At Gonville Academy we believe we should always evolve and adapt with our children and community. Everything we do is ‘on purpose.’ With that in mind we are always evaluating and looking for further ways with which we can help our children excel. Our approaches throughout our curriculum are based on research and we strive for consistency throughout all we do, so that every child has an equal chance of success. We aim to create a nurturing school community where our pupils’ learning experiences are varied and inclusive; the highest standards of learning are provided; all children reach their full potential whilst being inspired to continue learning in the future and preparing them to thrive in the wider world. We teach with inclusion, diversity and equality at the centre of all our curriculum decisions, with the focus on creating a balanced view of the world and reflecting our community.
Reading is the cornerstone of our curriculum. For children to succeed in school, they must be reading at the national curriculum stage of learning by the end of each year group. Ensuring children are successful readers enables them to access all areas of learning, now and in the future. At Gonville Academy children are equipped with the necessary skills to communicate effectively, whether that be in speaking and listening, reading or writing. We encourage our children’s curiosity of reading and understanding of the world through the careful selection of reading books throughout the school. Children are encouraged to read daily to foster a passion for reading and to enhance their vocabulary so that they express themselves in a wide range of contexts. They draw on knowledge and skills from texts and prior subject knowledge across the curriculum to write a range of genres.
Our maths curriculum follows a mastery approach with collaboration as a strong focus for each lesson. The fundamental principle is that all children can be successful at mathematics when given high quality instruction and meaningful support. Having the opportunity to work as part of a team supports the development of understanding and reasoning skills whilst also providing greater opportunity to solve problems in a variety of different contexts. Children are expected to demonstrate their knowledge through their articulation of each concept. Our lessons are designed to support this by:
Lessons are clearly sequenced and children are assessed regularly in order to support all learners. Prerequisites are taught prior to a new concept and ‘building background’ is evident in every lesson to support children’s understanding and ability to recognise mathematical concepts in everyday life.
Through this approach, we believe that we are providing our children with the knowledge and skills necessary to study more complex mathematics at secondary school and beyond. We also believe that by giving the children this fundamental grasp of mathematics, we are providing them with valuable life skills.
Please explore our mathematics planning documents for more information about what and how we teach at Gonville Academy.
At Gonville Academy, we believe that all children have the right to a broad and balanced curriculum that enables them to develop both as a collaborative team member as well as independent thinkers. Our Discovery subjects (Science, Geography, History, Art, DT, RE and Music) are taught in blocks with links being made across the curriculum. This allows children to integrate knowledge into larger concepts and build their long-term memory. Subjects are taught in a way that allows children to delve deep into the knowledge and understanding suitable for their age range. Additionally, it allows our proactive learners to critically think and reflect on their learning whilst developing the skills necessary to grow into enthusiastic, aspiring and proud citizens of our community. Through Discovery, as well as the rest of our curriculum, we promote an understanding of historical and current global issues in a critical way, enabling our pupils to develop a voice to be heard.
The knowledge and skills learnt in each subject in a child’s time at school are progressive and build from Nursery all the way through to Year 6. Children demonstrate their build-up of knowledge through a shared Creative Learning Journal, individual Knowledge Journals, pre and post topic quizzes and through a piece of applied writing during each half term which showcases their learning.
In addition to our Discovery subjects, children are taught PE, Computing, French, PSHE and Global Citizenship as part of a broad and balanced wider curriculum.
At Gonville Academy, our science curriculum is designed to develop children’s curiosity about the world around them and provides opportunities for enquiry based lessons. It gives our children access to the knowledge which has enabled discoveries and helped develop science which has changed the way we live, think about and understand the world around us. Curiosity begins in the early years and develops throughout the key stages. Children explore scientific theories in physics, chemistry and biology using various scientific skills: comparative and fair testing, identifying and classifying, observing changes over time, pattern seeking and research using a range of sources. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring in the world around them and make predictions. To support this, children work collaboratively to develop their ability to articulate scientific concepts and use specialist vocabulary.
Our Geography curriculum is designed to develop children’s curiosity and fascination in the world around them and to give them a broad understanding of place and location, which acts as a gateway to learning across our curriculum and into the future. By the end of their time at Gonville, children will have studied locations, human and physical features, people and cultures and environmental issues spanning every continent. They will be confident in fieldwork skills that give them the tools to investigate their local area and understand how human and physical geography changes over time.
Our History curriculum teaches children about a diverse range of people, historical periods, cultures and civilisations from the past and allows them to make links and draw comparisons with their own lives. Our curriculum gives children a wide range of knowledge that gives them a solid understanding of how Britain, and the wider world, as it is today, came to be. The progression of learnt skills over their time at Gonville will allow them to think critically, evaluate evidence and arguments and develop perspective on the world around them today. Children will gain understanding of the process of change, the diversity of societies as well as their own identity.
We value our art curriculum as not only an opportunity to develop skills and knowledge but as an opportunity to express children’s individual thoughts, ideas and creativity. Over their time at Gonville, children will learn a range of techniques, experiment with a variety of materials, study diverse and inspiring artists and explore their own creativity. They will be encouraged to take risks, discuss their own emotions and feelings about pieces of art and creatively reflect their experiences of the world with increasing adeptness. Our high-quality art curriculum engages, inspires and challenges pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent, create and evaluate their own works of art, craft and design.
At Gonville, Design and Technology is a practical subject where the children learn a range of skills and techniques, build their knowledge of concepts and values to create innovative products that solve real-life and relevant problems. Children will investigate and evaluate a range of products and designers from the past and present and develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. Children will be inspired by a diverse range of engineers, designers, chefs and architects in their work on structures, mechanisms, textiles, electrical systems and food.
Gonville Academy is part of a wonderfully diverse community. We recognise that religion and belief, for many people, forms a crucial part of their culture and identity. Our key drivers at Gonville Academy; communication, collaboration, learning new skills and knowledge, representing diversity and family, feeling safe and nurtured and excellence are at the heart of how we teach RE. We ensure that children are taught key knowledge, in a creative way, to ensure that they are equipped to talk about RE in a sensitive and respectful way.
We believe that RE makes a significant contribution to helping “pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain,” through practising the skills of tolerance and mutual respect as seen in Fundamental British Values. RE provides us with opportunities to develop pupils learning and understanding of people they will meet, work and live alongside.
At Gonville Academy, we are equipped with Chromebooks and iPads which allows us to teach computing on a weekly basis across the school. Over the course of the year, our students learn explicit skills, such as critical thinking and creativity, within the three main areas of the computing curriculum: information technology, computer science and digital literacy (including e-safety).
* Information technology is concerned with the use of computers for functional purposes, such as collecting, storing, presenting, creating and sending information or using search technology.
We aim to enable children to develop a competent and confident approach to computing, which will equip them with the knowledge and understanding necessary to be digital leaders of tomorrow
Our children benefit from a broad and balanced Physical Education (P.E.) programme carefully designed to inspire learners to:
Physical Literacy is reinforced through daily active playtimes and our extensive extra-curricular activities.
Our PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) curriculum ensures all of our children develop the skills and knowledge to be successful in today’s world; to be safe and healthy individuals and understand their place in the community, and be confident and certain in their right to be heard. As well as covering the statutory content of the RSE curriculum, our PSHE curriculum covers economic wellbeing, careers and enterprise education, as well as education for personal safety, including assessing and managing risk. This, alongside Global Citizenship and P4C in particular, enables our children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society. It helps them understand how they are developing personally and socially, and tackles many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up.
At Gonville Academy, our intention is that children develop an enthusiastic passion for music based on listening, singing, performing and discussing a wide range of musical styles, historical periods, and traditions. Our goal at Gonville Academy is to create a catalyst for what will be a life-long love of music, full of curiosity and respectfulness. We are committed to ensuring children have the skills, knowledge, and confidence, to access, create, and enjoy all types of music that they may have the pleasure of experiencing throughout their lives.
Our curriculum is designed to ensure that all children:
At Gonville Academy we focus on listening, singing, play, performing and analysing. This is promoted through classroom activities, weekly singing assemblies and timetabled music sessions.
At Gonville Academy, we have a French curriculum which ensures that children develop key language learning skills, as well as a love of languages and a broad understanding of other cultures. We believe that a high-quality language education should foster children’s curiosity, encourage them to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to be effective communicators. Our curriculum provides opportunities for children to communicate for practical purposes and build a solid foundation for continued language learning at secondary; all while having fun and developing self-confidence.
We do this by:
At Gonville Academy we teach a weekly session of P4C. Philosophy for Children (P4C) is learning and teaching focuses on developing children’s thinking and communication skills. A ‘community of enquiry’ is developed to discuss a variety of different issues. In each session, the children are shown a stimulus and through careful facilitation, the children share their ideas and develop their skills to ask open ended questions and build on each other’s points of view. Over time, the outcome is for children to grow into caring, critical, collaborative and creative thinkers who are able to perceive issues from a range of viewpoints. This is done through the use of sentence and question stems to model how to articulate their thoughts more clearly. These skills aim to boost each child’s self-esteem and studies suggest that the skills learnt in these lessons contribute to learning gains across the curriculum.
Through Global Citizenship, we aim to engage children in the local and global issues and prepare them to be responsible citizens now and in their future roles within a wider community. They develop their sense of social justice and moral responsibility and begin to understand that their own choices and behaviour can affect local, national or global issues and political and social institutions. Teaching Global Citizenship provides children with the opportunities to learn about their rights and responsibilities and appreciate what it means to be a member of society. At Gonville, we teach Global Citizenship through daily discussions, which link directly to our Rights Respecting Schools values, in order to help the children understand how their rights translate into real life and to better acknowledge and articulate global issues. Children have the opportunity to talk and write about their opinions, and explain their views, on issues that affect themselves and society.
We know that children need to feel safe and happy at school in order to make progress in their learning and fulfil their potential. At Gonville Academy we use the Thrive Approach to help us develop our pupils’ emotional and social well-being. The Thrive approach enables us to tune into children’s current developmental needs, identify any gaps and then plan to meet them. This helps us to build a bespoke Thrive Action Plan of activities to support their needs throughout their time at school. It can help them build resilience and learn strategies to overcome and recover from any difficulties or strong emotions and feelings they may face in everyday life. Positive relationships are at the heart of Thrive and we use these relationships, together with play and creative activities, to give children key experiences at each different stage of their development to meet their needs.