At our school, our curriculum takes children anywhere and everywhere; through our curriculum, we want our children to have the confidence to know that they can achieve anything and realise their dreams.
Our curriculum is the real substance of the education we offer children at Dorchester Primary School. Children get one opportunity to learn in school and we owe it to them to make sure they get an education that is broad, rich and deep.
Of course we make sure our children have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed academically in their end of key stage assessments so that they are ready to make the transition to secondary school. More importantly, we want them to develop a breadth of knowledge and skills that support their spiritual, cultural and moral development, acquiring attributes that will empower them to make the world a better place.
To ensure that our children become well-rounded, independent and profound learners, our school culture and our curriculum is based upon and supported by our school values and our 5 curriculum pillars. These are the ‘building blocks’ of everything that we do as a school and impact all – children and adults alike.
Our Curriculum Pillars
Collaboration – to be successful in life, we need to work together. Humans are social creatures and relationships are fundamental to our wellbeing and our society. No one can healthily exist in isolation for very long and we need each other. The ability to get along with others in a variety of situations is a crucial life skill. At DPS, we strive to collaborate with each other in a range of different teams, as well as a whole school.
Connectivity – profound learning requires the ability to link different areas of learning together and combine it to solve problems. In order for profound learning to take place, we adopt a ‘mastery approach’, which allows for discussion, questioning, challenge and problem-solving, with these links at the heart of what we do. To assist this linking process, we use 5 threads of learning, based on the following words:
Our Threads of Learning
We use these words to link aspects of learning across different topics and year groups, and through different subjects. They are used throughout lessons so that children learn to identify the links between different ideas and facts.
Enquiry – all learning at all levels, starts with a question and ends with an answer. This answer may, in turn, lead onto other questions. The great discoveries in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths have all begun with a question. From the time children learn to speak, they ask questions; it is a natural way of learning. Child-led enquiry is central to our curriculum.
Learners for life – to be successful in life, we need to learn how to learn. The stages we go through for learning simple skills and knowledge are the same stages we use for learning more complex things. A key part of learning or practising anything new is the ability to ‘play’ with a new concept and get things wrong. We provide a safe place in which to learn, to rise to challenges, to ‘play’ with ideas, to make mistakes and to learn from them. A focus on developing Growth Mindset is a key part of this process as it promotes a positive attitude to learning. To help our children to develop positive learning habits we use our ‘Learn It’ strategies.
Our 'Learn It' Strategies
Ambition and Fairness– to be independent, successful citizens of the UK, we want our children to be ambitious; ambitious about who they can be and what they can achieve. They need to know that they can achieve anything and everything, irrespective of their background. We want them to develop a strong sense of justice, understanding that the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within society must not hold anyone back.