At Danegrove Primary School we offer a curriculum that is predominantly topic themed and aims to both allow children to acquire a deeper subject knowledge, alongside developing essential academic and life skills. Each year group will have main topics that are either changed half termly or termly. Some subjects may be taught as discrete lessons to ensure that the curriculum content is fully covered.
The curriculum at Danegrove Primary School is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all our children. It provides opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident and resilient learners, with high aspirations, who know how to make a positive contribution to the school, their community and to wider society.
Our curriculum ensures that knowledge, creativity and problem solving support children to develop as independent learners. We believe it is essential to empower our children to take ownership of their learning and life path by raising their aspirations and developing in them a belief of ‘We can do this!’ At Danegrove this is done by developing our pupils socially and emotionally, supporting their positive mental health and developing a built in resilience that enables our children to face head on any challenge that life may bring.
Our curriculum is carefully sequenced to ensure that our children build on prior learning and make progress in all subject areas. It enables children to develop their knowledge; by making links from their current learning to both their past and future learning, they develop a contextualised understanding that enables them to apply both their knowledge and skills to real life. Our curriculum gives our children access to a range of enrichment opportunities that encourage participation in the arts, language and sport, alongside introducing them to experiences that broaden their horizons.
Danegrove’s curriculum celebrates the diversity that we have in our school, alongside utilising the skills, knowledge and cultural wealth of the community that we are in. It supports children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, ensuring that children are well prepared for the life that they live both today and in the future.
The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the children at Danegrove. A topic based approach has been implemented at the school, however where necessary, discrete subject units/lessons will be taught to ensure coverage and progression across the curriculum. The aim is to foster each child’s curiosity and interest throughout each topic, whilst enabling the achievement of depth in both knowledge and skills. Our curriculum provides children
with memorable experiences, in addition to diverse and rich opportunities from which children can learn and develop a range of transferable skills. A primary focus of our curriculum is to raise aspirations, engender a sense of personal pride in achievement, and provide a purpose and relevance for learning.
The children’s own community, its heritage and traditions are sometimes used as a starting point for engaging interest, as well as engagement with the local community, to enrich children’s learning experiences.
Both the outdoor environment that the school offers and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all our children, with children making use of both to further their knowledge and understanding of the local area and the impact it has on the community in which they live.
Danegrove Primary School also makes full use of the skills of a wide range of professionals. Throughout their time at the school, children will work with specialist music teachers when they learn musical instruments either as a whole class (drumming in year 4) or in small groups. Pupils have themed dance lessons (run by a dance specialist) in Celebration Week, and sport coaches visit throughout the year to further develop skills in areas such as cricket and gymnastics.
The school holds the ‘Active Schools Bronze Award’ for competitive sports and is part of the Barnet Schools Sports Partnership. Pupils have the opportunity to compete in a range of sports where they can further develop the ethos of fair play and positive team spirit.
An extensive timetable for extra-curricular activities is offered by the school, with clubs that support the core curriculum offer, as well as those which develop specialist skills. Clubs are both run by our own staff and by external providers that bring their specialism to the provision that we offer.
The school takes pride in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education and most make very good progress in most subjects and areas of learning. Children at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able are challenged and supported through being offered tasks which provide opportunities for greater depth, and those who sometimes may find learning more difficult are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
Our subject leaders play an important part in the development of the curriculum by leading a developing programme of monitoring, evaluation and review. They are committed to ensuring that good practice and quality first teaching contributes to the ongoing commitment to evolve and improve subjects further. All subject leaders have the opportunity to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding, both through internal support and external CPD opportunities, so they can support the curriculum development throughout the school.
Currently, our curriculum is in a transitional period; however, we are confident that the quality first teaching observed across the school provides a strong foundation and opportunities for children to both collaborate as they learn, yet develop an independent approach to their personal and academic development. The new curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual and small groups of children can be met within the environment of high quality first wave teaching which is supported by targeted, proven interventions where appropriate. In this way it can be seen to impact in a very positive way on children’s outcomes.
Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Children feel safe to try new things. High quality visits and visitors to the school enhance the curriculum and provide opportunities for writing for a purpose.
Children have opportunities to share their learning with each other, their parents and carers and other learners through school-based and external exhibitions, performances, competitions and events involving other schools.
Developing our children to be both independent and motivational learners whilst promoting them to have a sense of responsibility as future citizens is at the heart of all teaching and learning at Danegrove.