Our curriculum rationale
We believe our role is to support and enable our pupils to excel and to become life-long lovers
of learning with a belief that they can achieve anything they choose to now and in the future.
Our curriculum is designed to fulfil this aim and is a strength. We are proud that our curriculum
is broad – all pupils receive a full, rich and engaging curriculum.
We have a clear rationale for what we teach and why overall and for each subject area,
including a focus on our ‘GFJS local curriculum’ which focusses on areas of importance and
barriers for our high number of disadvantaged pupils. We live and breathe these areas ensuring
that they are prominent in the day to day life and learning of the school and are prominent in
The GFJS Local Curriculum focuses on developing:
- vocabulary knowledge and use
- oracy skills
- cultural experiences
- understanding and awareness of the wider geographical, cultural and religious world
- reading for pleasure
- knowledge of the importance of and engagement with personal health, wellbeing and fitness
- basic skills so that pupils are secondary school ready
At Geoffrey Field Junior School, we understand that being able to understand and use vocabulary is an essential component of learning. However, we recognised that many of our pupils join the school vocabulary-poor, with a combination of poor deciphering skills and a limited range of vocabulary they feel confident using in conversation or within their learning. These limitations can have a considerable impact on a child’s ability to access their learning and thus a knock on effect on their overall attainment.
As part of our localised curriculum, we have developed our own approach to the implicit teaching of vocabulary that is woven into our curriculum, making worthwhile links across many subjects. Through the careful selection of tier 2 (versatile language) and a consistent and sustained approach to teaching these chosen words, we are able to equip our pupils with the skills to decipher and the word confidence to apply learnt vocabulary within their work.
Oracy is the ability to articulate ideas, develop understanding and engage with others through spoken language. Oracy develops students: confidence, articulacy and capacity to learn. Voice 21.
At Geoffrey Field, we realise that teaching oracy skills and promoting opportunities for them to be used, will enhance our pupils’ learning. Through developing their ability to communicate effectively, we seek to: build their self-confidence through expressing their ideas and opinions; increase engagement through involvement in talk activities and develop understanding of new concepts through peer discussion.
We joined the Voice 21 oracy programme five years ago and have strived to embed the good practice advocated through their training programme. Oracy skills are taught explicitly within lessons and children use discussion guidelines, sentence stems and talk roles to engage with each other. Oracy opportunities and outcomes are carefully planned for throughout our curriculum, beyond the day to day talk
opportunities that pupils’ experience. We provide our pupils’ with a variety of contexts in which to develop and showcase their oracy skills, such as assemblies, competitions and trips. Through developing our pupils’ oracy skills we seek to improve their life chances through academic success, social engagement and emotional well-being.
We recognise that Geoffrey Field Junior School is located in an area of high deprivation. As a result, we see it as our duty to widen children’s knowledge of the jobs and opportunities available to them and to show them that they can make their own choices in life. As well as being a core aspect of our PSHE curriculum, we also run various bespoke events and opportunities to enable children to broaden and shape their aspirations.
Children learn about a wide range of career opportunities in Year 5 when they take part in Inspire Week. They not only hear from people working in different jobs, they get the opportunity to go out and visit places of work to see careers in action. Every year, pupils learn more about aspirations and careers in our Inspire to be Day. In Year 6, children learn about businesses, different areas within a business and how people work together to develop, make and promote products and services. Pupils in year 6 take on different roles in their business, learning the importance of the role as well as the skills this role entails. They generate money from their business and are able to spend the profits they make on their Year 6 events at the end of the year.
Within all year groups, pupils have the opportunity to apply to and be part of different school groups. Some of the school groups include digital leaders, eco council, peer mediators, maths team, sports leaders and many more.
University courses at Geoffrey Field allow the children to understand more about the opportunities available to them in their education. We recognise that some children will not have much knowledge of further education and introduce this to them by giving them the chance to apply for their own ‘university course’ within school. They look at a prospectus and make their own applications for the course. These courses are varied and broaden children’s experiences. They include courses such as gardening, crime scene investigations, American football, sugar craft and many more.
One of our greatest highlights is our Curriculum Enrichment opportunities that we provide our children. Children have the opportunity to learn beyond the classroom in a variety of ways.
Within our curriculum, we ensure that their are opportunities for first hand opportunities to explore the topic in order for the children to gain a greater understanding of what they are learning. This might be hands on investigations in science, mummifying fruits to support learning about the Egyptians, topic days or immersion to support with writing tasks.
We aim to ensure all the year groups go on at least 3 trips across the year as well as inviting people into school to run workshops and bring a real life meaning to things they are studying.
After school every day we offer a wide range of clubs which cover a wide range of areas. We aim to ensure that we provide clubs that appeal to different interests and give children the chance to try things they otherwise would not experience.
Understanding and awareness of the wider geographical, cultural and religious world
At Geoffrey Field Junior School, we recognise the importance of learning about the wider world – places, beliefs and practices. We are privileged to have children from a wide range of cultural and religious backgrounds. We believe that it is important to celebrate this and provide our pupils with opportunities to learn more about the beliefs and practices of people around them have.
Each year group have an RE workshop run by RE Inspired, a group of volunteers from local churches. The session links to their area of study for that term.
Throughout the year, we plan assemblies that are based on events that are happening around the world.
We recognise that many children may not have the opportunity to explore other places in the world therefore we use every opportunity to allow this to happen. Children learn about different countries in assemblies, during class ‘in the news’ sessions and throughout the curriculum.
One key event that the children enjoy every year is Languages Day. Each year we organise a day where each teacher plans a workshop based on a country. The children get a chance to learn about the country, experience something from it’s culture and learn some key words in the language spoken there.
A love of reading
At Geoffrey Field Junior School, we believe the reading is the key to everything. We are passionate about reading as a school and work hard to ensure that our pupils develop a thirst for reading whilst they are with us.
Every member of staff models what a love of reading looks like by sharing what they are reading.
Our new library provides children with a wide range of books that they can borrow. Children are able to use the library during playtimes. We have a lovely reading garden available outside for children to sit and read books outside. Each term, books are available in the area which are specifically chosen to match the topics being taught which the children are able to read and share together.
An important part of our literature spine are the class stories. We believe that an important part of developing a love of reading is being able to hear good quality texts being read to you.
Knowledge of the importance of and engagement with personal health, wellbeing and fitness
Our PSHE curriculum allows us to teach our pupils about the importance of healthy choices but we also do many things to ensure that we engage the children in their wellbeing.
We have initiated a ‘Try it Tuesday’ to encourage everyone to try a range of fruit and vegetables at break time to encourage healthier snack choices.
Our playtimes promote fitness through structured activities available each day. The children are encouraged to use ‘The Mile’ track around the playground. We also run cookery clubs and university courses promoting healthy cooking as well as offering sports courses such as frisbee, boxercise and boot camp.
Basic skills so that pupils are secondary school ready
Whilst we recognise the importance of a broad and exciting curriculum, we also recognise the need for children to have the basic skills required to enable them to learn, access the curriculum fully and go on to learn well at secondary school. We put an emphasis on ensuring that pupils leave GFJS having the skills required in reading, writing and maths. Through timely assessments, skilled first class teaching, identified interventions, pupil premium coaching and catch up groups, pupils are able to develop their skills in core areas of the curriculum and catch up or make accelerated progress in areas where we have identified they need the support.
Curriculum Termly Maps: 2023/2024
If you would like to learn more about the curriculum taught at Geoffrey Field Junior School, look at the termly overviews, that describe the broad, balanced and exciting curriculum being offered to our pupils. Alternatively, contact a subject coordinator or speak to a class teacher.