With God at the heart of everything we do, we educate by encouraging a sense of wonder, praise and mutual respect. We offer every child opportunities for success, making them confidently equipped for life’s journey.
At Dolphinholme, it is our intention to provide an exciting and varied curriculum, which is fun and inspiring, whilst promoting a lifelong love of learning. We aim to provide experiences which promote success and ensure all pupils reach their potential. Dolphinholme is a church school in a magnificent setting and we celebrate this by encouraging a love of nature and a respect for the environment, locally nationally and internationally.
Activities such as arts, crafts, music, singing, poetry, drama, story-time, food, outings, galleries, and theatre and museum trips are all regular activities which we value and incorporate as part of our curriculum. Such activities which stretch beyond the classroom can open up a new world for our children. We value our school as a place of inspiration, intellectual and cultural adventure; a place which creates opportunities for children’s talents and abilities to flourish. We want to develop young people that have the skills and knowledge to be successful in navigating the world around them. We want them to grow into interesting and interested young citizens who care about the world and the people in it, respecting the rights of all and encouraging equality and diversity. Across all areas of the curriculum, we will aim to make our children aware of the contribution of BAME communities to the life of our nation and to our cultural and national heritage.
At every turn, we encourage our pupils to look beyond themselves and our school. We are an integral part of our local community and are keen to share our resources, time and skills with other organisations, for example St Mark’s Church. We aim to develop a sense of responsibility and morality in the children of our school so that they develop into caring, compassionate young people.
Our curriculum is implemented with an emphasis on the mastery of basic skills and the understanding of underlying concepts. We place a high emphasis on the development of reading which we believe to be a foundation stone to the whole curriculum. The development of language, both spoken and written, permeates the whole curriculum and is based upon the pupil’s own experience.
Pupils are encouraged to be thoughtful, to ask questions and to be independent learners. Whilst the National Curriculum is based on specific curriculum areas, we endeavour to make links between subjects and across subjects to demonstrate that skills and knowledge are transferable.
At Dolphinholme we believe that teaching and learning should be relevant to the children in our care and should not only meet the needs of the National curriculum 2014 but should also be exciting and enjoyable. The curriculum is at the heart of the school’s strategies to raise achievement and improve outcomes for all children. It is dynamic, adaptable, evolving and the vital part of ongoing school improvement. The significance of the curriculum and the way it is taught is crucial to the development of the child as a learner. We strive to ensure that the curriculum, enthuses, engages, enriches and motivates, developing in each child, curiosity and excitement of the world in which they live. Technology is integrated into the curriculum in order for our pupils to be 21st century learners; knowing how and when to use technology and learning how to choose the most appropriate tool for the task.
Being a small school, we are able to review and plan our curriculum year by year. This enables us to respond to topical themes and local and national current affairs and events. Our curriculum is organised into a series of topics, which are planned on a two-year or four-year cycle to account for mixed aged classes. Topics may differ between key stages, however, we endeavour to complete one whole school topic each year. Each topic has a subject focus e.g. History, Geography, RE enabling the children to develop the skills knowledge and understanding to reach the intended outcomes for each Key Stage. We are continuously looking for ways to localise our curriculum and develop it to meet the needs of our learners and the Dolphinholme community so that learning is, where possible, contextualised to the children’s experiences and needs. Our curriculum is planned to allow for opportunities to revisit and embed previously taught knowledge and skills and apply these independently in other contexts, developing mastery. Provision is made for a range of activities and opportunities to enrich the lives of young people, families and the wider community.
The curriculum we provide ensures that pupils are passionate about their learning. It gives them a solid base on which to build when they transfer to high school. Pupils leave our school having reached their potential and ready for the next stage of their education. They are independent, enthusiastic and confident in their abilities. They communicate well with one another and with adults and are extremely thoughtful of each another. Pupils are encouraged from an early age, through PSHE and RE, to look out for one another and to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’.
Pupils who leave Dolphinholme do so having had wider experiences that build their cultural capital and which prepare them for the bigger world out there. They have visited theatres, zoos and art galleries. They have met authors, musicians, artists and scientists. Pupils are hungry for more and know that they can find it. They have ambition and drive as well as a sense of fun.
The impact of the school ethos is a major success at Dolphinholme. Pupils succeed because they are well nurtured and cared for by the whole school community. The school is a major part of the village of Dolphinholme and the community are always keen to be involved in the life of the school.
This impact of our curriculum is illustrated, not only from our academic achievements, but also from comments that are made from parents, governors, the pupils themselves. Many people visit us for many reasons and their response is always the same; ‘what a calm and caring school and the pupils are so lovely with one another’.
What is expected of my child? Years 1 – 6
The following documents provide parents with information about what is expected of pupils in each year group for reading, writing, speaking, mathematics and science. These criteria are based on the National Curriculum 2014.
There is also a document explaining the Early Learning Goals for children in Reception.
What is my child learning this year?
The following links will take you to a break down of the curriculum for Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6. This will give you an insight into what each year group are studying and allow you to support your child at home. It is important to point out that due to the COVID lockdown earlier in the year, all teachers are focusing on key skills – reading, writing and maths. We are approaching curriculum areas creatively in order to provide a broad and stimulating curriculum.
This link will take you to our Calculations Policy which is a useful resource when supporting your child at home.
Reading Scheme and Phonics
We use ‘Letters and Sounds’ for our phonics teaching. Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
We use ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ for our reading scheme.
Our school places a very high priority on reading and we’d like ALL children to read at home with an adult or older brother or sister EVERY night. This is a big ask, but demonstrates the importance of regular reading with children to develop confidence and for them to become fluent readers.
The National Curriculum
Follow this link to the Primary National Curriculum 2014
Follow this link for more information about Early Years.
Hungry Little Minds is a government campaign to improve home learning from birth to 5. Follow the link for activities and ideas that you can do at home with your child.