The Curriculum

About The Northern House School Curriculum

The revised national curriculum will be implemented from September 2014. As an academy, we are not obliged to follow this slavishly, but we recognise that it does offer a broad and balanced education, so much of our work will be based on it.

We benchmark every pupil’s academic abilities on arrival at the school and help them reach aspirational targets. In this way, they can make up any lost ground and feel the joy of mastery learning.

Making good academic progress is therapy in itself, but we believe that the curriculum experienced by our pupils must be much more than a diet of English, Maths, Science, Art, Music, PE, RE and PSHE.

Our curriculum will offer pupils opportunities to grow and mature through:

  • a wide range of after school clubs, including rock climbing, ice skating, kayaking, cooking, drama, football and tennis
  • rehearsing and performing plays and concerts for friends and family
  • off-site learning experiences in the locality and further afield in places such as Stratford, Ironbridge, Warwick and London forest schools
  • residential camps in Wales where pupils learn to live away from home and enjoy the challenge of outdoor pursuits such as kayaking and camping
  • overseas tours for secondary pupils
  • organising fundraising activities for worthy causes, including the sponsoring of a child in Africa
  • making decisions that affect the schools through membership of the Student Council

Most important of all is the ‘hidden curriculum’.

This is the atmosphere in school created by men, women, boys and girls working together to improve the life chances of the pupils. We respect one another. We realise that not everyone is the same, so make allowances for differences between us. Pupils and staff members alike get up in the morning and look forward to going to school. We take pride in being part of Northern House School. This pride is visible in the way we dress and apparent in the way we talk to one another. Our school cares and nurtures, and that is what sets us apart.


Northern House School (Oxford) Curriculum

At Northern House School (Oxford) we run a thematic curriculum based around the Cornerstones topics. These run on a two year cycle (Year A & B). The range of topics available give us the power and freedom to shape our curriculum to best suit the needs of our pupils. With imaginative titles such as Bright Lights, Big City and Frozen Kingdom, the termly projects reflect objectives contained within the new National Curriculum.

We support these topics with more discrete lessons that focus on the pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills. These are adopted from the Pearson Publishing Word Smith and Abacus programmes of study. We have a well-stocked library and make excellent use of the Bug Club (Pearson) and Big Cat (Collins) reading schemes. Our developing readers make excellent use of the Letters and Sounds phonics programme.

Click on the Curriculum Maps link to see how these are built into the school year.


Overview of our Primary Curriculum 

  • Pupils will be taught a broad and balanced curriculum in line with NC expectations

  • All children who are able, will access Key Stage national tests

  • Particular emphasis will be given to Literacy, Numeracy, Science and Computing 

  • Pupil premium funding will be spent on raising pupils’ attainment in Literacy and Numeracy

  • All pupils will enjoy daily physical exercise

  • All pupils will access a range of arts activities, with Music,  Art, Design and Drama featuring strongly in the curriculum

  • All key stage two pupils will be given the opportunity to participate in residential off-site activities

  • The moral and spiritual development of pupils will be encouraged through a short collective daily act of worship ( grace at lunchtimes); participation in fund-raising events such as Children in Need, Sports Relief and sponsorship of a child in the developing world

  • Pupils’ academic progress will be tracked using BSquared and CASPA