Nursery & Primary Curriculum

Nursery & Primary Curriculum

Northfields International Nursery and Primary curriculum is designed to build strong foundations for Cambridge and IB programmes in Secondary through Montessori teaching methods in Children’s House and Lower Primary. The final two years of Nursery and Primary serve as transition years where students continue to build their skills and understanding with specialist teachers in our Upper Primary section as they prepare for success in Secondary School.

Language Development

The Nursery and Primary curriculum is designed to help children reach their fullest potential at their own pace as they develop their language skills through our bilingual programme. Both English and French will be the languages of communication and teaching in Children’s House and Lower Primary. In Upper Primary, lessons will be conducted in English while the students’ French language skills will continue to be developed at the appropriate level, from beginner to fluent through dedicated French lessons.

Mixed age groups

Mixing children of different ages is a core principle of the Montessori philosophy and allows children to learn from one another effectively. Young children learn by observing others as models; older children act as role models and sometimes teachers of younger children. That is why students learn in mixed age groups in the Children’s House and Lower Primary sections:

  • Children’s House: children aged 3 years to 6 years
  •  Lower Primary: children aged 6 years to 9 years

Single year groups

Students in Upper Primary move to single year group classes with several subject area teachers working as a team to develop student inquiry, independence and a love of learning.



Children from birth through age six have the ability to absorb a vast amount of information and experience with ease. Dr. Montessori called this first plane of development the “absorbent mind.” Young children explode into learning, gain independence, and want to master new skills by themselves.

In the Northfields Children’s House, they are surrounded by a stunning array of hands-on materials that give them the opportunity to explore on their own, learning in a way that is natural and successful for them. Learning is a joyful experience for children.

Children learn to work intently on their own tasks, building concentration and self-discipline.

Academic readiness or the mastery of discrete skills is not the focus. The goal is the development of the whole child—socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually.

The Children’s House curriculum contains four main areas of focus.

Practical Life offers children the opportunity to do what they see adults doing every day. Children relish taking responsibility for watering the plants, preparing and serving food, sweeping the floor—all with real, child-sized tools they can use with ease.

The Sensorial Materials provide the children hands-on exploration of materials designed to enhance their discrimination and understanding of size, texture, colour, sound, forms, relationships, and more.

The Language Materials engage the children, who are already eager to develop vocabulary, explore the alphabet and learn sounds. Through the sandpaper letters, children learn about the individual sounds within words and how these sounds can be represented by symbols. In this way, the children come—at their own pace—to writing and reading as a timely progression of their natural language acquisition.

The Mathematics Materials are designed to present concepts from the concrete to the abstract, allowing children to see and experience mathematical concepts so that they can truly understand them. The children begin with very simple materials to help them comprehend numbers and quantity, then progress to more complex materials that help the children learn and apply the concepts that underlie addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and geometry.


YEARS 2, 3 & 4

The Lower Primary is a natural progression from the Children’s House programme. There are a number of changes to meet the natural needs of the child. Having mastered their physical independence, they now embark on their intellectual independence. Lower Primary is a period of construction.

The 6-9-year-old child is identified by the ‘why’ questions and their active imaginations. They have a decreasing need over the three years to use concrete materials in their work as they develop their abilities to reason and abstract.

The Lower Primary curriculum aims to address the children’s needs. The curriculum is holistic; it presents the ‘big picture’ stimulating the children’s imaginations and demonstrating he inter- connectedness of everything in the world.

In this cycle the Lower Primary curriculum is a mixture of explicit instruction in literacy and mathematics as the children develop their academic skills and opportunities to develop their capabilities in critical and creative thinking; their personal and social capabilities; their ethical and cultural understanding.


YEARS 5 & 6

At the Upper Primary we firmly believe in offering a broad, balanced and varied curriculum where particular talents can be nurtured and grown. Subject lessons are taught in English through mixed ability classes, except for French, where fluent speakers are taught in French.

Small class sizes allow us to cover topics in depth. Our specialist teachers are committed to ensuring excellent standards and continuity of learning throughout the stages of education at Northfields. Last year we put on two drama productions, held six inter-house sports tournaments, and participated in inter-school Spelling Bee and Public Speaking competitions.

Year 5 & 6 Curriculum:

Mathematics: The Mathematics Curriculum is based on the British National Curriculum. It consists of:

  • High Standards in Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry.
  • Emphasis placed on logical scaffolding and mental calculations.
  • Students learn Mathematics in a structured and interactive environment.
  • Responsibility is to prepare the students for High School.

Science: The Science Curriculum is based on the British National Curriculum.
Some teaching resources, notes, handouts and practicals are derived from the Planbee Package and twinkl website.
It consolidates the basis of science and allows the student to develop scientific skills such as Analysis, Investigation and Critical Thinking.

English: English classes focus on the following aspects:

  • Reading: Comprehension and Word Reading; to read aloud, learn how to pronounce new words by applying knowledge of rootwords, phonetics and punctuation and, to gain an understanding of new words.
  • Writing: Grammar, Transcription and Composition. Learning and applying new grammar rules. Link to written tasks i.e. learning how to punctuate direct speech in order to write a narrative.
  • Word Work weekly spelling test: New list of words introduced weekly.
  • Literature: Focus on imagery such as metaphor and simile as well as techniques of writers.

French: In French, there are two sets:

  • French First Language –First Language resources based on the CM 1 and CM2 programme
  • French Language Acquisition

Humanities: In Humanities classes, the students are exposed to History and Geography.

  • In History, the focus is on Ancien Civilisations, Invaders of the U.K. and Local History.
  • In Geography, they learn about Locational Knowledge, Human and Physical Geography, and Local Geography.