The children are encouraged to experiment with, and develop control over a range of materials, tools and techniques. They learn to express their ideas and feelings and to record what they see with increasing accuracy and attention to detail. They study the work of artists and craftspeople from a variety of cultures – Western and non-Western, traditional and contemporary.
Our children are naturally curious about the world around them and this spirit of enquiry is at the centre of our Geography studies at Nelson. Every year group makes use of the local area to develop geographical skills and concepts. Year 3 study a village in India. Year 4 looks further afield in the UK with a study of Shere in Surrey. Year 5 learn about a location in Spain and Year 6 study a South American rain forest location. We are especially keen to encourage fieldwork skills on our day and residential visits.
Our children enjoy a hands-on approach to History, using a range of artifacts and other information sources to investigate the past. Our focus for historical enquiry spans from Ancient Egypt in Year 3 to Britain during World War II in Year 6. We recognise the ability of real-life characters and dramas from the past to interest and motivate children of all ages. We use this opportunity to develop children’s skills in interpreting, evaluating and presenting information. Our children benefit from visits to historical sites and museums. We also invite a range of visitors to the school, who are able to further enrich our children’s learning through presentations, re-enactments and first hand reports about life in the past.
There are opportunities for children to receive a full range of private instrumental tuition (through the Borough scheme) and to attend and perform in concerts which the school organises during the year. The school carries out vocal and rhythmic work as well as composition and appreciation. There is a choir which draws children from across the school.
Physical Education at Nelson is an important and integral part of the children’s development within the structure of the National Curriculum. A full range of physical activities takes place, including games and gymnastics, dance and athletics, outdoor and adventurous pursuits. We have our own pool for swimming during both the summer term and part of the autumn term. We aim to promote a healthy lifestyle through the enjoyment of physical exercise, nurturing the ethos of fair play and team spirit, always teaching safe practice and good use of sports apparatus. Nelson has a hall for gymnastics, a marked playground for games, and a playing field. During the year, specialist teachers from various sporting associations coach the children in football, cricket and table-tennis. These, together with after-school clubs each term and a full calendar of sporting fixtures within the borough, ensure that children can develop their physical skills to the full.
Design and technology is about generating ideas, planning, making, and testing to find the best solutions. It involves researching the needs people have and trying to fulfil these needs by using knowledge, skills and resources. It is concerned with problem solving where there are no right or wrong answers. It is a subject which spans the curriculum. It draws on knowledge and skills from many other subjects, in particular science, mathematics, English and art. It offers opportunities to work with a variety of materials and to acquire a range of skills.