At Radcliffe-On-Trent Infant and Nursery School we have used a topic-based approach to the curriculum for many years. This involves linking subject areas through a common topic. It is a way of organising a series of broad and balanced lessons which meets National Curriculum requirements whilst capturing the interests of the children and making the learning relevant.
As a starting point, a topic begins with a special ‘hook’ activity and question which is designed to engage the children and gives them a taste of what the topic is about. Instead of discrete lessons every week, we then combine foundation subjects together under a series of child-led questions which are then investigated over half a term. Through the use of a reading spine of high quality texts we also thread reading, writing and maths tasks through these sessions to ensure that the children have the opportunity to apply the core subject skills they have learnt. At the end of the topic the children are then given the task of demonstrating what they have learnt. They do this by answering the questions they have met through out the topic in the form of a ‘celebration’ activity, which may include a class book, assembly or competition.
The concept for our curriculum is built around the principle of greater learner involvement. It is designed to promote deeper thinking, encourage learners to develop their own curiosity as a starting point for learning and help them consider the active roles they will play in shaping the future.