At Stannington Infant School we deliver most of our curriculum through themes. We plan three main themes each year, one per term for the whole school. Delivering the curriculum in a thematic way allows us to link different subject areas and help the children to make sense of their learning. So, through the theme Dungeons and Dragons the children will learn History, Geography, ICT, and Art, as well as English and Maths.
At the start of a theme we explore what the children already know about the areas of learning and ask them what else they would like to find out; this gives the children ownership of the curriculum often leading year groups in different directions. During each theme we plan educational visits and invite visitors into school to the stimulate learning. We use different ‘provocations’ or stimulus to start each theme. So for example in our theme ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ we may use the painting 'Saint George and the Dragon' by Paolo Uccello.
Each term we also have themed or subject specific ‘focus weeks’ where we plan in depth learning. For example in our math’s week we focused on ‘money’ through our enterprise and charity work. In our science week we focused on investigations such as Where does the water go in a flower? How far can a car travel on different surfaces? These weeks also provide opportunities for children to work in ‘family’ groups of mixed ages.
Every term we teach the children two oral stories. This approach is based on Pi Corbett’s Talk for Writing approach.
The storytelling and story-making approach involves:
• learning and repeating oral stories.
• building the confidence to develop them through telling.
• extending this development into writing.
• creating 'new' stories orally as a preparation and rehearsal for writing. please click on the link to see "28 steps to handwriting success" - Handwriting Hero
The development of storytelling is built through a 3-step sequence.
• Imitation: straight retelling of learned stories.
• Innovation: developing, extending and changing elements of a story.
• Invention: creating a 'new' story.
We teach phonics using the Read Write Inc. programme. Please click on this link to view/print our phonics leaflet.