At Gedney Church End Primary Academy, we have adopted the “Cornerstones” approach to ensure our curriculum is broad, balanced and meets the requirements of the national curriculum. This particular approach has been introduced to support a project-based, thematic approach with the aim to provide our children with a range of rich and memorable learning experiences.
School specific drivers for our curriculum:
Through use of the “Cornerstones” Curriculum we aim to:
- Engage children through interesting topics and hands-on activities.
- Make meaningful links between subjects.
- Develop children’s skills, knowledge and understanding of a range of themes and
- Make effective connections to the real world.
- Help children to think creatively and solve problems.
- Develop children’s capacities to work independently and collaboratively.
- Enable children to make choices about their learning.
- Take account of children’s interests and fascinations.
- develops children to the best of their abilities
- helps children to find their passions and interests
- facilitates children’s acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding
- helps children to develop intellectually, emotionally, socially, physically and morally
- assists children in becoming independent, responsible, useful, confident and considerate members of the community
- promotes a positive attitude towards learning, so children enjoy coming to school
- helps children to acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning
- creates and maintains an exciting and stimulating learning environment
- ensures that each child’s education has continuity and progression
- enables children to contribute positively within a culturally diverse society
Our curriculum is built on The Four Cornerstones of Learning – Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express. These are four distinct stages that actively promote children’s learning and thinking.
The Four Cornerstones of Learning link explicitly to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development.
The focus for teaching and planning in each Cornerstone is as follows:
- hook learners in with a memorable experience
- set the scene and provide the context
- ask questions to provoke thought and interest
- use interesting starting points to spark children’s curiosity
- teach knowledge to provide depth of understanding
- demonstrate new skills and allow time for consolidation
- provide creative opportunities for making and doing
- deliver reading, writing and talk across the curriculum
- provide imaginative scenarios for creative thinking
- enable and assess the application of previously learned skills
- encourage enterprise and independent thinking
- work in groups and independently to solve problems
- encourage reflective talk by asking questions
- provide opportunities for shared evaluation
- celebrate success
- identify next steps for learning
Each Imaginative Learning Project (ILP) begins with a memorable experience that stimulates children’s curiosity and prepares them for a new theme. A memorable experience often involves an educational visit out of school or a visitor coming into school to share their expertise with the children.
Our curriculum design gives each year group the opportunity to cover a broad range of themes and subjects. Projects last either a half or full term depending on the amount of content and the children’s interests. In some cases, projects may be taught for a shorter period, for example during a science or art week.
We aim to to make your child's start to school a happy and successful one. We hope to create a lasting partnership between parents and the school.
We foster children's independence and offer an exciting, caring, safe environment through which children learn by discovery.
Our high standard of education is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which aims to help all children work towards their full potential.
Our ambition and focus are to provide a rich and stimulating learning environment that encourages all children to decode, blend and read regardless of their background, needs or abilities. The school’s phonics programme matches the expectations of both the early learning goals and the national curriculum, phonics is taught from the beginning of reception. We have high phonics expectations with a clear map of what is expected and when, we aim high with purposeful and fun engaging activities that promote children meeting their full potential.
During the many phonic activities that occur in Early Years and Key Stage 1, the teacher provides support for small groups of readers as they learn to use various reading strategies (context clues, letter and sound relationships, word structure, etc.) by applying the 16 phonic rules. We strongly encourage children to use communication through speech to show their own understanding of what they have learnt. We promote that children re-read books so that they gain a deeper and more fluent attitude to reading and by independently reading a range of texts that will generate new words and understanding. All possible due to the high level of phonics knowledge that the children hold.
In KS2, Guided Reading becomes a whole class activity where the teacher structures questions around skills such as inference and prediction and encourages the class to unpick a variety of texts and use evidence to support their points of view. Phonics is still as important in KS2 and the same programme is included throughout the school.
Individual Reading is also a key aspect of our approach to teaching decoding and blending. Targeted children have the opportunity to read one-to-one with an adult where children benefit from having focussed time on an area for development.
Each class has its own reading area, which we aim to make as inviting as possible. Within each reading area, there are a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books, some of which are linked to the class topic in order to extend children’s interest and knowledge. Each class also has access to levelled books which helps us to track children’s reading progress along with an online tracking system so we know exactly where our children are in their learning.
We know that the more children read, the better equipped they will be to engage in all aspects of the curriculum and provides them with lifelong tools for later on.
Our school uses Storytime Phonics to teach reading (and writing). It builds children's speaking and listening skills and prepares them for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills through a fun and engaging range of activities.
Children begin with Phase One and then they are taught the remaining phases in throughout Reception through to end of Key Stage 1. Below is a summary of each phase:
Phonic Knowledge and Progression of Skills
Seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and oral blending (putting sounds together to make a word - for reading) and segmenting (splitting a word up into its separate sounds - for spelling).
Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes (written sounds) such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes (spoken sounds) not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions.
Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump. Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing them.
Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.Assessment and Recording
Children in Reception will be assessed against objectives, in appropriate age bands, for Reading and Writing outlined in ‘Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage’. Assessment will be based on observations throughout the daily phonics sessions and individual assessments, where appropriate. Teachers will also observe how well children are using Phonics in their reading and writing. At the end of Year One, all children will take the statutory National Phonic Screening Check. Those who do not achieve the required pass mark will receive appropriate intervention and re-take the test at the end of Year Two.
Key Stage Two children’s progress will be assessed through weekly spelling tests, together with continuous teacher assessment of how well they are using and applying taught spelling strategies throughout their writing.
In the context of today’s world, we are advocating that RE should help children and young people to hold balanced and well informed conversations about religion and belief, i.e. be religiously literate.
Pupils will access a high quality RE curriculum that engineers an interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity. This will enable them to develop a knowledge and acceptance of religions and worldviews, with the skill to “disagree agreeably”.
The our schools’ curriculum for RE is a vehicle for delivering some aspects of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education (SMSC), but SMSC should permeate across and underpin each school’s wider curriculum.
We want to achieve:
A balanced RE curriculum with the aim of producing religiously literate pupils that includes aspects of the following disciplines:
- Theology (this is about believing): looking at where beliefs come from - how they have changed over time, how they are applied differently in different contexts and how they relate to each other;
- Philosophy (this is about thinking): finding out how and whether things make sense;
- Dealing with questions of morality and ethics; taking seriously the nature of reality, knowledge and existence;
- Social Sciences (this is about living): exploring the diverse ways in which people practise
- Their beliefs; engaging with the impact of beliefs on individuals, communities and societies.
- To create a safe and stimulating environment in which children are entitled to question, evaluate and express themselves through debate and discussion - “disagree agreeably”.
- Teachers who are empowered through strong subject knowledge to have the skills to challenge conceptions, preconceptions and misconceptions.
Children and young people will have a knowledge and understanding of:
- The major world religions and non-religious worldviews:
- Theology: key texts and traditions; beliefs, teachings/doctrines and sources; practices and
- ways of life; forms of expression; identity and belonging;
- Philosophy: how religion has influenced humanities’ search for meaning and purpose;
- Social Sciences: investigate and observe lived religious practices within local, national and international contexts; and consider how they have shaped and continue to shape society.
- Historical, geographical and scientific contexts.
Children and young people will have the skills:
- As theologians:
- Understand symbolic language;
- Use technical terminology effectively.
- As philosophers:
- Interpret meaning and significance;
- Evaluate and reflect upon beliefs and ethics and how they impact upon the lives of others
- and themselves;
- Refine the way they think about the world and their place in it;
- Consider moral principles, including the nature of good and evil.
- As social scientists:
- Respectfully critique and value the wide range of beliefs and cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others, considering both differences and commonalities;
- Recognise bias and stereotype;
- Represent a range of views, other than one’s own, with accuracy.
The curriculum may also develop the following:
- a moral compass - recognise the difference between right and wrong and readily apply this;
- reflection upon their own beliefs and cultural practices;
- make informed personal choices;
- empathy with and an understanding of others
Our schools value Reading as a fundamental life skill that should be embedded into every aspect of our school curriculum. We aim to achieve this by:
- Reading with children regularly to improve their fluency.
- Linking our Storytime Phonics with Bug Club and Oxford Reading Tree to help springboard our children into confident free readers.
- Creating a passion for reading by incorporating engaging reading areas in our schools and showcasing the achievements of reading.
- Introducing a new Guided Reading framework in school called ‘Hooked On Books’- this aims to deepen our children’s understanding of books and most importantly to promote the enjoyment of reading.
We aim to provide a rich and stimulating learning environment that encourages all children to learn to read and love to read. Reading skills are taught during daily English lessons as well as in Guided Reading and Phonics. Individual reading is also a key aspect of our approach to teaching and reading. Targeted children have the opportunity to read one-to-one with an adult where children benefit from having focused time on an area for development. We know that the more children read, the better equipped they will be to engage in all aspects of the curriculum. Children take their reading books home each day to practise their reading skills and share their learning with their families.By the end of the children’s time at our schools we ensure that they have attained the skills necessary in reading for the next stage of their academic journey.
Within The Federation we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary being able to express themselves clearly to a wide audience.
As a result of Covid 19 The Federation is aware of the necessity for groups of children to be targeted so any gaps that may of occurred are covered.
A solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school.
We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.
We believe that Physical Education (PE) experienced in a safe and supportive environment, is essential to ensure children attain optimum physical and emotional development and good health. Along with our external coaches from Inspire+, we intend to deliver high-quality teaching and learning opportunities that inspire all children to succeed in physical education and in developing life skills. We want to teach children skills to keep them safe such as being able to swim. We also want to teach children how to cooperate and collaborate with others as part of an effective team, through playing competitive competitions with local schools and other sport meetings. We want our children to understand fairness and equity of play to embed life-long values. Our curriculum aims to improve the wellbeing and fitness of all children, not only through the sporting skills taught, but through the underpinning values and disciplines PE promotes.
Art & Design
Creativity is an important aspect of the curriculum in our school. Children will be given the opportunity to explore and study many various styles of art, ranging from prehistoric cave paintings to the impressionist movement to more contemporary abstract pieces. A closer look at famous artists from different cultures will allow children to understand more about who they were, and how and why they created what they created.A wide variety of media including paint, charcoal and clay will be available for the children to experiment with in order to produce their own pieces of artwork, based on the art and artists studied during lessons.
“Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education is a school subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. These skills and attributes help pupils to stay healthy, safe, and prepare them for life and work in modern Britain. PSHE education helps pupils to achieve their academic potential, and leave school equipped with skills they will need throughout later life.”
-PSHE Association, 2016
The intent of our PSHE curriculum is to deliver a curriculum which is accessible to all and that will maximise the outcomes for every child so that they know more, remember more and understand more. At our school, personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education enables our children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of a society. It aims to help them understand how they are developing personally and socially, and tackles many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. We provide our children with opportunities for them to learn about rights and responsibilities and appreciate what it means to be a member of a diverse society. Our children are encouraged to develop their sense of self-worth by playing a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and British Values
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are promoted through all PSHE teaching:
Spiritual development: We explore the beliefs and experiences of ourselves and others; discuss the importance of respecting all beliefs and faiths; learn about and discuss our feelings and values and those of others.
Moral development: We learn about and discuss things that are right and wrong; learn about the law and the importance of it; begin to consider our actions and the consequence of them; consider, discuss and debate ethical issues; offer reasoned views.
Social development: We consider all of the groups and communities that we are part of; participate in our local community; learn how to resolve conflict; engage with the British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance.
Cultural development: We become aware of cultural influences; learn about the role of Britain’s parliamentary system; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
Modern Foreign Languages
It is our intent at both our schools to provide our Key Stage 2 children with a high-quality introduction to Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) where we aim to develop their love of learning about languages and other cultures.
We aim to ensure that by the end of their primary education, children will have obtained an understanding of both spoken and written French and will have a solid foundation when speaking French to others with confidence.
Although our main emphasis will be French, we will also include opportunities and experiences of other languages where appropriate to give children a broader understanding of foreign languages.
In our Federation, we believe mathematics is an important part of children’s development throughout school, right from an early age. We intend on delivering a curriculum which:
- Allows children to be a part of creative and engaging lessons that will give them a range of opportunities to EXPLORE mathematics following a mastery curriculum approach.
- Gives each pupil a chance to BELIEVE in themselves as mathematicians and develop the power of resilience and perseverance when faced with mathematical challenges.
- Recognises that mathematics underpins much of our daily lives and therefore is of paramount importance in order that children ASPIRE and become successful in the next stages of their learning.
- Engages all children and entitles them to the same quality of teaching and learning opportunities, striving to ACHIEVE their potential, as they belong to our school community.
- Makes rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. * Provides equal opportunities for children to apply their mathematical knowledge to other subjects (cross-curricular links).
Our mission is for our children to develop a life-long fascination for Science in the everyday world. By helping our children apply scientific thinking in all aspects of their learning and life, we will instil an understanding of the scientific method and an ability to use its thinking to solve life problems.
We aim to inspire some of our children to follow a career that requires the application of scientific disciplines. We seek to fascinate and engage our learners through practical investigations and experiments; teach them how to observe, measure, analyse, then draw their conclusions using deduction and reasoning.Science provides an opportunity to practically demonstrate that we learn to read, to write and calculate and reason to achieve life goals. To this end, our children will have the opportunity to apply all these skills in evidencing their findings and communicating their conclusions. Science is perhaps the subject that has made human beings what they are today and will be the one that creates the world our children and grandchildren will live in tomorrow. We want our children to play a part in shaping that future.
We believe that Computing is a priority area within our current school improvement plan and aim to build on our previous successes to ensure improved provision at school and at home.
With the recent introduction of the Google G Suite, children will be able to access learning both in and out of the classroom.
Google G Suite comprises of a number of word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications which can all be accessed anywhere and used collaboratively by children through Google Classroom.
Children will be given instructional lessons on how to fully utilise these applications and produce work in school which can be continued at home if needed
Teachers also have the ability to deliver lessons, set and feedback on work through Google Classroom remotely, should the need arise in the future.
History is about the people - our record of what has happened and why. We aim to encourage and enable children to gather, analyse and interpret information in order to gain some idea of its place in history.
Throughout their time in school, children will have the opportunity to study and explore important events from different historical periods including, The Tudors, World War 2 and Ancient Civilisations.
Once children are aware of differences between the past and present, they can begin to develop a chronological framework and a depth of historical knowledge, which may be communicated in a variety of ways.
Geography throughout the school is designed to give the children progression and continuity of geographical skills and knowledge, leading to an understanding of places in the world around them.
The younger children investigate their immediate environment and neighbourhood.
Studies for older children are broadened from our local area to places further afield in the British Isles and abroad. Children will be able to make comparisons between different regions of the world, get a better insight into how other people live and learn about different physical and man-made features of the global landscape.
Children are encouraged to develop an awareness of local and world-wide issues and formulate their own opinions and views.
We aim to provide many opportunities to allow children to express themselves.
In addition to weekly structured music lessons, children are given singing and playing opportunities in daily assemblies, hymn practice and whenever year groups are involved in productions.Through our thematic curriculum we intrinsically blend the acquisition of musical skills through our topics. Opportunities to be creative composers of musical scores are developed and presented to audiences.
Design and Technology prepares children for the rapidly changing world. Children are encouraged to become independent, creative problem solvers and learn how to develop collaborative and independent thinking skills. Opportunities are given for children to respond to needs and opportunities by developing their own ideas and products. Design and Technology is all about the combination of practical skills alongside developing an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues. Once designs have been discovered and created, DT lessons allow children time to reflect on and evaluate past and present technology, including their own creations and those of their peers.
We aim to develop children's creativity, technical and practical expertise so that they can perform everyday tasks confidently. It is important that children are given opportunities to build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills so they can create high-quality prototypes and products.Wherever possible, cross curricular links are made to ensure children get the most out of their learning experiences. We hope that when children leave us they are equipped to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.