All About Our Curriculum
At Glascote Academy we value the breadth of our curriculum and the experiences it provides to our children. We feel even more than ever, these added experiences such as Outdoor learning, caring for the animals and the environment are so important to aid pupil wellbeing which is why we are continuing to offer this. Due to the Pandemic and the addressing of potential gaps in learning, we have looked at interventions and how to provide extra support where needed. Our Remote Home Learning is another avenue whereby we can deliver our curriculum across all subjects. We are conscious of not narrowing our curriculum during the difficult times.
Glascote Academy children and staff love reading! Reading is enthusiastically promoted within Guided Reading sessions, at 3pm story time, and ideally, daily reading at home. Guided Reading sessions happen four times a week and include mini timed comprehension tests to increase pace.
We follow a two week format:
Week One: Whole class teaching concentrating of specific VIPER skills: Vocabulary (V), Inference (I), Predict (P), Explain (E), Retrieve (R) and Sequence (KS1)/Summarise (KS2) (S).
Week Two: Through the use of an 'I do, we do, you do' structure, children can apply the strategies and skills that they have learnt in week one. We also spend a lesson focusing on other important aspects of reading, such as decoding, fluency and expression.
In addition, our Reading Manager is available to ensure a variety of books are accessible but, most importantly, reads with a selection of children on a one-to-one basis to ensure all children have a love of books and make substantial and sustained progress as a result. Our school library is bright, inviting and used weekly by all classes. Children have the opportunity to share their love of books and take time to choose a book to read. Our children enjoy reading their favourite books in the library.
Writing is taught through tailored English and cross curricular lessons. Staff plan exciting lessons across two-week blocks, which build up to a final piece of writing ‘Big Write’. Throughout the two-week block, children see 'What A Good One Looks Like' (WAGOLL), identifying features of a specific genre, spend time looking at and extending vocabulary choices and sentence types. In addition, children take time to plan, write and edit their writing using a purple pen. Children are made accountable to ensure they include all skills taught, in line with their ability, by using checklists to support their writing. Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) is taught discretely and across lessons to enable the children to implement GPS skills within their writing. Texts, pictures and videos are used as exciting and engaging stimuli to enthuse and inspire a range of writing genres including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. If appropriate, drama activities are used to support the teaching of writing, alongside the use of pictures and symbols when retelling or recreating narratives. Children take great pride in their work by using a cursive handwriting style.
As ‘There is no statutory requirement for schools to choose one of the SSP programmes on the validated list.’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/choosing-a-phonics-teaching-programme/list-of-phonics-teaching-programmes) and the list is not yet complete Glascote Academy have made the decision to continue with our current phonic teaching approach.
This is because our teachers are trained to teach the programme by following a structured planning system through Phonics Play (see Appendix One) which follows the Letters and Sounds teaching sequence. A sufficient bank of decodable books that are banded into the Letters and Sounds Phases ensure that, as children move through the early stages of acquiring phonic knowledge and skills, they can practise by reading texts closely matched to their level of phonic attainment, that do not require them to use alternative strategies to read unknown words.
Children in Reception and Key Stage One receive a daily phonics lesson where main grapheme-phoneme correspondences of English is taught in a clearly defined, incremental sequence. We introduce a defined group of grapheme-phoneme correspondences that enable children to read and spell many words early on. The children are taught to blend and segment words and how to apply these skills throughout the curriculum. Children are also taught to decode and spell common exception words (sometimes called ‘tricky’ words), appropriate to their level of progress in the programme.
Lessons are built around direct teaching sessions, with extensive teacher-child interaction and involve a multi-sensory approach, this includes the use of Jolly Phonics actions and songs as a resources to support the teaching of Letters and Sounds. Staff provide resources that support the teaching of lower-case and capital letters correctly, in a cursive style with clear start and finish points. Children are moved on by teaching them to write words made up of learned GPCs, followed by simple sentences composed from such words as well as any common exception words learned.
Children are assessed both during lessons and at the end of a phase, this highlights who may be falling behind or are within the bottom 20%. Children remain on the phase that they are being taught until they are confident and secure.
Children in Key Stage Two continue to access phonics lesson where necessary. They are given guidance and resources to ensure that they practise and apply the core phonics they have been taught. These children then continue to have phonic lessons beyond Key Stage One through discreet lessons and intervention sessions.
Staff have access to guidance and support to effectively deliver phonics. Training is also provided for staff across all key stages who have high levels of expertise and relevant experience.
A rigorous monitoring programme, which looks at the triangulation through learning walks, pupil interviews and looking at planning ensures that phonics is taught in a consistent and methodical way, leading to expected progress being made. ‘Carefully monitoring progress to ensure that phonics programmes are responsive and provide extra support where necessary.’ Education Endowment Foundation
A structured route for most children means that the school data shows that children make rapid progress from their starting points, this continues as the children take the Year One Phonics Screening Check. A high percentage of children meet all National Curriculum expectations for word reading through decoding by the end of Key Stage 1.
Maths is loved by our children at Glascote. To ensure the children are challenged and have a wide range of experiences, in school we follow our bespoke Triple R format. Following initial teaching and modelling, the children Rehearse, Reason, and complete Real-life questions. Numicon and other resources are available to support the children’s learning. Our children also complete a timed weekly “Countdown” challenge which aims to increase fluency, recall and pace when solving arithmetic problems. Here at Glascote we encourage outdoor learning experiences, children will participate in maths lessons and activities on the school farm, forest area and also on the playground. Slight tweaks may be made to make this fit remote learning.
Fierte Trust Mathematics Videos on Youtube
In order to support parents and provide them with information about how we teach calculation strategies, separate playlists have been created for each type of calculation. Please click on the links below to access the playlists:
Place Value - Trust Mathematics Videos - YouTube
Addition - Trust Mathematics Videos - YouTube
Subtraction - Trust Mathematics Videos - YouTube
Multiplication - Trust Mathematics Videos - YouTube
Division - Trust Mathematics Video - YouTube
Bar Models - Trust Mathematics Videos - YouTube
We are extremely proud of our outdoor learning at Glascote Academy. Our Forest and Farm areas play a significant part in both the children’s school lives and within the life of the local community. Both outdoor areas are used as an integral part of the curriculum, creating a range of cross-curricular learning opportunities, which engage ALL learners. This holistic approach ensures that every subject is taught in a new and innovative way, nurturing children in their learning journey. Outdoor opportunities ensure that skills can be applied in a range of contexts and can be transferred back into the classroom.
At Glascote Academy, we teach a range of exciting and engaging theme lessons that encompass all areas of the curriculum including History, Geography, DT and Art. Through the exploration of different and diverse themes including Global Gardens, World War II, Anglo-Saxons & Vikings, Stone Age, and Ancient Greece, the children learn about their world both past and present. Each term, a WOW week is included in the timetable to allow further exploration of theme subjects through the use of food, music, dance and art. Furthermore, we aim to provide opportunities for memorable learning through the use of trips, visitors and wider experiences.
If you require more information about the National Curriculum which we follow at Glascote Academy please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum
If you require more information about the National Curriculum which we follow at Glascote Academy plesae visit: