The Curriculum

The Gildersome Curriculum

The aim of our curriculum is to support children to be successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens through a broad and balanced curriculum that can be accessed by all children. As a school, we believe that all children excel in something - and this may not be literacy and/or Mathematics. Our aim is to give every child a change to shine in some aspect of their school life and perhaps nurture a passion for the future.

The OFSTED framework for September 2019 places an important focus on the broad and balanced curriculum:

At the heart of the EIF is the new ‘quality of education’ judgement, the purpose of which is to put a single conversation about education at the centre of inspection. This conversation draws together curriculum, teaching, assessment and standards. In doing this, we draw heavily on the working definition of the curriculum that Ofsted has used over the last couple of years. This definition uses the concepts of ‘intent’, ‘implementation’ and ‘impact’ to recognise that the curriculum passes through different states: it is conceived, taught and experienced. Leaders and teachers design, structure and sequence a curriculum, which is then implemented through classroom teaching. The end result of a good, well-taught curriculum is that pupils know more and are able to do more. The positive results of pupils’ learning can then be seen in the
standards they achieve.

Inspecting the curriculum
May 2019

As part of our work around this, we have been developing our curriculum over the last 2 years. IN 2019-20, staff performance management is based around expertise and leadership in 1 aspect of the curriculum. Staff will also receive support and training about how best to do this.

The Gildersome Curriculum 2019-20

Please click on the links below to see how we have organised our curriculum for 2019-20:

 Nursery  Reception
 Year 1  Year 2
 Year 3  Year 4
 Year 5  Year 6


Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship Education

(Me, myself and P.S.H.E) 

We understand, recognise and believe in the importance of personal, social and emotional education and its place in ensuring the best outcomes for our children. This is a new curriculum for the school for 2017-8 and is part of the school's work towards Healthy School status.

Details of our curriculum can be found here.  

Religious Education

In line with DfE guidelines, Gildersome Primary school follows the LA agreed RE syllabus. Assemblies and lessons are broadly Christian in nature but do cover aspects of spiritual, moral and social education including information about other religions. Assemblies end with a prayer / reflection. Children can choose how they wish to participate in this. The school may also visit other places of worship throughout their time in school. We hope parents will support us in educating our children about all religions and developing tolerance and understanding, in line with British Values teaching.

Parents do have the right to withdraw children from assemblies and RE if they feel the need. Please contact the Head Teacher to discuss this further.

Firm emphasis on Reading and Writing

Our topics are carefully designed to support the children's learning in Literacy as a main focus. Constructive links to other subjects are made throughout.

An example of how the focus of a topic can enrich writing can be seen in the Year 2 topic, 'Castles'. Here pupils learn about 'Traditional Tales'. Many of these are set around castles, thus providing good opportunities to compliment the learning in both History and the English.

Providing Challenge

In order reach their full potential children should be challenged. We build this into our curriculum by beginning each topic with a challenge. The challenge provides our pupils not only with motivation, but also adds a sense of purpose to their work.

In many cases the challenge involves entering a local or national competition, such as submitting a film to the Leeds Young Person's Film Festival. In other topics the challenges might include performing dramas, or holding exhibitions for parents.

Learning with experts

Children respond well to seeing a different face in the classroom, to enhance each topic, where possible, we identify key partners with whom we can work. Many of our partners are now regular visitors to school. Currently our teachers are regularly supported in school by professional dance instructors, sports coaches and representatives from our local religious organisations.

We also plan educational visits for each year group to supplement and support the work done in school. These visits are carefully planned and costed to ensure that they represent good value for money. Parents are asked for voluntary contributions to cover the costs. However, if an insufficient amount of money is raised, the difficult decision may have to be taken to cancel trips and visits. The policy is that all children or none of the children partake in the visits. We will not exclude individual children unless there are extenuating circumstances. If parents have concerns around the costs then please speak to the school as we may be able to help. We aim for costs to be no more than £30 in any one year, with the exception of residential visits in year 5 and 6 where the costs tend to be around £150.

Please see the educational visits policy for more information - this can be found on the 'Policies' page.

If you'd like to share your area of expertise with our children, please contact us to discuss the potential opportunities.

Learning with families and our community

Parental support is very important to the progress that children make. To build on this, opportunities for parents to become involved in the learning are identified at the very beginning of each topic. These opportunities are primarily communicated to parents via the 'Learning Blogs' on this site.

Through using these it's our intention to open up life in school, enabling parents to gain a clear view of what their children are learning, how they can best support this at home and what opportunities exist for them to become involved in school itself. Homework is a part of learning - it helps to reinforce, support and extend children's learning so that they can make quicker progress. Your support with homework tasks is an essential aspect of school life and we appreciate parent and carers help with this.

Each term, we hold an 'Open' session where parents and carers can come into school to join in with our curriculum and see what a typical day is like. The focus for these days have been closely linked to the curriculum and have included lessons on 'Numicon' and 'anti-bullying' activities. The feedback from these days has always been overwhelmingly positive and it is well attended by at least 100 parents. Watch out for more next academic year.

Learning Creatively

Children are individuals. They learn things in different ways and enjoy variety in how their learning is acquired. To provide this we carefully plan our topics making sure that opportunities to learn through performing arts, computing, design technology and art are all provided. 

Recent examples of how we have used Creative Learning to develop our children's Literacy skills include Year 5 and 6 pupils taking part in the 'Schools Shakespeare Festival' where children perform a play to an audience in the Carriageworks theatre in Leeds.

To provide an even better environment in which to achieve this, plans for our new school building include the following features:

  • An allotment for children to plant, grow and eat their own produce
  • Dedicated Food and Design Technology area
  • Large sports hall 

Learning outside the classroom

Children enjoy being outside. Each topic of our curriculum provides opportunities for learning outside the classroom. To provide our pupils with more opportunities to do this, plans for our new building contain the following outdoor features which have been planned to improve our outdoor learning environment:

  • direct external access from each classroom.
  • secure fenced outdoor gardens and learning areas for Foundation Stage and Year 1.
  • covered, hard surfaced outdoor learning areas for all classrooms in Key Stage 2.
  • outdoor seating/classroom in existing courtyard.
  • new habitat areas to be created.
  • allotments have been created in school grounds.
  • there are plans to create an outdoor classroom structure with support from the PTA.

Learning about money

Managing money is an important part of all our lives. All our topics provide opportunities for our children to develop their financial capabilities. To achieve this we work in partnership with HSBC and Lloyds TSB through the Personal Finance Education Group (PFEG).

An example of this was at last years Summer Gala where the children in each class we allocated a small budget of £20 each from which to design, stock and run their own stalls; collectively they raised over £600. Each class now has the responsibility for deciding how their profits are used. 

Learning through fun

Education should be fun. Children should leave our schools with a life-long passion for learning. By providing inspiring challenges, welcoming parents and experts into our school and working hard to make sure that our lessons are not boring, we hope to achieve that.

There is however, one final aspect of our curriculum which is perhaps, the most important part of all when it comes to planning our topics. We listen to our children and place their ideas at the centre of our teaching. By doing this we make sure that there is sufficient flexibility in topics and lessons to allow our children to learn in the ways which are most effective for them, and that's usually fun.

One example of how we encourage this is through providing children with open-ended homework challenges allowing them to explore subjects in their own individual way.