The curriculum for the children in the Foundation Stage (i.e. the nursery and reception classes) follows the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This covers areas such as Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal Social and Emotional Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
Our curriculum is designed to allow all children to access a variety of exciting learning experiences with Wow Days, trips and visitors, linked to novels and topics, booked at least once per term for each class.
The children learn through carefully structured practical activities linked to a topic or novel which the children have often been part of selecting. This way the children are more engaged in the learning process.
The Y1 and Y2 children follow a Key Stage One curriculum and Y3 to Y6 children follow a Key Stage Two curriculum. Y1-Y6 follow a skills based curriculum for foundation subjects.
From Toddlers to Year 6, children are expected to read every day in school and for a minimum of 10 minutes at home every night. All KS1 & KS2 children are invited to attend after school reading club from 3.05- 3.30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. All children have a reading record book to record their reading habits and all children have either a colour band reading book or a ‘Big 10’ reading book to take home every night. Children who read every night at home for a week receive 100 dojo points. Children who read every night at home for half a term receive a free book to keep and any child who changes book band colour or reads ten ‘Big 10’ books receives a reading champion polo top to wear as school uniform. All children have a class story time at the end of every school day for 15 minutes.
All children from FS2 to Year 6 either have a daily Read, Write, Inc lesson or attend a reading skills lesson for an hour per day. This gives children the skills to begin and further develop reading and writing and includes phonic development. Parents meetings are held to provide further information about these areas. All children take part in daily writing lessons outside of Read, Write, Inc where novel study is the main source of engagement. All classes have a specific novel focus each term or half term and learning environments reflect the novel being studied.
Maths is essential to everyday life and wherever possible we seek to teach mathematical skills through real life contexts and situations in a way that is relevant and meaningful. We follow the National Curriculum and also use Focus Maths as a basis for planning and progression. We aim to ensure that all children develop fluency, problem solving and reasoning skills in mathematics with an emphasis on in-depth knowledge of basic number bonds and facts including times tables. Through SUMMS sessions (Securing Understanding of Mental Mathematics) mental maths skills are taught separately to ensure children understand the concepts of mental maths strategies, can apply them in any context and can communicate their understanding.
Areas of learning in mathematics at KS1 and KS2 include:
• Number and place value
• Number: addition and subtraction, multiplication and division
• Geometry: Properties of shape, position and direction
• Fractions including decimals and percentages
• Ratio and Proportion
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children are provided with opportunities to practice and improve their skills in counting and problem solving as well as describing shapes, space and measures. Across the school children will gain varied and frequent practise
in recalling and applying their knowledge rapidly and accurately to solve problems. We hope to create confident mathematicians who have an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, as well as a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
The school promotes a moral, caring attitude. Assemblies are held every day, taking many forms, with links to local churches and religious groups. Parents are invited to attend weekly celebration assemblies. Our RE class teaching is based on the Chris Quigley skills document and takes place during teachers’ Planning Preparation and Assessment Time each afternoon. Most religious festivals are celebrated, and stories, traditions and facts from other religions and cultures are taught during class lessons.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from assemblies after discussion with the Headteacher. Children who do not participate in assemblies will be supervised during this time by a member of staff.
Science in school concentrates more on the teaching of scientific skills rather than purely on scientific knowledge. Children are taught to predict, categorise, measure, observe and the importance of fair testing. These are taught in a very practical way through themes during which children are encouraged and guided to explore and investigate, thus increasing their knowledge of the world around
them. They are then taught to communicate and record their findings in a variety of ways. The main topic for all classes from Year 1 – Year 6 each
One Term in the school year has a dedicated focus on science. All science work is assessed at three levels of ability and used to inform planning. There are two separate Science Weeks each school year when children spend a full week considering everything scientific.
Children are encouraged to work independently and with confidence on computers, laptops and tablets, becoming familiar with the software which is used to support all areas of the curriculum. All work in computing is assessed at three levels of ability and used to inform planning. Each term there is a specific computing focus from e-safety, digital media and control. All final pieces of writing, linked to novel study, include a computing element such as creating an e-book.
All PE lessons in school are taught by Active 1 Sports Coaching Company and take place during teachers’ Planning Preparation and Assessment time during afternoons. We aim to ensure that all children get a minimum of 2 hours PE per week, including before
school, lunchtime and after school sports clubs every day. All work in PE is assessed at three levels of ability and used to inform planning. We have a group of ‘Elite Athletes’ in school who are chosen for their sporting ability but also for their positive attitude and
sportsmanship. These children receive additional high level training and represent the school at a variety of competitions and tournaments in the area.
All music lessons in school are taught by external music teachers and take place during teachers’ Planning Preparation and Assessment time during afternoons, Monday to Thursday. All music work is assessed at three levels of ability and used to inform planning.
Many children take part in our musical productions each year, sing in choirs and benefit from extra musical tuition from school staff.
OTHER FOUNDATION SUBJECTS
Geography, history, art, design technology and modern foreign languages are all taught in a cross-curricula manner through topic work. There is a particular focus on history in the one of the terms and Geography in another Term. Art is taught at all times and links to topic or novel study with an emphasis on the development of specific skills each term. French is the chosen language of the school
and there is a particular focus on this during the ‘French Festival’ week when all learning focuses on French language and culture.
Throughout school the staff will always answer your child’s questions as honestly as possible. Our younger children will learn about the natural processes of life through topics that deal with animals and plants.
In Year 5 the school nurse talks to the children and shows a video about the physical changes they will be experiencing as they approach puberty and this work is further developed with Year 6 in the Summer Term before they transfer to Comprehensive school.
Parents are invited to view the video prior to it being shown to their children and are informed by letter before this work goes ahead. If parents do not wish their child to be included in this work we ask that they come into school and discuss their concerns with a
member of staff or the school nurse. The Governing Body have viewed and agreed the use of the materials used within Sex Education.
Some of our children’s work in school is based on a theme or topic approach and as part of their work they will visit places of interest e.g. museums, local industries, churches, etc. We plan much of our work around these visits, and they help the children to get
an understanding of the outside world. In order to be able to offer these opportunities to our children the school has to ask parents to make a voluntary contribution to help pay for these visits. If the school does not receive enough contributions then unfortunately visits will not be able to take place. We do offer a savings club in school so that parents can pay small amounts regularly into an account to ensure that money is available when their child goes on a trip. We do endeavour to offer children in Year 4 and Year 3 the opportunity to take part in a residential visit each year.
In 2017 we introduced Novel Study to our curriculum. Our classrooms reflect the Novel Study Books that each year group will study that term.
In 2015 we have introduced an Immersive Based Learning Curriculum. All our year groups, every term, had a new theme! We planned our projects from the outcomes ( these could be a publication, an exhibition or a product). Past outcomes have included a film premiere, a book signing and Dragon's Den invention fair).
Our objectives for our foundation subjects are taken from 'Chris Quigley Essentials'. We ensure that these skills form the basis of all learning. High quality work is important to us at Dinnington so we ensure that we use feedback to improve our learning and often use multiple drafting to ensure our work is the best it can be!