We deliver the curriculum through themes that reflect and develop the children’s interests and make full use of the Bedales estate and resources.

Our carefully structured yet flexible curriculum is intended to stimulate children’s interest and capture their imagination. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum moving towards Key Stage 1 but with a creative interpretation, with literacy and numeracy at the core of what we do.

‘Learning through doing’ is an everyday occurrence in the classroom. Children’s ideas and participation are encouraged and developed. Every child has a voice and every opinion is discussed. Scenarios are posed and children are invited to explore concepts.

We aim to:

  • Create awe and wonder and inspire children to want to learn
  • Broaden children’s experiences and encourage them to explore their strengths
  • Facilitate challenge, problem solving and inquiry-based learning
  • Encourage children to question and think critically
  • Provide a meaningful context for learning that allows the application of skills and knowledge in ‘real life’ situations
  • Develop the characteristics of effective learning

Although much of the learning takes place within the topics’ theme and through the children’s self-initiated play, we teach some skills and facts separately; for example phonics, handwriting, Sport and elements of maths and reading. The children learn through a variety of experiences and techniques: whole class; small group; one-to-one; and independent activities that are appropriate to their needs. We recognise the importance of play, and balance child-initiated and adult-initiated activities. Giving children experiences to talk and write about is key to the excellent levels of progress that children make at Dunannie.

Small class sizes enable us to get to know the children and their families well and positive relationships are quickly cultivated. We work closely with parents to find out about children’s interests and learning habits and welcome parents’ contributions to helping us assess children’s progress. We assess learning and development through frequent observations, including written notes, photographs and videos that may be documented in their individual learning journals. We use the learning journals and periodic assessment summaries to discuss progress at parent meetings and through reports.