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Our Learning

At Gainsborough our curriculum is designed to provide children with an education about the local community and make links to the rest of London and beyond. We believe that it is vital that our children have an understanding of the world around them and the area that they are growing up in and their role within it . Our school is in an area of high socio-economic stress in the London Borough of Newham (East London). The borough has a diverse, young and growing population, a centre for European re-generation and is a place of high migration. In our school, it is important that every child is recognised as a unique individual. We celebrate and welcome differences within our school community.


  • We aim to provide opportunities to develop the whole child so that learners will be able to transfer their skills and knowledge into various real life contexts that will prepare and equip them for life in Modern Britain in the 21st Century.
  • We have high expectations of all learners and enable them to be ambitious risk takers.
  • We use precise planning to ensure that key skills and knowledge are at the forefront of the curriculum.
  • We ensure that our curriculum, and therefore the learning, is balanced through ensuring equity and developing cross-curricular links to ignite children’s passions.
  • We develop a strong sense of moral purpose in addition to respect, understanding and inclusion of people who have different characteristics to themselves, whether that be age, disability, gender, race or sexuality.

At Gainsborough, we build on children’s prior learning; provide first hand learning experiences; allow the children to develop interpersonal skills; build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers. We believe that childhood should be a happy, investigative and enquiring time in our lives where there are no limits to curiosity and there is a thirst for new experiences and knowledge.

Within PSHE, account is made of the socio-economics, diversity and mobility of the area. We recognise that the children need both a sense of valuing themselves and their community, and that they should be supported to develop aspirations for their future. We have designed our PSHE curriculum to provide a breadth of experience which relates to the real life factors faced by our children, allowing them to explore these in a safe, supportive environment. Our PSHE curriculum gives children the skills and knowledge to be introspective about themselves as people, thinking about their feelings, morals and ethics and how these fit in with the wider society and affect the interactions children have. We are passionate that all children realise that it is a big and wonderful world out there that they can play an active and positive part in. To do this we ensure our children are exposed to a variety of experiences that will have an impact on them as they grow. Examples of these are trips to parliament or aspirational people coming to talk about their jobs and contributions to the community. We plan opportunities for the children to know about keeping safe and make links within our PSHE plans to a variety of documents and advice, including NSPCC and KCSiE which support developing a holistic and current approach to delivering PSHE lessons.

Children’s wellbeing is at the heart of Gainsborough’s ethos. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is planned for and pupils show themselves to be deep thinkers. They are able to empathise with the feelings and actions of others, seeing points of views and beliefs other than their own. It is also deeply embedded as part of the hidden curriculum within the school and children are provided with a strong moral compass through the golden rules, creating an environment which is nurturing, respectful and trusting.

Early Years and Foundation

In the nursery and reception classes (EYFS) the children follow a broad foundation stage curriculum. We offer children a setting rich in learning experiences which they access through their play. Alongside this we foster an environment where children belong and are supported in taking risks, testing their ideas and extending their own learning. We believe that children are born with a natural enthusiasm and love for learning. It is our responsibility to develop and nurture this through the characteristics of effective learning.

The characteristics of effective learning are:

  • Playing and exploring (engagement)
  • Active learning (motivation)
  • Creating and thinking critically (thinking)

Within the early years curriculum there are seven areas of learning. They are separated into prime and specific areas. These give children the foundations for their future learning.

The three Prime Areas are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional development.

The Specific Areas are:

Understanding the world 
Expressive arts and design

By the end of the reception class it is expected that most children will have reached the early learning goals in these area.