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Teaching curriculum in blocks?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by life2teach, May 3, 2018.

  1. life2teach

    life2teach New commenter

    Hi all,

    Just a advice searching.
    Like many others I am struggling to fit in all the curriculum (ks1). For example I have 1hr allocated to science each week but I always run waaay over (teaching, practical, activities, videos, tidying etc).

    I’ve head of teaching in blocks but I am unsure what this is or how to do it.
    My current setup is a class topic (e.g toys), Reading/literacy/maths in the morning and 1hr each afternoon for history, science, ICT etc. Now I’m wondering if it would be more beneficial to teach in blocks? (No stopping/starting, in depth learning...)

    Does anyone have any experience or examples of block teaching?
    How do you track it to make sure you cover everything?

    Thank in advance
  2. cellerdore

    cellerdore Occasional commenter

    We block teach our Topic and science.

    This means that for each term we have a 6-7 week block of Topic (currently history:Vikings) and a 6-7 week block of science (changes of materials and lifecycles). as we only have time for 4hours of these subjects a week, we found that it is much better to block them so we can cover everything and get more in to depth.

    Computing is covered an hour a week (normally moved around a bit depending on subject covered), art is picked up every few weeks for an afternoon and everything else (music, pe languages etc.) is timetabled with specialists.

    Really works for us.
    life2teach and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  3. life2teach

    life2teach New commenter

    Thanks for your reply!
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I've know other schools who 'block; an RE day once a term. We used to do it as a whole school thing and usually invited someone in from outside to talk and then teachers led the day's activities suitable for their own year groups. Or they might even go on a visit., which usually takes more than the 'timetabled lesson.I also used to have one afternoon a week where one half-term it was History and the next Geography, or one half-term Art and the next DT, as the latter in particular often needed extended periods of time to organsize , get out and clear materials.
    life2teach likes this.
  5. life2teach

    life2teach New commenter

    Does anyone have or can point me in the right direction of an example timetable?
    So I can actually see it on paper.

    I’m going to suggest we try it at a staff meeting so any examples would be helpful
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Hoping this will come out but here is one example. Obviously days could be swapped depending on room allocation / to work round any specialist teaching sessions/ lesson lengths of individual subjects

    Weekly Afternoon timetable sessions.

    Mon Science

    Tues History / Geog

    Wed Art / DT

    Thurs Individual sessions French, PE and PHSE / Drama

    Fri Finishing up / picking up any missed lessons / Golden time.

    and Example Year X LTP afternoon sessions

    1 afternoon Science lesson once a week –Sound & Light termly theme

    1 afternoon session term divided into 2 History first half/ Geography second half
    History– King Arthur & ‘The dark Ages’ ½ termly theme / Geography– Map work ½ termly theme

    1 afternoon session divided into Art first half/ DT second half
    Art - - Texture ‘Teddy’ chalk drawing termly theme / DT-Sewing bookmarks ½ termly ’ theme

    1 afternoon a week with individual 30 /45 mins/ hour sessions depending on need and room allocation
    French Pets PSHE Going for Goals PE small apparatus in prep for Sports day

    One afternoon session for picking up any missed lessons / follow up / Golden time etc

    EDIT Apologies for the formatting wouldn't come out in a table.:oops: Hope you can see how it works though.
    life2teach likes this.
  7. life2teach

    life2teach New commenter

    Thanks for taking the time to explain this. I’m beginning to get the idea.
    I think this is something I would like to try.
  8. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    We block. It does really work for us and as a single form entry school, it helps with planning and resourcing.

    I would say that if there are attendance problems at your school it can mean that children lose the whole of a unit of work at times.

    We have 5 x 2 week blocks of Science, 3 x 6 week blocks for Topics, 2 x 1 week blocks for Art (although we do teach Art through topics too) and 6 x 1 week blocks for RE. These are spread through the year. We teach PE, Computing and PSHE on a weekly basis.
    life2teach and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  9. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Reading Piscean's post reminded me that with that particular timetable we had a half-termly 'RE Day' and computing was done in morning sessions.
    life2teach likes this.
  10. life2teach

    life2teach New commenter

    However I’d have to see what next year’s timetable will look like because x2 PE slots, 1hr music and 1 PPA afternoon will be allocated to us.
  11. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Which is why you apply the principle and adapt.
    x2 PE is surely 1 PE and 1Games. One of those may well be in a morning.
    Unless the Music is done by a specialist or done in a specialist room, just because Music is timetabled doesn't mean it has to be Music. You could do 45 mins and with 15 mins from there and 15 mins from elsewhere to make a 30 mins PSHE / RE lesson.
    If you can't get a whole afternoon for Science, try doing for example a practical session one morning- even better if you can plan it to overlap with some 'practical Maths sessions e g measuring / capacity is an obvious example and then do a 'write up our results session' in an afternoon.

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