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Welcome to our Glastonbury Thorn School Curriculum
The Glastonbury Thorn School Curriculum - the journey begins!
‘It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.’
Our aim is to ignite the sparks of curiosity within a child’s mind and light up their world with knowledge and new skills.
At Glastonbury Thorn School, we aim to pass on the importance of securing knowledge and to know and remember more. We develop outstanding, resilient learning behaviours, in order for our children to work hard to become confident and flexible thinkers. Our curriculum is broad and ever-growing and our commitment to encouraging creativity as well as academic brilliance is unwavering.
We aim to teach children to be curious and ask big questions, challenge ideas and build on both their individual and combined strengths to solve problems and respond to the world around them.
We ensure that each child practises taking risks, learning from mistakes and shows strength in order to reach their most ambitious goals. At Glastonbury Thorn, we do not fail…this is always the First Attempt In Learning! (After all, pencils have rubbers on the end for a reason!) We develop aspirations in order for the children to truly believe in ‘I can’t do it…YET!’
Our children are encouraged to aim as high as they can whilst also enjoying their childhood and benefiting from as many opportunities and experiences as possible. We aim to teach and nurture the ‘whole child’ and fully understand that if a child is not learning the way we teach, we must teach the way they learn and inspire and spark that enthusiasm that every child absolutely has; the challenge is finding how to light it.
This is our vision and ethos.
This is our curriculum.
The curriculum is delivered through our curriculum drivers:
In order to achieve a curriculum that is broad, accessible and engaging, children must be provided with opportunities to acquire skills and gain knowledge.
Speaking and Listening: through using language and hearing how others use it, children become able to describe the world, make sense of life's experiences and achieve their goals. By providing all of our children with the opportunity to acquire extremely important speaking, listening and thinking skills, we empower them to learn and be the best they can be.
Growth Mind Set: we aim to grow resilience in our children. Children who bounce back quickly from failure and who are more likely to explore how they can get better at doing something have a ‘growth mind set.’ They tend to be children who believe that you can improve your abilities by practising, or by finding a different way to achieve your goal. Our children truly believe ‘I can’t do it…YET!’
Exploration: by exploring the curriculum and linking subjects together, we aim to learn and remember more. We engage our children with a ‘WOW’ focus, experiences to enhance learning and opportunities to create and achieve. We want our children to dig deeper into their learning, aspiring to be the best they can be!
Our provision provides our children with every opportunity to achieve. We understand how children learn and what lights the spark in their curious minds.
Subject Specific Learning: in every lesson, we want children to immerse themselves into the subject they are learning. They are ‘writers,’ ‘scientists,’ ‘artists’ and more! The children understand that they are meeting WAIL objectives to become better in that subject, but they also understand that subjects link and their knowledge and skills connect to other areas of learning. This blending of the curriculum leads to our children knowing more and remembering more.
Genre-rich Curriculum: much of our learning at GTS begins with a high-quality piece of literature. This drives our learning and leads to children being exposed to different genres. We understand that reading drives the imagination and being able to access different genres leads to our children becoming explorers of knowledge.
Values-led curriculum: by following our citizenship values and by developing learning muscles, our children become better learners. They appreciate their own and others strengths and know how to work with their peers to become even better.
A Glastonbury Thorn Child
The Glastonbury Thorn Curriculum is designed around the children.
Our aim is to deliver a curriculum which is current, relevant and inspiring.
By teaching the ‘whole child’ and fully understanding equity in our approach, every child at Glastonbury Thorn School has the opportunity to get better in every way, every single day.
A GTS child is someone who aspires to be their best and who is always curious to find ways to be even better.
Our children will become aspirational citizens of the future.
That is our ethos.
GTS Citizenship Values
The Glastonbury Thorn curriculum provides children with an introduction to the essential knowledge and skills that they need in order to be aspirational citizens. The curriculum provides our children with the opportunities to become engaged learners, promoting inspirational learning. The learning journeys our children follow allows them to explore endless possibilities, showing an appreciation of human creativity and achievement, both within the community and beyond.
A strong ethos promotes positive learning attitudes and through our Learning Muscles, children develop the confidence to achieve.
The well-being of our children is high and we understand that a happy child is a child ready to learn. Through the core values of Kindness, Honesty, Effort, Respect and Being Sensible we grow aspirational citizens of the future. Our aim is to not only prepare the children for their next stage of learning, but to also prepare them for life. Every child deserves to be the best they can be.
The Glastonbury Thorn School curriculum has 4 main drivers:
Knowledge and skills are integral for learning to take place. Children become more effective learners when they are provided with relevant and interesting knowledge in order to acquire a skill or meet a learning objective. Likewise, when children develop skills further, they can access and build a wider knowledge base. Our aim is to ignite the sparks of curiosity within a child’s mind and light up their world with knowledge and new skills.
We are committed to ensuring that every child knows the world is full of possibilities and they are capable of achieving all they set their minds to. True to our vision, we want to inspire children to improve their own lives and fulfil hopes and dreams. Children cannot aspire to a world they have not been exposed to. We plan opportunities to broaden and enrich children’s minds, expanding their horizons and feeding their interests. We want all children to know what success and achievement feels like.
Our GTS curriculum is diverse and champions equality. Learning is inclusive. Topics are set out to engage all learners, regardless of ability, centred around the importance of contextualised learning. Regardless of beliefs, backgrounds, ethnicity and gender, the curriculum is accessible to all and is relevant and meaningful. Through our curriculum delivery, equity is high as all children feel they belong and know that they have opportunities to achieve to meet their full potential, developing high aspirations for their future.
We are an integral part of the community. Our curriculum is relevant for our children and aims to connect with the wider school community. The children learn about themselves and others in the community and become more knowledgeable about their local area and beyond. Where possible, we make strong community links that strengthen the possibilities for outstanding learning and personal development. The links between school and home are strong and strengthened further with active parental engagement, shared learning and celebrations.
The GTS Learning Muscles
Strength: By using strength, children know that anything is possible. The children are strong because we keep trying. They are also brave in trying new things. We believe that ‘I can’t do it…YET!’
Reflection: Through thoughtful reflection, our children always think about how they can improve. They challenge themselves and reflect on what they have achieved and focus on how we can achieve more. At Glastonbury Thorn, the children are taught that it is ok to make mistakes – FAIL: First Attempt In Learning, however we must always reflect and think of ways to do better next time.
Curiosity: We are confident in exploring new ideas and love to develop curiosity…this is how we learn. By developing growth mind sets, the children’s curiosity of learning opportunities around them is high. We try really hard to ask questions about the world around us and we always think…What if?
Cooperation: By promoting cooperation, the children are always willing to work with others in order to achieve greater things. We celebrate every child’s aspirations and achievements at Glastonbury Thorn and Diversity is strong - we truly believe in ‘Every day getting better in every way!’
How is the curriculum organised?
At Glastonbury Thorn, we follow a ‘topic-based’ approach to the curriculum. This means that wherever possible, we group subjects around a topic. The topics we choose depend on two factors: what areas of the National Curriculum we must cover and the interests and needs of the children.
Why do we use a topic based approach to the curriculum?
At Glastonbury Thorn School we believe that young children learn most effectively when the skills and knowledge that they are learning are presented to them in this unified way rather than as separate subjects. New knowledge is always easier to acquire when links are made to existing knowledge. Using a topic that is relevant and meaningful to the children as a framework makes it easier for children to develop these all-important links and to build upon what they already know.
Lessons will vary considerably in their structure and content but they will always be relevant, engaging and meet the needs of every pupil. Lessons will often be as practical and ‘hands on’ – children learn best when they are active and ‘doing’ – and of course we always try to make them fun!
We also actively promote the fundamental British Values and this forms part of our wider work in school with children in relation to their Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education (SMSC).
The British Values, as defined by the government, are :
The Rule of Law
Tolerance of different Faiths and Beliefs
At Glastonbury Thorn we teach a broad and balanced curriculum that teaches elements of democracy, rules and laws, the monarchy, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness and understanding of different faiths. These British Values permeate all areas of our curriculum across the whole school. Teaching tolerance and respect is an integral part of our everyday school life; children understand that they must follow our Golden Rules for us all to enjoy a happy school. We ensure all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to, and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as a school council in Year 2 whose members are voted for by the pupils.
We believe that teaching these British values creates a climate within which pupils feel safe and secure and therefore allows them to learn, develop and prepares them for life in modern Britain.
The reading scheme at Glastonbury Thorn consists of four colour bands (red, yellow, green, blue), the first two colour bands focus on learning to read, and the second two on reading to learn. Each colour band is sub-divided into four stages known as Red1, Red 2, Red 3, Red 4, Yellow 1 and so on.
Learning to read focuses on the process of decoding and using phonics skills to build and recognise words. At this stage children will need support to enable them to discuss the content.
Reading to learn takes place when your child is competent with the reading process and is able to read fluently, without relying on decoding, discussing their reading and showing greater understanding of what they have read.
The reading books in each band are made up of a wide range of books, all have been carefully chosen for their interesting content and graded according to their phonetic skills.
What is phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children to skilfully read and write with accuracy, pace and fluency. At Glastonbury Thorn School the children are taught through a systematic synthetic programme (Letters and Sounds) to:
We also use ‘Read Write Inc‘ as an intervention programme to support children’s phonic knowledge.
Some websites you may find useful are: