Welcome to Dunster First School
Welcome to Dunster First School, nestled in the beautiful and fascinating medieval village, complete with iconic Yarn Market and castle. Our small, friendly village school is a beacon of excellence and joy in everything we do. Our dedicated staff and Governors work hand in hand to foster a happy, hardworking environment that forms the bedrock of our pupils' academic journey.
Becoming a Part of the Dunster Family
When you join Dunster First School, you are not just stepping into a school, you are becoming part of a caring, nurturing, and respectful community. We believe that learning is best achieved when children are enthused, encouraged, and praised. We strive to make every child, parent, and staff member feel welcomed and valued.
Benefits of Joining Dunster First School
- A close-knit community with strong bonds between staff, parents, and students.
- A caring, nurturing environment that prioritises respect and mutual cooperation.
- A rigorous curriculum that caters to each child's individual needs and potential.
- A plethora of opportunities to share and celebrate students' achievements.
- An open dialogue between parents and staff to discuss the best ways to support each child's learning journey.
Our School Ethos: Expect the best in everything, then play your part in achieving it
At Dunster we are proud of our history, inspired by our local area and excited about our future. We are inspiring our pupils through an exciting and memorable curriculum. We are working in partnership with our community. Every child in our care is important, special and amazing; we take our responsibilities to them and their future seriously.
We aim to engage, motivate, and challenge each child in every area of the curriculum. Our lessons are stimulating, purposeful, enjoyable, and tailored to meet each child's needs. We strongly emphasise active learning, real-life experiences, and idea sharing. As children progress through their school life, we introduce them to a broad range of themes to develop an understanding of the world around them.
At Dunster, we are proud of our history, inspired by our local area and excited about our future.
We are inspiring our pupils through an exciting and memorable curriculum.
We are working in partnership with our community. Every child in our care is important, special and amazing; we take our responsibilities to them and their future seriously.
1] Every child must have access to an enriched curriculum
2] Every child must be given the right level of support and challenge to excel
3] Every child must be able to learn in a kind, calm,healthy, safe and caring environment
4] Every child must be educated on all matters:academic, social, moral, health, spiritual, citizenship, values & ethics;developing a sense of worth and belonging in our school community
5] Every child must be given the opportunity to develop their learning attitudes such as critical thinking and problem solving
Delivering the Curriculum
We have five classes in our school. We adapt the delivery of our curriculum to cater to each child's needs. The curriculum is delivered in an integrated manner, with a main topic focus for each term or half term, providing a richer and broader learning experience for the children.
We warmly invite you to get in touch with us to learn more about Dunster First School. You are always welcome to visit and see first hand the loving, vibrant environment we have created for our students to expect the best in everything, then play their part in achieving it.
Supporting Your Child's Learning Journey
One of the most crucial ways you can support your child's learning is by providing them with opportunities to discuss their experiences and explore their curiosities. Your child's understanding of the world around them deepens when they have the chance to ask questions and investigate further.
Regular reading with your child at home is highly encouraged. This activity not only assists in developing their literacy skills but also allows them to relax and enjoy stories. Similarly, spotting and discussing numbers in everyday situations can significantly boost your child's numeracy skills.
Homework: A Catalyst for Independent Learning
In alignment with government recommendations, we provide regular homework to all students. These activities aim to reinforce classroom learning, stimulate new ideas, and foster independence in learning. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children will bring home books to share and enjoy, alongside practicing letter sounds and word building. As they progress to Key Stage 1 and 2, children will receive spelling and maths tasks, daily reading assignments, and termly 'core tasks' related to the class topic. We will also provide a list of optional activities for further exploration.
Special Educational Needs: Ensuring Equal Access
Dunster First School is committed to providing every child with a broad and balanced education that supports their progress, regardless of their unique needs. Our Special Educational Needs (SEN) policy aims to:
- Ensure all children have equal access to the curriculum and all areas of school life.
- Provide all children the opportunity to develop to their full potential.
- Address, through the Additional Needs provision, any barriers to a child's development.
We closely monitor each child's achievements and progress in all curriculum areas. If we identify a barrier to a child's learning, we implement strategies and provide support to ensure their continued growth. This may include one-on-one or small group work, differentiated activities, or specific interventions.
Our dedicated Learning Support Assistants, under the supervision of our SENCO, offer in-classroom support to children with specific or general learning difficulties. We follow a structured assessment route for identifying and monitoring children with Special Educational Needs and design Individual Education Plans when necessary. We involve parents in the support programme discussions and seek assistance from external agencies when deemed appropriate.
A full copy of our Special Education Needs policy can be obtained from the school office or via the school website. Your child's success is our collective endeavour, and we deeply value your partnership in fostering their educational journey.
At Dunster First School, we celebrate diversity in all its forms. We recognise and provide for pupils of all abilities, ensuring every student's unique needs are met. This extends to those children who have been identified as 'gifted' and/or 'talented' in accordance with national guidelines. These students will receive enriched learning experiences within regular class settings, with additional activities to extend their skills and talents. At Dunster, we believe in nurturing potential to help each student excel.
School Rules and Discipline
Creating a safe, supportive, and encouraging learning environment is our top priority. To maintain order and ensure every student thrives, we have simple yet effective school rules. These guidelines encourage respect for others and for the learning environment. Our 'Kind Hands' initiative promotes care, consideration, and good behaviour across all school interactions.
Home School Liaison
We acknowledge the importance of a strong home-school connection. We encourage parent involvement in the classrooms and at special events, fostering a supportive community. Regular Parents' Evenings are held, and we offer extra meetings to ease transitions. Our teachers and Head of School are always available for meetings outside these times. We keep parents informed about school events through regular newsletters, ParentMail, and our school website.
Our school day includes a daily act of reflection of our values and is intended to foster spiritual development.
Arrangements for Starting School
We facilitate a smooth transition for our new students with a carefully planned induction process, including a 'New Parents' meeting and 'Move-up Day' in July. Our affiliated pre-school, Dunster Preschool, offers familiarisation with the school environment before starting Reception.
Admission Arrangements for Disabled Pupils
We strive to accommodate all students, regardless of their physical abilities. For pupils with disabilities, we arrange meetings with parents and any involved outside agencies to ensure a smooth transition into our school.
Our school day starts at 8:45am with registration at 8:55am. Morning break is from 10:30-10:45am, followed by lunch at 12:15pm. Afternoon sessions commence at 1:15pm, with the day concluding at 3:25pm.
We understand the significant link between good attendance and achievement. As per Government guidance, we do not authorise holidays during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. It is essential to notify the school office if your child is away due to illness. Our aim is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our students.
Join Dunster First School and give your child an educational experience that is engaging, enriching, and most importantly, exciting! Let's work together to ensure your child's school years are unforgettable.
Food in School and Health in School
We provide daily hot meals prepared by our school cooks. Healthy and balanced packed lunches can be provided by parents if preferred. We encourage children to stay hydrated throughout the day and they are allowed to bring a water bottle. Regarding health, we take all necessary measures to ensure the well-being of your child in school. Parents will be kept informed of any medical conditions that may arise during the school day.
Meet the Staff and The Governing Body
Our school is managed by a dedicated and skilled team of professionals who are committed to providing the best learning experience for your child. Dunster First School is governed by The Moorland Federation of Schools, which oversees the work of our school and our federated schools. Our Governors
School Charging Policy and Uniform
We ask parents for voluntary contributions towards out-of-school activities. However, no child will be excluded from an activity due to lack of contributions. Our school uniform, which can be ordered online, plays an important role in creating a sense of belonging among our students.
Benefits of Joining Dunster First School
- Tailored Learning: We understand that every child is unique and tailor our teaching to meet their needs.
- Engaging Curriculum: We offer a wide range of subjects and extracurricular activities.
- Safe and Nurturing Environment: Your child’s safety and well-being are our utmost priority.
- Strong Community: We foster strong relationships with parents and the wider community.
- Excellent Staff: Our dedicated and highly skilled staff are committed to providing the best learning experience for your child.
- Active School Life: We offer a variety of sports, clubs, and activities to keep students engaged and active.
- Wellbeing Growth: We encourage a positive attitude to mental health and wellbeing, providing guidance and growth opportunities for our students.
We hope that you will consider Dunster First School as the best choice for your child's education. Should you have any queries or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Join us today?
Enroll your child in Dunster First School today! Experience the nurturing, academically rigorous, and community-focused environment that cultivates lifelong learners. Click here to begin your child's educational journey with us!