Dalestorth Primary and Nursery School Curriculum Statement
At Dalestorth Primary and Nursery School we have created an inspirational curriculum which aims for our children to be respectful, curious and kind individuals who love learning and will make a positive contribution to their community.
Our curriculum framework ensures that all children access a broad, balanced, challenging and progressive knowledge rich curriculum based around the requirements of all subjects of the National Curriculum across all key stages.
The curriculum framework ensures that contextual barriers to learning are overcome, ensuring that all children are able to fulfil their potential, regardless of background or ability. The curriculum framework at Dalestorth is specific to our context and has specific components which achieve this by ensuring that:
- All children have enriched lives through access to high quality life experiences which equip pupils with the cultural capital they need e.g. visiting the theatre in Mansfield for the pantomime at Christmas; taking part in outdoor and adventurous activities; visiting Newstead Abbey and the Holocaust Centre.
- All children have a love of reading through exposure to high quality texts;
- All children are able to articulate and reason about the world around them through a highly developed vocabulary;
- All children are challenged to acquire a broad and balanced range of skills and knowledge through exposure to carefully planned and progressive subject content (see curriculum map);
- All children have opportunities to develop socially, morally, spiritually and culturally and demonstrate our fundamental values (we call them our 3Rs and they are below) through the ethos of the school, assemblies and PSHE sessions; Rights, Responsibilities and Rules.
Ultimately, our curriculum is one of the primary ways in which we aim to fulfil our school vision – to make learning inspirational for all of our children and to enable them to become children who are kind, thoughtful role models who approach their learning with perseverance and intrigue. We also want children who show compassion, are open minded and supportive, accepting of others and care about their community and the wider world.
Our curriculum is primarily delivered through termly topics which are designed to excite, interest and engage children in their learning. Most of our curriculum is taught in a thematic way but also discretely where appropriate. Key features of our curriculum implementation include:
- All topics are underpinned by high quality texts to ensure that children have a wide range of reading experiences and a sound knowledge of books and stories. For example, children in Year 5 and 6 will read ‘Anne Frank’s Diary’ when studying World War 2. They will write in role, look at key themes and draw conclusions about how the lives of people in Holland might have been affected by German occupation compared to people living in Sutton-in-Ashfield. Texts are also used to explore vocabulary and help to develop children’s use of language both in everyday speech and in their writing.
- Teachers have a high focus on the use of questioning. All topics are planned using the learning challenge approach where an overarching big question is used to focus the children’s topic based learning with carefully planned sequences of teaching used to break down learning into smaller pieces. Teachers use questioning to ensure that pupils thinking is challenged and that learning is deepened.
- All children receive focused bursts of basic skills throughout the day. These sessions focus on phonics, spelling and grammar, maths skills and wider reading.
- Throughout all key stages, all subject areas are underpinned by key knowledge or skills to be acquired in each year group. This ensures a progressive and suitably challenging curriculum within all areas of learning and subjects.
- All topics have an accompanying ‘Knowledge Mat’. These documents set out the ‘Sticky Knowledge’ to be acquired by the end of the topic and also the ‘Key Vocabulary’ to be acquired. These are sent home and shared with parents to assist with home learning.
- We believe in supporting pupil’s growing depth of knowledge by providing a progressive set of knowledge and skills across all subject areas. Our aim is that children become increasingly accurate in the application of these skills and become fluent and proficient in all subject areas.
- We provide the children with opportunities to explore quality text and a precise and enriched vocabulary to use within the context of the lesson and to connect to wider subject areas. They can use this vocabulary confidently to reason and explain their thinking about the areas they are studying.
- Teaching staff use a consistent approach to lesson planning, through well scaffolded steps to success, clear learning outcomes, plenty of opportunities for questioning and modelling of good practice.
- All staff use a reflective approach to lessons, enabling them to evaluate learning and effectively plan the next steps for all children.
- Challenges in lessons are set using the principles of Bloom’s Taxonomy and children are encouraged to choose their own starting points and aim for the highest level challenge that they can. This focus on challenging questioning has a progressive scale, which increases from EYFS to Year 6.
- Our Dalestorth Values are based around our 3Rs (see above). These are embedded across our curriculum and alongside assemblies, theme weeks, enrichment opportunities and our PSHE sessions provide the children a rich framework which informs them about key values, attitudes and behaviour vital for them in a modern society.
- Our children are provided with many opportunities to engage in purposeful and relevant experiences in and out of school. These include trips to local museums, working in the school orchard, workshop days linked to the RE syllabus and residential trips. We believe that outdoor learning is fundamental to the health and well-being of our pupils.
- We encourage parental involvement through parent workshops, class webpages, newsletters, class leaflets and home-school learning diaries, this provides an opportunity to encourage the parent’s understanding of our curriculum.
The intended impact of our curriculum framework is that by the end of each year group, and ultimately by the end of Key Stage 2, children are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary for the next stage of their education. We will talk to children and look at their work, look at teaching and learning in lessons and consider what performance data is telling us with regards to measuring the extent to which all children have fulfilled their potential, regardless of ability or background.
Below are copies of our curriculum maps.
Every term class teachers will send you a newsletter telling you more about these topics in much more detail, you will also find the newsletters in the 'Class Pages'.