Academic success, challenge, leadership opportunities, teamwork and respect for self and others are the foundations upon which life at Dame Allan’s Junior School is built.
Pupils of all ages are encouraged to aim high and achieve their goals. They are taught in small classes where children benefit from our creative and lively approach to learning and subject specialist teaching in many areas.
All aspects of the children's studies are valued; we offer a balanced and stimulating timetable that offers every pupil the opportunity to develop knowledge and key skills in all areas. Many of our schemes of work in Years 1-6 are based on the National Curriculum’s programme of study, but our freedom as an independent school allows us to develop a wider range of knowledge and skills. Our curriculum inspires our pupils to use their imagination, cultivate their natural curiosity and develop as independent, resilient and motivated learners.
Throughout the school, pupils’ progress is rapid. Pupils’ skills, knowledge and understanding are well developed and applied successfully across the curriculum.
The core skills of numeracy, literacy and science are supported by a genuinely broad, creative and rigorous curriculum which is regularly enriched by educational visits, vistoring speakers and special events. As a part of a larger foundation of schools, children in Years 5 and 6 spend some time each week learning at our Senior Schools in Fenham, making use of specialist facilities and teachers, for example the Design Technology department, to prepare them for the transition into the Senior Schools.
We have also adopted a ‘forest school’ innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning in a woodland environment to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive outdoor experiences and enhance learning in other areas of the curriculum. In 2023 we launched our OPAL programme. OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) is a mentor-led programme for schools, which incorporates play as an essential tool for younger pupils. OPAL encourages creative, collaborative, imaginative and social play and is helping to open up playgrounds to children of all interests and abilities. It improves socialisation skills, leads to increased concentration levels after play and - of course - it is designed to be very enjoyable too!
We closely monitor the progress of our children throughout the year, enabling us to quickly identify any struggles they may have and put steps in place to help and support them. Our pupils do not sit the national SATs examinations; we use a range of robust assessment strategies to track the progress of our children. As well as the more formal opportunities to meet with your child’s class teacher, our staff are always happy to meet with parents to discuss their child’s progress and address any concerns they may have.
‘Attitudes to learning are excellent. Pupils are highly competent, independent learners with the maturity to listen to others, as well as the confidence to propose their own ideas. Teaching encourages independence and promotes self-confidence which allows pupils to take their own initiative’
Children at Dame Allan’s have a platform from which they can thrive. For example, our mathematicians perform very successfully in the UK Junior Mathematics Challenge; equally, our sports teams regularly compete and benefit from workshops with other HMC schools in the North East of England.
Above all, our children thrive in our happy and purposeful atmosphere where there is always a happy ‘buzz’ of activity and learning is a pleasure.