This year at Holy Spirit we have been developing our thematic approach to learning. We have used skills and pupil enquiry as a model for planning and linking core and foundation subjects. We have carefully considered the subject matter and lesson plans that we developed and kept all those aspects that inspired the children and led to superb learning experiences.
We have also added some new topics in order to meet the requirements of the New National Curriculum. Brand new topics for this year include in Year 2 What was it like when the Queen came to the throne in 1953? in Year 3 Do you think that Sir Titus Salt was a hero or a villain? in Year 5 I'm a Year 5 pupil get me out of here? Look at our topic map and year group curriculum pages for further information on these topics.
At Holy Spirit, across Years 3 to 6, we have introduced the Maths – No Problem! programme. It is a highly structured approach to teaching maths and deepens the understanding of all children. Each lesson is based around an ‘anchor task’ which the children explore using different methods. The children are encouraged to talk about their maths and explore their ideas fully, then work independently using the workbooks.
Maths — No Problem! is a series of textbooks and workbooks written to meet the requirements of the 2014 English National Curriculum. The Maths — No Problem! Primary Series was assessed by the DfE’s expert panel, which judged that it alone met the core criteria for a high-quality textbook to support teaching for mastery maths.
Teaching maths for mastery is a transformational approach to maths teaching which stems from high performing Asian nations such as Singapore. When taught to master maths, children develop their mathematical fluency without resorting to rote learning and are able to solve non-routine maths problems without having to memorise procedures.
We are very excited to be part of this mathematical journey and from September 2018 Year 1 and Year 2 will also be taught using this scheme.
The Maths No Problem! approach may be very different to the way in which you were taught yourself. To help you support your child at home, please click on the ‘Parent Videos’ below, which will give you an insight into some of the mathematical approaches.
Examples of our creative thematic approach:
Children really learn from topic and themes by living and experiencing the learning. This can be done through what we call 'wow' moments to generate interest and curiosity in the subject.
Having theme dress up days in class, receiving and talking to knowledgeable visitors or visiting places of interest really add to the learning.
Here are a couple of good recent examples of making our curriculum broad, balanced, vibrant and fun.
Creative Curriculum! take a look at these fantastic models!
Year 2 children have worked on their Kings and Queens, Knights and castles theme and the children produced some superb castles with help from family at home.
Year 3 children really enjoyed their work on Volcanoes and created some super erupting volcanoes complete with lava!
Both are great examples of using fun and creative learning opportunities to really enhance the children's learning.
Journey by Aaron Becker
The whole school took part in an English based theme week in September using Aaron Becker's Journey picture book. Take a look at some of the photos linked to the Journey theme.
What does your child learn at school each day? Find information about our curriculum subjects here.
You will find more details on topics for each half term on class pages.
Year 4 Summer term topic was 'What is so special about the River Mersey?'
In the morning they went on the Ferry across the Meresy and could identify the two Cathedrals, the Radio City Tower and the Three Graces. In the afternoon they visited the Liverpool Museum and learnt all about the Liverpool docks.
Year 5 Space topic - launch using 'The Space Dome' with Astro-physicist Graham Perrin. The children got a real buzz from learning all about the stars and planets. Did you know that the planet Neptune is made of such cold gas that its' actually quite think - so that a space probe can be sent through it though its like travelling through custard!
Creative whole school topics:
Each term we have worked on a creative whole school topic. This has often been linked to a shared story with the whole school sharing it and working on it together - often with two classes, one younger, one older doing shared activities.
Recent examples include: (1) Whole school topic on 'Stickman' by Julia Donaldson (2) This Moose Belongs to Me' by Oliver Jeffers (3) 60 years and 7 decades at Holy Spirit (4) Tuesday (the story of the flying frogs) by David Wiesner.
Whole school creative topics creative a real 'learning trap' with pupils very excited about their learning experiences whilst a real love of learning and familiarity with quality texts is developed.