Excellence and enjoyment are part of our school ethos. Through a varied and exciting curriculum we endeavour to offer the best and widest education possible to our children. We look to provide a warm and stimulating learning environment and we take great pride in the quality of our display work.
We aim to give our children a really good start to their school life. They have lots of fun in the Foundation Stage and at the same time receive a good balance of the seven areas of learning and development. The children have opportunities to choose their own activities, be involved in teacher led activities and small group work. They are taught how to become more independent. Children then move into Year 1 motivated to learn and feeling confident.
In Key Stages 1 and 2 we teach the full National Curriculum and children develop their knowledge, understanding and skills with an emphasis on English and mathematics. We use Read Write Inc. as a programme to ensure all of our children become confident and independent readers. It is a clear systematic synthetic phonics programme with a proven track record of success which follows active learning and consistent teaching. In Key Stage 2 our children continue to build upon their reading comprehension skills through the use of Accelerated Reader and Lexia. Our well-stocked library areas known as, the Enchanted Garden and the Reading Hideout, are invaluable in supporting and extending the learning experiences of our children and in encouraging an enthusiastic interest in books. This commitment to ensuring that our children acquire the basic skills needed for learning has been recognised with the award of the Primary Quality Mark.
Our children are taught as individuals, in small groups and in whole classes. We monitor and assess every stage of learning and additional support or a higher level of challenge is offered when appropriate. We have invested in a comprehensive range of resources across the curriculum which ensures all subject areas are covered through our half-termly thematic approach to learning and creative curriculum work.
IT is used extensively throughout school to enhance teaching and learning. All classes are timetabled to use our excellent IT suite. This facility has thirty networked stations, a mobile interactive whiteboard and a plasma television. All classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards and lessons are visual and exciting, helping to focus the children’s attention. Desktop PCs, visualisers, iPads, e-readers and handheld game consoles are also available for use.
The creative and performing arts are given high profile at Dunston Hill and our children participate in many sporting and musical events. We employ the services of specialist coaches to further enhance our provision including cover for planning, preparation and assessment time.
Educational visits are planned to give the children important first-hand experience and a variety of extracurricular activities are offered both at lunchtime and after school. Our older children in Year 6 also take part in a residential, outdoor activity and our Key Stage 2 pupils have the opportunity to go on a cultural visit to London.