Years 1 - 3 Academic Overview

As children progress to Key Stage 2, learning continues to be developed through first-hand experience, and, wherever possible, enhanced by visits to places of interest, workshops and visitors to school.

Always encouraging the children to question the world around them, we engage them in practical science, design and technology, and use projects to deliver a cross-curricular approach to a wide, enriched curriculum.

For example, children explored the porosity, permeability and structure of the earth by having a ‘Mud Day’. The children spent the day in the school’s orchard squelching barefoot through the saturated mud, writing imaginative descriptions of their feelings and creating muddy designs on paper, wood and other materials. In Year 3 children designed a Willow garden with a bespoke pod at its centre. All Dunannie children played a part in its building and surrounding fences. Further growing occurred in the classrooms and this was also added to the garden area.

A Wheels project in Year 1 allowed the children to visit a local bike shop and then return to school and design their own bicycles with added extras. They designed and built their own car chassis which involved sawing and drilling, and created a wonderful wheel collage based on the work of artist Michael Brennan Wood.

Books are a cornerstone of our approach. At the heart of the school is an impressive library to stimulate a love of reading. We believe in the importance of learning other languages and all children are taught French.

School visits are frequent. A visit to the Arundel Wetland Centre prompted an investigation on the weight of birds. On their return to school children transferred the weight of the birds, ranging from a robin to an eagle, into bags of flour and rice and were amazed at just how light a robin is. During a study in Year 2, children walked in Shackleton’s footsteps on a visit to The Oates Museum where they pulled sledges, erected shelters and dressed in authentic Arctic expedition clothing. On a field trip to Chichester, Year 3 explored the cathedral focussing on flight and the labyrinth. Whilst outside carrying out a survey of the local amenities and traffic, the children were appalled to find that the buses travelled so quickly, the frontage of the shops was far from in-keeping with the local architecture and there was chewing gum on the benches outside the cathedral. The children decided to write to the local council to express their concern. They were thrilled to receive a reply that demonstrated how seriously their views had been taken and were subsequently invited for tea with the mayor!

Throughout each term we welcome teachers from Bedales Senior School to explore subjects such as Physics, Maths, Philosophy, Religious Education, Economics and Politics; children have found themselves launching rockets and studying astronomy. Visitors from other industries and professions conduct workshops to support projects, eg. studying Antarctica through painting with an artist to discovering the Vikings by building a ship with a model builder from the film industry.