Why is GCA the right school for my child?
We pride ourselves on being an inclusive, nurturing environment and providing an ambitious, knowledge-rich curriculum.
From the moment children first enter our school, they are made to feel welcomed by our experienced and diligent team of staff. All the adults within our school prioritise getting to know our pupils. They invest time in listening to pupils, engaging them in their learning and celebrating their successes.
I feel the school is outstanding in all areas, the key to this is the hardworking, approachable and committed staff who go above and beyond and make my children feel safe, inspired and challenged. An exceptional school full of exceptional staff.
Parent Survey, September 2022
Our values of hard-work and kindness underpin everything that we do as a school. We expect a lot from our pupils but in doing so our staff work hard to make sure that every pupil can achieve by providing the necessary support and challenge. Everyone within our school community understands the importance of kindness. We passionately believe that kindness breeds kindness and so by modelling and explicitly teaching our pupils how and why we can be kind we have created a calm, positive and respectful school community.
Behaviour was impeccable. Pupils display positive attitudes and are proud to be a pupil at GCA
ACES School Improvement Team, October 2022
I think if schools are the place that give good grounding, and there is a positive culture where children know they are respected, to be kind and to work hard, then it is a good school. I think GCA does this well - Thank you!
Parent Survey, September 2022
Our curriculum offer is broad and ambitious. All subjects are of equal importance to us. Our subject leaders and teaching staff invest their time in planning and delivering clearly sequenced, progressive units of work which fit into a wider picture of a clearly defined and well-developed whole school curriculum. More information about our curriculum mapping and specific subject areas can be found here.
Leaders ensure that all pupils access an ambitious curriculum covering the full range of national curriculum subjects. Across each subject area, leaders outline the most important knowledge that they want pupils to know. The curriculum in the Reception Year provides a firm foundation for each subject area.
We are incredibly lucky to benefit from our extensive grounds. Our school site includes three playgrounds, two field spaces, a multipurpose sports court, an indoor heated swimming pool and a wooded area. We make great use of this space across our curriculum.
One feature which we are incredibly fortunate to have is our indoor heated swimming pool. The pool is currently leased to First Strokes Swimming, but we have sole use of the pool between 1-3pm every afternoon when the qualified swimming teachers lead class lessons for our pupils. Children get three half-terms worth of swimming lessons per school year.
Our extracurricular offer is broad (and ever expanding). We are proud ot offer our pupils a variety of lunchtime and after-school opportunities for them to broaden their interests and passions. From choir to gardening; junior travel ambassadors to dance we offer clubs to suit a variety of tastes.
We also offer an array of trips and visits to our pupils. Our class teachers and subject leaders have worked hard to establish links with local and national organisations so that we can offer our pupils exciting and inspiring opportunities. Embedded within our curriculum are 10 milestone experiences which we passionately believe all children should experience. These include building a sandcastle on the beach, feeding animals at a farm, staying away from home on a residential, building a den with friends, singing in an arena and watching a show at a theatre. These experiences are supplemented with other trips or visitors to give our pupils the chance to have hands-on experiences linked to our curriculum.
As a school, we are incredibly passionate about reading. Stories, poems, books and reading are central to our curriculum and our values. We have well stocked book areas in all of our classrooms as well as central, communal book banks. Every pupil within our school is read to on a daily basis following our 3 O'Clock Reads initiative. We also ensure that pupils have the opportunity to read to or with an adult or independently within the school day. Our home-learning expectation is that every pupil reads at least 5 times a week out of school. We offer support and guidance to assist parents with this and ensure that pupils have access to an exciting and engaging range of books.
Learning to read is a school priority. Children in early years learn their letters and sounds well. A carefully planned reading curriculum builds on this strong start.