Gordon Primary School

Gordon Primary School

BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE.

Gordon Curriculum

GORDON PRIMARY SCHOOL CURRICULAR INTENT

The Gordon Primary School Curriculum:

  • Provides context
  • Inspires curiosity
  • Nurtures creativity

 

Our curriculum has been designed to provide a context to learning: the curriculum is chronological and themed: history, RE, DT and Art and Design are taught chronologically where appropriate and topics within the foundation subjects are grouped so that the learning of one subject supports and enriches the learning of other subjects. For instance, the geography topic of rivers is taught in Year 3 to support the learning of Bronze Age river civilisations.

 

Our chronological and themed curriculum inspires curiosity and nurtures creativity because having a strongly developed context to their learning empowers children to ask questions, recognise patterns, spot relationships, compare and contrast, evaluate cause and effect and explore scenarios.

CONTEXT: CHRONOLOGICAL APPROACH TO LEARNING

History, RE, DT and Art and Design units are taught chronologically whenever possible, particularly in KS2.

History:

  • Year 3 – Stone Age and Bronze Age (2200-800 BCE)
  • Year 4 – Iron Age (800 BCE-43 CE) and Romans in Britain (43 CE)
  • Year 5 – Anglo-Saxons/Vikings (800-1066 CE) and theme of British history (significant turning point): Battle of Britain
  • Year 6 – Early Mayan Civilisation and a local history study – growth and development of Eltham

RE:

  • Year 3 – children learn about the religions which emerged in the Bronze Age  – Hinduism and Judaism.  The children also learn about how the World began and Worship.
  • Year 4 – Judaism continues to be taught and Buddhism is introduced (a religion which emerged in the Iron Age). Christianity is taught which supports the children in their history topic – the Romans.
  • Year 5 – Children continue to learn about Christianity whilst they are studying Anglo-Saxons. The children then learn about Islam and Understanding Faith in Greenwich. They learn about Peace whilst studying WW2.
  • Year 6 – The children continue to learn about Islam and then they are then introduced to Sikhism. They complete their primary school RE by learning about the End of life’s journey.

This understanding of the chronological emergence of the main world religions enables children to deepen their understanding, see patterns and establish relationships.

 

DT and Art & Design

In addition to their DT and Art and Design lessons, the children are taught about developments in technology and art and design chronologically as part of their history lessons. For instance, children will learn about the following innovations:

  • Year 3 learn about boats which were invented during the Stone Age and cave paintings. They learn about Bronze Age technologies including clocks, sundials, papyrus, levers and pulleys (shaduf) and structures such as ziggurats and pyramids. They also learn about Bronze Age pottery.
  • Year 4 learn about Iron Age technologies including: rotary quern, hill forts. In Art, they learn about Iron Age knotwork patterns, Greek vases and Roman mosaics.
  • Year 5 learn about Anglo-Saxon technologies such as the ard (scratch plough) and in Art they learn about Anglo-Saxon illuminated manuscripts.
  • Year 6 learn about Early Mayan art and technology including the use of latex to make bouncy balls and their use of chocolate. 

CONTEXT: THEMED APPROACH

Each year group has an overarching theme which gives cohesion to learning and contributes to context.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Near and Far

People and Events

Continuity and Change

Rise and Fall

Invasions and Resistance

Power and Influence

 

Within the yearly themes, there are termly topics. These topics bring together learning in a number of different subjects which also contributes to cohesion and context. The themes are drawn from literacy, science, history or geography. Although our curriculum is themed, we are committed to retaining the specific approach and pedagogy of each subject and in that respect our approach is not ‘cross-curricular’.

 

Yearly themes

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Year 1

Near and Far

Animals

Toys and Games

Saving the World

The Sea

Traditional Tales

Dinosaurs

Abbeywood fossils

Year 2

People and Events

London’s Burning

Eltham and a village in Kenya

Sailing around the World

Moon and Space

Traditional Tales and Kings and Queens

Eltham Palace

Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole

Year 3

Continuity and Change

Stone Age

Rivers and Ancient Egypt (Bronze Age river civilisation)

Bronze Age in Britain

Year 4

Rise and Fall

Iron Age in Britain

Ancient and Modern Greece

Romans in Britain and Mountains

Year 5

Invasions and Resistance

Anglo-Saxons and Vikings

Spheres, Circles and Spirals – weather, climate change and planet Earth

Turning Point – WW2 and Battle of Britain

Year 6

Power and Influence

Early Mayan Civilisation

Amazon Rainforest

Coasts and Railways

CURIOSITY

We inspire curiosity through empowering children with a context to their learning and through higher order questioning: in history we have developed an overall question for each unit of work. For instance, the children will explore the question: Which period would you like to have lived in: Palaeolithic, Mesolithic or Neolithic and why? Children are also encouraged to reflect on questions about legacies of different civilisations. In DT, children are asked whether they think gears, pulleys or levers have had the biggest impact on the lives of humans. Children are asked to consider ‘what if’ questions e.g. what if the Battle of Britain had never happened. They are also encouraged to look at relative impact e.g. which event had the greatest impact on the outcome of WW2 – Battle of Britain or the D Day landings?

CREATIVITY

We nurture creativity through encouraging children to use their imagination, problem solve and ‘look outside the box’. We feel strongly that if children are equipped with a context to their learning and if they are inspired to be curious then they will be creative. A themed curriculum encourages creativity by enabling children to be imaginative and make links. Lesson design is crucial to enabling the children to be creative.

 

CURRICULAR CONTENT – SCHEMES OF WORK AND LESSON DESIGN

We believe strongly that the curriculum content and lessons should be exciting and well planned. We use motivational resources such as artefacts, visual images, sound clips, props and costumes to ‘hook’ children in to their learning. We design lessons that are interactive, lively and engaging.

 

Externally produced schemes of work

We have carefully chosen schemes of work that have been externally produced for Maths, ICT, Science, PE, Computing, Art and Design, DT and French. These subjects are skills driven and as such we feel that our chosen schemes offer rigour, progression and consistency across the school.

In order to ensure these schemes of work fulfil our own curricular intent, we adapt them. For instance, we have changed the order of some of the units so they support learning in other subjects, we insert extra lessons or change the order of the lessons. We are currently in the process of producing a Gordon School Curriculum Sequencing Sheet for each scheme of work to ensure that links between subjects, topics and lessons are explicit.