We have been using the Creative Learning Journey (http://www.creativelearningjourney.co.uk/) approach to teaching and learning for several years.
The structure of the CLJ is simple.
- We decide on a theme which usually lasts half a term but will sometimes extend over a whole term.
- We group National Curriculum subjects together under the different headings of the early years foundation stage curriculum (which are Communication and Language; Literacy; Mathematics and Computing; Understanding of the world; Personal Social and Emotional Development; Physical Development; and Expressive Arts and Design). For example the subjects contained within Understanding of the world are Geopraphy, History and Science. Children learn best when we can link their experiences and give them a meaningful context.
- Although we link subjects together we also ensure that all children reach high standards and make excellent progress in individual subjects. This is achieved by teachers planning lessons, activities and learning experiences carefully using the national curriculum expectations in each subject and children developing their skills and knowledge as a result.
- There will be some aspects of statutory National Curriculum requirements that do not necessarily fit with the chosen theme. Where this is the case these requirements will be taught discretely alongside the CLJ theme.
Each unit is begun with what we call a “WOW” factor. This is an exciting experience for the children related to the unit theme that they will not have had before and is designed to engage them.
Although we teach the core subjects of English, Maths and Science separately and distinctly, wherever possible, we give children the opportunity to develop core skills when undertaking CLJ activities (such as cross curricular writing and problem solving opportunities).
How do we decide what the theme of each unit is?
- There are six half terms in the school year and therefore six units that are taught although in some cases units will last a whole term.
- One of the units is whole school where every class has the same theme and is decided collectively by the staff.
- Two of the units are prepared by our teachers based on their interests and particular skills
- One is pre prepared by the publishers of the CLJ
- Most excitingly one is chosen by the children in each class and the teacher then prepares it
- One is either pre prepared, teacher prepared or a children’s choice, will usually be taught towards the end of the school year and is used to “mop up” any skills that the class has yet to master.
Our CLJ yearly plan 2017-18 outlines the titles of each theme. On each class page of the website you can also view in more detail the planning that we do for each unit. In the gallery below you can see a selection of work done by children across the school.
Please click on the links below to view presentations to Governors about changes in the 2014 National Curriculum for Art, DT, Geography, History, Languages, Music and PE and how we have adopted them.
- Music curriculum