Our curriculum is two-fold. The subject-based National Curriculum leads to academic success and our ‘Skills for Life Curriculum’ equips children with the necessary attitudes and skills to be successful both in school and in adulthood. Our pupils should develop great attitudes to learning and gain the social skills required to communicate and work with others. Pupil Voice opportunities enable children to pursue their passions and interests, inspire others and influence change. A growth mindset approach to challenges is overtly taught and developed, empowering children to be successful in an ever-changing world.
Our curriculum is bespoke: designed by our staff to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum and the specific needs of our children in our local context. As such, the curriculum will be under constant review to ensure we reflect and adapt to meet the changing needs of our school community and to provide the best possible education for our pupils.
We have identified three key threads which will permeate across our core curriculum subjects, our foundation subjects and our skills for life curriculum. These key threads have been specifically chosen to broaden pupils’ learning experiences, to enhance their cultural capital and to prepare them for future educational and personal success:
The ability to articulate with confidence is a life skill and supports the thinking and learning process. Our Foundation Stage baseline data shows children, over recent years, enter our school with lower levels of spoken language than they had previously. We believe the pandemic has further magnified this issue. For this reason, we have chosen to focus on oracy as a key thread throughout our curriculum. Our Skills for Life Curriculum will provide quality opportunities for debating, questioning, reflecting and contributing effectively across a range of situations with different levels of formality. Across the curriculum, high quality speaking and listening tasks will be planned to immerse children in their learning experiences; enable them to articulate and refine their thinking; support the transference of knowledge into their long term memory and provide opportunities for retrieval practice.
Our school population is predominantly White British. It is therefore essential that our curriculum represents the diverse world in which we live and provides pupils with the knowledge of different cultures that they may not otherwise experience or understand. Through understanding different perspectives within our world, negative stereotypes and personal biases can be dispelled. A focus on diversity encourages children to see the benefits of different values, abilities and views; it promotes the celebration of people’s similarities and differences. Opportunities to deepen understanding and levels of respect for others are actively fostered through our Skills for Life Curriculum.
Developing curiosity in our children will encourage a life-long desire to learn. Across the curriculum, children will be required to explore, question, challenge and make decisions in order to refine their knowledge and beliefs. Through discovery and listening to others, children will form opinions and make judgements about what is right and wrong.
Children will also learn how explorers and pioneers have influenced the world in which we live today. Cultural exploration provides experiences in the arts and reading that will enrich children’s learning and life experiences.
These threads will bring coherence to our curriculum thinking and planning.
Our curriculum is built around the essential knowledge that children need to be educated citizens; it develops their cultural capital and is taught in a logically progressive way in discreet subjects. As children move through the school, key subject-specific concepts will be repeated in different topics; pupils will be able to link new learning to existing schemas and develop a more sophisticated framework on which to organise and interpret information. This sequencing of learning will enable children to build up rich knowledge to store in their long term memory. This knowledge will be transferrable.
Key knowledge and vocabulary are identified on knowledge organisers for most subjects and these are shared with children. When sequencing learning, teachers plan tasks over time to ensure skills are developed and practised. Knowledge will be reviewed and retrieved at intervals. This reflects ongoing research into learning and pedagogy.
The Foundation Stage
In Foundation Stage children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which covers the following seven areas of learning: Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Physical Development; Communication and Language; Literacy; Mathematics; Expressive Arts and Design and Understanding the World.The classrooms are divided into the different areas of learning to promote the development of the ‘whole child’. The classrooms are carefully designed to be engaging and welcoming. During exploring time, children can free flow between both classrooms and the outside classroom. We have 4 carpet sessions a day where we teach phonics, maths and handwriting. From term 4, we introduce ‘high 5’ challenges where the children will apply previously taught skills independently.
Key Stage 1 and 2
This curriculum continues and progresses as the children join Year 1, to meet the statutory requirements for English, Mathematics, Science, ICT, Design Technology, Religious Education, Personal Health and Social Education, History, Geography, Music, Physical Education and Art. Much of this teaching will take place through integrated units of work which connect learning experiences for the children.
In addition, our Skills For Life programme provides pupils with the generic learning skills required throughout life.
From Year 3 pupils are taught French. Children at Duston Eldean have the opportunity to learn about a variety of different cultures, religions, festivals and lifestyles.
Key Stage 1 Learning : Year 1
Key Stage 1 Learning : Year 2
Key Stage 2 Learning : Year 3
Key Stage 2 Learning : Year 4
Key Stage 2 Learning : Year 5
Key Stage 2 Learning : Year 6