The school has developed an innovative approach to learning, integrating four key aspects of education:
- living out of Christian values
- being a successful learner
- being fit and healthy
- being ready for Secondary school both academically with reading, writing and mathematics and socially having supportive friendships.
These four areas have been developed into a model for supporting the development of successful human beings who are together inspired by the challenge of life. The model is based on:
- creating a vision
- knowing the desired outcomes
- providing opportunity and context for the vision to happen
- learning the skills needed along the way.
For this vision to have a chance of succeeding, we have turned the school’s curriculum on its head – we are now looking at the curriculum from how it can support our vision instead of looking how to fit our vision around the curriculum.
… read more about Our Vision
This important distinction allows us to reflect on where our children’s needs are and act accordingly, working from where the children are at, and hence giving permission to adapt and change the curriculum in moving the children on. In other words, “if it does not fit in with moving the children on, don’t do it” and conversely “if it does fit, then do it a whole lot more!” This approach has been highly successful in English and Mathematics over the past two to three years.
The context or opportunities are routinely scheduled to provide a focus for learning and growth. We aim to keep these manageable, effective using the principle of doing less better. The skills to support the journey are drawn from the National Curriculum and may be taught in a themed or subject specific manner but always out of the developing successful human beings.
Our approach is based on themes, where possible, that inspire and engage children in their learning. This focus will ensure that Literacy and Numeracy are integrated across the curriculum. Information about the themes come home with your children from school at the start of each term.
The themed curriculum encompasses all of the National Curriculum subjects:
Our aim is to ensure that every child has a secure foundation in the basic skills of grammar, punctuation, spelling, reading, comprehension and handwriting and that they can appy these skills across a range of genre and other subjects. We place great emphasis on the teaching of reading, with the goal that each child should be able to read fluently and accurately with understanding and enjoyment. The school uses a clear reading programme, drawing on a range of published schemes and other materials. The school Library provides for further reading development.
By making Mathematics an enjoyable and exciting subject, children can learn with confidence and understanding. Children are given a firm base in the traditional skills, as well as being provided with practical applications and areas of expertise.
We encourage children to explore and learn more about their environment through activities and develop their ability to observe, question, investigate and record discoveries. We are keen to encourage enquiring minds and a scientific approach to problem solving.
We provide children with the opportunities to become independent computer users able to work with a range of common computer programmes, from work processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software through to composition of music and film making. Our approach is to teach skills withing ICT lessons and then give children the chance to use the skills, where appropriate, across the whole curriculum. Children have access to classroom computers every day and laptops are scheduled in the classroom every week.
We are particularly interested in Christianity in action and therefore encourage children to put their beliefs into practice. We work alongside Gloucester Cathedral and local churches in making Christianity on accessible, challenging and reflective learning opportunity. Collective worship is an important part of our daily assemblies and the children enjoy worship through song.
Children are taught a variety of skills, which involve working with a range of different materials and foods using appropriate tools. They are encouraged to undertake practical solving of problems.
Children develop geographical skills, including map work, gain knowledge of local and distant places and understand environmental phenomena such as weather. Various methods of activity are encouraged including practical and technological, with an emphasis placed on first hand experience where possible.
Historical resources and visits are used to encourage children’s interest in significant historical periods. Children learn to make simple use of evidence and develop an idea of both the distant and more recent past.
All pupils take part in singing practice and are introduced to a variety of music making activities. Many inspiring musicians visit the school and children take part in various concerts. Additional music tuition is organised for those children who would like to learn an instrument – e.g. recorder, guitar and drums – and there are opportunities for children to perform in assemblies and concerts.
Children are presented with a variety of experiences and materials to develop their artistic skill and appreciation. Basic techniques of 2D and 3D working are taught and developed throughout the school. These are incorporated in topic work and big art displays. Artists regularly visit the school for specific projects and exhibitions.
We are very keen about sport, with each class having two PE lessons per week. During these lessons, children learn a range of movement, dance and gymnastic skills and will experience a variety of games such as tag rugby, football, rounders, kwik cricket and high five netball. Children have the opportunity to swim in Year 1 through to Year 6. Year 5 and 6 gain experience of adventure activities whilst on residential holiday at PGL.