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Academic Programme

St Dunstan’s College Junior School aims to inspire a true love of lifelong learning from the very earliest stages. Our academic ambition is cultivated by a balance of challenge, rigour, immersive learning experiences and independent exploration.

Our engaging, broad and balanced Junior School Hecker curriculum is unashamedly aspirational for each and every pupil, regardless of their starting point, and equips them with the necessary skills they will need to thrive as proactive global citizens within a rapidly changing world. The curriculum is underpinned by the College values;

Creativity– Our curriculum is designed to give children a plethora of opportunities to spread their creative wings and try new and innovative approaches to their learning

Compassion– Children are taught the value and importance of understanding different points of view, demonstrating empathy and kindness towards others across the curriculum

Courage– Risk-taking, resilience and perseverance are key strategies we teach children in every curriculum area; our pupils are encouraged to develop a growth-mindset and face a challenge with a positive mindset

Confidence– From whole-College productions, to our SDC Festival, to facing a fear on a residential trip, our pupils develop their confidence both within and outside of the classroom setting

Curiosity– A love of learning stems from children’s desire to want to find out more about the world in which we live, and our pupils are encouraged to understand the skills required to become responsible global citizens of the future

Lessons are filled with opportunities to stretch and challenge children whereby they are encouraged to take ownership of their learning, helping to make learning fulfilling and stimulating.

Specialist teaching in art, languages, drama, music, swimming, computing, Stuart (PSHEE), sport and PE ensures that children receive a high standard of education across all areas of the curriculum and that excellent progress is made in every subject.

The English and Maths curricula are designed to provide children with a strong foundation of the core skills from which to build upon in order to develop mastery and to work at greater depth in every area. We feel it is essential that all learning is put into the context of real-world application in order to give pupils purpose and meaning behind their learning. Therefore, reading for pleasure, creative writing and problem solving are all crucial elements of our curriculum.

History, geography, and science are taught through the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) from Year 1 to Year 6. This is an engaging, cross-curricular, thematic approach to learning. It teaches children fundamental knowledge, skills and understanding through a meaningful framework of all-encompassing, immersive learning experiences and from an international perspective. Junior School pupils begin to recognise the independence and interdependence of history, geography, and science, which, in turn, enables them to make purposeful links and connections between different subject areas. Embedded within each unit is the development of international mindedness which allows children to develop their understanding of different cultural and global perspectives on current issues. Each unit looks at a specific host country linked to what they are learning, whereby children make links between the historical, geographical or scientific learning focus and their given host country.

All other lessons are taught by subject specialists, where children can really hone their skills and are exposed to high quality specialist teaching and expertise. As a Junior School within a whole-College setting, we are able to also benefit from the facilities, resources and skills of the Senior School staff and buildings, enabling us to make the most of extension and enrichment opportunities for those pupils who demonstrate an area of skill and talent. Alongside the internationalism strand in our IPC curriculum, our specialist lessons also ensure that they develop children’s understanding of the wider world through cultural understanding in MFL, the range of art and artists studied throughout our art curriculum and exposure and understanding of music from across the world. Our Stuart curriculum also covers and celebrates a range of different backgrounds and cultures as we consider the local, national and international community of which we are a part of.

There is always an air of excitement in the Junior School with an array of specialist workshops and educational visits that sit alongside and support the curriculum. We always seek to explore new and innovative educational approaches to ensure that our Hecker curriculum suits the needs and interests of the individuals in each cohort, responding proactively to the learning we see in front of us in each lesson.

For more information regarding our Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (Nursery and Reception), please click here