Our Curriculum Areas
Leaders and teachers have nurtured a love of reading and pupils enjoy hearing the carefully chosen books teachers read to them. These extend pupils’ knowledge of vocabulary and stimulate their imagination.
Ofsted report March 2020
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 "Chirpy Chicks", our on-site pre-school 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.
Through a wide range of rich learning opportunities, children at Gretton school acquire core knowledge, understanding and skills in the context of a broad and values based curriculum. Our curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills, based around the national curriculum, for future learning and employment.
Our pupils are encouraged to develop their independence and initiative and to strive for their personal best in all that they do.
English and Maths 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. Careful ongoing assessment of learning in english and maths ensures that all children benefit from personalised learning directly relevant to their needs.
A real life or visual experience such as a trip or visitor in school is planned for to inspire children's interest and provide a purpose and context for learning. Computing is crucial in this modern and developing world and plays an important part in enhancing their learning journey.
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
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.
As well as teaching a structured programme of arithmetic skills we also focus on teaching children how to solve maths problems in real life situations. We use White Rose Maths as a resource to develop children's reasoning skills and to help them consolidate and understand maths concepts more deeply.
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.
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
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.
It is important that our children know and understand the significance of the great civilisations and Empires which changed Britain and the World, including; The nature of ancient civilisations, The expansion and dissolution of Empires, The achievements and follies of mankind, The ideas, beliefs, attitudes and experiences of everyday men, women and children in the past.
The Historical skills and concepts we want our children to know and understand include;
Historical Enquiry-Use evidence to interpret and ask and answer questions about:
- Chronology –order events, know the length or eras, have a sense of period-what was it like living in that time?
- Similarity and Difference-explore continuity as well as difference-for most people food, shelter, clothing and ideas about death are the big issues.
- Cause and Consequence -recognise and explain why people did what they did and why events happened.
- Significance-significant people and event, what significance means
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.
"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