Dale Hall Curriculum Statement
INTENT - Why do we teach what we teach?
At Dale Hall Primary School we provide a broad and balanced curriculum which builds on knowledge, understanding and skills for all pupils no matter what their starting points. We strive to celebrate and promote diversity, equality and inclusion.
Our priority is creating lifelong learners who are ready for their next steps in education. We have high aspirations for all our pupils and focus on making sure pupils are ready for life in our diverse world. We want pupils to leave Dale Hall with a breadth of memorable learning experiences and the cultural capital they need to be a citizen in modern Britain. We strive to guide our pupils on a magical learning journey full of memorable experiences.
At Dale Hall we believe in explicitly teaching our pupils how to manage their learning effectively so that they can become confident, inquisitive and independent learners. We want our pupils to know how to be successful by teaching them the skills they need to be able to accomplish tasks and experience learning for themselves. We offer this in our own unique Dale Hall way. This is based on extensive research, listening to our children and staff and on the excellent outcomes that we enable our pupils to achieve.
Our Dale Hall curriculum is underpinned by our vision:
To be a successful, vibrant and creative community of learning within a framework of inclusion, well-being, nurture, respect and tolerance.
To excite, engage and challenge each child, motivating them to explore and develop a lifelong love of learning, supported by teachers who are passionate about their work and are themselves lifelong learners.
To be a forward thinking, research led school with positive, collaborative and supportive relations with other schools and academies
Our Dale Hall curriculum is designed to help us achieve our aims.:
- provide a safe and supportive environment with high expectations and learning strategies which are tailored to support the whole child
enable children to be happy and purposeful, growing in confidence and self-esteem, reaching their potential and given every opportunity to excel and shine
- give our children the tools and skills that will prepare them for the next stage of their education and later life. To learn and develop in a positive growth mindset environment where mistakes are valued as a part of the learning journey
- provide an immersive, exciting curriculum which delivers skills and knowledge yet captivates children’s interests and enables them to follow their own lines of enquiry
- ensure our talented and inspirational staff feel valued and supported and have opportunities to develop their expertise further through targeted and purposeful training and development to enable them to contribute to their maximum potential
encourage parents to participate in the many aspects of school life, to ensure we communicate well and are working together for a common purpose, sharing experiences and extending learning together
Power of reading
Exposing our pupils to high quality texts is at the heart of our curriculum and we use the Power of Reading across the school. The Power of Reading puts quality children’s literature at the heart of literacy learning and is built on years of research and best practice. The Power of Reading has helped us to create a high quality English curriculum which develops reading comprehension, grammar and writing composition aswell as fostering a whole school love of reading and writing.
Whilst we value that progression of skills and knowledge specific to individual all subjects is important, we also ensure that there is a clear focus on excellent teaching and learning. We are developing our own Dale Hall principles of learning to ensure that we bring learning across the curriculum to life, by making links, creating cross curricular immersive opportunities and giving pupils access to knowledge, skills and experiences that they may not normally have the chance to.
Principles of learning
At Dale Hall, we have developed our own set of principles that underpin our pedagogy. These principles ensure consistency and progression across the school and are based on research from the EEF and Rosenshine's Principles of Instruction. Rosenshine's principles come from three sources; research in cognitive science, research on master teachers and research on cognitive supports.
Our Dale Hall Principles of Learning are:
1. Readiness to Learn
2. Make your instructions explicit
3. Review/Re-cap/ Retrieve
4. Present new learning in small steps
5. Questioning must be effective
6. Model and scaffold the work
7. Practise new learning and skills
8. Ensure success for every child
9. Review Learning
- What are our Dale Hall Curriculum Drivers?
All stakeholders have worked together to identify our key curriculum drivers which we feel lie at the heart of our curriculum design.
- Skills and knowledge
- Growth mindset
- Immersive child led learning
- Culture, diversity and enrichment
- Citizenship and life skills
Skills and knowledge
At Dale Hall each curriculum area has a skills/knowledge overview created by our curriculum leaders. These documents outline the skills pupils will progress through from Reception to Year 6 and are the main documents used for teachers to plan from. Learning at Dale Hall is focused on revisiting key skills and knowledge to ensure pupils can build on their prior learning to make maximum progress. Although we identify specific skills for each curriculum area, some skills will be taught in a thematic/cross curricular approach where there are natural links to be made. Making these links ensures that the learning becomes real and more meaningful to our children. We do not believe in contriving links but in making the most of these where they naturally exist. Pupils are still taught to articulate the subject specific skills they are learning. (Our curriculum skills and knowledge overviews can be found on each curriculum area page of our website)
At Dale Hall we have worked hard to develop a culture of Growth mindset and this is important in all curriculum areas. We teach pupils to believe in the ‘power of yet’ and as teachers we have studied Carol Dweck’s work. More recently we have worked on uptodate research into how operating outside of your comfort zone can significantly improve performance. Pupils at Dale Hall are introduced to the principles of Growth mindset as soon as they begin in Reception and throughout their time with us they develop an understanding of the brain being a muscle they have to train and grow. We use our Dale Hall Growth hero character to discuss and explore growth mindset with pupils across the school. We teach pupils that mistakes help them to learn and that, in fact, making mistakes is crucial if we want to improve. We want all pupils at Dale Hall to feel comfortable stepping outside of their comfort zone and tackling challenge. When considering how we give feedback to pupils we ensure that we are praising the process rather than the outcome. We encourage a metacognitive style of reflecting so that pupils can recognise that their progress is individual to them. When pupils present with fixed mindset beliefs we support them to reframe their thinking and identify what skills, knowledge or practice they may need in order to improve.
Immersive child led learning
All of our topics centre around a Power of Reading text and we ensure that where possible learning is linked to the topic. Through our focus on a key text we strive to create an immersive learning environment for pupils. Whilst each topic will have mapped out key skills we also encourage pupils to share their interests and take ownership of their learning. In Year 1-3 a ‘choose your learning’ approach using key principles of continuous provision is used. This means that much of the topic learning is child led and can be focused around children’s interests and curiosity. Continuous provision refers to carefully planned, open ended resources leading to an enabling environment which prompts independent learning and enquiry. At Dale Hall we have developed our own approach towards continuous provision in KS1 and elements are being taken into lower KS2. We call our approach ‘Choose your learning’. We use a mix between continuous provision, whole class learning, enhanced provision and adult led/focused learning. We use open ended questions to enhance opportunities for embedding the skills/knowledge being taught.
Culture, diversity and enrichment
At Dale Hall our diverse curriculum aims to create pupils who:
- Are global citizens who want to make the world a better place
- Care about the world and have empathy with those around them
- Think critically, ask questions and are articulate about their own opinions
- Have the skills to understand and face an ever-changing world
We want our pupils to understand but also embrace diversity. This is particularly significant for Dale Hall as our school demographic has a lower than average proportion of pupils from minority ethnic origins. Our curriculum has been reviewed with careful consideration to ensure that we represent a diverse range of backgrounds. Our Power of reading texts ensure that pupils are presented with a variety of characters and settings. We aim to broaden and enrich children’s life experiences, opening their eyes to opportunities beyond their immediate world, igniting their curiosity and imagination and sparking their interest in all aspects of the world around them. We hope that through events and visitors such as sporting events, library visits, aspiration days, visits from experts and attending school trips we can broaden our children’s aspirations, experiences and cultural capital.
At Dale Hall we teach pupils the skills they need to be successful learners. Our teachers have been through extensive training to enable them to understand how to teach specific metacognitive skills to the pupils which in turn will make the learner more aware of the process of learning. The EEF and IOA provided the research and funding for us to take this forward. We support all pupils to understand the ways in which they learn best. Our aim is for pupils to then use this to improve, extend and embed their skills and knowledge with a much better understanding of the process. Our pupils are now asking metacognitive questions, which are modelled consistently by our teachers and teaching assistants, as well as applying them to different subjects and task
Citizenship and life skills
At Dale Hall we value that young people are growing up in an increasingly complex world. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also many challenges and risks. In this environment, children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal, emotional, moral and social lives in a positive way. At Dale Hall we work hard to provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place. Through our RSHE curriculum and our focus on diversity across the curriculum we support pupils to develop tolerance of others and to see things from different perspectives. We encourage pupils to be curious and to ask questions in order to better understand and make sense of the world around them. Through our community work we hope to develop active and responsible citizens who contribute positively to the local community and to society as a whole. Through our curriculum, we aim to raise aspirations and provide opportunities for children to discover their own strengths, interests and talents. We support all pupils at Dale Hall to stay safe and to prepare for life in modern Britain.
“Learning has been defined in cognitive psychology as an alteration in long-term memory: “If nothing has altered in long-term memory nothing has been learned.” Progress, therefore, means knowing more (including knowing how to do more) and remembering more. When new knowledge and existing knowledge connect in learners’ minds, this gives rise to understanding. As learners develop unconscious competence and fluency, this will allow them to develop skills. Progress should not be defined by hitting the next data point. Rather, if learners attain within a well-sequenced, well-constructed curriculum, they are making progress.”
Curriculum update- September 2023
We know that over the past few years schools were faced with lockdowns and remote learning
but last year we were excited to reignite our curriculum journey. We are constantly reviewing our curriculum but last year was a big piece of work to ensure each and every skills overview was uptodate, relevant and enabled progression.
Last year one of our school development priorities was ensuring diversity in all areas of the curriculum. Our leaders looked at at diversity in their curriculum area aswell as reviewing their skills and knowledge overviews to ensure depth and progression. This year this work will continue but leaders will also be looking at Growth mindset in our curriculum areas. This term each curriculum leader will be creating an uptodate curriculum offer document alongside their skills and knowledge overview.
Parent Quotes Nov 22
“The children are taught to improve themselves with growth mindset and 4Bs. It is not just about grades, do your best, it is about setting them up for life.”
"The school encourages them to take risks and gives children confidence to try new things and grow. It's a very, very good school"
"The parent described a recent family trip to a museum. I was really impressed with the amount of knowledge my daughter had about Tudor life and history. She must be enjoying the lessons!"
Quote from supply teacher 2022
"Wow, it's quite amazing how broad your curriculum really is at Dale Hall. The children are so engaged and it's clear that they have the opportunity to learn so many skills and learn them deeply"
Diversity curriculum review 2022/2023
Last year one of our school development priorities was ensuring diversity in all areas of the curriculum. Our leaders looked at at diversity in their curriculum area aswell as reviewing their skills and knowledge overviews to ensure depth and progression.
Quite often diversity is misunderstood and people think we have to completely change the entire school curriculum to incorporate it. Instead, true representation of diversity can be achieved in small but mighty ways. The ability to add diversity into the everyday life at Dale Hall is right at our fingertips...
However it is also important to recognise that creating a diverse curriculum isn’t a quick fix. Our curriculum review required curriculum leaders to rethink and review their curriculum areas to ensure that diversity is incorporated in a natural and purposeful way.
Our diverse curriculum at Dale Hall aims to create pupils who:
Are global citizens who want to make the world a better place
Care about the world and have empathy with those around them
Think critically, ask questions and are articulate about their own opinions
Have the skills to understand and face an ever-changing world
Our previous Curriculum journey (2019-2022)
Miss Jade Nixon
Deputy Head and Curriculum Lead
I love my role as curriculum lead and I feel very grateful that I get to work alongside teachers, leaders, pupils and parents to make our curriculum the very best it can be. At Dale Hall we believe in creating memorable leaning experiences which give pupils both breadth and depth in skills and knowledge.
My goal is for every pupil to leave Dale Hall equipped for their next steps in the world...
"Education should be about broadening minds, enriching communities and advancing civilisation. Ultimately it is about leaving the world a better place than we found it."
Amanda Spielman, 2019
In 2019 as part of our School Development plan we began to review and redesign our curriculum. We started this during our January PD day where we began to work on our curriculum statements and staff discussed what our curriculum has to offer pupils at Dale Hall. We looked at what a broad and balanced curriculum looks like in reality. We reviewed the National Curriculum requirements for each Key Stage and reviewed coverage across our school. We looked at good practice in other schools and worked through the Ofsted Guidance.
At Dale Hall we have developed an immersive text led curriculum, focusing predominantly on skills as well as knowledge. We use the Power of Reading to ensure that all topics are themed around a text that is vocabulary rich and high quality.
2021 Curriculum headlines
This year curriculum continues to be a development priority. All subject leaders have created a skills/knowledge overview for their subject and reflected on what their subject has to offer pupils at Dale Hall. Have a look at their individual subject pages to find out more.
In autumn 1 subject leaders created action plans for their subject and focused on consistency in their subject. They monitored the way their subjects are planned for, delivered and assessed. Subject leaders developed their own curriculum pages on our website.
Summer term updates 2022
Subject leaders carried out further monitoring in their subject areas. All subject leaders received CPD on cultural capital and reflected on what more we could do to enhance the cultural knowledge and experiences of our pupils. Subject leaders were asked to produce a curriculum statement for their subject which highlighted each subjects unique offer, bespoke to Dale Hall. We also joined the learning partnerships programme which offers high quality CPD and links to subject leader networks.