Educated. Engaged. Inspired.
These three words sum up our vision for our school curriculum; by having these three things securely in place allows our children to excel. Embedded across all of our curriculum are our 5 key phrases: independence, collaboration, tolerance and respect, resilience and high expectations. All of this ensures that our curriculum is equipping our children for lifelong learning. Furthermore, it allows them to learn about themselves and others, opening their eyes to the world around them, promoting debate and enquiry.
We ensure that children have carefully planned learning sequences that builds year upon year. Vocabulary and specific core knowledge is identified and shared with pupils so that they can recall prior knowledge and see the outcomes for their new learning, allowing them to make those vital links. As a school, we also promote visits, visitors, curriculum enrichment days, focus days/weeks and parent engagement activities so that they can experience the world they live in through exciting and memorable ways.
At Glenthorne, we have a plethora of ways to ensure our curriculum is delivered effectively and consistently across school. Our ‘Teach to the Top’ approach also insists on high expectations of all learners and never places a ceiling on their ability.
Learning opportunities are mapped out across the whole of the school to ensure coverage and progression. Each new topic focus is commenced with an ‘Inspiration Day’ to engage learners and immerse them in their learning.
These are then followed by specific subject days or focused weeks so that our children are engaged and inspired by their learning. Most of our Foundation Subjects are delivered through an enquiry approach.
Reading is carefully sequenced through school to ensure that children are reading a wide range of genres as well as enhancing the overall curriculum offer. Reading for pleasure is always a focus, with phase groups having structured competitions to encourage participation. Within class or their year group area, there is access to a variety of high quality texts, many linked to the book they are currently reading or to their topics. We also encourage children to go back to familiar reads to give them confidence with their own skills. We have a school library and are part of the library service to further enrich the core reading offer.
Writing is also carefully sequenced across school to ensure there is a range of genres and non-fiction text types explored with our pupils. Children are taught how to evaluate and edit their work from Reception following the school policy. As a school, we also promote VCOP highlighting as children move through school, which allows children to identify key components of writing. When they reach Year 3, they are already highly skilled in reflecting upon their work. Weekly ‘Big Write’ sessions are shared with home and children complete pre-writing activities with their families.
Our Maths curriculum follows a structure of: fluency, problem solving, reasoning and vocabulary. There is also an emphasis on incorporating the CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract) approach to planning and teaching. We encourage resilience and acceptance so that pupils have the necessary skills to overcome challenges that prevents them from moving on with their learning.
Music is taught by Entrust, which ensures that children are exposed to weekly, consistent, high quality instruction and all have the opportunity to play a variety of instruments. Currently, all children in Years 4, 5 and 6 are learning an instrument.
We also offer a wide range of extra-curricular clubs and promote participating in team sports; including cluster and district events. In Year 3, all children are given the opportunity to learn to swim. We are also a partner with Wolves Football Club where we receive quality coaching within, and after, the school day.
We promote our key value of tolerance and respect through our planned sequences of SMSC and RE, which builds on children’s prior understanding and allows pupils to draw comparisons, build acceptance and develops their understanding of current topical affairs. Each year, we also organise ‘Glenthorne Goes Global’. This enables our pupils to experience and learn about identified countries, cultures and continents around the world.
Glenthorne is also committed in using the outdoors to enhance and support learning opportunities as well as promoting the benefits of outdoor learning on children’s well-being. In Reception, we have ‘Muddy Mondays’, Nursery have a ‘Welly Wednesday’ and we also have Forest School for targeted groups across school.
Finally, we recognise each child as a unique child with individual needs, therefore our curriculum is also adapted to meet the needs of all learners, so that every child reaches their full potential. We are committed to providing the very best teaching and learning experiences, which inspire and challenge pupils to demonstrate exceptional outcomes.
To judge the effectiveness of our curriculum we complete and evaluate the following:
Book Looks: This is completed regularly by Phase Leaders within Phase Meetings. Selections are also inspected by SLT and Governors. The focus is on progress, from starting points, challenge within lessons and ensuring high standards of effort and presentation.
Data: Regular ‘Pupil Progress Meetings’ allow us to ensure individual pupils and groups of pupils are making at least expected progress and attainment is in line with Local and National Averages. Interventions and targeted support are put into place as necessary.
Mark Books: Pupils are assessed every lesson as to whether they have not met, partially met, or have fully met the learning intention. These observations are then used to support pupils with their learning through the use of ‘Red Star’ time or to extend their knowledge and challenge them further.
Learning Walks: These are carried out regularly by SLT but are also planned with external visitors, as well as with Governors. These will either have an overarching focus on expectations and standards, or focused investigating the implementation of an area of development.
Learning Environment: Through our promotion of independence, we have developed the use of the environment to support pupils’ learning. Consistent expectations of displayed vocabulary, knowledge mats, practical apparatus and tools to support learning are found in all classrooms.
Pupil Voice: Linked to our motto of ‘Educated, Engaged, and Inspired’, we check that our learners are motivated within their learning as well as feeling supported and comfortable in their environment.
Parent Surveys, Class Dojo and Newsletters: We encourage parental input into our curriculum and foster supportive home-school links. Class Dojo has allowed us to share our curriculum outcomes easily and parental feedback has been strengthened.
Behaviour Tracker: Regular evaluation of our behaviour tracker allows us to spot any patterns in pupil behaviour in and out of the classroom. Any issues can then quickly be identified and action can be taken to support.