Our school curriculum incorporates and enhances the National Curriculum. We believe that a rich, demanding, creative curriculum is key to motivation and the growth of pupils’ self-esteem and enjoyment. This contributes to their success as learners. The National Curriculum consists of the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. The foundation subjects are Art and Design, Computing, Design and Technology, Languages (KS2), Geography, History, Music and Physical Education. In addition, all schools are required to teach Religious Education at all key stages.
Our curriculum is mapped through long-term plans following a three-year rolling programme in the Early Years’ Foundation Stage and KS1 and a four-year rolling programme at KS2. It is well-constructed, with the curriculum packaged into a clear sequence of ‘learning projects’. The learning projects are used to bring the curriculum alive with key knowledge and skills often set within the context of the wealth of experiences the city of York have to offer. This approach incorporates many of the subject areas, links in with the National Curriculum and acts as titles to develop the programmes of study and associated objectives. Each class within each key stage simultaneously follows these series of learning projects in which skills and knowledge are carefully mapped so that there is continuity and progression in learning. In addition, there are discrete lessons taught linked to core subjects and the use of specialist teachers e.g. languages, music and ‘Total Sports’. A class novel is used as a ‘hook into learning’ which develops the children’s inference, creativity and questioning skills. The novel may or may not relate to the learning project. This approach, combined with high expectations and quality teaching, ensures pupils consistently attain well.
Each learning project provides a clear learning journey, starting with a “WOW” lesson (possibly an educational visit) and incorporating a key question to prompt and develop skills and understanding. Each term the pupils will produce something tangible to demonstrate their learning. This approach to curriculum planning also allows the school to develop its vision and ethos – reflecting what makes Dringhouses special e.g. developing the music lessons to enhance the learning project and ensuring the mathematics, science and forest schools learning uses the school environment creatively. In doing so, the curriculum becomes related and relevant with key skills applied in meaningful contexts.
In addition to the acquisition of knowledge and skills linked to curricular subjects, the delivery of our curriculum supports and develops ‘life skills’ such as perseverance, resilience and problem solving so they become confident learners, well prepared for the next phase in their learning journey. The aim is that this ‘I can’ approach, supported by excellent outcomes, ensures each and every child leaves Dringhouses armed with the knowledge to succeed at secondary school.