Dothill Primary School

Curriculum Vision

At Dothill we seek to improve learning through opportunities, challenge and enjoyment. We believe strongly that each hour of each day is an opportunity for a child to learn something new or master a skill. Learning is a process with a start point and from that any number of end points, depending on what a child is learning and what stage of learning they are at. Where learning is at its strongest a child is either developing or mastering new knowledge. Our drive, as a school, is to identify, support and challenge children at all stages of their learning to maximise their individual potentials.

Children learn in a range of different ways. Some learn by listening, some by seeing and some by doing (visual, audio and kinaesthetic learning). Most children are a blend and that blend will differ depending on the subject they are learning and who is leading the learning. As a result our teaching is also a blend.

Learning is supported through a range of resources including, where appropriate, IT in the form of tablets and computers. Further to this we aim to take advantage of the great resource that is our locality, through educational visits. School visits can bring learning to life in a way that is not possible in the classroom and is always a fun and exciting thing to do.

We have a range of strategies across the school to meet the demands of the National Curriculum and of our eager learners. The heart of our curriculum focus is based on a thematic approach to learning. Rather than adopting a fragmented approach to learning, where individual subjects are taught separately, we have adopted an approach that seeks to bridge one subject with another allowing the children become immersed within their learning. We believe that this is how our children learn best at Dothill and have the best opportunity to translate one skill from one subject to another resulting in the potential for higher success understanding.

We have a very clear focus on learning. Often when you ask a child what they are learning they will describe the activity they are doing. Although it is important that the activity is stimulating and enjoyable it is not the end product and unless it has led to learning it could be argued that it is worthless.

If children do not know what they are learning how can they assess their progress towards it? It is also important to inform parents and carers so that they can support the learning when the children are away from the school environment.

As well as sharing the learning intentions teachers at Dothill discuss learning with groups and individuals, allowing them regular time for reflection. This provides children with opportunities to talk about their learning and understand what will help them continue on their learning journey.

Principles of Curriculum Structure

Breadth - The task set for schools is for them to define the curriculum more widely than just the statutory requirements alone. The statutory requirements of the 2014 national curriculum can be seen in terms of minimum provision. Dothill’s curriculum fully encompasses the 2014 national curriculum and provides for an expression of our own priorities making sure that it is relevant, purposeful and interesting to the children of our school.

Balance within the curriculum is largely about the attention given to each curriculum area. It is fundamentally about time and how it is used. At Dothill we have mapped our curriculum into blocks of time, giving priority to what we believe to be our key areas.

Progression – We follow a three step continuous cycle of plan, teach, assess. Teachers plan lessons based on their assessed needs of the children. After lessons have been delivered teachers use their formative and summative assessments to devise next steps in learning.

Through whole school planning subject coordinators can play a leading role in establishing a progressive and continuous programme in each subject. The school’s curriculum plan reflects very well how we have established breadth, balance and continuity.

Curriculum Priorities:

We have worked hard to tailor our curriculum to ensure that it reflects our school, its vision, values, personality and priorities.

Curriculum Priorities:

Standards in the Core Subjects - the opportunity to make good progress from their starting points and to reach their own potential in reading, writing, maths and science.

Values and citizenship education - Our values are a key element of our curriculum at Dothill. We want our pupils to be the best academically, but also, the best as citizens of the world. We want them to be living the Dothill values with the resilience to be able to cope socially and emotionally with whatever life brings. Health, Social Education and Citizenship are taught; not discretely but permeate the whole of the curriculum. Issues are addressed on a daily basis. We aim to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy independent lives and become informed, active, responsible citizens. All pupils at Dothill are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across and beyond the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of our school and communities.

Physical education and sport – Sport has a particularly high profile within the school and all year groups have the opportunity to experience a range of sports. We are proud to say that we are achieved Gold in the School Games Awards and this year we are eligible to apply for Platinum!

Creativity – At Dothill creativity means aspects of the curriculum that develop our pupils’ capacities for original ideas and action and enable them to engage positively with the growing complexity and diversity of social values and ways of life. We have built into our curriculum time for developing children’s creative thought by ensuring extra time devoted to Arts weeks and enrichment days.

The curriculum at Dothill Primary School is constantly evolving according to the needs of our children and to the aspirations of the staff and community

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