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This document attached on this page is a statement of the aims, principles and strategies for teaching and learning at The Dawnay School.  It lays the foundations for the whole curriculum, both formal and informal and forms the context in which all other policy statements should be read.

Our Vision

‘Inspiring children through excellence’

Our school curriculum is underpinned by our five P.R.I.D.E. values:


Positive attitudes to everything we do


Respect for ourselves and for each other


Independence of thought and of action


Difference, celebrating the uniqueness of each individual and the diversity of our school community


Excellence in all we do


We believe that we are preparing our children for lifelong learning and that it is our duty to provide a climate where all children feel confident and valued.  We advocate an inclusive approach to teaching and learning that celebrates diversity and recognises children as individuals, respecting their rights, values and beliefs.  Our broad, balanced and enriching curriculum offer equips children with the skills, knowledge and understanding to make informed choices so that they are able to lead happy and fulfilling lives.
At The Dawnay, we have high expectations of presentation and actively encourage all children to take pride in their work. 

Curriculum Aims and Objectives

The prime aim of our curriculum is to promote children’s independence, excellence, perseverance, self-discipline and lifelong love of learning.  At the Dawnay, we take a thematic approach to learning to nurture children’s passions and interests, and to provide them with a range of rich and memorable experiences.  Carefully chosen themes help to promote children’s engagement through creative topics and hands-on activities.  A cross-curricular approach to thematic learning also helps to make purposeful links between subjects and establish meaningful connections to the real world. 

The aims of our school curriculum are:

  • to enable all children to learn and develop their skills to the best of their ability;
  • to promote a positive attitude towards learning, so that children enjoy coming to school and acquire a solid basis for lifelong learning;
  • to teach children the basic skills of literacy and numeracy;
  • to foster children’s creativity and develop independence of thought;
  • to teach children about their developing world, including how their environment and society have changed over time;
  • to help children understand Britain’s cultural heritage (FBV);
  • to enable children to make a positive contribution to the community in which they live and to the wider society as a whole;
  • to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Surrey Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education;
  • to teach children to understand right from wrong;
  • to help children understand the importance of truth and fairness, so that they grow up committed to equal opportunities for all;
  • to raise standards by ensuring consistency and continuity of learning and teaching;
  • to ensure an inclusive ethos where children are motivated and engaged regardless of their gender, ability, background or beliefs;
  • to enable children to have respect for themselves and high self-esteem so that they are able to live and work co-operatively with others;
  • to nurture children’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural development (SMSC)
  • to recognise and celebrate success in everyone.

Key messages about the amendments we have made to deliver Dawnay COVID-19 Recovery curriculum in 2020-21

Dawnay Recovery curriculum levers

This Autumn term we are using the school’s established PRIDE values as the basis to build our recovery curriculum levers

Lever 1: Relationships – we can’t expect our students to return joyfully, and many of the relationships that were thriving, may need to be invested in and restored. We need to plan for this to happen, not assume that it will. Reach out to greet them, use the relationships we build to cushion the discomfort of returning.

Lever 2: Community – we must recognise that curriculum will have been based in the community for a long period of time. We need to listen to what has happened in this time, understand the needs of our community and engage them in the transitioning of learning back into school.

Lever 3: Transparent Curriculum – all of our students will feel like they have lost time in learning and we must show them how we are addressing these gaps, consulting and co-constructing with our students to heal this sense of loss.

Lever 4: Metacognition – in different environments, students will have been learning in different ways. It is vital that we make the skills for learning in a school environment explicit to our students to reskill and rebuild their confidence as learners.

Lever 5: Space – to be, to rediscover self, and to find their voice on learning in this issue. It is only natural that we all work at an incredible pace to make sure all learners are not disadvantaged against their peers, providing opportunity and exploration alongside the intensity of our expectations.

The Dawnay Recovery curriculum plan

As we welcome the children back into school after the national lockdowns, our principle aim is to ensure the safety and protect the wellbeing of everyone at school so that learning can continue to be productive and fun.  We are aware that every child will have had a different experience of being in lockdown during Covid-19 and will need support as they settle back into school life.  

  1. RESET for SAFETY - Plenty of time will be set aside at the beginning of the term to explain the rules and routines that are in place for keeping everyone at school safe during Covid -19.  There will be on-going reminders every day so that we can ensure a safe learning environment is maintained.
  2. RECOVER for WELLBEING - To begin with, we will focus on the children’s social and emotional wellbeing.  Support will be tailored to meet the needs of each individual so that all children are happy, confident and ready to learn. 
  3. REBUILD for LEARNING - Teachers have worked hard to identify gaps in the children’s learning due to loss of teaching in the Summer term and have carefully mapped out detailed plans for addressing these gaps throughout the Autumn term.  In addition, teachers will carry out various ‘child-friendly’ assessments during the first few weeks back – many of which will take the form of fun quizzes, discussions and games - to ascertain where each child is in terms of their learning journey and how ready they are to progress to the next stage.