Curriculum

Our Curriculum

At Dartington Church of England Primary School, we understand the importance of learning more, knowing more and remembering more, securing knowledge, practise and showing our dedication to become confident and flexible thinkers.  We deliver all subjects in the National Curriculum but in a way which reflects our pupils, our community and our vision. We are currently revising our curriculum design, and the offer for the term is outlined in the Curriculum Booklets (below).

Our curriculum is the beating heart of our school and is rooted in John 10:10.

“I came that they might have life and live it to the full”

Within our Christian vision ‘together we grow, together we flourish’ our children will our children will develop a love of learning and be totally immersed in different worlds, cultures and times preparing them for the next stage of their education.

Our aim is to develop an inclusive curriculum that is both broad and balanced exemplifying our learning promise to develop the whole learner. To support the mental wellbeing of all children, we are planning a curriculum that ensures each child practises taking risks, learns from mistakes and perseveres towards their most ambitious goals. Our commitment to encouraging creativity as well as academic mastery is unswerving and I wanted to give you an update on where the school is on this journey.

English and Maths

These are given, quite rightly, a high status in our curriculum to help learners to improve their learning and confidence and prepare them fully for the next stage of their lives. These are embedded in the school’s curriculum and the children make purposeful links across each discrete subject.

Reading 

English literacy is at the heart of our learning and teaching and essential to every area of the curriculum. It is through literacy that concepts are formed and we are able to make sense of the world and our place in it. Children are taught to read in a variety of ways. Each week children read individually and in groups during whole class reading lessons or RWInc; they also enjoy class novels and linked texts across the curriculum. Whole class reading lessons focus on the skills of comprehension and critical appreciation as well as building confidence and fluency. Teachers read a huge variety of written material regularly with the children, fiction and non-fiction, stories, reports, diaries, poems etc. We believe in the importance of exposing children to classic texts at all ages but most importantly upper Key Stage two.

By now, you will be familiar with the home-school reading system (from EYFS F2 to Year 6), which has the expectation that children read at home enjoying texts with their parents at least 4 times per week. This is crucial for all children to develop their confidence, love of reading, vocabulary across the curriculum and confidence. It is through reading that doors are unlocked to the wider curriculum.

Maths

We teach Maths using the White Rose scheme, an approach to teaching maths that has been developed to give children the opportunity to acquire, consolidate and apply all age related mathematical knowledge. Problem solving, fluency and relational understanding are at the heart of the scheme. It uses the Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach and allows pupils to spend enough time to fully explore a topic, reinforcing it with practice, before moving onto the next one. All ideas are built on previous knowledge and pupils have ample opportunity to develop relationships between topics.

Lessons typically are broken into four parts:

1.   Anchor Task or recap of previous learning – the entire class spends time on a question guided by the teacher. The children are encouraged during this time to think of as many ways as possible to solve the question as possible.

2.   New Learning – the teacher introduces and explains the new learning for the lesson.

3.   Guided Practice – children practice new learning in groups, pairs or individually guided by the teacher.

4.   Independent Practice – practice on your own. Once children have mastered the concept they use their reasoning and problem-solving skills to develop their depth of learning

Geography

Each child studies 3 units of Geography in each phase (KS1, LKS2, UKS2). Because of the split classes, the curriculum has been split into Year A and Year B. This allows every child in every class to cover the whole curriculum before they leave.

Children’s geographical learning starts with the familiar and slowly builds outwards, from Dartington, to Torbay, to the UK, to the wider world including Europe and South America. Their understanding of how their local area fits into the wider world is therefore gradually accrued. Understanding of physical geography also starts with the familiar: from our school site in Year 1, to Torbay’s urban Geopark in Year 3 and the Indonesian and Brazilian Geopark in Year 5 and 6. More in-depth studies allow children to develop their understanding of the interactions between physical and human geography, with units on the local land patterns in Year 3/4 and on France and Brazil in Year 5/6. Progression in fieldwork skills are built across units, with the Dartington units in Years 1 and Year 5 offering rich opportunities for mapping, technical drawing and exploring their environment in a concrete physical way. Other units offer scope for children to use digital resources, globes, atlases and Geographical Information Systems to explore regions. Key technical and tier 2 vocabulary is mapped onto each unit, allowing children to build a rich bank of geographical language. Links are built with other subjects, predominantly but not exclusively with writing, art, music and science.

Science

The National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics

  • develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them

  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future

At Dartington Primary, we embed the working scientifically requirements into each topic so that in addition to the core knowledge and vocabulary, children are developing skills of observation, investigation and fair testing, classification, data handling. We try to use our rich local area to enhance our Scientific study. The Science curriculum threads through our Forest School curriculum too.

RE

At Dartington, we follow the local authority syllabus for the RE Curriculum. All children have one RE lesson per week.

Each year group explores one “Big Question” about religion throughout the year. Each term children explore their question in the context of one of the world’s major religions, as well as looking at it from the tradition of secularism. Over the course of year, children will learn about Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism.

  • EYFS – Being special: where do we belong?

  • Year 1 – What does it mean to belong?

  • Year 2 – Can stories change people?

  • Year 3 – How are symbols and sayings important in religion?

  • Year 4 – What is special to me and the people in my community?

  • Year 5 – How do beliefs influence actions?

  • Year 6 – How important are similarities and differences between and within religions?

Dartington is part of a wonderfully diverse community. We recognise that religion and belief, for many people, forms a crucial part of their culture and identity. Our core Christian values at Dartington; Compassion, Wisdom, Peace, Trust and Creativity and creation are at the heart of how we teach RE. We ensure that children are taught key knowledge, in a creative way, to ensure that they are equipped to talk about RE in a sensitive and respectful way.

We believe that RE contributes to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) of all children, and that this makes a significant contribution to helping “pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain,” through practising the skills of tolerance and mutual respect as seen in Fundamental British Values. RE provides us with opportunities to develop pupils learning and understanding of people they will meet, work and live alongside.