A cross curricular topic was broken down into key themes which led the children’s ideas. Children had ownership which made them more engaged over the term. They demonstrated their prior knowledge but were able to extend that knowledge. Teachers felt that this approach breaks down our perceptions of what the children will be capable of and does not limit them.
One teacher had immersion over 2 or 3 days which sparked their curiosity, with many how and why questions being asked and deeper thinking.
The topic evolved and was planned as it developed, which caused difficulties when the planning had to be in at the beginning of term.
Two schools sent a copy of the key skills home three weeks before the start of term which led to more parental involvement and more artefacts being brought in to build on the learning.
All teachers had used the prior knowledge strategy which helped them gauge children’s current understanding.
All teachers had given the children immersion in the subject matter. One teacher showed pictures of the seaside, visited an aquarium, had a Punch and Judy visit and visited the seaside. This led to an instant display and children generating their own questions. They were more engaged and talked to their parents about the lessons. They were able to reflect on what they had learnt at the end of the topic.