Our curriculum

The National Curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by schools so children learn the same things. Academies do not have to follow the National Curriculum but must teach a broad and balanced curriculum including English, Maths and Science, as well as Religious Education.

Key Stages

The curriculum is organised into blocks of years called ‘Key Stages’ (KS). At the end of each Key Stage, your child’s teacher will formally assess their performance to measure your child’s progress.

Reading

Both in school at home, we want to build a culture of reading for pleasure and purpose. Our approach to reading involves daily sessions incorporating clear adult modelling prior to the children applying these skills through partner work and independent reading. Children deepen their understanding of the challenging texts they read through the systematic use of a series of strategies and language stems. Our approach encompasses the key principles of effective reading provision and fully meets the requirements of the National Curriculum by creating deep understanding of texts, developing oracy around reading and increasing children’s breadth of reading.

We deliver our reading programme through the Lion Academy Trust reading strategy which is a tried and tested programme that has led to the best outcomes across our schools irrespective of context.

Phonics

For children in the early stages of reading, the school follows the 'Letters and Sounds' Programme.  Click here for more information on the programme. 

Writing

The teaching of English is at the heart of curriculum provision at Thomas Gamuel Primary. Children learn how to read, write and spell in Literacy and Phonics lessons every morning. If required, extra support is provided to pupils through intervention groups in the afternoons.

Our writing lessons are 'skills-based' and are carefully differentiated to meet the needs of all learners. A love of writing is encouraged through engaging and lively texts and stories. We aim to provide our pupils with opportunities to develop core communication skills in every lesson, regardless of the subject. Progress and attainment in writing at Thomas Gamuel is achieved through carefully tailored, high-quality lessons and resources.

We deliver our writing programme through the Lion Academy Trust writing strategy which again is a tried and tested programme that has led to the best outcomes across our schools irrespective of context.

Lion Academy Trust was ranked 3rd in the country for writing in 2017-2018, and is one of three MATs in the country that have been placed in the top 20 of MATs for combined progress.

Maths

Children at Thomas Gamuel learn Maths as a discrete subject for an hour a day, as well as in a cross-curricular way, such as during Maths Week when we use Maths in PE, art and other subjects.

We use the Primary Advantage Maths approach in which children learn to use concrete resources, such as counters, blocks, plastic money and number lines, to develop a strong understanding of maths concepts. They then move on to using pictures to help them visualise a concept, before learning to handle numbers in abstract.         

Our aim is that all children enjoy maths and see its value in the real world. As such we focus on maths in a real-life context and fun, problem-solving activities. When children have shown a good understanding of the basic concepts, we stretch their learning by challenging them to explain their reasoning and show a depth of understanding, leading to mastery.

Mental maths is an important skill, taught in short bursts every day. Children are taught strategies to improve the speed of their mental calculations. We emphasise the importance of learning times tables and number bonds.

Homework for Maths is usually set once every fortnight (alternating with literacy), either in homework books or through online resources, such as My Maths. We also encourage parents to spend time every day helping their children learn the times tables and number bonds.

To view the Trust's Curriculum Map - Click here

Non-Core

At the heart of the Lion Academy Trust is the belief that access to an outstanding education is a right for all our children and young people. To achieve this goal, we have a consistent and continuous focus on developing and implementing outstanding educational practices. We continue to develop innovative and better ways to transform schools into centres of teaching and learning excellence and, as our results show, our robust, quality-driven approach has brought proven results. 
We recognise that Education is the most empowering force in the world. It creates knowledge, builds confidence, and breaks down barriers to opportunity.

For all children, it is the key to which they are able to open the door to a better life.

Our curriculum has been built around several key themes. Learning has to be sequential, and build upon prior knowledge, skills and understanding. This needs to lead to increasing independence and fluency. The development of core literacy skills, particularly reading is fundamental. 

Threaded through this is the idea that ambition and aspiration is not something that is only available to the elite. All children are given the opportunity to learn about fascinating people, wonderful and exotic places, and the wonders of the world . They develop an appreciation of the arts, culture and their heritage.  They are able to discuss and debate the way in which technology allows us to fit our potential and how to do this safely.

Alongside the knowledge and skills embedded throughout the curriculum content, when we were developing this curriculum; we asked ourselves some simple questions. What will children need to be system leaders of the future. The key characteristics of independence, resilience, perseverance, reflective and aspirational are interwoven within the assessment proficiency development of the children.

Our Curriculum and the resources alongside it, is the culmination of years of work by the very best teachers that the trust has. They have worked tirelessly to ensure that all children benefit from the very best curriculum that could be designed. 

We hope you enjoy the journey. 

To view our Art & Design Curriculum, click here
To view our Computing Curriculum, click here
To view our Geography Curriculum, click here
To view our History Curriculum, click here
To view our Science Curriculum, click here

Children in Reception follow the Foundation Stage Early Years Curriculum.

The curriculum is organised into different areas of learning.

Prime Areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language

Specific Areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

For more information on the Early Years Curriculum, click here.

To view the Trust's Curriculum Map - Click here

School leaders have been effective in identifying and providing suitable opportunities for pupils to take responsibility. Teachers of older pupils have high expectations for their attitudes to learning. This is preparing them well for the next stage of their education

Ofsted report, October 2016