Our curriculum is driven by the need to prepare our children for lifelong learning. At Dovecote, we offer a rich and vibrant curriculum, built on solid foundations, which is engaging and challenging while being accessible to all. Through delivery of our curriculum, we develop the essential knowledge, skills and understanding which are the building blocks for later life.
Our curriculum encompasses the requirements of the National Curriculum but also seeks to take children beyond the classroom to ensure that they are exposed to the richest and most varied opportunities that we can provide.
The curriculum is enhanced by our commitment to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and diversity. We provide meaningful learning experiences which promote confident, self-motivated pupils, eager for lifelong learning. The 4 key principles that underpin the Dovecote Curriculum are:
- Life Skills – providing real life experiences through a child’s journey from Reception to Year 6 that enables them to develop transferable life skills. Woven through our curriculum is RSHE and wellbeing. which ensure that pupils learn about the wonderfully diverse world in which they live and have an understanding of equality both in school and the wider world. The curriculum helps our pupils develop independence, resilience, perseverance, coping strategies and a strong growth mindset.
- Enrichment – providing opportunities to enhance classroom learning with purposeful and challenging experiences which provides children with a secure understanding of their local area, its features and history. In doing so, becoming more globally aware and knowing how they can contribute to society, positively impacting on their world.
- High-quality texts – providing fluency in all subjects, with reading at the heart through our thematic curriculum approach. This allows pupils to explore and make authentic links between subjects, enabling them to effectively evaluate and draw conclusions to deepen their thinking. This approach engages and immerses pupils in their learning, which enthuses children to read for enjoyment, thus improving language and literacy skills for all pupils.
- Ambition – providing pupils with high aspirations through a diverse range of inspiring guests and visitors and carefully planned educational visits. We harness our strong links with the local Universities and businesses to give our pupils aspirations beyond school. We help pupils to explore their personal talents and interests, take risks, celebrate successes, be proud of themselves and be the best that they can be!
A teaching for mastery approach ensures that children work at a slower pace in order to deepen their learning. They work in small, focused steps to develop their long term memory rather than over-loading their working memory. It is important that they know rules in mathematics but just as important is understanding and knowing why they work. Making connections within their maths learning enables children to become confident with problem solving.
Another way of understanding the mastery approach is to think of some of the things you do automatically, or without thinking. You have reached mastery of a task, activity or area of learning if you can teach someone else how to do it too. Look at these examples.
Our curriculum follows a book-based approach, with each topic led by a selection of key texts and WOW moments designed to hook and engage.
Reading is a priority and is essential for the pupils of Dovecote to succeed in their education. As a school community, we place great importance on the progress of a child’s Reading for Pleasure habits, reading attainment and knowledge acquisition. This is so that they not only build the skills needed to become an effective reader, but also foster a relationship with reading that helps them develop into a lifelong reader.
At Dovecote, our approach to writing is rich, engaging, and provides pupils with exciting first hand learning experiences to make learning to write purposeful and fun. Pupils learn to write best when they are inspired, engaged and are enjoying what they are doing. Pupils are supported to develop both the physical skills, alongside the speech, language and literacy skills that they need in order to set them on the path to becoming successful and motivated writers.
Here at Dovecote, we follow the Read Write Inc. program for Phonics. With Fred Frog to help us, we learn how to read and write. The video explains more about Read Write Inc.
Modern foreign languages
At Dovecote, all children have the opportunity to learn Spanish from nursery right through to Year 6. We have a specialist Spanish teacher and a dedicated Spanish room which is well resourced with Spanish story books and games.
The children learn and participate in well-known Spanish songs and they also learn about key festivals through role play. They become aware of how widely spoken Spanish is throughout the world and the broader Hispanic culture.
Throughout their learning they practise their speaking, listening, reading and writing in Spanish. From single word utterances, such as ‘hola’, in nursery, they progress through a range of topics, accumulating vocabulary and sentence structures that lead to children confidently being able to ask and answer questions with each other and write a simple paragraph.
In the summer term in Year 6, the Spanish lessons switch to French taster sessions where the children can apply their language skills further in preparation for transition to secondary.