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 ‘Sheffield’ the children will learn History, DT, 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 stimulus to start each theme.A ‘Stunning Start’ is a launch event that engages children in their learning; for example in our theme ‘Sheffield’ we went on an ‘eye spy’ bus tour of the city to identify human and physical features and landmarks. We draw the learning together in a ‘Fabulous Finish’. A ‘Fabulous Finish’ is a ‘finale’ to a sequence of learning that creates purpose to the children’s learning, such as a performance assembly where visitors are invited or hosting a museum for parents.
Each term we also have themed or subject specific ‘focus weeks’ where we plan in depth learning. For example in our Design Technology week all children used the DT process to design, make and evaulate a puppet. 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?