We are a very small school, located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park; our environment provides a unique foundation upon which to build our curriculum.
Our school vision is to use our beautiful rural surroundings to enrich our curriculum while striving to overcome the challenges of rural isolation by planning opportunities to enhance our pupils' cultural capital and widen their horizons through contributions from visitors, collaborations with other schools and groups and through field visits near and far. Our attainment of an Artsmark Silver Award in 2023 bears testimony to our commitment in this area.
We take every opportunity to work outdoors. Experiences include regular FOREST outdoor learning days with our qualified staff; excursions with YDNP rangers to enhance learning about local historical and geographical features such as the slate mines in Hawes, harvesting of food for the school kitchen from our growing beds (for which we won a Soil Association award), and looking after biodiversity in science through our involvement in the village tree planting campaign. Learning outdoors also provides an environment that allows pupils to be reflective about their spirituality and supports mindfulness. We promote a sense of awe and wonder and an appreciation and understanding of the natural world.
The core curriculum of the school comprises of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2, together with Religious Education and Relationships, Sex and Health Education. Maths is taught in discreet year groups as we pursue a mastery approach for our learners. In other areas, our children are taught predominantly in mixed-age groups, which means our curriculum long term planning has been adapted to build knowledge and skills progressively towards end of Key Stage milestones. Younger and less able pupils in the class are supported to gain a foundation level of understanding of key skills and knowledge. Older and more able pupils are supported to develop these skills further, and pursue a mastery of their understanding - sometimes by leading groupwork with younger and less able learners and on other occasions through more independent project-type work.
With small class sizes, we have a good understanding of the levels at which our pupils are working, and can readily adapt our teaching to support them moving through the demands of a basic, advancing and deep cognitive domain. During lessons, links are made to previous learning and to other subject areas. Retrieval of knowledge is practised within and throughout each unit of work. We also provide experiences and activities that deepen and widen children’s cultural, aesthetic and intellectual development.
We are ambitious for all our children and believe we provide a fertile learning environment to shape and form our children’s ambitions and dreams combined with the skills, knowledge and attitudes they need to succeed.