“Small steps to big dreams”
We aim to provide educational excellence inspired by the world around us. To develop curious, responsible and confident learners within a caring community, in partnership with our families, upholding our Christian values.
Clearwater Church of England Primary Academy is part of the Diocese of Gloucester’s Academy Trust. We provide the highest quality of education within the context of caring Christian beliefs and practices, in close affiliation with the local Church. Our curriculum connects home, school and church and reinforces the fact that the values we celebrate in school shape the whole of our children’s lives. Children, of any faith or none, are given the opportunity to develop their own spirituality, to be curious and ask big questions, to celebrate and to make good choices. Our six school values of joy, compassion, respect, responsibility, community and courage underpin everything we do.
“Great things grow from small beginnings”
To enable children to explore and discuss faith and worship, working from a Christian foundation, in the context of a multi-faith society
Children who enjoy finding out about the similarities and differences between their faith and the faiths of their friends and who use their strong Christian foundation to decide how to behave
We begin with the world that is familiar to our children, staff pay particular attention to children’s starting points, building on children’s prior knowledge in order to draw out and extend each child’s learning. A broad and balanced curriculum is delivered creatively using both skills and knowledge-based approaches, underpinned by the National Curriculum. The EYFS and National Curriculum objectives for each year group are delivered through a thematic approach. Every theme begins with a ‘launch’ and ends with a ‘landing’ event to celebrate learning. We ensure that our children use and apply their learning across a range of subjects, allowing them to deepen and embed their subject knowledge as well as make connections within and across their learning. Where appropriate, thought through hands on practical learning experiences are provided, to develop children’s knowledge and understanding. A range of visitors, trips and use of our own amazing local environment supports this. We aim for all children in our school to experience a wealth of educational experiences so that they become independent learners fully ready for their next challenge, with a well-developed understanding of the need to fully engage with their community.
In line with the Church of England and Diocesan vision (John 10:10), we use fluid groupings so that no child’s learning is capped. Further direct support and teaching is deployed accurately and efficiently to allow every child to flourish.
In both literacy and mathematics, we use a mastery approach to learning.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) children follow the Letters and Sounds programme to learn the 44 main sounds heard in the English language as well as their tricky words. This firm foundation is built on as children develop the skills throughout the year to read and write simple words, phrases and sentences. Alongside the formal teaching of phonics, opportunities for applying phonic skills in their writing are built into each area of provision, thereby embedding the skills within their many and varied play based learning opportunities.
In Year 1 the focus on phonics is maintained, further tricky words are introduced alongside different spelling patterns. There is an expectation that children will use and apply their phonic knowledge consistently in their writing across the curriculum. At the end of Year 1 all children are screened using the national phonics screening check. In Year 2 the children continue to spell and read more complex words and write extended sentences.
In KS2 we will use the Year Group Spelling Lists provided in the National Curriculum.
Pupils in all phases are encouraged to continually apply their phonic knowledge in their writing across all subjects.
Any child that is struggling to retain, use or apply these basic skills will receive further support through the precision teaching of phonics on top of whole class teaching sessions.
Mark making is encouraged in EYFS from the start so that we develop confident and fluent writers. A variety of fine and gross motor activities are built into the day to develop the muscle groups needed to write effectively. Children are taught how to write each initial letter sound as it is introduced within the phonic programme. The school teaches ‘feeder and leader lines’ with the expectation that children will join once correct letter formations can be accurately reproduced. All children are encouraged to write for different purposes in both the indoor and outdoor environment. ‘Talk for Writing’ is introduced in EYFS once children have a firm phonic bed.
KS1 and KS2
Throughout the school children’s writing skills are further developed using the mastery approach of ‘Try it, Use it, Prove It’. Alongside this the children also use ‘Talk for Writing’ to develop their skills in both narrative and non-fiction writing. In KS1 the focus is on writing confidently and at increasing length. In KS2 the focus will be on spelling, punctuation and grammar and being able to write in a range of styles and genres e.g. developing the skills to write as a scientist or historian using subject specific vocabulary and formats. A focus on high quality texts throughout the school means that children are able to experience and use aspects of good writing, leading to a ‘bank’ of ideas for use at a deeper level in all areas of school life.
As a school we see reading as pivotal to a young person’s life chances. We seek to foster a love of reading in our young people through our shared and individual activities. We have committed to ‘5 a day’ where every child is exposed to five opportunities to read or be read to. The skills begun with our excellent early phonic teaching are built on with a focus on the use of rich texts to teach comprehension. Children develop reading skills through a mixture of whole class, group and individual reading opportunities. Reading skills are taught explicitly such as visualisation, prediction, wondering aloud and linking to prior knowledge and experiences. A wide range of graded home/school reading books consolidate the skills learnt in school. Each classroom has an attractive reading corner where children can be found snuggled enjoying a treasured book. The school has invested in high quality texts throughout the curriculum and is looking forward to developing this further with a bespoke library when in our permanent setting.
Clearwater C of E Primary Academy places a high priority on building the skills of effective speaking and listening through cultivating a set of core skills and developing a rich vocabulary. There is a focus on learning to talk and learning through talk. Through debating, discussing, and deliberating over ideas children are cognitively stretched and challenged to formulate their own opinions and come to shared decisions. These skills fundamentally support the development of reading and writing. The school is working with Oracy 21 in order to embed this firmly at the core of the school.
We employ a mastery approach in mathematics throughout from EYFS into KS2. We are part of the Glow maths hubs in Gloucestershire. This mastery approach of Do it, Twist It, Solve It mirrors our literacy approach and provides consistency for children. It has proven to successfully develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of the subject. It also provides children with problem solving opportunities, allowing them to use and apply their skills and knowledge. Our maths lead has presented to teachers throughout the county at the L.A. Maths Subject Leader Days on the challenges and rewards of developing this approach. This approach is in line with the demands and expectations of the National Curriculum.
Inspired by the world around them and with a developing curiosity children are naturally keen to explore the world around them. This is used as a springboard to teach scientific skills through a combination of direct teaching, hands on experiences, creative, problem solving and observations. A whole school science week is carried out every year incorporating where possible an aspirational visit to a secondary science laboratory. Pupils develop their questioning and inquiry skills so that they know how to pose scientific questions, plan fair investigations, observe and test out their hypothesis. Throughout their school career they learn to draw conclusions using data, observations and articulate their ideas, knowledge and understanding to explain their findings.
This is delivered through the Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus supported by the Understanding Christianity resource ensuring a consistent approach is in place for planning and provision of this core subject area. Pupils have the opportunity to learn about and from other religions including through visitors from other faiths and to other places of worship.
The school is committed to developing the whole child and values all areas of the curriculum through dedicated teaching of the foundation subjects within the class theme and discretely where this is not possible. Looking at the particular needs of our pupils, however, we have invested in four distinct areas in order to diminish difference: Oracy, Forest School, whole class music in the form of violin lessons for Year 1 children, delivered by specialist teachers from Gloucester Academy of Music and high-quality P.E. provision through specialists from Montagu Sports Academy.
Philosophy for Children (P4C)
In line with all schools within the Diocese of Gloucester Academies Trust the children’s learning is enhanced with a weekly Philosophy for Children session. All staff are at least Level 1 trained.
The children also benefit from a growth mindset approach that is explicitly taught and referred to. This approach embraces mistakes as a necessary part of learning, values persistence and encourages everyone to ‘have a go’.
In order to open our pupils’ eyes to the possibilities that await them in life we hold an enrichment week each year. So far these have included music workshops from professional musicians, recitals, eco art, circus skills, dance from different parts of the world and drama.
Appropriate to the young age of the pupils we also offer a number of carefully chosen extra-curricular activities throughout the year. E.g. Forest Explorers Club, Gymnastics, Art Club, Sports Club and Drama.
Clearwater C of E Primary Academy enhances pupils’ understanding of their place in the community through P.S.H.C.E, collective worship, the school’s curriculum and an understanding of different faiths and beliefs underpinned by the belief that ‘all are equal before the eyes of God’. This is further enhanced through carefully planned educational visits and by welcoming parents and visitors from outside the school. Through this approach our pupils gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society. Important events such as Chinese New Year, Eid and Diwali as well as the major Christian festivals are highlighted so that children understand and value difference. British Values are embedded in the life of our school through our distinctive Christian character and demonstrated through our core values of Joy, Compassion, Respect, Community, Responsibility and Courage. They are actively promoted through spiritual, moral, social and cultural education and reinforced as part of our high-quality teaching across the curriculum. Our positive behaviour policy allows pupils to develop and demonstrate skills and attributes that will equip them to contribute positively to life in modern Britain. The children broaden their outlook to consider the needs of others in age appropriate ways and have participated in eco assemblies, charitable activities and visiting the elderly.
Pupil Premium Children
The school is committed to ensuring the very best outcomes for every child. We analyse the needs of this group carefully and put in place bespoke plans as required in order that every child achieves to their fullest.
We have very high expectations of all our children and expect rapid and sustained progress for all. We aim for pupils to be at the very least in line with national data. Recent published data shows results to be above both the local and national picture. British Values are embedded in the life of our school through our distinctive Christian character and demonstrated through our core values of Joy, Compassion, Respect, Community, Responsibility and Courage.