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Anyone do a creative thematic based curriculum in year 6?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by piglet33, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. piglet33

    piglet33 New commenter

    We are due to start a new style of curriculum this term which is more creative and based on a thematic rather than content based approach. We have had a number of meetings with a creative facilitator (I hate that word!!!) who wants us to bring every subject into our theme and if it doesnt fit we just leave it out! We have planned a three week project with encompasses most of the foundation subjects but very little literacy, numeracy and science. When I pointed this out her response was that if the children are not motivated to learn and don't know how to learn the content is irrelevant. We are touching on some objectives from the literacy and numeracy curriculum but certainly no where near as much as I would expect to do in three weeks.

    I am in a bit of a dilemma with this project. On one hand I like the creative approach and think that its a great way for children to learn. On the other hand I don't feel it allows us the concentrated amount of time we would spend on the core subjects and I am concerned that our already low ability cohort are not going to be prepared for their SATS. I have expressed these concerns to the head and she just says it will be fine but to be honest I don't think she cares as she retires at Easter!

    I would like to do a mixed timetable, as much as we can based around a thematic approach and then the rest as separate lessons but the person we are working with says that to do that won't bring any benefit either way which surely is a bit narrow-minded.

    Does anyone have any experience of this and could give me their opinions and experience? I would be very greatful!
     
  2. piglet33

    piglet33 New commenter

    We are due to start a new style of curriculum this term which is more creative and based on a thematic rather than content based approach. We have had a number of meetings with a creative facilitator (I hate that word!!!) who wants us to bring every subject into our theme and if it doesnt fit we just leave it out! We have planned a three week project with encompasses most of the foundation subjects but very little literacy, numeracy and science. When I pointed this out her response was that if the children are not motivated to learn and don't know how to learn the content is irrelevant. We are touching on some objectives from the literacy and numeracy curriculum but certainly no where near as much as I would expect to do in three weeks.

    I am in a bit of a dilemma with this project. On one hand I like the creative approach and think that its a great way for children to learn. On the other hand I don't feel it allows us the concentrated amount of time we would spend on the core subjects and I am concerned that our already low ability cohort are not going to be prepared for their SATS. I have expressed these concerns to the head and she just says it will be fine but to be honest I don't think she cares as she retires at Easter!

    I would like to do a mixed timetable, as much as we can based around a thematic approach and then the rest as separate lessons but the person we are working with says that to do that won't bring any benefit either way which surely is a bit narrow-minded.

    Does anyone have any experience of this and could give me their opinions and experience? I would be very greatful!
     
  3. Hi,

    I teach year 6 and have recently moved from a school where we did a creative curriculum approach, in my new school I'm the only year 6 teacher so it is slightly easier.

    Bascially I do what you suggested,numeracy is taught as a separate subject - unless it fits in (data handling in science). Literacy is included where it links or I do separate lessons based on the primary framework.

    I have decided for these 3 half terms to do science based units, for example my new unit is called 'Ready, Steady Cook. We will revise all the AT3 science related to cooking, makes it fun, exciting and more meaningful. You can be created with how to do it, I have got all the national curriculum areas covered. Formal Writing is linked as part of writing up scientific investigations, persuasive is linked by advertising their food and instruction writing. These particular literacy subjects will be done in what i call unit time.

    We are also looking at argument and stories with flashbacks for the next six weeks. So actually covering more literacy than we would normally!

    Hope it helps!

    Amy
     
  4. That sounds like the worst variety of old-fashioned topic based teaching! We also worked with a trainer on the initial stages of our creative curriculum, but she was very clear that you start from the objectives you need to develop and work upwards to create a topic, rather than starting from a topic and working downwards to create objectives which might not be relevant to the children.

    We have based almost all of our topic blocks across KS2 on the Literacy blocks. For example, taking the "Germs & Micro-organisms" QCA Science objectives, PNS biography, History Britain Since 1948, & DT baking bread, we did a 3 week unit on bread (we developed the History around the Hovis ad, and wrote biographies of Pasteur).

    We haven't linked Maths, PE & Seal at all. PE didn't fit, SEAL was already working well, and in Maths the progression is far more important than the context ... ie I know what the children need to learn urgently (multiplying with decimals, equivalent fractions) and if I don't do that because of my "theme", then I'd be letting them down.
     
  5. piglet33

    piglet33 New commenter

    Wow Amy your Ready, Steady Cook unit sounds fantastic. Does this just include science or do you bring in other things as well? This sounds really interesting and I would love to know more!




     
  6. We are currently in our second year of our creative curriculum and I have been in year 6 for a number of years. I love it but . . . to ensure that the children cover national curriculum we are having to deliver the science that has not been covered due to the changes in the curriculum. Currently our science is a stand alone. Maths is isolated unless there are areas that do fit - (we/ve just purchased Abacusevolve) Our first half term is Newspapers - covering a real range including putting together a year 6 newspaper aswell as looking at news around the world and usinf the children's newpaper. Second half term is Shakesperian England. Currently we are looking as conflicts - focussing mainly on WW II. After February half term our curriculum. ashamedly takes on a revision focus and the afternoons are focussed on topic - structures. Our English is done through our topic.



    Hope this helps I really do enjoy it as there is a purpose to our work - there aren't any real one-off sessions. We don't have exercise books though - only for maths - we purchased files that are the same size as standard exercise books.
     
  7. In my school we use a creative curriculum but have found that the children find the transition to secondary education smoother if the curriculum is more subject based in year 6; due to the nature of secondary curriculum. After trying both creative and subject based approach to the year 6 curriculum we have found that a subject based method is much more effective for the children learning
     

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