We follow an enquiry-led approach at Nova, where children apply newly acquired knowledge as different states of being. States of Being focus on our children actively using skills and knowledge for a purpose. They focus on giving experiences, talking to role models and creating aspiration.

What we know about how children learn is that when we teach children skills and knowledge in isolation, they rarely make links to other subjects. Even when they are writing about Brunel in History or how plants grow in Science, they tend to forget how to apply the same English skills. This is in part because the information stored in the brain is locked up in the ‘English box’, and why would they open that box if they are ‘doing’ History or Science?

States of Being move away from content in subject boxes and uses clusters of knowledge that can easily be applied between subjects. By learning how to punctuate as an Author, they can use this knowledge when they are being Scientists as they start to understand that Scientists also need to write to convey what they have discovered.

There are other reasons for using a States of Being approach, such as making links to the outside world where Environmental Scientists for instance, use a blend of science, mathematics, geography and engineering. They will inevitably start discussions about what children want to be when they grow up. It opens up the notion that most jobs and careers do not just use one subject, they are a blend.

It also helps us to explore role models and to invite people from the local community in to school to talk about how they are Artists or Historians, for instance, and the blend of skills they use in their work.

Please read our parents and carer information letter to find out more about our approach:

Artists use different ways to communicate ideas and emotions. They can use a variety of things to help them represent the world around us like painting and drawing, sculpture or performance. Artists help us to understand the world from different perspectives.

Athletes are focused on being fit and healthy. They work hard at being the best they can be through listening to other people, problem solving and keeping going no matter how tough it gets. They constantly set new goals and are ambitious.

Authors read a lot and use what they have read to help them write what is inside their heads. This means other people can read what they have written to help them understand something, entertain them or make life better.

Engineers try to find solutions to different problems. Engineers design things to be easier to use or work better like buildings and transport. They often try to improve things that already exist or create new versions.  

Geographers understand the world above, around and below is by exploring, mapping and documenting. They make connections between causes and effect and how actions affect the natural and made world.

Historians use things that have been left behind to understand what the past might have looked like. They use differences sources to help understand people, places and stories throughout time.

Linguists understand the world through different languages. They love learning about faith, community and culture through understanding how people communicate in different places around the world. If we understand someone else’s language, we not only can communicate with them, but understand how things might be different.

Mathematicians use numbers to find solutions. Being a Mathematician can help with everyday things like shopping, cooking and travelling. The world is full of numbers so we often need to count, sort and measure things.

Musicians express ideas and emotions using voices tuned instruments or found objects. They communicate complex things in amazing ways through sound. Music can help communicate things that might be hard to say in just words.

Philosophers try to make sense of the world by asking lots of questions. They particularly like ‘why’ questions and seek answers to difficult ideas like emotions, thoughts and ideas.

Scientists ask questions about the world by looking closely at both big and small things, as well as things that cannot be seen easily. They constantly search for answers to understand the world better for everyone.