Duchal follows the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence which aims to provide a coherent, flexible and enriched curriculum from 3 to 18.
Everywhere you look in Duchal you find the foundations for learning. Through active, creative or experimental play, holistic learning aided by year group integration, relationships and socialisation, learning is delivered in the most exciting, inspirational, fun and safe atmosphere you can imagine.
First Year (Red Teddy Year)
In the initial year, value is placed on developing the building blocks for successful learners, self-respect, confidence, manners and social skills. Much of the curriculum, taught as a whole school activity, is delivered in the form of projects. A theme is chosen per term and all the work built around it. Past projects have included transport, people who help us, pets, space and farming.
French, taught by a specialist teacher, starts for first year children in October. The French course includes learning about colours, numbers, clothes and food, as well as French songs and rhymes.
Second Year (Pre-School - Blue Teddy Year)
Children in their pre-school year spend time each day in groups of about six, involved in more formal activities to prepare them for school entrance. The smaller groups enable all pre-school work to be tailored to each child's ability level, thus providing an individual challenge and love for learning. Within these small groups, the children build their confidence and assimilate many of the vital skills required at the next stage of their education and development
- Teaching them to sit and work as part of a group.
- Pre-reading consists of exercises in language, for skills in observation and discrimination and for the ability to see connections between things, e.g. tree - leaf or dog - puppy. They are also introduced to the eye movements necessary for reading (it does not come naturally!) Having completed the preparatory work they work through their own copy of pre-reading workbooks.
- Pre-writing consists of building up pencil control, showing them how to hold their pencil, doing writing patterns on top of a guide and then finally working through their own copy of pre-writing workbooks.
- Alphabet - Introducing them to the alphabet using the Jolly Phonics system.
- Pre-Counting consists of practice in numeracy, adding and subtracting using a variety of counting materials as well as familiarisation with the language of numbers.
- Geometry - Geometric shapes of triangle, circle, square and rectangle are introduced in meaningful ways, e.g. circles are used for clocks, plates, pots, wheels etc.
French continues throughout the child's second year at Duchal. Small amounts of homework are introduced and received with great excitement, especially from children with older siblings. Library books taken from our book corner are also taken home. The gentle introduction and familiarisation with these concepts prepares the children for the important and smooth transition from pre-school to junior school.
All our children take part in P.E., music and movement, simple science, healthy eating, art and craft, and ICT with the computers and smart board. Language development is encouraged through all activities during each child's morning, plus lots of storytelling, poems, rhymes and songs. Monday and Friday ‘news time' provides the perfect opportunity to nurture the expression of feelings and emotions. We have additional weekly P.E. sessions held in St. Columba's School and our weekly Active Start sessions. The introduction of different cultures and religions is intertwined with the children's experiences and through festivals during the year.
Our Head Teacher is happy to discuss pupils' development at any time and holds individual parents evenings in the spring term where all the child's work and achievements are available to see and discuss.