At James Knott C of E Primary, we provide a range of Enrichment sessions and activities to support our pupils’ holistic development.


In Partnership with the Swire Chinese Language Centre, children in KS2 are receiving weekly Mandarin sessions.

Mandarin is one of the fastest growing languages spoken in the world and China’s economy is one the biggest in the world, hence there is a great opportunity of the wider wold exploration. At James Knott, we aim to prepare and empower our children to aspire high, including experiencing and exploring a culture different to their own.

“Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.”

The National Curriculum in England Framework Document (DfE) 2014.

Pupils from Year 1 to 6, learn Mandarin 45 minutes every week. Xingting (Cyndi) Zhang teaches the mandarin lessons. Not only do children learn mandarin as a language, they are also taught about Chinese traditions and cultures.


We have a singing praises worship each week with Mrs Stewart as well as a choir which runs afterschool on a Friday led by Miss Butler.

Throughout their time at school, children have many opportunities to learn and play musical instruments. Children will develop their skills and aim to complete instrument Karate and earn their ‘belts’ as their skills develop.

In Year 3 all children will learn the recorder during Autumn and Spring term. Children in Y4 & 5 will learn to play the saxophone as a whole class, learning to play a J-Sax in Year 4 and 5 before moving on to a full size saxophone in Year 6 if they choose. Once children reach Year 6, they have the opportunity to play their instrument in a smaller group, working towards achieving grades.

Children at James Knott to explore Music in many more ways, not only learning to play an instrument but also in the termly music projects delivered by Mrs Glanville. Projects vary depending on Year Group but involve playing Gamelan, the indigenous orchestra type of the islands of Java and Bali, exploring Georges Bizet’s Carmen, learning and performing songs and ‘Funky Jam’ a 4 chord project.

“Pupils at James Knott C of E Primary School love to take part in musical activities across the key stages. We look forward to performing not only in assemblies, collective worship and music showcases, but we also enjoy publishing our work on so that our adults at home can hear what we have achieved within music lessons and extracurricular activities”

Mrs Glanville, NCEAT Primary Music Lead

Our staff recognise the importance of music within the curriculum, not only to develop our pupils’ instrumental and singing skills, but also to improve wellbeing, encourage team work and increase resilience. We have a strong music curriculum enhanced by drop down days where our pupils learn about different music styles and experience hands on music workshops led by peripatetic music teachers.

Country Trust Project

This year the children in Year 3 are taking part in a Food Discovery project, run by The Country Trust.  This is an exciting project, where children have the opportunity to:

  • learn to grow vegetables in the school gardens
  • learn to cook different vegetarian meals
  • have a visit from a local ‘Food Hero’
  • go on a farm visit
  • run a playground market
  • celebrate learning with a Harvest Feast

James Knott have benefited from this super project led by Sue Charlton, Food Discovery Co-ordinator for Northumberland for many years. Our pupils have enjoyed exploring their own experiences of and feelings towards food, gardening, cooking and farming. These experiences have had a positive impact on the well-being and mental health of our pupils, encouraging them to taste foods they may or may not have tasted before and giving them the tools to prepare and develop healthy diets and lifestyles.


Children in Years 4, 5 and 6 have the opportunity to experience a term of STEM lessons taught by qualified technology teachers Mr Smith and Mrs Small. Each of the KS2 classes attend Robert Stephenson Campus where they have access to fully equipped workshops and cookery rooms. The children take part in some exciting projects where they design, make and create. They learn how to prepare and make healthy and nutritious meals and develop vital skills that will support them as they grow up.