Here you will find out about our approach to the curriculum.
At Dunswell Academy we pride ourselves on the delivery of a curriculum which provides children with an enriching, diverse and stimulating education. Through carefully planned topics, themes and a variety of teaching styles, children receive a range of learning opportunities which will enable them to achieve the best possible progress and standards. In turn this allows for all children to participate in learning which they enjoy. Dunswell’s approach to curriculum delivery ensures that pupils are encouraged to use their learning across a range of subjects and where possible from a first-hand experience.
The teaching of phonics is undertaken comprehensively, ensuring that pupils are able to tackle the reading of unfamiliar words. In Early Years Foundation Stage 2, 'Letters and Sounds’ is used as a systemic approach to teach the early stages of reading with elements of 'Jolly Phonics' used to support the teaching. As the children progress, they move on to ‘Letters and Sounds’. As children become competent in their phonic knowledge they are able to apply this understanding to reading from the reading scheme, of whichthe main one is ‘Oxford Reading Tree’.
Each individual subject of the National Curriculum is taught through the programmes of study (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-primary-curriculum). The staff of Dunswell Academy have ensured that they have created a bespoke scheme of work for the children in their classes. Each year group’s curriculum overview for this academic year can be found on their class pages.
At Dunswell Academy, our vision statement ‘Value, Nurture and Fulfilment through Support, Harmony and Praise’, is an integral part of daily life. The everyday things that we do, such as Praise and Award assemblies, lunchtimes, playtimes, recognising and praising individual achievements, individual responsibilities and a wide range of cross curricular and curriculum enriching visits and visitors mean that the children at our school are encouraged to become caring, understanding and knowledgeable citizens. Consequently they are well equipped for the next stage of their education and to live life in the 21st century.
Within our Primary School, assessment is a continuous process which is integral to teaching and learning. Assessment is seen as the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.
Assessments within our school have a number of aims. These include:-
Supporting teachers in providing rich-open-ended learning activities that are well matched to the pupils’ starting points and that allow pupils to extend their skills and develop their thinking.
Ensuring that pupils make identifiable progress in lessons, against specific learning objectives and success criteria, enabled by quality, constructive feedback and marking, collaborative peer discussion and self-assessment.
Helping children understand what they need to do next to improve their work.
Ensuring those leading learning in a classroom are able to evaluate and plan further teaching.
Providing regular information for parents that enables them to support their child’s learning
Providing school leaders and governors with information that allows them to make judgments about the effectiveness of the school.
Across the Partnership schools, a common system of assessment has been developed. This allows schools to:-
Moderate assessment judgements between schools more easily. Ensure consistent information is passed to High Schools upon transition to secondary education.
Regular, formative assessments are vital in order to monitor learning, inform teaching and help children to understand the next steps in their learning. Within our school, regular formative assessments are recorded using the online assessment tool, OTrack and Classtrack for EYFS pupils and Foundation subjects. Pupils are assessed against a range or age related objectives for Reading, Writing and Maths. These objectives are directly linked to the heightened expectations of the National Curriculum 2014.
The ongoing use of this system allows teachers to build an accurate picture of a child's performance and address any gaps in their learning.
Though most pupils will be assessed against their year group's programme of study, it is recognised that some children perform at a level either significantly higher or lower than their age related expectations. In these circumstances, schools may assess a pupil against a more appropriate age related curriculum.
Tracking Pupil Progress
In order to track pupil and cohort progress, pupils are periodically awarded a 'best fit level' which relates to their age related curriculum. This is done using a six point scale. Please click here for the table. (Or file can be downloaded below)
In order to show which year group curriculum a child is working within, the year group is included with the above coding. A child who is therefore ’Developing +’ within a Year 4 curriculum would be described as working at D4+.
In order to support schools in forming a 'best fit' level, data is periodically taken from Classtrack and the percentage of objectives met used to determine a provisional level. This can then be refined using the teachers' knowledge of the children.
A pupil can be said to be making good progress if each year they meet the expected standard for their year group (S) or progress further to work above their age related expectations (S+).
A cohort can be said to be making good progress if the percentage that are meeting or exceeding the expected standard for their age group increases each year.
For some pupils with specific learning needs and for whom the age related curriculum is inappropriate, good progress will be determined by an analysis of their progress within the programme of study within which they are working.