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Curriculum

At Dunraven we want all children to become successful lifelong learners. This begins as soon as they join us in reception.

We do not select children according to ability and so our classes are of mixed ability children who learn in many different ways. We want to provide an environment that is exciting and engaging so that we can build confidence in the children and they are better equipped to learn.

We also aim to provide a stimulating and interesting curriculum that engages the children in their everyday learning.

Dunraven Primary follows the National Curriculum 2014 across all subjects in KS1 and KS2 and the Early Years Foundation Stage in Reception classes. In mathematics we follow the Maths Mastery approach.

Each year group plans a range of topics to enhance the delivery of the curriculum and we ensure that it is reflective of our multicultural community. We hope to deliver a curriculum that is vibrant and creative and that puts children at its heart. We want to excite children’s imaginations, inspire them to learn, extend their horizons, deepen their understanding and meet their needs.

Early Years

We plan an exciting and challenging curriculum based on our observation of children’s needs, interests, and stages of development across seven areas of learning to enable the children to achieve and exceed the early learning goals.

All the seven areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

These three areas are the prime areas:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children are also supported through the four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.

The specific areas are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Children are provided with a range of rich, meaningful first-hand experiences in which children explore, think creatively and are active. We aim to develop and foster positive attitudes towards learning, confidence, communication and physical development.

KS1 and KS2

We put our children at the centre of their own learning as far as possible and place great emphasis on nurturing skills and attitudes such asself-discipline, resilience and co-operation. Our teachers bring the National Curriculum alive by making links between the individualsubjects and applying them to topics such as KS1 Explorers, Superstructures, Space and Pioneers. Our topics are also supported by exciting visits and visitors. We use the ‘Power of Reading’ scheme to engage children with Literacy and continue to develop their love of reading. Mathematics is taught through an innovative new approach called Maths Mastery that is committed to making maths fun andrelevant for children to ensure that every child has a chance to excel.

Children at Dunraven have access to a range of specialised staff in the Secondary Phase offering them additional opportunities such as Dance, Drama, Music,PE and French. In addition, the children learn about Enterprise by working with the local community.

Maths Mastery

At Dunraven School we follow the Mathematics Mastery curriculum. This is an expertly designed curriculum which includes all of the 2014 National Curriculum requirements. We believe all of our pupils can achieve mastery in Maths. By ‘mastery’ we mean a deep conceptual understanding of mathematical concepts which will enable them to apply their learning in different contexts; rather than just learning mathematical procedures by rote.

In order to achieve this our curriculum is organised cumulatively with concepts taught in a deliberate order. Concepts with the most connections to others are taught at the beginning of the year, and then they are applied and connected throughout the year to consolidate learning. Pupils are taught fewer topics, but in greater depth. They will not be accelerated onto new concepts until a deep level of understanding is achieved.

Reading and Phonics

Phonics

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. 

They are taught how to: 

  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes; 
  • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’; and 
  • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. 

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.

At Dunraven, phonics is taught from Reception and throughout KS1 in discrete daily lessons. The complexity of sounds progresses through from Phase 1, where children become attuned to the sounds around them, through to phase 6 where they use their well-developed sounding and blending skills to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy as well as fine-tune their spelling skills.

Each of the sounds (phonemes) is taught with an accompanying action to help children learn and remember them.

 

Bug Club

From Reception, children bring home books to read and share with their families. We encourage families to read with their child every day and add a comment to their child’s reading record. Children will bring a Bug Club book home each week, which will be changed on their reading day.  Please use the guidance in the front and back covers of each book to support your child with their decoding and comprehension. It is really important that children are building their understanding of what they have read at the same time as their ability to sound out words.

Bug Club is our reading scheme for Reception to Year 6 that transforms young readers into life-long readers. They have access not only to physical books at school but also online versions of a range of texts with accompanying questions. Online books will be updated each term to match each child's personalised independent reading journey. 

Whether they’re reading Ben10 eBooks at home, acting in a play written by Julia Donaldson, or thumbing through their favourite Batman comic, Bug Club helps them to catch and keep the reading bug.

 

The Power of Reading 

The Power of Reading is a school development project which engages children in the literacy curriculum through the use of high quality books and proven teaching approaches, with a strong emphasis on creativity and book discussion. The scheme is predominantly used in our literacy teaching but also provides excellent cross-curricular links. Research has shown that in project schools where The Power of Reading is used, children in all year groups have made nearly twice the national expected progress in reading and writing, and the increased rate of progress for boys has narrowed the attainment gap between boys and girls. Most importantly, data shows children develop more positive attitudes to reading when following the scheme.

Reading for pleasure is strongly promoted at Dunraven, and we think carefully about which Power of Reading books can be incorporated into our topics to inspire our children as readers.

Home Learning

A home reading scheme is operated from reception through to Year 6, whereby children bring home books to share with their families each week. As well as fostering reading, this gives the school and parents a regular way of communicating about their child’s reading.

Children in reception begin a Home Learning book in the Summer term. This is set weekly and is usually linked to topics or books the children are learning about. This book continues in to Y1

In Y2 and above children will receive spellings, maths and literacy homework as well as homework linked to topics they are learning. Most homework is set each week.