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.


At Lucas Vale we believe that a child’s ability to read, write and communicate plays a fundamental role in all aspects of their learning; therefore English is at the heart of all areas of the curriculum. We also plan for separate literacy lessons to occur every day in our school in line with the expectations of the 2014 National Curriculum.

At Lucas Vale we aim to ensure that every child who walks through our door develops a life-long love of literature and enjoys reading for pleasure. In addition, we aim to challenge children to think critically and understand that being proficient in reading and writing is vital in order to flourish in today’s society.


We aim to promote reading in all areas of our curriculum. We value the importance of books and literature in assisting children to become confident and enthusiastic writers, readers and communicators. We endeavour to provide a wide range of reading material that will appeal to children of all ages and abilities and who all have varying interests. The school has close links with our local libraries which all children regularly visit with their class. As a school, we promote reading and a love of language through whole school and key stage assemblies; parent and child reading sessions; cross year group reading sessions and through celebratory days such as World Book Day and National Poetry Day.
Children at Lucas Vale are encouraged to take books home from our class libraries and read and discuss these books with their parents. During the school week, children undertake a wide range of activities that help them to improve their reading skills. In Year one and Reception, children experience daily phonic lessons and are also given the opportunity to read with an adult individually. In Year 2 and Key stage two, children participate in whole class reading skills lessons three times a week; individual silent reading sessions as well as sharing a text with the whole class daily.


Using stimulating, engaging and language rich texts inspires children to be creative and helps them develop an enjoyment for writing. At Lucas Vale we are constantly updating our curriculum with texts that we believe will instil a passion for writing in our children. Children are given the opportunity to write an extended piece of writing every week that links to the class text or another area of the curriculum they are learning about. Prior to this, the children are immersed in the text through drama and speaking and listening activities as well as being taught vital grammar and punctuation skills that they will need to apply in their final written outcome. Finally they will redraft their work and learn to be expert editors. Children are also given the opportunity to apply any skills they have learned in each term during our Application Focus Weeks which take place at the end of each term.


Spelling is taught discreetly at Lucas Vale using the Ruth Miskin Read Write Inc scheme. Spelling rules are taught on a two week cycle. Children are introduced to the rule and then have the opportunity to practise and apply this rule in various different ways over five sessions. At the end of the two weeks children will be tested on words that contain the rule they have been learning.


The teaching of Grammar is embedded in all that we do. Children are taught grammar contextually as well as discreetly at Lucas Vale. Teachers model using correct punctuation at all times when modelling any writing to the children and children are taught to recognise different word classes during both reading and writing sessions.


We promote cursive handwriting from Year 1 onwards at Lucas Vale. The beautiful presentation of children’s work is displayed around the school. We strive for children to have high expectations of themselves and the work they produce. Handwriting is practised daily in Key stage one and at least three times a week at key stage two.

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As the core of our primary curriculum we, at Lucas Vale Primary School, aim to encourage all children to become confident and creative mathematicians. Our teaching approaches are designed to support children to identify the links and the interconnectivity of this incredibly important subject area.

We aim to equip children with knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts including those relevant to everyday life, e.g. money and time. Using and applying knowledge and skills is an important part of children’s learning and there are opportunities for pupils to embed these skills in practical investigations and problem solving exercises.

Below are the key aspects that are integral to our approach:

  • To be fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics; including written calculation strategies and basic number facts such as number bonds or times tables.
  • To reason mathematically by following lines of enquiry and using accurate mathematical language to explain ideas. This is embedded throughout (including during Application Focus Week) and takes the form of talk maths using a variety of questioning styles.
  • To gain confidence when problem solving: some children can feel anxious of maths and can become demotivated from quite a young age. Much of the problem solving work we do at Lucas Vale is based on discussion and links directly to our aim of reasoning mathematically. Children in every year group are exposed to open ended problems that require creativity along with mathematical understanding. We take great pride in our children’s ability to not only solve problems but create them which enables them to consolidate their learning of key concepts.
  • To have a strong understanding of mental maths strategies. To help our children adopt mental approaches, we use many visual models as well as physical movement so that they understand the relationship between numbers and the four main operations.

In order for children to become confident mathematicians who choose to challenge themselves at every opportunity, we focus on ensuring quality first teaching.
Teaching of mathematics at Lucas Vale focuses on:

  • Teaching that develops pupils’ understanding of key concepts.
  • To have a strong understanding of mental maths strategies. To help our children adopt mental approaches, we use many visual models as well as physical moveEnabling all pupils to make substantial progress and feel challenged during the lesson.
  • To have a strong understanding of mental maths strategies. To help our children adopt mental approaches, we use many visual models as well as physical moveHigh expectations of pupils’ enjoyment and achievement.
  • Teachers foster an enthusiastic spirit of enquiry and develop pupils’ reasoning skills.
  • Problem-solving and investigation are integral to learning mathematics.
  • Emphasis on accurate use of technical language.

In addition, in order to further promote enjoyment, enthusiasm and to support progress and overall attainment, the school subscribes to Mathletics, a popular home learning tool that encourages our pupils to continue to develop their mathematical skills outside of school. Every class also has access to iPads to assist them with their mathematical learning.

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At Lucas Vale, we set out to ‘first develop and maintain curiosity’ in our pupils. Without curiosity and wonder children lose their natural inclination to observe the world, ask questions of it and investigate to find answers. We make sure that science at Lucas Vale is child led and enquiry based.
Our aim is to ensure that pupils:

  • Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through biology/chemistry/physics.
  • Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of enquiry that help answer questions about the world around them.
  • Are equipped with the scientific knowledge to understand the uses and implications of science today and in the future.
  • Are scientifically literate members of society if nothing else!

Our Science Principles

When we do science:

  • We need to learn through practical ‘hands on’ investigations as much as we can.
  • We need questions to investigate, make us think, understand and progress.
  • We need to learn together collaboratively and learn from each other.
  • We need the teacher to be enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the topic.
  • We need great resources to help us learn.
  • We need to learn within familiar contexts we recognise and can relate to.

Whenever we can, we also need to learn outside the classroom and by having science visitors in school.
Children should be learning science through active investigations and enquiry based learning.
Children should be encouraged to argue about and debate science concepts ...a lot!
Children should be encouraged to be scientific and ask questions about the world around them!

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At Lucas Vale, our aim is to equip children with the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to be not just users of technology, but creators of technology. As of 2014, the new Computing curriculum was broken down in to three strands: Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. Our children are taught the skills and knowledge for these three strands and display their learning purposefully, for example, during Application Focus Week. Computing is taught both discretely and through cross-curricular learning using our computer suite, laptops or iPads.

Here at Lucas Vale, we understand that computing has the ability to provide children the opportunity to demonstrate:

  • Perseverance/growth mind set
  • Computational thinking (analysing and planning a solution)
  • Team work
  • Communication skills
  • Creativity

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Design and Technology

Design and Technology is a practical problem solving subject where children are encouraged to plan, design and then execute their ideas. At Lucas Vale, children are provided with the opportunity to work with a range of materials individually and collaboratively; we use the QCA units of work which provide good levels of continuity and progression. As the children work through the units they further develop their understanding and awareness of the skills necessary for design and technology and its real life applications.

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At Lucas Vale Primary School we believe that children should be allowed to develop skills which will give them the opportunity to explore the world as they understand it. Understanding the history of Britain and the history of the wider world is an important starting point in ensuring that our children are able to develop an awareness of themselves and the lives of others as well as the effect that the past has on the present day.

Our curriculum is designed to cover the aims set out in the National Curriculum. It is taught both as a discrete subject but can also be taught in a cross-curricular manner. By the end of their primary school years, our children will have taken part in engaging lessons and trips which will challenge them to think critically and ask questions which are important in helping to shape their understanding of the world.

Twice a term, at Lucas Vale, we immerse the children in a theme. One of these themes will have a historical perspective. During this time every year group is able to apply the skills that they have acquired, independently, such as comparing and contrasting, as well as placing events in chronological order.

Overall we hope that our children gain the confidence to question the world around them with the understanding of past events to support their understanding of the world as it is today.

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Geography at Lucas Vale aims to inspire in pupils a fascination and curiosity about the world and its people. Teaching aims to equip pupils with a knowledge about diverse places, people and environments, together with a deeper understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. A range of geographical skills are taught at every level. Children become competent in collecting and analyzing a range of data gathered through fieldwork in order to deepen their understanding of geographical processes. They learn to interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes and aerial photographs. Geographical information is taught to be communicated in a variety of ways, including through maps, graphs and pieces of writing.

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Art and Design

We place great emphasis on Art and Design in our school and strongly believe it is an integral part of every child’s development. Art and Design provides children with many non- academic benefits such as: confidence, motivation, self-esteem, cultural exposure, creativity, as well as social harmony and appreciation of diversity. These elements play a crucial role in the holistic development of our children so that they develop a positive attitude to both learning and life.

We follow the National Curriculum Art and Design programmes of study and aim to ensure that all pupils:

  • produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
  • become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
  • evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
  • know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

Art and Design stimulates creativity and imagination and we ensure children are exposed to a wide range of subjects, techniques and materials (pencil, charcoal, paint and clay etc.). All children learn about great artists, artistic movements and designers. We have worked tirelessly to embed Art and Design into our curriculum: the school has an art specialist that teaches Years 1-6 and work is celebrated around the school to show an appreciation and showcase the enjoyment the children have for this subject. In addition, all year groups are given regular opportunities to visit galleries, museums and other venues for maximum exposure to a varied range of art and craft work.

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Music at Lucas Vale is diversive, inclusive, experimentational and fun for all children. We believe that music should be accessible for all children and therefore strive to ensure that all children are exposed to a variety of styles and genres to allow them as individuals to embark upon their own unique musical journey. We wish to inspire our children to love different types of music and have self-confidence when playing and speaking about music.

At Lucas Vale we currently have whole year groups learning a variety of brass instruments as well as private tuition for brass and violins. The children participate in singing assembly once a week in each key stage which ties in with one of our schemes of work (see overview) and we have a choir club that performs at school events and for the local community. In addition, some of the children at Lucas Vale are part of a mass choir that sings at the O2 once a year.

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Physical Education is incredibly vital and plays a huge role in the life of Lucas Vale and contributes to the holistic development of our children. Through participation, our children build and learn more about the main values of our school. They build their ability to persevere, aspire for greatness and build their confidence. They also learn good sportsmanship through the range of games and activities that are made available to them.

At Lucas Vale, learning in PE is based on the keys skills in the new National Curriculum to ensure development for each individual across the school. These skills are taught explicitly during PE lessons and through cross-curricular avenues, especially science, numeracy and whole school events such as Application Focus Weeks. All children receive a minimum of two hours of PE delivered by the class teachers. Children in Years 4 and 5 receive weekly half hour swimming lessons by qualified coaches at the Wavelengths Leisure Centre in Deptford.

Teachers aim to:

  • Inspire children to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities
  • Enable children to become physically confident in a way in which supports their health and fitness
  • Build character and help embed values such as fairness, respect and determination

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At Lucas Vale, the PSHE curriculum underpins the values and ethos of the school as a whole. Our aim is to equip children with the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills needed to live healthy, safe, productive and responsible lives. Our children are equipped with appropriate language and levels of understanding that enable them to participate in discussions and debates surrounding personal, social and citizenship issues, in a safe and trusting manner.

PSHE at Lucas Vale is taught through cross curricular learning, as well as by discrete practices such as: circle time, assemblies, whole school events; healthy eating at break and lunchtimes and consistent high expectations of behaviour during lessons and break times. Initiatives such as ‘Lucas Vale School Advocates’ help to promote both the social and personal development of children and the importance of talking about and sharing these thoughts, feelings and experiences. In addition, we also have pastoral care and guidance provided by our Behaviour, Community Liaison Officer and external companies, such as Place 2 Be.

SRE (Sex and Relationship Education) is provided at age appropriate level, with a focus on children having the emotional maturity and language skills required to participate in this area of the curriculum; themes are often taught through subjects such as Science. In Year 6 children study sex education formally using the Channel 4, Living and Growing DVD; parents are informed and are invited to view the materials which will be used in class.

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Religious Education

Lucas Vale lies in the heart of Lewisham, with pupils coming from a wide range of cultures, nationalities and faiths. We follow the Lewisham Agreed Syllabus for RE: Learning together through faiths. The locality of the school enriches the teaching and learning of Religious Education by allowing children to be a part of many communities. We aim to enhance the spiritual, moral, cultural, social, mental and physical development of all our pupils. This is achieved through our application focus weeks, multicultural days, end of term fetes, visiting a variety of places of worship and having religious leaders as guest speakers in assemblies.

We recognise that ‘Religious Education has an important role in preparing pupils for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It enables pupils to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own. It promotes discernment and enables pupils to combat prejudice.’
(Lewisham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, 2009)

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Modern Foreign Language

Bonjour tout le monde!

Our chosen Modern Foreign Language is French here at Lucas Vale, where we aim to equip young people with the confidence, knowledge and practical skills needed to actively engage in the French language. We hope to initiate a positive attitude towards another language, to help the children express different ideas effectively and to develop an enjoyment for learning other languages and about other cultures. It also aims to improve intercultural understanding in an increasingly globalized world.

The core skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are taught through Rigolo, a language scheme that allows children to learn in a fun and engaging way, to grow in confidence and communicate through speaking and writing, with continual exposure to accurate and authentic pronunciation, intonation and grammatical structures.

Rigolo is structured so that the children can build upon their French gradually throughout KS2 focusing mainly on topics linked to daily living. The aim is to show progress throughout the years, of both knowledge and confidence, in readiness for secondary school. In addition to discrete French lessons, French is encouraged during Application Focus Weeks and on a daily basis with activities linked to daily routine, such as assembly greetings and taking the register.

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