Theme based learning in LKS2- where does it fit into the curriculum?

Key Stage 2 have had a fantastic term with lots of interesting learning going on. Despite the crazy Christmas term, a lot has happened.

Year 3

In Year 3, the theme was called Predator!

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The science matched nicely with the National Curriculum and there were opportunities for working scientifically.

Animals, including humans

  • identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition, and that they cannot make their own food; they get nutrition from what they eat
  • identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement

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Not only were the science and foundation subjects covered but also the English.  Through using Power of Reading, our topic based learning is even stronger.  Children gain more information, they are able to link more areas together and the standard of writing is improving because children have the information and interest to support them.

 

Year 4

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At the beginning of each topic, we have an engage activity to hook children in then the learning begins!

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In Year 4’s topic their focus was on History – the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.  The National Curriculum is quite open on what to cover so to support newer teachers, we have our History progression of skills.

This term children worked on the timeline of the Romans and then  on a project to find out which part of Roman has affected our lives the most now. With independent research and presentations in which they had to argue their case, teachers got a really good idea of what their children were interested in and what they understood.

 

 

How do we improve attendance through the curriculum?

There are any ways to support our children’s attendance such as:

  • Celebrating and promoting attendance through assemblies with certificates and class rewards.
  • Including attendance on school newsletters
  • Opportunities to teach about the importance of attendance and arriving on time as a life skill.
  • Monitoring the attendance of our low attenders and support their parents.

But the curriculum is where we can really inspire children, especially as our role as teachers. However, we need to look at what we are offering our children in terms of the curriculum.

Often the school day looks a bit like this…

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And within those sessions, children take part in a range of context. (or so we’d like to think!)

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This may sound okay when looking at individual lessons but when we look at the type of learning children are doing throughout the day…

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It is pretty boring! And it’s easy to see why some children may not want to come into school.

So give children a range of experiences as much as possible.  After all most of us came into teaching because every day is different, which makes it engaging and exciting.  This is exactly what we are trying to do with our children.

Theme based learning – where does it fit in with the curriculum?

Term 1 is well and truly over so what did we manage to cover in Year 5 through our theme based curriculum?

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Science- Earth and Space

  • describe the movement of the Earth, and other planets, relative to the Sun in the solar system
  • describe the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth
  • describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies
  • use the idea of the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night and the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.

Design and Technology

  • use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups
  • generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design
  • select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately
  • select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities

Music

  • listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
  • appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians

Theme based learning – where does it fit in with the curriculum?

Term 1 is well and truly over so what did we manage to cover in Year 3 through our theme based curriculum?

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Science- Rocks

  • compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties
  • describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock
  • recognise that soils are made from rocks and organic matter.

 

Music

  • play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music

 

History

  • changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age

 

Computing

  • select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information

 

Design and Technology

  • select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately
  • select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities

10 steps to creating a world class curriculum

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  1. Make sure you have the characteristics of effective learning – you need to be thinking about the individual children and making learning engaging while giving children opportunity to learn how to learn from their environment, experiences and activities.
  2. Learning experiences can support attendance and behaviour – think through how children learn. If it is a whole day of sitting, listening to the teacher and writing, not all children will be able to engage in learning.
  3. The learning environment- Your learning environment (classroom and whole school) should support all children in accessing the curriculum, promote the vision of the school, be engaging and exciting and demonstrate a sense of pride in what children are doing and have done.
  4. Provision and opportunities – visitors and trips always add something to the curriculum but adding after school clubs that relate to the curriculum and develop skills further is another way this can be done.
  5. Get all involved- decisions about curriculum development should be made by pupils, teachers, SLT, governors and parents. Making it a whole school vision helps support the vision of the school and the outcomes of our children through their journey through the school.
  6. Supports the national curriculum and early years – there are still knowledge, skills and understanding and using the National Curriculum gives us less work in ensuring children get the coverage.
  7. Backs up the school values – we want all involved to take on the behaviours needed to give our children the best learning possible.
  8. Gives children life skills – children are on a journey to independence and we need to get them ready for this.
  9. Makes children lifelong learners – we are not just thinking of children now but we are preparing them for the future. A lifetime of learning can keep both the body and mind in shape.
  10. SMSC and British Values are big in the framework at the moment and also support in building a well-rounded individual so make sure that you incorporate these into your curriculum.

Theme based learning – where does it fit in with the curriculum?

Term 1 is over so what did we manage to cover in Year 6 through our theme based curriculum?

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Science – Light

  • recognise that light appears to travel in straight lines
  • use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye
  • explain that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes
  • use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them.

 

Design and Technology

  • use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups
  • select from and use a wider range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities
  • evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work
  • understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet
  • prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques

 

History

  • a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066

 

Music

  • play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
  • develop an understanding of the history of music.

Theme based learning – where does it fit in with the curriculum?

Term 1 is over so what did we manage to cover in Year 4 through our theme based curriculum?

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Science – Living things and their habitats

  • recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
  • explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment
  • recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things.

Art

  • to improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials [for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay]

 

Computing

  • select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information

Geography

  • describe and understand key aspects of:
  • physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle
  • use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied
  • use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world

Music

  • play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music