Gotherington Primary School

The Lawns, Gotherington, Cheltenham, GL52 9QT

Our School  »  Our Curriculum

Our Curriculum - A Guide for Parents
We have undertaken a detailed analysis of the proposals for the new National Curriculum  2014 and combined them with the elements of our existing curriculum which we believe make our school unique. As a result, we have planned a curriculum which is creative, fun and focused upon skills. This is our ‘Creative Curriculum’.

In every year group throughout the school the teachers have planned a series of topic-based approaches to learning which are firmly rooted upon a set of skills that are progressive. Wherever possible, the topic will be used to link together the core subjects such as literacy, mathematics, science and art. For example, in Year 6, the children learn about World War II.  This involves the children interviewing members of the community who have experience of the war, linking literacy work to World War II themes - writing a letter home from the point of view of an evacuee, creating 3D sculptures and creating an interactive learning platform to help others learn about specific aspects of the topic.  They are even given the opportunity to be evacuated on a steam train!

By linking the separate subjects under the umbrella of a topic we believe the learning becomes more exciting for our children and our teachers.

To add the ‘wow’ factor to these topics, each year group also plans a hands-on experience to introduce the topic or a really exciting visit to bring their learning to life.  This may be in the form of a visit from a subject specialist to bring to life the theme of the ‘India’ through dance, writing and food or a trip to a local castle to link to the theme of ‘Fairy Tales'.

The success of our creative curriculum has led to extremely high standards in both the core and foundation subjects and the development of excitement, curiosity, thinking skills and a life-long love for learning. 

Curriculum Content
We believe that the unique curriculum we deliver at Gotherington is balanced and broadly based. It plays an integral part in that it:
  • promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
  • enables all pupils to develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
Curriculum Structure
Art & Design
Design and Technology
Languages (KS2 only)
Physical education
Religious education
Experience of other themes such as:
Social, Emotional, Aspects of Learning (SEAL)
Personal, Social & Health Education (PSHE)
Moral and Spiritual Understanding
Environmental Education
An appropriate range of experiences beyond the classroom

Further information can be found in the School Prospectus
Early Reading at Gotherington Primary - A Guide for Parents

At Gotherington Primary School we use Letters and Sounds which is a systematic, synthetic phonics programme published by the Department of Education. The children’s learning is enhanced using the 'Jolly Phonics' resources where the children learn the actions, pictoral prompt, letter formation and the correct pronunciation for each phoneme (the smallest unit of sound in speech). There are six overlapping phases which the children work through, usually starting in the pre-school setting. In the Reception class children work within Phases 1-4, in Year 1 Phase 5 and in Year 2 Phase 6. Some intervention groups in Key Stage 2 also focus upon key parts of Letters and Sounds. As children learn at different rates it is not uncommon for children within the same class to be working on a different phonic phase and the teaching is targeted accordingly. Letters and Sounds enables children to see the relationship between reading and spelling, meaning they learn to blend and segment words successfully.

During our Reception induction process the parents are invited in for a phonics/reading meeting where they undertake phonics-based activities and are taught the strategies to aid their child’s reading and writing.

Y1 Phonics Screening
The national phonics screening check was introduced in 2012 to all Y1 pupils.  It is a short, statutory assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. It aims to identify the children who need extra help so that they can be given support by school to improve their reading skills.  At Gotherington Primary we already identify children and provide early intervention support, however  the assessment is a statutory requirement. The test comprises a list of 40 real and pseudo (nonsense) words, which a child will read one-to-one with the class teacher. Half the words cover phonic skills which are usually covered in Reception, and half the words are based on Year 1 phonics skills. Results are communicated to parents through the school report at the end of the academic year.
EYFS/ KS1 Reading
At Gotherington Primary School the children have access to a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. Our main reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree. The children have the opportunity to read in class daily and take home books from the following series’ within the core scheme:
Biff, Chip and Kipper Stories, Floppy’s Phonics Fiction and Non-fiction, Floppy’s Phonics Sounds and Letters, Traditional Tales, Songbirds and Fireflies.

Other schemes available from Key Stage 1 are Soundstart, Jolly Readers and Treetops All Stars.

The children also have the opportunity to visit the library at least once a week where they are able to select and borrow a small selection of books of their own choice. The support which our parents give with reading is greatly valued and we know they enjoy reading to their child as well as hearing their child make large gains in their reading progress.
Curriculum Planning By Year Group Overview 2017-18

Are you a parent or other member of the public who wants to find out more about our curriculum? Please find attached a planning overview for each year group. Planning also highlights the thoughtful and wide-ranging promotion of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Paper copies of our curriculum are available on request from the school office. We are also more than happy to give you a greater insight into how our curriculum works during the numerous parental visits we organise. Please contact the school office for further details.