The Tynings School Curriculum:
In 2013, we started a new curriculum based on the 2014 statutory national curriculum with a cross-curricular approach at the heart of our curriculum planning. Teachers work in the following Phase Teams to plan themed work;
- Year 1 and Year 2
- Year 3 and Year 4
- Year 5 and Year 6
Themes are planned on a two yearly cycle with each theme covering 2 terms; this means children work on 3 different themed topics over the course of each academic year.
|2016-17||Autumn Theme||Spring Theme||Summer Theme|
|Years 1 & 2||Treasure or Trash||GREAT Britain||Moon Forest|
|Years 3 & 4||Circle of Life||Walk Like an Egyptian||Let There Be Light!
|Years 5 & 6||Who Am I?||To Infinity and Beyond!||Under The Canopy|
|2017-18||Autumn Theme||Spring Theme||Summer Theme|
|Years 1 & 2||All Creatures Great and Small||Creative Geniuses: Bristol and Beyond||A Moment in Time|
|Years 3 & 4||Look at Us Now||Invaders and Settlers||Wonderful Water|
|Years 5 & 6||Creative Genius||Thrills and Spills||The Great War|
Each theme has a quality text at its core; this is usually a book but can be a short film or film clip. Phase teams start the planning process by looking at what learning opportunities can be found within the book; linking with the national curriculum objectives that need to be covered during the term across every subject area. Time is spent ensuring that writing opportunities are identified across the curriculum, making clear which genres will be the focus for literacy teaching and which genres lend themselves to writing opportunities outside of the daily literacy lesson. Links are also identified for other subjects, including looking for opportunities to offer children real life contexts for applying mathematical knowledge and skills.
Children are invited to contribute to planning what they will learn. At the start of a theme, they are asked to think about what they would like to find out about and to generate questions around the theme title.
Each theme works towards an end product; this may be a musical performance to parents, an open afternoon for sharing work or an event linked specifically to the theme, for example, at the end of a theme entitled ‘The Great War’, year 5 and 6 children cooked ‘trench stew’ and ‘biscuit pudding’, inviting their parents to sample the WW1 food and listen to a performance of WW1 songs.
By working in Phase Teams, there are many opportunities for cross phase learning. Educational visits often include more than one year group as do end of theme celebrations. Within themes, teachers work together to plan ‘wow’ days and experiences where children learn with children from other classes and year groups; for example, Year 1 and 2 children took part in a whole day of creative activities on ‘Chinese New Year’; working in mixed aged groups and moving between teachers and classrooms.
How can I find out more about what my child is learning?
Each teacher produces a ‘Curriculum Newsletter’ which is published on their class page of our school website. This newsletter gives detailed information about the theme being covered and the kind of learning opportunities the children will have. Class pages also include photographs of the work children have produced and special events that have taken place.
Learning to Learn Strategies
One of the keys to children succeeding at school is for them to understand how they learn; if a child can explain the different skills he or she is using, this enhances awareness of what helps a child to learn. We believe strongly in encouraging children to explain the why, how and what of learning and we use a number of strategies to enhance this.
ELLI (Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory)
We have invested in training and resources to support approaches which make learners think about learning more explicitly in the classroom. . This is usually through teaching pupils strategies to plan, monitor and evaluate their own learning. It is usually more effective in small groups so learners can support each other and make their thinking explicit through discussion. Overall these strategies involve being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses as a learner, being able to set and monitor goals and having strategies to choose from or switch to during learning activities.
Being able to plan and manage you own time in a task and keep yourself motivated are examples of self-regulation and meta-cognition. Teachers and learners use The Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI). Learning dimensions (powers) are introduced to the children through a series of ELLI characters. This starts in Reception and continues through the school.
|Changing and learning||Chameleon||A sense of myself as someone who learns and changes over time.|
|Critical curiosity||Cat||An orientation to want to ‘get beneath the surface’.|
|Making meaning||Spider||Making connections and seeing that learning ‘matters to me’.|
|Creativity||Unicorn||Risk-taking, playfulness, imagination and intuition.|
|Interdependence||Bees||Learning with and from others and also able to manage without them.|
|Strategic awareness||Owl||Being aware of my thoughts, feelings and actions as a learner, and able to use that awareness to manage learning processes.|
|Resilience||Tortoise||The readiness to persevere in the development of my own learning power.|
Become a Better Learner – Find Out More
Bloom’s Taxonomy and Philosophy for Children
We encourage children to raise questions as an integral part of their learning; children are trained in the use of questioning through the use of “question stems” which are used as appropriate to the task set and discussions are based around the principles of “Philosophy for Children” (P4C) which can be flexibly used in many tasks.
You can find a list of question stems and their categories below:
• What happened after . . .?
• How many . . .?
• Who was it that . . .?
• Can you name the . . .?
• Described what happened at . . .?
• Who spoke to . . .?
• Can you tell why . . .?
• Find the meaning of . . .?
• What is . . .?
• Which is true or false . . .?
• Can you write in your own words . . .?
• Can you write a brief outline . . .?
• What do you think might happen next . . .?
• Who do you think . . .?
• What was the main idea . . .?
• Who was the key character . . .?
• Can you distinguish between . . .?
• What differences exist between . . .?
• Can you provide an example of what you mean . . .?
• Can you provide a defi nition for . . .?
• Do you know another instance where . . .?
• Could this have happened in . . .?
• Can you group by characteristics such as . . .?
• What factors would you change if . . .?
• Can you apply the method used to some experience of your own . . .?
• What questions would you ask of . . .?
• From the information given, can you develop a set of instructions about . . .?
• Would this information be useful if you had a . . .?
• Which events could have happened . . .?
• If . . . happened, what might the ending have been?
• How was this similar to . . .?
• What was the underlying theme of . . .?
• What do you see as other possible outcomes?
• Why did . . . changes occur?
• Can you compare your . . . with that presented in . . .?
• Can you explain what must have happened when . . .?
• How is . . . similar to . . .?
• What are some of the problems of . . .?
• Can you distinguish between . . .?
• What were some of the motives behind . . .?
• What was the turning point in the game . . .?
• What was the problem with . . .?
• Can you design a . . . to . . .?
• Why not compose a song about . . .?
• Can you see a possible solution to . . .?
• If you had access to all resources how would you deal with . . .?
• Why don’t you devise your own way to deal with . . .?
• What would happen if . . .?
• How many ways can you . . .?
• Can you create new and unusual uses for . . .?
• Can you write a new recipe for a tasty dish?
• Can you develop a proposal which would . . .?
• Is there a better solution to . . .?
• Judge the value of . . .?
• Can you defend your position about . . .?
• Do you think . . . is a good or a bad thing?
• How would you have handled . . .?
• What changes to . . . would you recommend?
• Are you a . . . person?
• How would you feel if . . .?
• How effective are . . .?
• What do you think about . . .?
Philosophy for Children – principles:
Here are some of the principles that underlie philosophy for children to help children and young people become for thoughtful, curious and reasonable.
- Good thinking is learned from dialogue with others.
- Children need to take part in dialogues that provide examples and models of good thinking .
- The wellspring of knowledge and intellectual excitement is questioning.
- Claims should be tested in argument. Argument is seen not as a quarrel but as a collaborative search for the best answer to a question.
- To think well is to be creative as well as critical. Creative thinkers make connections, speculate and explore alternatives.
- Good thinking depends on attitudes as well as abilities. Children should be encouraged to be reasonable in the fullest sense of the word.
- People make sense of the the world though a web of concepts. We should talk with children about significant concepts.
- It is good for children and adults to talk together about philosophical questions — questions that matter and that link thinking about one area of experience to thinking about experience as a whole.