Our Curriculum Vision

Our Curriculum Vision

The school curriculum is driven by the Gillingstool vision.

Our School Vision

At Gillingstool, integrity and inclusivity are at the heart of everything we do for our children. In partnership with our parents and the wider community, we provide a unique environment within a vibrant and caring school – inspiring our children’s passion for ambitious, life-long learning. This is delivered through consistently high standards in teaching, learning and behaviour. By working together with respect, enthusiasm and care towards all others, we at Gillingstool promote happiness, kindness and honesty.

We endeavour to provide the best education possible for the children of Thornbury based upon our agreed values of:

  • Inclusivity
  • Curiosity
  • Resilience
  • Integrity
  • Creativity
  • Ambition

The Gillingstool Curriculum Aims

The Gillingstool values underpin all we do at Gillingstool Primary School. We aim to provide an environment in which all children can flourish.

We recognise that our demographic at Gillingstool Primary School is varied: with a third of each cohort being a low or high prior attainer, our curriculum must be designed in order to enable all learners to maximise progress and succeed. Therefore, we provide a strong focus on basic skills, alongside the wider opportunities to challenge learners.

Our aim is to provide a curriculum which develops key learning skills and knowledge which will equip them for adult life and to become life-long learners whilst enriching the children’s life experiences, challenges them to achieve the best they can.

Through our curriculum and teaching children will learn to:

  • Develop their oracy skills in order to become confident, articulate speakers;
  • Become fluent readers, with a real love of books, in order to fully access the wider curriculum;
  • Write, with accuracy, for a range of purposes;
  • Develop the skills to approach calculations and reasoning with confidence;
  • Become independent thinkers with an ability to ask and answer questions;
  • Have an awareness of the world and global issues
  • Develop skills, knowledge and creativity across a wide range of subjects;
  • Develop high aspirations as resilient learners with a growth mindset;
  • Be happy, well-balanced, polite members of our community;
  • Form strong friendships and work collaboratively;
  • Grow in self-esteem and self-confidence and
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle.


Our curriculum is designed to give our children the best possible grounding for secondary education and life as contributing global citizens. We recognise that in order to succeed in education, children need to acquire good levels of literacy and numeracy, and as such, reading, writing, spelling and mathematics are given a priority in our teaching programme. We also recognise a need to extend the vocabulary of the children we teach in order that they have the best opportunity to access the wider curriculum effectively.

In planning our curriculum, we endeavour to develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of both their own community (Thornbury, Bristol and the West of England), alongside a desire to extend their historical understanding and global awareness of the world. The area we serve is dominated by white, working class families and we believe our curriculum should reflect that locality but also open children’s eyes to life outside our locality. Every child should have a good understanding of the world and their place within it. Alongside our History, Geography and Science curriculum we extend children’s understanding of their own rights and responsibilities as citizens through our promotion of both Gillingstool and British values, and charitable projects which support the local and global community.

At Gillingstool we also recognise that many children enjoy the opportunity to flourish in the arts. Our curriculum is planned to ensure that all children have the chance to develop creative skills in music, design and art. The national curriculum is supplemented by extensive opportunities to learn instruments and regular chances to perform in dramatic productions across the key stages.

Inclusivity and pupil wellbeing is at the heart of all we do at Gillingstool Primary School.  We ensure that children are able to build secure relationships with others, develop empathy and an understanding of their own emotions through our PSHE curriculum and programme of assemblies. This also ensures opportunities for children to learn about keeping safe, in addition to our regular work on e -safety. The school supplements its curriculum for pupil well-being with a range of offers for pastoral support. Children can access further learning opportunities with an ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) or school counsellor focusing on developing the emotional wellbeing and mental health of the children.

The Structure of Our Curriculum

The school is currently organised into 6 classes, with one mixed class in Y3/4.

Teachers plan in phases (Y1 and Y2; Y3 and Y4; Y5 and Y6, with YR as the exception). At present we have a two-year rolling programme in place. (See attached documents)

The standard curriculum is supplemented by themed weeks throughout the year (Book Week; Arts Week; Science Week) and visits/visitors linked to topics whenever possible.

Phonics is taught through Letters and Sounds in both the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. We have recently audited our reading scheme and purchased new titles to ensure that all home readers, fiction and non-fiction (Big Cat phonics) are fully decodable. Our Guided reading books for EYFS and Key Stage One (OUP Traditional Tales and Floppy’s Phonics) are also decodable texts and cover both fiction and non-fiction.

For History, Geography, Art and Design and Design Technology we are referencing Learning Ladders. However, the curriculum is currently under review as we are adjusting planning to reflect our new school vision.

Curriculum 2020 – 2021

By Summer 2020, Gillingstool Primary School will have a personalised curriculum in place. This will include:

  • A revised schedule of topics reflecting the curriculum vision;
  • A clear overview for teaching in each subject personalised to Gillingstool Primary School;
  • A Learning Ladder for each of the foundation subjects specifying the progression of knowledge and skills from YR to Y6, personalised to Gillingstool Primary School;
  • A schedule of themed weeks and visits to supplement the national curriculum and
  • A bank of knowledge organisers in order to assess the impact of the curriculum.