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.
- We then 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.
- Next we outline which skills we need to teach in each area and these are taken directly from the 2014 National Curriculum
- Then we plan activities that will help children meet those skills and which relate to the theme of the unit.
- 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 are still teaching 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.
- One of the units is whole school where every class has the same theme (in 2014 this was “Carnival”) 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 2016-17 outlines the titles of each theme. In the mid term curricular planning section 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.
NATIONAL CURRICULUM 2014
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.