At Gilbertstone Primary School, we have developed a knowledge-rich and skills-led curriculum which inspires our children to learn and succeed. We have designed our curriculum to be engaging, relevant and challenging to broaden pupil’s minds and develop a natural curiosity to learn. Our curriculum is centred around the National Curriculum requirements and is designed with consideration to a clear sequence of content and skills to create a motivation for learning and allow pupils to reach their full potential. We aim to develop pupil’s competency in the following essential skills to support them in accessing the curriculum and so they thrive in their wider lives.
Our curriculum is constructed to develop and challenge every child, including disadvantaged and those with SEND, to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to succeed as learners throughout their life. Teachers support pupils in reflecting on their prior knowledge and skills to deepen understanding, develop skills and make progress from their starting points.
Gilbertstone Primary School recognises the importance of English and Maths teaching in order to open up other areas of the curriculum and therefore emphasis is placed on ensuring pupils develop key skills in these areas. We are passionate about Reading and where possible many of our topic areas are centred around carefully chosen, high-quality texts which support children’s learning across the curriculum as well as providing a stimulus for children’s written work in Literacy. In all subjects, we recognise the importance of high-quality teaching to enable pupils to know more, understand more and remember more.
We value the role that outdoor education has in a child’s development and aim to incorporate outdoor learning into our broad and balanced curriculum. We are very fortunate to have our own Forest School area and through these sessions we intend to give pupils a love and excitement for being outdoors, whilst supporting and enhancing their learning experience.
At Gilbertstone we want all children to grow up healthy, happy, safe and able to manage the challenges and opportunities of living in modern Britain. Through our golden rule of ‘Treat others as you wish to be treated’ we are committed to celebrating diversity and promoting inclusivity and equality of opportunity for all. We aim to promote positive mental health, emotional well-being and resilience for all through our PATHs curriculum (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies). Our RHE curriculum further supports children’s understanding of key concepts of physical, mental and social well-being. We aim to consolidate the British Values of democracy, liberty, respect, tolerance and the rule of law through our wider curriculum and enrichment opportunities.
Within the EYFS, there is a combination of adult-led, teacher taught sessions and stimulating continuous provision opportunities. Adults scaffold learning through skilful interactions, questioning and supported play. The EYFS curriculum covers the Prime Areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development and the Specific Areas of Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts. Throughout all these areas of learning and at the heart of our EYFS are the “Characteristics of Effective Learning”. We strive to develop these key characteristics of “Playing and Learning”, “Active Learning” and “Thinking Critically” in order to give the children the skills that they will continue to draw upon throughout their next stages of education, preparing them for the National Curriculum.
Throughout KS1 and KS2, we follow the National Curriculum so that children are provided with an opportunity to experience a broad and balanced curriculum. Using the National Curriculum ‘Programmes of Study’ as a starting point, senior leaders have developed a long-term plan of our curriculum that allows pupils to develop and acquire a depth of knowledge and key skills. This curriculum plan ensures continuity, progression, and coverage within a year group, across a key stage and across the primary phase. From this plan teachers develop a series of well-structured and sequenced lessons that challenge and support pupils. Lessons are differentiated to support children with SEND, while challenging more able learners.
We follow a mostly cross-curricular approach whereby subjects are linked around a central theme. Within each topic subjects are taught in discrete blocks to allow for depth of knowledge and development of subject specific skills. Links are made from one subject to another to build and deepen knowledge of the wider topic. Children are supported in building upon prior learning by reflecting on the skills and knowledge they have acquired through our assessment for learning process. They are encouraged to consider how their prior knowledge and skills will support them in their future learning.
Discrete Maths lessons are taught daily, and we follow the Power Maths planning sequence to support progression and development of key mathematical skills. English is taught through daily Guided Reading and Writing lessons. Additional spelling, grammar and phonic sessions support the acquisition of key literacy skills. High-quality texts are an integral part of our curriculum and act as a stimulus for writing lessons to further support meaningful cross-curricular links and broaden pupil’s learning experience. The following subjects are taught discretely and learning within these subjects is carefully planned for progression: P.E, Computing, R.E, MFL, Music and Science.
Throughout each topic, there are carefully planned enrichment opportunities to widen pupil’s experiences of a given topic. Each topic has a Super Start, Marvellous Middle and Fabulous Finish to bring a new dimension to the children’s learning experience. Within these enrichment activities children will have opportunities to go on trips; share their learning with family members; take part in ‘Forest School’ sessions and enjoy a range of workshop experiences. Further enrichment opportunities are provided in the form of topic weeks for Art, Science and ‘Family Week’. These weeks give pupils the opportunity to take part in a range of extra-curricular activities and build cultural capital.
Emphasis is also placed on understanding and acquiring new vocabulary as it is proven that if children have a broad vocabulary, then they are more able to make meaningful links between all areas of their learning. For this reason, we support children’s vocabulary development through ‘Vocab Ninja’ sessions and ‘Never Heard the Word’ activities. Key vocab for each subject area is carefully chosen to support progression and develop understanding of topics.
The intended impact of our curriculum is that children make connections with their learning, build knowledge, and develop skills. As a result of our carefully planned and skilfully implemented curriculum, we would expect the impact to be that pupils will: