Welcome to GGLV

The Grinling Gibbons & Lucas Vale Federation Website

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Schools in the Grinling Gibbons and Lucas Vale Federation provide a broad and balanced curriculum that promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life. All pupils regardless of their age, sex or background are offered a wide range of educational opportunities.
Our curriculum covers the eleven subjects of the National Curriculum and Religious Education. The three Core subjects of English, Maths and Science take up roughly half of our curriculum. History, Geography, Music, Art, Design and Technology, Physical Education, Information and Communication Technology and Modern foreign languages are taught in line with statutory requirement to cover the prescribed programmes of study. The Early Years classes follow the Foundation Stage curriculum.

Art & Display

Our school is named after the famous master woodcarver, Grinling Gibbons, and therefore the teaching of art holds a very special place here.


Specialist teaching

We have a room dedicated specifically to the teaching of art, and all classes from EYFS to Year 6 are taught in smaller groups by specialist teachers who are practising artists. During these sessions, children are encouraged to develop their creativity and are taught how to use a variety of materials and equipment to express their ideas and feelings in 2D and 3D forms. They also learn the skills of drawing and painting so they can represent people and objects in a realistic way.


Visits to Museums and Galleries

In addition to the specialist art lessons, there is also scope for artwork to be produced in class linked to topic work across the foundation subjects. Wherever possible, children are encouraged to visit museums and galleries linked to their current area of study.



At Grinling Gibbons, we place a strong emphasis on the importance of high-quality display throughout the building because we want our school to be an appealing and vibrant learning environment. All children’s work is celebrated, from our youngest learners to the oldest, but we also display unusual and beautiful artefacts throughout the corridors to promote thinking and to reflect our diverse community.

Displays are changed regularly to reflect the most current areas of focus in the children’s learning.

Download subject pdf here.


At Grinling Gibbons, we strive to provide our children with a high-quality computing education so that they are well-equipped and able to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world around them.
Our broad and balanced computing curriculum focuses on three strands:

  • Computer Science – where children are taught to use software such as ‘Scratch’ and ‘Tynker’ to write computer programmes (coding)
  • Information Technology (IT) – where children learn to use a variety of programs to present information and to analyse their learning
  • Digital Literacy – where children are taught how to use the Internet and technology safely and respectfully so that they become responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.

We teach them to stay ‘SMART’ when they are online, (http://www.childnet.com/resources/be-smart-on-the-internet) and encourage them to apply ‘THINK’ strategies when they are posting or responding to others.


Online Learning Platforms

As a school, we have invested in a range of online learning platforms spanning across different curriculum subjects. These engaging, online learning resources offer further support to children and allow them to consolidate their understanding of different concepts. Examples of platforms include:

  • Mathletics
  • PurpleMash
  • Lexia
  • DB Primary
  • Developing Experts – Science
  • Bug Club – Activlearn

Every child at Grinling Gibbons is given a personal log-in and we encourage children to use these resources at home.

We encourage the use of technology throughout all areas of learning and children are able to access laptops or iPads throughout the week, providing them with learning opportunities which otherwise might have not been possible. Apps are carefully selected to best help children move forward in different subject areas.


Digital Leadership Scheme

Our Digital Leadership Scheme is an empowerment programme focused on developing children’s leadership skills and technical competence. It promotes responsibility, reliability and good communication. Digital Leaders offer assistance and guidance to other children in the school as well as run a computing lunch club where they offer support on online safety approaches and coding.


Code Club

Code Club is held once a week, after school, and it gives children the skills, confidence and opportunity to shape their world through computing. It is run by a freelance Computing Consultant, and children learn a range of programming skills as they participate in a series of carefully structured projects.

Download subject pdf here.

Design Technology

At Grinling Gibbons, Design and Technology provides the perfect opportunity for children to combine their problem-solving skills and their creativity, to develop initial design ideas into real-life objects and products.
Children are encouraged to use their imagination to create and develop new ideas by exploring the following core design processes:

  • Design
  • Make
  • Evaluate
  • Use of technical knowledge

Children are taught a range of skills, including the safe use of appropriate tools, which they can then apply across a range of design contexts.

Download subject pdf here.


Being able to communicate effectively, is a key skill which impacts significantly on all aspects of a child’s learning. At Grinling Gibbons, we want all our children to be confident and enthusiastic speakers, readers and writers.
All English learning is planned from the 2014 National Curriculum’s relevant programmes of study, but wherever possible, we approach our teaching in a cross-curricular way.

Our key priorities are that learning is engaging, challenging and fun!



We want all our children to be passionate about reading and so we make sure that all children have access to a range of exciting books and reading materials. Every classroom has a stimulating and engaging book corner, and we provide many opportunities for children to read, and be read to, throughout the school day.

Children are taught the skills of decoding and comprehension depending on their age and stage of development, and we encourage them to read at home regularly with their parents. The school also provides access to additional reading resources – such as ‘Bug Club’ and Lexia – which are available online.



We believe that the best writing comes from having a real sense of purpose and our children enjoy writing across a range of contexts.


Engaging children:

Before they write, we think carefully about the stimulus we will use to engage the children and to make them want to write. This could be anything from a trip or a visitor to the class; a practical activity they have carried out in class or at home; a response to a fantastic book that has been shared with the class where they are given an opportunity to write in role; a thought-provoking image or piece of art or music; a film clip; or some cross-curricular learning taught as part of their topic work.


The writing process itself:

Opportunities are then planned for children to read and analyse good examples of the types of writing they will be producing, and for them to participate in activities which will get them talking and rehearsing their ideas orally. These could include: drama, ‘hot-seating’ (where children take on the role of a particular character and answer questions as if they are that person), debating and group discussions. Children are then taught the key skills of planning, drafting, evaluating, editing and proof-reading, as they begin the writing process. At Grinling Gibbons, we place a strong emphasis on the importance of modelling each of these stages through quality shared writing led by the teacher. At every stage of writing, right up to producing and publishing a final outcome, children are given helpful feedback so that they understand which aspects of the writing they are doing well, and where they may need to develop more.


Phonics and Spelling:

In the EYFS and Year 1, children receive a daily session in phonics, following the synthetic phonics programme, Read Write Inc. This teaches children to hear, say, read and write the full range of sounds needed to read and write independently.

From Year 2 onwards, children are taught the age-appropriate spelling patterns as outlined in the spelling appendix of the national curriculum.

All children are given a set of words to practise spelling, and from Year 1 onwards, these are tested once a week.


Grammar and punctuation:

Wherever possible, grammar and punctuation is explored and taught within a real context: this may be done through a quality text that the children are reading, or it could be in the shared writing which all adults model as part of the teaching process. Even so, there will be times when specific skills – appropriate to the age and stage of the child – will need to be taught discretely.



At Grinling Gibbons, children are taught to join their letters using the Spectrum Handwriting Programme. Children practise their handwriting regularly in order to develop confidence and fluency, and all adults model a joined handwriting script.


In the Early Years Foundation Stage at Grinling Gibbons, we aim to give all our children the best possible start in education by providing them with a strong foundation for their learning, from the moment they join our school.
By creating a safe and happy environment, with motivating and enjoyable learning experiences, we enable children to become confident and independent learners. Because all our children are individuals, we work closely alongside all our parents and carers to meet each child’s needs, so that every child can reach his or her full potential.

Our curriculum is exciting and challenging and is based on our observation of children’s needs, interests, and stages of development across the seven areas of learning, which are:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

These areas are equally important and are taught through a cross-curricular, topic-based approach. Our children learn best by playing and exploring, so we plan specific opportunities to develop their critical thinking and to engage them in active learning.


Working in partnership with parents

Before children even start at Grinling Gibbons, we meet our children and families through home visits and welcome sessions. Once the children have started at school, we build on these relationships further, by continuing to work in close partnership working with parents and carers.


Assessments and Trackers

We observe our children across all areas of learning and this evidence is captured through photographs, notes and observations about their development and progress. These are then recorded in each child’s individual Learning Journey. We actively encourage parents and carers to be a part of this process by regularly completing ‘Wow Cards’ which highlight the parent voice from home and strengthen our parent-school partnership.

In line with guidance from ‘The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage’, children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals at the end of their Reception year – see link below



At Grinling Gibbons, we aim to stimulate our children’s interest in, and curiosity about, their surroundings. We see Geography as being key to enabling children to learn about, and develop a better understanding of, the world around them.

By following a curriculum which is engaging and relevant, children learn about the world from a local, national and international perspective. Our aim is that by the time they leave us, they are fully aware of what it is to be a global citizen with local, national and global responsibilities.

Through each new topic, opportunities are planned to enable children to acquire the age-appropriate skills and knowledge relating to:

  • location – understanding and using maps and globes
  • place knowledge
  • human and physical geography
  • geographical skills and fieldwork


Using our local area

Grinling Gibbons is also part of the Creekside Network which is a local nature reserve. Children visit the site regularly to take part in practical activities such as pond-dipping and low-tide walks where there are always expert volunteers on hand to assist them with their learning. We also try to make full use of any free access to resources they may have, such as their collection of artefacts discovered locally in the river.

Download subject pdf here.


At Grinling Gibbons, we aim to ignite a love of History, and to give our children the skills that they need to enable them to leave our school as confident historical learners.

Each year, children study a variety of history-based topics, ranging from the ancient civilisations of Rome and Greece, to the more recent local history of WW II. Wherever possible, meaningful links are made between history and other curriculum subjects, and English and Maths are often taught within a historical context


Engaging lessons

We create engaging lessons using experts from outside agencies, as well as relying on the knowledge and expertise of our own staff. The children’s passion for this subject is often seen during Application Focus Week, where children have the opportunity to pick an aspect of history they have been studying, and present their ideas using the skills they have learned.

To reinforce their learning, theatre groups and visitors are regularly invited into school to bring the subject alive, and all children benefit from visiting places of historical interest.

Download subject pdf here.


At Grinling Gibbons, we want our children to develop a passion for all things mathematical, and for them to continue to have a healthy and enthusiastic attitude towards this subject, long after they have left our school.
In order to develop children’s mathematical fluency, their reasoning and a real love for numbers, we provide a range of rich and stimulating experiences. Wherever possible, our emphasis is on practical activities in real-life contexts, and children have regular opportunities to apply their mathematical skills to solve problems.


Developing mathematical reasoning

In line with the expectations of the national curriculum, we are focusing on developing our children’s abilities to reason, so we encourage learners of all ages, to discuss and share their learning with each other. This helps them to build confidence and to further develop their mathematical thinking. All children from KS2 are encouraged to capture these explanations in writing in their maths books using a purple pen.


Mathletics and ‘Master of Maths’

At Grinling Gibbons, we regularly promote and celebrate children’s personal achievements in maths.

All children have log-ins to access the online programme – Mathletics – which is an award-winning interactive site to improve pupils’ mathematical skills. Children take part in a range of fun activities that are linked to the national curriculum, and they are awarded bronze, silver and gold certificates according to how much time they spend working on it.

Children’s individual achievements in this area are celebrated through the weekly ‘Master of Maths’ certificates. These are awarded to one child per class, who has demonstrated a particularly noteworthy effort or skill in the previous week’s maths learning.

Download subject pdf here.


Mandarin is the number one language spoken in the world and is widely spoken in Deptford: this is why we teach it at Grinling Gibbons.
In line with current national curriculum expectations, all classes in KS2 take part in a weekly modern foreign language session in Mandarin. As well as building up their spoken vocabulary, and learning the basic pictographic characters, children learn to have simple conversations across a range of real-life contexts such as greeting one another, counting and telling the time etc

Wherever possible, links are also made to Chinese and British celebrations to give the learning an even more meaningful context.


Extra-curricular French

French is also offered as an extra-curricular activity after school, where parents and carers can sign up and learn together. By participating in a range of speaking and listening activities and by role-playing conversations, they are able to develop their linguistic skills in a fun and practical way.

Children are also given the opportunity to create a short production to show the school what they have been learning about in this subject.

Download subject pdf here.


At Grinling Gibbons we value music because it is a powerful and unique form of communication which can change the way pupils feel, think and act. We believe that a high-quality music education should engage and inspire children to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians.


Expressing ourselves through music

Music enables children to express themselves personally and helps them to improve their skills of reflection and to develop emotionally. As an integral part of culture, past and present, it helps pupils to understand themselves and relate to others. Children are also taught to listen to, and appreciate, a wide variety of music.

At Grinling Gibbons, we encourage all children to actively engage in different forms of music-making, and to sing together. This helps to develop a sense of group identity and togetherness, as well as increasing self-confidence, creativity and a sense of achievement.


Instrumental lessons and opportunities to perform

In line with the expectations of the national curriculum, all children have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument for at least one year in KS2. Currently this includes specialist tutors teaching brass to all Year 4 children, and steel pans to all Year 5 children. There are also opportunities for children to receive individual lessons in brass and violin for a small charge.

Singing is also a strength of the school, with children taking part regularly in events organised by the Lewisham Music Service as well as national events like Young Voices. In addition, children enjoy participating in community-based singing events, and recent highlights include carols in the Lewisham shopping centre and weekly visits to perform at a local care home.


At Grinling Gibbons, we believe that physical education is a vital part of every child’s development. Our high-quality P.E. curriculum inspires our children to succeed and excel in sports and other physically-demanding activities. We provide our children with opportunities to become physically confident in ways which supports their health and fitness.

All children receive weekly lessons in P.E. and games, and children in Years 4 and 5 have one session of swimming per week. From January 2017, all classes are now participating in ‘The Daily Mile’ which is an exciting new initiative that aims to improve children’s physical, emotional and social health and to encourage all children to lead healthier lives.


Clubs and extra-curricular opportunities

In addition to the P.E. curriculum, we also offer a range of clubs and after-school activities. At Grinling Gibbons, children can choose from the following sports clubs: fencing, netball, football, cycling or Taekwondo.

Download subject pdf here.


A child’s ability to learn and achieve, is significantly affected by their physical, social, health and emotional well-being. This is why we place such importance on our PSHCE curriculum here at Grinling Gibbons.
PSHCE is taught as a discrete session in class, as well as through other related curriculum areas such as Science, R.E. and P.E.


SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning)

All classes take part in a weekly circle time which allows children to discuss and debate a range of personal, social and citizenship issues within a safe and trusting environment. At Grinling Gibbons, we follow the SEAL themes of:

  • New beginnings
  • Getting on and falling out
  • Going for goals
  • Good to me
  • Relationships
  • Changes

and children focus on each aspect as appropriate to their age.

We promote anti-bullying week and use our assembly times to reinforce these key messages further.

Some classes in KS2 also work closely with volunteers from The Jimmy Mizen Foundation to build safe havens in the local area.


Lewisham Junior Citizen

Our Year 6 pupils take part in the The Lewisham Junior Citizen Scheme which is a multi-agency event designed especially for year 6 pupils. Partner agencies offer key safety advice, including the London Fire Brigade, Metropolitan Police, St Johns Ambulance, Transport for London, Lewisham Road Safety and Drugs Education specialists, to name but a few. Pupils attend a series of interactive workshops to learn about the many ways that they can stay safe.

Download subject pdf here.


At Grinling Gibbons, we encourage our children to be curious about the world around them because it is important that they develop a love of science where questioning and an exploratory attitude is at the very heart of learning.
We want our children to develop the skills of perseverance, co-operation and open mindfulness, as well as independent thought, self-criticism and imagination. By following a programme of inspirational and engaging activities, our children learn the importance of working scientifically.


Developing Experts

In school, we use the online science platform http://www.developingexperts.com to support the teaching and learning of science. The platform provides a library of lessons, presentations, interviews with experts, practical experiments, songs and quizzes which pupils can then access at home. The children have the opportunity to revisit lesson content afterwards, so that they consolidate learning and can commit knowledge and skills to long-term memory.


Special Science Events

Every year, we celebrate British Science Week with a fortnight of exciting science-based activities across the whole school. This event is launched with a whole-school stimulus and concludes with a science fair where each class shares the learning that has been completed. In KS2, we also host a science movie night and science sleepover to further deepen children’s curiosity and love for this subject.

Download subject pdf here.

Sex and Relationships Education (SRE)

At Grinling Gibbons, Sex and Relationships Education, (SRE), is taught through Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education, as well as other curriculum areas such as Science and Physical Education.

It is taught in the context of relationships, and promotes self-esteem and emotional health and well-being. It includes supporting pupils and developing their self-confidence as they prepare for the physical and emotional changes into adulthood.

Download subject pdf here.

World Faiths

At Grinling Gibbons, we want all our children to develop a strong sense of what is right and wrong, and to understand about justice and fairness. We want them to learn the importance of respecting others, and to help them develop an appropriate concern for the welfare of others and to start to take some responsibility for the world in which we live.

Our community is diverse, with pupils, staff, parents and carers from many different nationalities, faiths and cultures. Together we learn about the variety of religious communities and beliefs that exist within our classrooms, school, community and the world around us.

World Faiths comes under the umbrella of Religious Education, and at Grinling Gibbons we follow the agreed Lewisham Syllabus and teach this subject through age-appropriate topics.


Respect and tolerance for all

Respect and tolerance are key values which are explored regularly across the whole school, therefore, we teach our children that everyone has the right to practise a religion of their choice, or not, and that we should always respect the choices of others.

We also teach our children to have the courage to challenge any ideas which are restrictive, ignorant of, or damaging to the lives of others.