Creating a curriculum that excites...
'The curriculum prepares pupils well for life in modern Britain.' (Ofsted, March 2017)
Our cross-curricular approach places children’s learning within a strong context that has both relevance and coherence. It generates real excitement for learning.
The alternative approach (unfortunately still found in a number of schools),where many different topics are covered within a range of subjects every term, often leads to wasted learning opportunities and very much a ‘silo’ approach to the curriculum – things do not naturally join up and therefore coherence is lost. Usually excitement, creativity and flair are also lost.
From September 2017, we have been using a whole school map that details how the curriculum will be delivered in each class, each term in a planned and balanced approach. By having a single theme to learning for each term, greater coherence and relevance to children’s everyday life is achieved. We made the decision to limit the range of curricular subjects so that there is a ‘focus’ for each term and to have all topics / projects either science, history or geography based.
There are some vital elements that underpin this themed approach so that it does not lead to vague or woolly subject teaching. These are:
- Different subjects areas are linked together by a single theme (but this link must be strong and not tenuous)
- Some aspects of subjects might not link to a theme so these must be taught as discrete units of study – these are highlighted on the curriculum map (mainly PE, PSHE & C and also RE)
- Literacy & Maths lessons should link strongly to the theme for each term but, again, there may be aspects that require discrete teaching. Teaching teams are given time to plan together and generate exciting learning opportunities for the children.