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Gladstone Primary Academy

Curriculum

At Gladstone Primary Academy we follow Development Matters in Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum for Key Stage One and Key Stage Two.

The Development Matters early years curriculum can be found here.

 Click here for the Government document, outlining the aims and programmes of study for pupils of primary age in Years 1 to 6. 

In Reception classes, we follow the Early Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum. There are seven areas of learning and development that shape learning. The three prime areas are communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development. The curriculum is delivered through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity, including synthetic phonics, early reading and writing. Children have short lessons using the same style of learning as children in Year 1 and 2, so they are ready for Year 1 by the end of their time in Reception. 

From Year 1 we use an approach in English and maths that uses a stage, not age approach. This means that children may be in English and maths classes with children from other year groups. The range of ability is narrower in these 'Power Groups,' so that the teaching can be pitched at a level that challenges all children in the group. Teaching is planned from documents that set out the progression in concepts. An example from maths, on block and bar charts, can be found at the bottom of this page.

Each lesson is structured to promote children's engagement, leading to independence and better recall.

  1. Children will watch and listen to the teacher model and 'think aloud' the concept the children are learning.
  2. Children then will be guided through the learning by the teacher, with support from their class partner using carefully planned success steps to help them.
  3. Children then practise with their partner, teaching each other the concept and checking each other's work.
  4. Children then apply the new concept independently, without any support from a teacher or success steps. 

Cooperative learning in the guided and partner practice ensures greater engagement with concepts being taught and these are embedded through;

  • Talking with others helps pupils understand and remember concepts.
  • Cognitive processing helps transfer information from short to long term memory.
  • Interaction among children around appropriate tasks increases their mastery and retention of critical concepts.
  •  Children learn from one another because in their discussions of content cognitive conflicts will arise. Inadequate reasoning will also be exposed, and higher quality understanding will emerge

This approach is based on research by William Glasser, that found that we recall 95% of what we teach to someone else.

The pace of lessons is quick and children produce more work than in a standard class. We see children make rapid progress in Power Groups. 

Other Curriculum Areas

We are currently redesigning the rest of our curriculum. We are moving away from topics to individual subjects, so the knowledge and progression in learning for each subject is clear. Each subject will have a knowledge framework that sets out the knowledge skills and understanding for every year group. 

The knowledge framework has been completed for science and the sequence of learning can be downloaded for Year 4 at the bottom of this page. The learning is supported by resources, knowledge organisers and key vocabulary. This is an example of a knowledge organiser on sound from Year 4.

Example science knowledge organiser from Year 4

We have specialist teachers for music, art and PE (and Spanish in KS2). Children have the opportunity to learn from teachers who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their subjects.

At Gladstone, we use a locally agreed syllabus to teach R.E. (Religious Education).

We follow the Cambridgeshire P.S.H.E. (Personal, Social, Health, Education) Scheme.

Enrichment Weeks

Every 8 weeks the Academy has an Enrichment Week. These weeks when children have the entitlement to take part in different activities, projects and educational visits to support their learning in the classroom. These help build a range of memorable experiences for children linked with their learning and to build cultural capital.