Curriculum

Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

We are a friendly village school with incredible children who learn every day within a safe, stimulating and nurturing environment. We put the children at the centre of everything we do, valuing and cherishing every pupil. Our vision is to be outstanding in all areas of school life and high standards are achieved by promoting a school ethos of “striving to be better every day”. We do this by ensuring the curriculum provides the knowledge and skills required and also by encouraging children to build their self-confidence and independence which is underpinned by our core values. Pupils and staff constantly adhere to these school values: Kindness, Co-operation, Respect, Perseverance, Ambition, Sportsmanship, Pride, Honesty, Courage and Responsibility.

At Gretton School, we ensure that children quickly acquire reading skills, a secure understanding of English and mathematical fluency. Reading is prioritised to allow pupils to access the full curriculum offer. Our status as a lead school for reading in Northamptonshire is testament to this. Alongside this, we have developed a creative curriculum where the learning of both knowledge and skills is linked and applied across subject areas. We aim for high academic achievement within our inspiring and engaging curriculum. This creative approach to the curriculum is designed to maximise children's learning by inspiring enquiring minds and a love of learning, so that children are motivated to achieve their very best and flourish.  We ensure that all pupils are constantly motivated and challenged and we give them the confidence to push themselves out of their comfort zones and not be afraid to make mistakes. 

To ensure that all our children can access the widest possible curriculum we work hard to remove any barriers to learning and we enhance the curriculum offer where necessary, so that, regardless of any vulnerabilities, all children can succeed. 

Curriculum Implementation

We have a highly skilled staff who work incredibly hard to deliver and assess an exciting curriculum. Teachers and leaders reflect on our curriculum regularly, adapting it to meet the needs and interests of all our children. Teachers constantly evaluate and develop their practice in light of current educational thinking.  We plan for a progressive acquisition of skills in each subject across the curriculum. The areas of study are mapped out carefully to ensure curriculum coverage in terms of both knowledge and skills. Careful tracking of coverage is crucial in a small village school such as ours as year groups are mixed.

We provide the children with real-life experiences, and every topic has an enrichment day such as a trip, a visitor or an experience day.   We also run class enterprise projects and whole school theme days and participate in many cross school events through our Trust.

Please click here to see photographs of recent events in the gallery.

Please click here to see our enrichment calendar.

All of this exciting activity takes place within our historic 100-year-old building surrounded by a playground, orchard and new creative space. We use these areas for outdoor learning, storytelling and imaginative play. We also access the village Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) and sports field adjacent to our school which enables us to deliver an excellent PE curriculum.  All of this, combined with our extra-curricular programme, promotes a healthy and active lifestyle.

Parents are encouraged to be involved in their children’s learning and so support the implementation of our curriculum. Pupils are provided with termly homework grids which outline a range of imaginative and practical homework tasks which we expect parents to engage in with their children.

Gretton Primary Academy is an important part of the local community and we have developed trusting relationships with the village community over several years of collaboration.  Alongside our school values, our place in the community is at the heart of our school ethos. To support our teaching of the curriculum, we invite members of our community to speak to the children and we regularly reach out to elderly members of our community and people in need. For example, we invite elderly members of our community to join our Christmas lunch and at Harvest festival our pupils distribute food hampers to vulnerable members of the community. These activities reinforce our school values of responsibility and kindness.

Curriculum Impact

The impact of our curriculum in the short term, is that both the children and staff at Gretton Primary enjoy the learning journey and look forward to coming to school every day.

In the medium term, we hope that our pupils become creative thinkers, independent and enthusiastic learners who are constantly knowing more, remembering more and becoming more skilled. This translates into pupils making strong progress from their individual starting points and achieving outcomes that are typically above national averages. Assessment at Gretton school is an integral part of teaching and learning to measure the impact of the skills and knowledge children acquire. Teachers draw on a range of evidence to assess what pupils know, understand and can do across the curriculum. This assessment is used thoughtfully to shape future learning.

Our long term aims are to develop the whole child and to equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners, the cultural capital to be good citizens and to give them experiences that they will remember forever. By the time children leave our school they are well prepared, both academically and socially, not only for the next stage of their education but for their future lives.

"The curriculum provided by the school is broad and balanced" 

"Pupils social, moral, spiritual and cultural development is, threaded throughout the wealth of experiences they have"  Ofsted report February 2016.

Early years Foundation stage

At Gretton we believe that the experiences children have at the very start of their school life are important in ensuring that they grow up as independent and self motivated learners for life. To ensure that they have the opportunities to do this we start with excellent transition activities from our on-site nursery provision.  The children have a bespoke early years classroom and outdoor environment to facilitate learning through play and enable them to build on their taught experiences and develop the skills required to meet their development needs. Our outstanding Early Years teacher and her team ensure that every individual has their needs met over their initial year at school, building the skills needed to continue learning as they enter Key Stage 1. As part of this experience all children benefit from our Forest School and outdoor learning programme, which develops their self confidence, self assurance and responsibility in a unique and inspiring environment.

CURRICULUM

Gretton follows an exciting creative curriculum in line with the National curriculum. English and Maths still have a dedicated teaching time in the day to ensure that basic skills are learnt: these are then practised, applied and consolidated in our theme and skills based work. The curriculum in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 includes different areas of learning and focuses on key skills and essentials for learning and life through a termly theme. The themes are carefully planned to allow child-led learning to take place. All themes start with a real life or visual experience such as a trip or visitor in school to inspire children's interest and provide a purpose and context for learning. Careful ongoing assessment of learning in English and maths ensures that all children benefit from personalised learning directly relevant to their needs. ICT is crucial in this modern and developing world and plays a major part within all areas of learning. Children use Learnpads, Laptops, Cameras and other technology to enhance their learning journey.

FRENCH

In key stage 2, our children have a weekly French lesson.  This focuses on children learning the spoken language through games, songs and practical activities plus some written recording of the French Language.

ENGLISH

At Gretton Primary Academy, English work is based on the National Curriculum and is delivered daily in dedicated Literacy time. We strive to make English teaching and learning an integral part of our creative curriculum.  This means that the majority of English lessons are linked to the current class topic.  Children have daily writing opportunities that support their next steps in learning and across a year children will be taught to write in a range of narrative, non-narrative and poetic genres.

In line with research, there is a strong emphasis on talk and drama to promote good writing skills.  In KS1 classes teachers use Pi Corbet’s "Talk For Writing" strategies to develop children's use of story language. All teachers use high quality texts and stimuli to give children a clear purpose for their writing and to engage and inspire them.  Teachers also focus on the key skills of spelling, punctuation and grammar to ensure that our current high standards are maintained. Teachers also have high expectations of presentation and dedicate time each week to handwriting lessons, children learn to write in a cursive style from Year 2.

Children receive daily phonics teaching in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 following the Read, Write Inc scheme*.  The teaching of reading and comprehension continues throughout Key Stage 2 through guided reading and comprehension sessions.  We expect all children to read at home at least five times a week and this is monitored in school.

The main aim of language development is to create an excellent means of communication, both written and verbal, which can be used confidently and successfully in all aspects of life.

The phonics and reading schemes we use are:

·          Read Write Inc

·         Oxford Reading Tree

·         Project x

Please see our phonics policy.

MATHEMATICS

Mathematics is led by our specialist maths teacher and follows the latest developments to the National Curriculum.  Our aim is to develop in the children a positive attitude towards Mathematics by making lessons practical, fun and engaging.  At Gretton, we encourage children to use and apply a range of problem-solving skills to investigations to consolidate and extend children's learning.

Where possible, Maths is related to real life situations such as buying at the shops and the children's topics such as the Wild West or Roald Dahl.

An important part of our Maths learning is a strong emphasis on mental calculations which we learn through 'BIG Maths'.  This is a fun way to learn mathematical vocabulary and skills, which the children can apply to other areas of their learning.

Please see our calculation policy at the bottom of this page.

SCIENCE

The Science curriculum at Gretton Primary school is designed to generate excitement and curiosity about the world, respect for living things and the environment and to equip children with skills for the future.

Children have the opportunity to explore and experiment, to investigate and solve problems and to reflect critically. They use their developing Maths and English skills in real situations as they work through the Science National Curriculum. When relevant, links are made with other areas of the curriculum.

Teachers look for opportunities to enrich our Science curriculum in the classroom, outside and offsite. As well as workshops arranged with the Ogden Trust for each class, the whole school has recently taken part in the Polar Explorer Programme to inspire the children and to ensure there is a connection between learning in school and the real world.

THE ARTS

In Art and Design Technology, the academy takes advantage of a range of arts opportunities. Understanding of arts and artists is part of every theme with a strong creative element every term to provide a visual product related to or inspiring the children's work on the theme. Relevant individual artists, periods or artistic skills or techniques are explored. Gretton offers many opportunities for the children to compete and celebrate their artistic learning through festivals and competitions over the year within and beyond the Academy, such as taking part in projects such as Take One Picture which is run by the National Gallery.

Our curriculum includes a range of activities in all areas of the arts including dance, drama, music as well as art and design. Pupils in Year 1 learn to play the ocarina. In Key stage 2 all children have the opportunity to take part in many singing activities and we regularly take part in "Young Voices", where the children get the opportunity to perform in a large arena. Pupils in Key stage 2 also learn to play the recorder and ukulele. We also offer drum, brass guitar and piano lessons delivered by peripatetic music teachers for a small charge.

MUSIC

Pupils in Year 1 learn to play the ocarina. In Key stage 2 all children have the opportunity to take part in many singing activities and every other year we take part in "Young Voices".  Pupils in Key stage 2 also learn to play the recorder and ukuele.

We also offer drum. brass and piano lessons delivered by periapetetic music teachers for a small charge.

HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY AND RELIGION

Historical and geographical understanding is built up within the themes studied, having the flexibility to follow children's lines of interest and enquiry. Emphasis is placed on children's own research, use of artefacts, discussion and role play. Understanding of social events, behaviour and their effects on the world and local communities is built up through this variety of role play, discussion and debate in context.

Within the statutory area of religion, children learn about the main features and teachings of Christianity and also principal religious faiths. We aim for children to develop skills and knowledge in order to make decisions about the important questions and also to gain a greater understanding of the world in which they live in.  We also discuss fundamental questions through philosophical discussions in P4C sessions.  (Philosophy for Children).

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

The children participate in two hours of physical activity timetabled each week. We employ highly qualified sports coaches to lead some of our PE sessions. The academy regularly enters teams or year groups into a range of inter-school and in-school competitions and promotes good sportsmanship. Children learn how to care for their bodies both physically and mentally and are encouraged to develop a growing self-awareness, positive attitude and commitment to self-improvement through setting goals, so that they are ultimately able to influence their own quality of life.

COMPUTING

The National Curriculum for Computing in England aims to ensure that all pupils:

* Can understand and apply the principles and concepts of computer science, including data representation;

* Can analyse problems and have repeated experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems;

* Can evaluate and apply information technology;

* Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information technology.

There is a particular emphasis on the skill of 'coding' and for children to use technology safety, respectfully and responsibly. We follow the "Switched On Computing" program of study.

All Computing lessons involve an aspect of E-Safety

For further information on the curriculum please see the curriculum overviews and homework grids sent out every term, which can be found in the parent info section of this website. The curriculum expectations for each year group are also available on the curriculum section of the website. 

If you require further information about the curriculum at Gretton Primary Academy please contact Jane Macdonald jmacdonald@grettonprimary.org or Rebecca Jackson rjackson@grettonprimary.org

 

 

  1. Brooke Weston Trust Calculation Policy
  2. phonics policy
  3. National Curriculum PDF
  4. Importance of PE Leaflet
  5. Skills and Knowledge Progression Documents
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