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Please follow this link for information about the Framework for the National Curriculum
What Will My Child Be Doing At School?
Our aim is to make learning as meaningful, relevant and fun as possible. Teachers are aware of recent research into the way children learn and plan their work to meet the needs and learning styles of the children.
The way we organise our curriculum ensures children have regular opportunities to question, problem solve, work as a team and therefore take some ownership of their own learning. Our curriculum aims to embed global, anti-racist and international dimensions whenever possible with a key priority to develop every child as a global citizen through innovative approaches to curriculum delivery. This includes pupils, staff and artists engaging in creative dialogues with our international link schools in Pakistan and Spain. This work gives real purpose and motivation for children to read and write with many core and life skills covered in an interesting and enjoyable way.
We aim for high standards of achievement throughout our delivery of the National Curriculum. This includes the five core subjects of English, Maths, Science, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Religious Education (RE), plus the foundation subjects of History, Geography, Technology, Music, Art and Physical Education. The school also teaches personal, social, health and citizenship education and Spanish to all pupils. There is a strong emphasis on developing children’s creativity through the Creative Arts subjects and also by teaching other subjects creatively. We have developed a whole school curriculum framework which enables us to teach all subjects within the time allocated. Teachers jointly plan their schemes of work based on the National Curriculum.
Some subjects are taught separately, with links made between areas of the curriculum wherever possible, so that one or more study units (topics) are taught in a term. We fully utilise the expertise of all our staff and regularly use external providers and a range of creative practitioners to ensure the best provision for our children.
Children’s progress is regularly assessed and tracked by class teachers and the Senior Leadership Team and we will keep you regularly informed of your child`s progress.
A wide range of extended learning activities and study support takes place outside normal school hours and these will change according to interest and time of year. We are always keen to hear any ideas you may have or welcome any volunteers to help or run after-school or lunchtime sessions.
We place a strong emphasis on your child’s development of language. Children are encouraged to develop early confidence in speaking and listening as well as speak with clarity and confidence, listen to and respect the opinions of everyone and feel confident that their own ideas and views are equally listened to and respected.
We use the Primary Framework as a basis for our planning and then adapt it to meet the needs and interests of our pupils throughout school. We teach reading using a range of self-produced materials as well as set schemes and carefully selected published teaching resources. Children can choose their own books at a particular level and we encourage all parents and carers to become involved in reading with and to their children. We strongly recommend daily reading practice at home for all children. Early teaching of phonics is central to children learning to read and write. From Foundation Stage to Year Three children receive a daily synthetic phonics session and children who haven’t acquired these skills by the end of year Two can receive additional literacy support.
Our approach to writing is a developmental one, which is individual and child centred. We aim to teach our children to become confident, independent writers with early emphasis on developing imagination and putting ideas on paper. A strong emphasis is placed on teaching sentence level skills, with a clear focus on grammar and punctuation, then applying these in a context that interests and motivates children.
First-hand practical experiences, drama strategies and “talk for writing” help to focus the children’s ideas before they are expected to put pen to paper. Information technology and use of our computer suite are integral to supporting the range of work in Literacy.
We believe in a practical, investigative approach to maths where children work at their own level. Every class has daily numeracy in accordance with the Primary Framework.
We use a range of maths schemes and resources to develop children’s mathematical concepts. Calculators and computer based technology also support our teaching.
The school has been part of a national research project organised by the National Centre for Excellence in Maths Teaching. This involved in depth analysis of the ways in which children learn mathematical concepts and skills with an emphasis on interactive teaching and developing problem solving skills. As a result of this study, we have integrated the teaching styles and resources into our mathematics teaching and use of the Primary Framework.
Science, Technology & Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Science and Technology are not only taught as separate subjects but every opportunity is also taken to integrate them through the teaching of other subjects. Children are encouraged to use computers and specialist software to increase their understanding of the world around them. We have an ICT suite that is timetabled daily from foundation stage to Year 6. ICT is incorporated into all areas of the curriculum and all classes have an Interactive Whiteboard, digital camera, sound recorder and other equipment in their classroom to enhance children’s learning in every subject.
Humanities History and Geography are usually taught as part of a topic, but can be taught more separately at Key Stage 2, particularly when a specific skill or concept needs to be developed. We have revised the curriculum we teach to ensure that it is relevant, with detailed knowledge of the local environment as well as incorporating global perspectives as an important aspect of the children’s learning in these subjects.
Religious Education We have a multi-faith approach to Religious Education which is based on the Nottinghamshire Agreed Syllabus for RE. This ensures that all religions are discussed in some depth to enable children to have greater understanding of the six major world religions.
We are always developing our own awareness of different religions and would welcome any help from parents and carers. Ofsted Inspectors praised the school’s provision for social, cultural, spiritual and moral development.
The school draws children from a variety of faiths and religious needs are dealt with sensitively. We respect the views of parents/carers and will be happy to discuss any matters, including rights of withdrawal from Religious Education lessons and collective worship. The school is not affiliated to any particular religious denomination.
We strive to provide opportunities for children to express themselves in a variety of ways in order to develop their personal and social skills, raise their self-esteem and encourage creativity.
Our music, drama and art work is enhanced by regular visits out of school as well as by inviting a variety of people into school to enrich their educational experiences. There are opportunities for all children to participate in school performances. Our music curriculum is supported by music specialists and children have been involved in residential opportunities to play their instruments with pupils from other schools.
Dunkirk was one of the original thirty schools nationally to become a “School of Creativity” working with the Creative Partnership. This is in recognition of our creative and innovative approaches to learning and teaching and provides us with opportunities to be involved in further research locally and nationally.
We provide opportunities for children and teachers to work alongside artists and other creative practitioners in and out of school to produce a range of exciting projects to share with our community. This work extends our knowledge and understanding about how children learn.
Modern Foreign Languages
Ms Gallagher, our Year 5 teacher, teaches Spanish across the school and is a fluent Spanish speaker. She focuses on KS1 and 2 and Ms Lisa Hayes teaches Spanish to children in Willow class. We have developed links with a school in Madrid, where teacher exchanges have taken place and children are undertaking some joint projects. Some other members of staff are learning Spanish and all staff support MFL teaching to develop their own language skills. A number of other languages are spoken by some school staff.
Physical Education and Personal Achievement
The school aims to give all children the opportunity to develop their sporting abilities through a broad and balanced programme of traditional team sports and co-operative games. PE is planned in accordance with the National Curriculum. Younger children will participate in dance, gymnastics and games. Older pupils will extend those skills and also learn athletics, swimming and outdoor activities.
We are committed to promoting achievements in sport and there are opportunities for older children to be involved in football, netball, tennis, tag rugby, cricket, uni-hoc and rounders, to name but a few.
The teams take part in a number of tournaments throughout the year and we are involved in most city sporting competitions. Children also benefit from the services of specialised professional coaches in a variety of sports and multi-skills at different times of the year. We hold an annual Sports Day in the summer term, with every child encouraged to take part.
We have prioritised sport and physical education within our local network of schools, the Central learning Partnership (CLP), resulting in a planned programme of skills development and sporting opportunities, delivered by sports coaches and teachers, both during and beyond the school day.
We have adopted a “Forest School” approach to outdoor learning for our younger children and are now developing this into the curriculum for our older children, especially through targeted work with children we know will benefit through this approach to learning. We aim to develop positive social and emotional outcomes for children through regular child led experiences in an outdoor or woodland setting. We recognise that some children learn best when they are active and doing, often when they are outdoors and have space to learn in the best way for them, so we also build these opportunities into our curriculum and involving most subjects.
Sex & Relationships Education A structured programme of sex education is given to children in their final year by the class teacher and the school nurse or Family Mentor. In all cases parental consent is required and parents/carers can view materials on request. Sex education is not formally taught to younger children but is addressed within the science curriculum and any relevant questions are answered honestly and fully, bearing in mind the developmental stage of the child. Any further information regarding our approach and content is available in school.
Extended Learning Activities & Study Support Dunkirk Primary School provides the full core offer of extended school services, including childcare and we are proud of the range of additional activities we are able to offer our children. These activities take place outside normal school hours and change according to interest and time of year. Helen Cresswell is the School’s Extended Learning Co-ordinator and is always keen to hear any ideas you may have or welcome any volunteers to help or run after-school or lunchtime sessions. Information about the different activities and clubs on offer is available from the school office.