Every time a new topic is started in one school children are asked what they already know and what do they want to know. Videos and artefacts were used and working walls which are changed every half term. Children are continually questioning and are enthused by their topics. Lots of stuff is coming in from home as children’s excitement increases. Knowing what their prior knowledge looks like means you can have ‘mini experts’ in the class.
Key Stage 2 (7-11) is very knowledge based compared to Key Stage 1 (6-7), which is more skill based. This creates challenge for medium term planning. It was interesting that teachers found the ideas that children came up with were generally the same as the teachers’ planning.
One teacher wrote children’s questions about the topic on post it notes and put them on the learning walls. Sometimes, instead of story, these questions are addressed which makes children feel valued and really listened to.
A trip as the initial immersion was seen as very useful, especially for children whose experiences were very limited.
Peter Hardwick | email@example.com