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Curriculum

Our curriculum provides experience-based educational opportunities for children of all backgrounds that allows each child to develop individually to their full potential. Through the delivery of exciting, motivating and relevant topics children are taught how to: 
 
Question and challenge 
Make connections and see relationships 
Envisage what might be 
Explore ideas, keeping options open 
Reflect critically on ideas, actions and outcomes 
 
Young children are naturally good thinkers and our foundation stage curriculum enhances this way of learning. We will encourage the children to bring everything they know to their learning, everything will be linked and everything will be relevant. If they are learning about gardens, then they read and write garden stories, sort and draw plants, count seeds, weigh soil, study and taste food that grows in a garden, sing about gardens, print gardens, draw gardens, paint gardens, dig gardens and plant gardens. 
 
In many schools, as children progress, the curriculum can become fractured and compartmentalized. At The Duston School our fully integrated curriculum offers rich and exciting programmes of learning that give cohesion, meaning and motivation, developing the creativity, curiosity and energy of young people. The units of work pull learning into a single field of study and a therefore understandable unity. This means that classroom environments are focused centres of learning, and with such a shared focus between year groups and key stages, ensures the whole school becomes a high quality learning zone for all children and staff. 
 
By linking subjects, timetabling the required curriculum to be covered is simple. There is more time for children to gain hands on experiences, have more problem solving/research tasks and therefore learn in greater depth.  Facts learnt are anchored to meaning and have definite relationships with each other. There is ‘learner centred learning’. Pupils work in teams, exploring and helping one another while the teacher sets directions, offers opportunities and acts as a guide and resource. The children ask better questions, seek their own answers and gain deeper insights than they had before. 
 
In addition to the traditional ‘3 R's,’ this type of curriculum therefore also offers an additional ‘3 R's’: Research (searching out information), Reasoning (processing information) and Recording (creating a way to save and/or share information). In today's world, the body of knowledge is so large and the pace of acquisition so rapid that we must constantly change our teaching methods to prepare pupils for their life as adults. We must emphasise the higher levels of critical thinking; Analysis: The ability to break down material into its component parts so its structure can be understood, Synthesis: The ability to put parts together to form a new whole, Evaluation: The ability to judge the value of material for a given purpose. Integrating these ‘thinking skills’ into our curriculum units enables children to take charge of their own learning- something they are naturally driven to do.   
 
Our curriculum, whilst meeting the requirements of the national curriculum, advances your child’s skills much further. Your child will speak to you enthusiastically about sparkling starts and fabulous finishers. They will be excited about their learning.