Word reading and comprehension are the two dimensions of reading. At Gonville Academy, we ensure that the teaching focuses on developing both areas for every child. This requires a speedy recognition and pronunciation of printed words for word reading accuracy which is embedded through phonics. We encourage our children’s curiosity of reading and understanding of the world through the conscious selection of books, which are studied through a lens of equality, diversity and inclusion. Children’s knowledge and their understanding of vocabulary form the foundations of comprehension. The teachers at Gonville Academy ensure that comprehension skills are developed through high quality discussions and from a wide breadth of engaging stories, poems and non-fiction texts.
Children are encouraged to read daily at home as well as in school in order to establish a passion for reading and to enhance their vocabulary, as well as securing a better understanding of the world.
At Gonville Academy, we follow the SfA (Success for All) programme, which involves teaching children the skills for reading, writing and comprehension.
Transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (structuring ideas into speech and writing) are the two dimensions to writing. Teachers at Gonville Academy ensure that teaching incorporates both with an opportunity for children to plan, revise and edit their writing. Children are also taught the vocabulary required to bolster their writing and spoken language. This is an expectation across all key stages at Gonville.
At Gonville Academy, we use Success for All from Year 1-6 which involves engaging with an exciting age-related book and producing in-depth writing based on it. In addition to this, writing is taught through our range of diverse curriculum topics.
At Gonville Academy we take a mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics. The fundamental principle is that all children can be successful at mathematics when given high quality instruction and meaningful support. Children progress through learning at broadly the same pace, with opportunities for faster graspers to increase their understanding through exploring each area of the curriculum in depth. We want to ensure that all children have a solid understanding of the subject: the ability to solve a calculation is not enough; children must be able to demonstrate and articulate their understanding of the mathematical concept. We do this by:
* breaking down each part of the curriculum into small steps to support understanding of key concepts
* planning each lesson so that it builds on the previous one to ensure continuous progression
* using concrete materials and a range of visual representations – in all year groups – to scaffold learning
* including problem solving and reasoning skills into all lessons.
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 an independent thinker. Discovery promotes an approach to the wider curriculum where children are immersed within a selection of different subjects in a creative, hands-on and engaging style. This allows them to integrate knowledge into larger concepts. 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, we also promote an understanding of historical and current global issues in a critical way, enabling our pupils to develop a voice to be heard.
Children demonstrate their build-up of knowledge through a Creative Learning Journal, pre and post topic quizzes and through a piece of applied writing during each half term which showcases their learning.
At Gonville Academy, our curriculum has been designed to meet the specific needs of the pupils. Over the course of the year, our students learn explicit skills, such as critical thinking and creativity, within the three main areas of the ICT curriculum: computer science, digital literacy and e- safety.
Our ICT curriculum links to the wider curriculum, which allows children to use their knowledge from a variety of subjects in order to aid their understanding and application of ICT based skills. At Gonville Academy, we are equipped with a computer suite and class sets of iPads which allows us to teach ICT on a weekly basis across the school.
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.
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.
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, our students receive a 30 minute French lesson every week. Lessons consist of a range of speaking and listening, reading and written activities. Knowing the majority of our feeder schools teach French as one of their key languages, we want our children to have the opportunity to begin to learn the basics that will provide them with the confidence and desire to learn more by the time they start their secondary education.
Pupil safeguarding, global citizenship and the promotion of Fundamental British Values are at the heart of all our work at Gonville Academy and great importance is placed on identifying opportunities within the curriculum for children to learn about safeguarding. Our broad curriculum gives pupils the chance to experience life in all its diversity; to acquire knowledge, understanding and skills that significantly impact on personal development, behaviour and welfare; and to equip every child with the knowledge and skills required for personal safeguarding.
Opportunities are drawn on throughout the curriculum as well as safeguarding and global citizenship being explicitly taught through discrete sessions. 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.
Our children benefit from a broad and balanced Physical Education (PE) programme carefully designed to inspire learners to:
Physical Literacy is reinforced through daily active playtimes and our extensive extra-curricular and competitive school sport programme.