improvement. Our team approach, including effective governance, an excellent management and leadership team and well-trained and committed staff, demonstrates a high degree of ambition and a relentless approach with effective systems which ensures all groups of children achieve extremely well. All members of staff have an inner desire to secure the best outcomes for our children and their families.
Self-evaluation is thorough and gives us a high degree of insight into our effectiveness. As a result, we have an in-depth knowledge of our own strengths and areas for development. This gives us the basis for action planning that focuses on achievement and provides an excellent framework for financial planning. Our evaluation of progress shows us that all pupils, including those with SEN, and those who receive support from the pupil premium, are achieving extremely well by the end of KS2 due to our whole school rigorous approach.
Governors are actively involved in all aspects of school life including staff training and attendance at weekly School Council meetings. School reconstituted under the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2012. Governors support and challenge the school on achievement and safety through a thorough review of standards and safety procedures. Governors make careful decisions about staff performance management and have robust procedures in place to manage the performance of the Head Teacher.
If you require any further details about our very special Newcomen Curriculum, please do not hesitate to contact our Headteacher Miss Pusztai and she will be more than happy to discuss this with you.
Personal Development and Curriculum Enrichment
Personal development is at the heart of our school as it promotes and embeds a range of skills that allow children to be life-long learners. It encourages our pupils to believe, achieve and succeed. It is our purposeful intent to create a place of belonging; where all our pupils feel they belong and can become their best possible self…knowing who they are, following their individual chosen path and standing tall being comfortable in their own skin. Whilst celebrating and embracing unique virtues and qualities, our intent is that our children are informed citizens with a respectful compassion for all.
We passionately believe that strong personal development is the most fundamental part of our curriculum as it supports the children to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. We strive to offer an education to the children that enables them to develop the qualities and attributes needed to thrive. We prepare them to manage many of the most critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face growing up in such rapidly changing and challenging times.
At Newcomen Primary School, the personal development of our children is part of a whole school approach, which promotes effective relationships between all members of the wider school community. We believe strongly in helping our children to build their personal identities, confidence and self-esteem and understand what influences their decisions. Developing self-understanding, empathy and the ability to work with others, helps our pupils to enjoy healthy and productive relationships in all aspects of their lives.