The Curriculum at Nook Lane Junior School


At Nook Lane Junior School children are engaged and inspired by a progressive, relevant, inclusive and memorable curriculum which is personalised to the needs of the children. Pupils have a clear sense of their gifts and talents and are equipped with a range of strategies that enable them to access their learning in a variety of ways.

At the heart of their learning, children build up a toolkit to help them develop a healthy and positive social and emotional well being. We aim to challenge pupils to reach their full potential and ignite their curiosity, instilling a passion for life long learning.


  • Children are aware of their talents and gifts due to the emphasis placed on a well rounded curriculum that develops the whole child.
  • Children produce high quality, progressive outcomes in all subjects that are measured against explicit skills.
  • Children are prepared for the challenges of future learning and life experiences gaining a range of spiritual, moral, social and cultural skills.
  • Children are given regular enrichment opportunities within the curriculum, through visits, visitors, practical activities and extended learning opportunities, which provide memorable and life long experiences.

Whole school overview of themes


Our Year Groups pages show some examples of these themes throughout the year.

Nook Lane Curriculum Brochure

Download the latest Our Curriculum brochure (.pdf download) to find out what exciting learning takes place at Nook Lane.

The school is currently developing the new Primary Curriulum ready for the changes that are being made from September 2014.

More information about the new Primary Curriulum in England can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Cross curricular learning and planning

The curriculum has been organised into themes, with the relevant programmes of study from different subjects being grouped together. As the curriculum has been carefully and efficiently designed, time has been created to ensure pupils can choose their own theme focus once in the year during the Pupil Voice Pupil Choice theme. Pupils vote for a theme of interest to generate further motivation, excitement and engagement ensuring they feel an intrinsic part of their learning.

Themes which have similar subject foci have been carefully aligned so that three times a year, the theme focus is the same subject across the whole of school (Autumn 1 - History, Spring - Geography and Summer 2 - Science). This raises the profile of different subjects throughout school; allows opportunities for whole school assemblies focusing on a shared focus; and celebrates the talents of children who excel in these areas.

For a more detailed overview of what happens during a whole school theme read the Nook Lane News - Olympics about our amazing Olympics theme which took place last year!

Great emphasis is placed on two way cross curricular learning by:

  • ensuring where possible that literacy encompasses key skills linked to the theme.
    Example: In year three, children complete non-chronological reports about the pyramids during literacy developing both key history skills alongside their reading and writing skills.
  • designing theme lessons that act as a vehicle to transfer key skills in reading, writing and maths.
    Example: Skilled assessment for learning is used by teachers to identify what children need in order to improve their reading, writing and maths skills in the form of targets. In writing, a group of children may have been targeted to use adverbs. This skill (using adverbs) will be taught to the children in Literacy and then they will be expected to transfer their learning by applying it to writing completed during theme work.
  • using forensic analysis of data to highlight which core focus from reading, writing or maths needs further attention in each year group.
    Example: If, in a year group, analysis indicates slower progress in maths compared to reading and writing, teachers will plan opportunities for cross curricular maths activities to fit in with theme lessons to encourage and support more rapid progress.

Key Skills

At Nook Lane we value greatly the importance that all subjects play in the development of our children in order to ignite and instil a passion for learning. Key skills are identified and used by teachers in all subjects to offer a progressive pathway to each child's success and development. In reading, writing and maths, targets are used highlight each individual child's next steps to success.

During theme lessons, each child uses the school's innovative Learning Journey sheets to evaluate their strengths and areas to develop in each foundation subject by providing a tool to self assess their learning.

Core Values and house points

At Nook Lane we place great importance on improving the children's learning skills; this is done through the school's core values. Children are rewarded in class with core value tokens for displaying a range of different qualities that the school, pupils and parents have identified as key qualities that will help to make a successful learner and citizen.

Children demonstrating these skills are awarded core value tokens which are used to generate whole school house points. Each half term the house cup is presented to the house with the most points. House points can also be gained for demonstrating key skills linked to the whole school theme focus.

Pupil Voice

Our pupil curriculum groups ensure that pupils at Nook Lane are involved in the shaping of the curriculum. Subject and aspect leaders meet regularly with their pupil curriculum group to seek feedback on the subject or area they are leading.

Feedback from the children is used to reshape and modify action plans in order to ensure each subject both meeting the needs of it's learners and maintaining relevance and interest. This, coupled with the Pupil Voice Pupil Choice theme, means that pupils feel empowered to share their opinions in order to ensure the curriculum is engaging and relevant.

Curriculum Councils

We encourage all of our pupils to have a voice at Nook Lane and running alongside School Council we also ask children to participate in subject councils. Mrs Wilkinson has asked every class teacher to develop a list of pupils who would like to contribute at half termly meetings with a subject co-ordinator.

The subject council are:

  • Maths
  • Art
  • Computing
  • RE
  • Science
  • Humanities - History & Geography
  • English
  • Music
  • E-Safety
  • PE
  • Social and emotional well-being - including behaviour, SEAL, personal and social health and safeguarding

Curriculum Council Feedback - Summer Term 2016

At Nook lane we have a School Council and Curriculum Councils, pupils volunteer to attend subject/aspect meetings with staff subject/aspect leaders and share their thoughts, ideas and give feedback about different areas of the curriculum.

Curriculum Councils have met this term (Summer Term 2016) and here are the notes from pupils attending each one:


What is going well

  • Pushing harder for a challenge and seeing progress.
  • Maths games and using ICT, all of the games used in class - What's My Number?, times table Splat, Place Value Clap, times table songs, Hit The Button.
  • Having 3 levels of work and able to access a lower level if too tricky.


  • If someone in group doesn't easily grasp something individuals would like to move on, more resources.
  • Have a full maths day
  • Maths quiz
  • Twice a day maths but only 30 minute lessons
  • More maths in ICT
  • Outside maths
  • More tests but shorter
  • Get a group together for children who like maths
  • Maths trips
  • Times table club or maths club at lunchtime

What is going well

  • Accessing different resources
  • Styles of art and art subjects
  • Multi-media overlap by combining with DT
  • Mixture of 2D and 3D work
  • Experimenting with and changing images
  • Instructions on technique
  • Making clay broaches
  • Foil broach making
  • Aboriginal art


  • Have art lessons more often
  • More freedom for individual expression - conceptual art, recycled art
  • Art club
  • Art related trips and gallery visits
  • Use more materials in painting - oils, acrylics, using charcoal and pastels
  • Keep art cupboard neat to get to resources easily
  • Portraits, monochrome portraits, freestyle painting
  • Art festival
  • Have visiting artists

What is going well

  • Scratch
  • Animation
  • Kodu
  • Flowol
  • E-Safety
  • Sketch
  • PowerPoint


  • More Ipads
  • Movie Maker
  • Scratch from Y3 to Y6
  • More laptops in class
  • Minecraft education edition
  • Raspberry Pies
  • Have IPads for maths lessons
  • More game making
  • Goat simulator
  • Old computers to School Council

What is going well

  • Interested in new religions and the rules of Islam.
  • Like to find out about similarities and differences between religions. Good to stress the similarities.
  • Loved having visitors to assemblies and thought them fair.


  • It is good to find out new facts about religions that they have already studied.
  • More lessons on areas of interest.
  • Have weekly lessons.
  • RE books to make it a usual lesson.
  • Food tasting from different religions - Kosher food.
  • Include drama to re-enact stories for different religions.
  • Watch more films about religions.
  • Link all faiths that believe in Jesus - highlight common ideas.
  • More trips and visitors, visit temples, synagogues and mosques.
  • Look at less known religions - Paganism.
  • Have themed faith days.

What is going well

  • Y5 really enjoyed volcanoes, messy science.
  • Hands on investigations great but not always writing them up.
  • Electricity and making circuits.
  • Using different equipment for reversible changes.
  • Prefer blocking science lessons.


  • Trips - Eureka.
  • Working with chemicals/metals to see what happens.
  • More practical work/experiments.
  • Would like new magnets, batteries, and rechargeable batteries.
  • Use iPads in science lessons.
  • Have a science club after school.
  • Science themed assemblies.
  • Science day, week but not restricted by the curriculum.
  • Have a science fair.
  • Bun sale to raise funds for resources.
Humanities - History & Geography

What is going well

  • Trips - Year 4 river visit, sleepover in Year 3 at Western Park Museum.
  • The themes we are studying in our year groups.
  • Geography related to our visit to Thornbridge in Year 5.
  • Finding out about different cultures and how others live.
  • Finding out about different countries.
  • Volcanoes and earthquakes and building them!
  • The History Van was really good.


  • Bring in more artefacts.
  • Too much writing in geography - want more active things to do.
  • More time spent on geography during the year.
  • History quizzes.
  • More DVDs to watch - Horrible Histories.
  • More modern history.
  • Field trip to dig for bones.
  • More trips.
  • Learn about the Titanic, the sea, Picts & Celts, lost cities, early humans.
  • History Club - children choose a theme - Wild West.
  • Big history events in school, more speakers, dress up day, Sheffield history, Kings & Queens

What is going well

  • Spring Into Spelling
  • Reading half hour
  • Good preparation for SATs with morning SPAG
  • SPAG games, warm ups every day in Y3
  • Songs used in literacy
  • Handwriting
  • Writing stories - being creative
  • Book Day
  • Word mats to help spelling
  • Drama - helps all areas of literacy
  • Y6 production


  • Use of films and YouTube
  • Dedicated handwriting time
  • Paired reading
  • Y6 handwriting sheets
  • More drama with play scripts
  • Whole class book sets
  • More SPAG songs
  • More reading aloud and being read to
  • Set reading time for school
  • Use the hall more
  • Access to library
  • Children inventing own literacy games
  • Opportunity to use own stimulus/individual ideas - not always linked to theme
  • Y4 and Y5 production
  • Own theme ideas - freedom to choose
  • Book group
  • More involvement with Sheffield Children's Book Awards
  • Lyrics/poetry day - related to pop groups
  • Story CD club

What is going well

  • Y3 - music lesson with glockenspiel, recorders and cornets
  • Children like whole class music lessons with a music teacher


  • Music more often with more hands on instrument playing
  • More contemporary songs in singing assembly - children choose them
  • Use the iPads and apps for making music
  • Music club for access to instruments in school
  • More live music - not just brass - visiting bands
  • A drum kit in school
  • Music day - different music in each classroom
  • PicNook with live music - like a festival
  • Music talent show
  • Have a showcase for children who have lessons in school

What is going well

  • Y6 - it has been good to talk about e-safety in SEAL especially bullying as it is easier to talk about being bullied online than being bullied in the real world. It has been good to share advice.
  • Y4 - talking about friends in school and the digital world and what happens when you get angry
  • SEAL - speaking about online friends and friends in school
  • Watching videos - Y3 - Hector's World - they liked guessing if the characters were good or bad, Y4 - SMART crew, Y5 - making e-safety posters.


  • E-Safety Day - children would like to plan this - orienteering activity
  • Visit from an E-Safety expert
  • Make sure that all of the computers work
  • Children would like their own usernames and passwords
  • Y6 would like more discrete e-safety sessions
  • More e-safety assemblies and films
  • Children would like to deliver an assembly

What is going well

  • Choice of sports
  • Good warm ups
  • Gymnastics with Mrs Robbins
  • Having good equipment - tennis nets
  • Going to sports events


  • Whole school fitness - aerobics, running, circuits, yoga, tag rugby
  • Gym club/basketball club/running club/Boot camp
  • Cross country in every year
  • 5 a side tournaments at lunchtime
  • More rounders
  • Cricket club after school
  • More hockey equipment/crash mats
  • Longer sports day
  • Fun run with parents
  • Children vs teachers competition
  • Y5/6 run school wide sports event for Y3/4s
Social and emotional well-being

What is going well

  • Circle of Friends
  • Children feeling safe and looked after in school about worries, and
  • Can talk to and trust teachers
  • Children like coming to school
  • Enjoying the assemblies presented by children about their own individual need as it helps us understand and support them better


  • Introduce the Thinking Boxes to the new Year 3 children in September as they are useful
  • Have a Friendship Stop where the Peer Mediators could be
  • Update the help poster in school - children could do this as a competition
  • Offer SEAL groups to children in Red Box
  • Top Tip assembly run by children for children
  • Have a buddy through school
  • More opportunities to work with different aged children
  • Use Peer time - a time to discuss problems
  • Make year group posters with top tips
  • Calm club