Our curriculum at John Donne is designed to be dynamic, creative and engaging. We deliver the requirements of the National Curriculum through a series of topics and projects which provide opportunities for children to develop their knowledge, skills and attributes in a variety of different ways. Our belief is that children learn best when they are active, so there is a great emphasis placed on making objects, on doing things, on educational visits, on using drama and role-play. We also strive to give children a purpose for their learning - some sort of event, presentation or performance that gives them a chance to show off what they have achieved during the topic. We ensure that children receive a broad and balanced programme so that they cover the appropriate range of curriculum areas in the time that they spend at John Donne.
The school subscribes to The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education’s project The Power of Reading. Information about some of the books that we study, together with some further information about how we use books in a variety of creative ways can be found here: https://www.clpe.org.uk/powerofreading The project enables us to link high quality children’s literature with the wider curriculum and to maintain their enthusiasm for reading throughout their lives.
Topics last for half a term and at the heart of each topic lies high quality books. Teachers, together with the children in their class, develop a question that they set out to answer during the course of their studies. These questions are intended to provide a focus for that half term’s learning and they help to ensure that children can engage with the topic in innovative and exciting ways. For example, during their topic on The Greeks, Year 5 focussed on the question: What can we learn from ancient stories? The questions add flavour to the learning that takes places and provide opportunities for children to delve more deeply and more profoundly when investigating a topic. The whole-school curriculum map for 2015-16 can be accessed below.
Our teaching challenges children to ensure that they are always learning something new, whatever their ability. The children leave John Donne having achieved the best that they can achieve. Ultimately, we prepare them to become members of our global society, helping them to begin to understand their rights and responsibilities in this ever-changing world, and preparing them for the next stage in their life’s journey.