The Curriculum at GANF consists of all the planned activities we organise in order to promote learning, personal growth and development. It includes, not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the range of Extra Curricular activities that the school organises, to enrich the experience for the children.
It also includes the ‘hidden curriculum’, this is what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and co-operate with others, while developing knowledge and skills, so that they achieve their true potential.
Our GANF Curriculum is split into four sections: Early Years - Lower School - Upper School - Sixth Form
Phonics is taught regularly across Lower School using the Phonics Bugs Scheme and resources alongside Letters and Sounds and elements of Jolly Phonics. All classes in Lower School have their own set of resources depending on ability. These resources include reading books, flash cards, games and activities. Phonics is used to help our students with their reading at any age through the use of segmenting, blending and decoding to teach students how to read and interpret meaning from books. Students are taught letter sounds using Jolly Phonics actions and encouraged to also learn the letter names. All teachers in Lower School receive regular Phonics training, either from CfBT or in-house.
Reading is an important part of the Literacy curriculum, and pupils are encouraged to read regularly in class and also at home. Reading books are taken from the Phonics Bug scheme or the Rapid Readers depending on pupil age and ability. We also have a range of ‘free reader’ books for those pupils who have completed the schemes available. Pupils in Upper School are encouraged to read magazines and newspapers to develop their reading skills. Some pupils receive more targeted intervention for their reading in the form of one to one sessions outside of class with a member of the Intervention Team.
Sandon Curriculum Approach
At Sandon School, our curriculum is designed to meet the individual needs of our pupils. The topic based approach is intended to provide stimulating learning experiences and link concepts within an over arching theme.
The curriculum is divided into three parts, formal, semi formal and informal. This to meet the needs of our different cohorts of pupils, ensuring that they all have access to areas of learning which are suited to them. The same overall topic is studied by all three of the curriculum parts. This is so that classes can take a mixture of approaches if necessary to support differentiation.
Our aim at Sandon is to provide a motivating and relevant curriculum to maximise pupil engagement. Personalised provision allows teachers to plan in direct response to pupils individual needs and interests and taking account of their barriers to learning.
Our curriculum has been updated following the Rochford Review 2017, to view the full report click here.
Please click on the tables below to view our informal, semi formal, and formal curriculum:
Teaching British Values
The DfE have recently reinforced the need to “create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.
At GANF, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
We are a Rights Respecting school. Each year the pupils decide upon their class rules and the rights and responsibilities associated with these.
Pupils have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have an elected student council on both sites that has the opportunity to meet the Leadership Team once a term. All children have the opportunity to talk to senior staff on a regular basis and use these occasions to share their views.
Democracy is explained in assembly and older pupils are encouraged to follow any current political issues.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that these involve and the consequences when laws are broken.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons.
Assemblies regularly cover ‘Respect’ and pupils have been part of discussions related to what this means and how it is shown. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. When a child does something well, their achievement is celebrated within assemblies.
Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Themed days are planned throughout the year, to make sure that students are able to understand what life is like in different cultures.
As part of our British Values and SMSC focus, we subscribed in October 2016 to participate in Picture News.
Each week Picture News selects a current news story, they turn it into a vibrant A2 poster with a thought provoking question and provide a learning plan with strong links to British values. Within the weekly resources we have access to focus cards, a weekly newspaper and an engaging PowerPoint. Our Picture News resources are displayed in every classroom to help our pupils interact with key news events, the A2 poster and class work is shared weekly on our British Values display board. By ensuring resources are shared and clearly visible, this can help raise awareness of multiple perspectives, develop critical thinking skills and encourage reflection and problem solving.
Picture News works closely with us keeping in touch with ideas and suggestions, they provide support in ensuring that we are resourced well in order to teach our pupils about current affairs and the world around them.
Please click the picture for full details
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Culture Development
At GANF we recognise that the spiritual, moral, social and culture development of pupils plays an important part in their ability to learn and achieve. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides pupils with opportunities to explore and develop their own values and beliefs, spiritual awareness, high standards of personal behaviour, a positive caring attitude towards other people, an understanding of their social and cultural traditions and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of other cultures.
Spiritual development gives our pupils a sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose. Our pupils are actively encourage to develop their knowledge, skills, and understanding that they need to foster their own wellbeing. Throughout our curriculum there is a strong focus on pupils developing a sense of self, seeing their unique potential and understanding their own strengths and weaknesses. We encourage the will to achieve, and inspire pupils to be curious about themselves and the world around them. In order for pupils to achieve spiritual development we incorporate a multi faith RE Curriculum which includes visits to places of worship. We have whole school themed assemblies and class presentations which provide pupils with opportunities to reflect on their experiences and learning as well as assessment for learning opportunities. Our Forest School provides pupils with an alternative way of learning which enhances their own personal wellbeing.
Moral development is about pupils developing their own framework of moral values which regulate their behaviour. It is also about the development of pupils’ understanding of society’s shared and agreed values. GANF actively encourages our pupils to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding that they need in order to make responsible moral decisions and act on them. In order to support pupils with their moral development GANF has established positive behaviour management strategies, which includes the creation of class rules incorporating the will to do what is right and supports pupils to reflect on the consequences of their actions. Pupils are encouraged to take on age appropriate responsibilities and actively take part in circle time and PSHE activities with a strong sense of moral value. Our Anti-Bullying week enforces the understanding of the difference between right and wrong, and our participation in a British Values scheme allows pupils to develop their understanding into the wider world.
Social development is about young people working effectively with each other and participating successfully in the community as a whole. It is about the development of the skills and personal qualities necessary for living and working together. GANF actively encourages pupils to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding they need to make an active contribution to the democratic process in each of their communities. By encouraging pupils to participate in a variety of trips and residential visits we focus on and encourage pupils to have a sense of belonging, a willingness to participate and work with others forming positive relationships and understanding. We also have a strong ethos on charity support, which develops pupils understanding of society as a whole and the needs of others. We ensure that our pupils know their rights and responsibilities and understand the importance of respect within the school, local and national community.
Cultural development is about pupils’ understanding their own culture and other cultures in their town, region and in the country as a whole. It is about understanding and feeling comfortable in a variety of cultures, and being able to operate in the emerging world culture of shared experiences provided by television, travel and the internet. GANF actively encourages pupils to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding that they need to appreciate and contribute towards culture. We encourage pupils to respect their own culture and traditions, and to understand the importance of learning and respecting other cultures around them. Pupils learn and develop their understanding of culture through various curriculum opportunities, through RE and PSHE we incorporate an in depth look into a selection of religious festivals and cultural traditions. GANF actively encourages visits from different faith groups and/or cultures. Through the implementation of German as our Modern Foreign Language, pupils are also able to develop a strong insight into German culture which is strengthened by our link to KBZO Special Needs School in Weingarten Germany which provides opportunities for our pupils to take part in exchange trips.
Further details on each area of the Curriculum can be found within the designated pages on the website.
For any further information regarding the Curriculum, please contact:
Victoria Chapman - Curriculum Lead