Introducing our Curriculum
At Mill Dam we believe that our curriculum should provide opportunities for learners to develop and acquire the skills and knowledge they need to be confident and independent learners who are ready to move on, meet the challenges of high school and lay the foundations they will need to build cultural capital and become fully functioning and contributing members of society.
All of our staff and students will have high expectations and ambitions for their learning and will work together to ensure maximum impact on the development and application of knowledge and skills.
Our learning skills curriculum promote the skills of:
Resilience, Teamwork, Problem Solving, Critical and Creative Thinking, Reflection and Communication.
These form the core of all of our learning. Through our curriculum we will provide meaningful real life experiences within each theme or topic to ensure that children are fully engaged and to broaden their experiences and horizons.
We follow the current National Curriculum with adaptations, personalisation or additional scaffolding as needed to ensure maximum impact for all our students including those with special educational needs, disabilities or other disadvantage.
In mathematics we follow the White Rose scheme for maths mastery and the small steps where needed to support children or ensure understanding of complex content. All children receive a minimum of one hour’s maths teaching a day following the Same Day Intervention model. This consists of a first session of whole class teaching and activity which is follow by a short set of individual questions including both fluency and reasoning tasks. Dependent on how the children perform in these tasks they then either work with the teacher to receive additional support, work through further fluency to practice skills or further reasoning to develop a greater depth of understanding.
In addition to this all children take part in a daily ‘maths meeting’ at the beginning of the day to revisit and practice skills from maths lessons. Children in Key Stage Two will also have a weekly times table challenge to track their progress in learning the multiplication tables as well as giving them an additional motivation to practice.
All learners will have a daily English lesson for a minimum of 1 hour which will include elements of reading, writing, speaking and listening and will also include spelling, grammar and punctuation. Children will be expected to produce writing in most sessions applying the spelling, grammar and punctuation or text skills that they have been taught. The expectation is also that students will apply their core English skills in all learning tasks including outside of English lessons.
Reading is a key part of our learning at Mill Dam and we strongly believe in the importance of reading to ensure good progress across all areas of learning.
All students participate in a daily reading session which will include shared reading as a class, teachers reading with individuals, reading for pleasure and completing comprehension and related tasks. Each day will also end with a shared story or class book.
Classes in Key Stage Two will also have a daily SQUIRT (Sustained, Quiet, Reading Time) providing the learners with another opportunity to read for pleasure and to increase their reading stamina.
Learners in Key Stage One and EYFS have a daily phonics session with groupings based on the current learning needs of individuals and rapidly develop their confidence and independence. Phonics sessions follow ‘Read, Write Inc’ which keeps their learning moving on and teaches early reading in a fun and engaging way.
The majority of the science is taught through hands on investigations and exploration. We teach our students how to enquire, ask questions and look for their own answers through experimentation and observation. Our extensive exterior environment has a diverse eco-system and habitats for wildlife, including a pond, hawthorne hedge, insect houses, raised beds of growing produce and other plants, meadow and unmanaged areas all of which are used as part of our science learning.
We also have a range of animals in schools which our students can care for and learn about.
We promote the understanding and respect for the fact that our students live as part of the wider British Culture, which is varied and welcoming to all. We all need to operate as part of this culture and in wider society this is developed through the teaching of:
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural understanding and skills.
And the core British values of:
DEMOCRACY, RULE OF LAW, INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY, MUTUAL RESPECT and TOLERENCE OF DIFFERENT CULTURES AND RELIGIONS.