Glen Hills Primary School
Tel: 0116 2782535
Fax: 0116 2788208
Registered Company Number 07941899
Glen Hills Primary School is a Trust member and Lead Hub school for the Symphony Learning Trust
Greater Depth at Glen Hills
Children working at Greater Depth (GDS)
Glen Hills is commited to giving all pupils the opportunity to fulfil their potential both academically and socially. We also encourage all pupils to take a pride in, and celebrate, both their own successes and those of others. We recognise that we have responsibility to enable all our pupils to achieve their best.
As part of this commitment we work hard to support as many children as possible to achieve the 'working at Greater Depth' standard in all curriculum areas and in the wider curriculum.
Some of the ways in which we do this are:
Regular staff training - To enable all staff to provide challenge at GDS for children in the classroom through delivering Quality First Teaching. Recent training for staff (2019/20) includes 'Developing the skills needed to reach GDS for all children', 'Effective questioning to support GDS' and 'Developing higher level thinking skills throughout the curriculum'.
Providing a current, exciting and challenging curriculum - All our curriculum areas and provision have been reviewed and enhanced to provide excellent progression throughout the content and skills across the school.
Focuessed medium term planning - All our curriculum planning (led by subject leaders) is detailed and includes areas such as GDS, vocabulary and retrieval (to aid long term memory). This is consistent across the school.
Enrichment activities for GDS - Activities are used to enhance and extend the curriculum for GDS children. In the last year, these have included Year 5 and 6 MVA children taking part in 'Maths and Munch sessions' and entering the National Maths Challenge, activities run by curriculum leaders for MVA children in different year groups most recently through Year 1 Art, MVA musicians and dancers in the Juniors joining with South Wigston High School to rehearse together and be part of a joint primary/secondary Showcase in the Summer Term, for example.
Use of knowledge organisers - Knowledge organisers are currently being developed throughout the school and used across the curriculum. These are shared with parents. The purpose of these is support and consolidate the understanding and recall of key concepts and knowledge so allowing more children to achieve at a higher level. It is clear from many sources that the rate at which we forget newly learnt information is very fast. Luckily, there is a way to interrupt this forgetting and that is by systematically recalling that information which we wish to be learnt. This is known as retrieval practice. When we retrieve information, that memory trace becomes stronger and the rate that we forget something descreases. The more we space out our learning, the more time it takes for us to forget something. Knowledge organisers are excellent tools to ensure that some of this spaced practice takes place. Our working memory can only take in so much information at one time and for our pupils to be successful in a range of subjects they need to have a large store of factual knowledge in their long-term memory. Adult minds have adapted to take this information from our long-term memory into our working memory, but children need to develop this skill. Our development and use of knowledge organisers will support the children in improving their long-term memory of key information which they can use, apply and develop throughout the curriculum and beyond.
Use of character muscles throughout the school - In 2018/19 our school started work on a new government project 'Route to Resilience' and in 2019 we received accreditation as a 'Route to Resilience' school. All the staff are committed to supporting children's happiness and developing character traits that will help them be successful both at school and in life. All staff and children are learning about and using the power of vocabulary and choosing our words carefully to help the children 'exercise these character muscles'. Developing many of these character muscles is key to children being able to achieve their very best and at the highest level possible.
GDS and the governing body - Glen Hills has an appointed GDS governor who regularly undertakes monitoring visits and receives feedback regarding the progress of GDS children and activities at the school. The governing body are committed to more children achieving GDS.
Lesson observations and performance management - All teachers are formally observed teaching each term at Glen Hills. A key part of all lesson observations is the progress of MVA children during these lessons and the suitability of provision for these children to enable them to make excellent progress. Performance management targets are linked to the progress of MVA children where appropriate.
Catch up funding for MVA pupils - We have assessed where all children are in relation not only to the Nationally Expected Standard for their year group but in relation to their prior performance. Catch up funding is being used to support MVA pupils to reach GDS standard once again if they have fallen behind during school closures. This is provided through small group tutoring in addition to in-class support and through qulaity first teaching.