My colleague and I at Euxton CE Primary have developed a KS1 topic curriculum which we use to teach our Year 1 and Year 2 classes on a two year rolling programme. It has had many incarnations over the past 5 years and is currently being adapted and reviewed on a half termly basis. It fits in with the new National Curriculum but if you do use any of the units on a stand alone basis, you will need to ensure you have covered all of the new requirements. Ofsted liked it, but that’s just an added extra bonus. We like it. It works for us as it is open ended and flexible enough that we can use it as a tool rather than being tied to it, things change in school sometimes and occasional “theme weeks” can impact on it’s use. It isn’t perfect, it isn’t detailed and it isn’t a scheme hoisted upon us without consultation. It is ours and we are sharing it with you in the hope that it can help you with a smidgeon of inspiration if you are creating your own topics.
Here are the units that we have updated in the last 2 academic years. They are open ended and can be used however you wish. Please let us know if you share them in your school or with other teachers, I am @teachAdele on Twitter, Mairi doesn’t tweet or blog…yet! You can find our school’s curriculum maps here (Y1) and here (Y2) which contain all the programmes of study which are covered in the units for the academic year 2014/15.
Autumn 1 – 2014
This unit “Respect” was created by us to be used in the Lancashire Prevent Strategy for Schools. It is available at the web address above to be shared freely.
Autum 2 – 2014
Let’s Play Topic Web revised 2014
Spring 1 – 2015
Extreme Survival Topic Web 2015
Units from academic Year 2013/14
European Adventures_topic_web | On the move topic web 2013 | Blaze_Topic_Web | Castles and Forts topic web 2013 | Animal_World_Topic_Web
Differentiation. Challenge for all. Same thing, different wording. Something I’m trying very hard to consider when planning for Year 1 at the moment. Especially ways to ensure the children are fully challenged when working independently in their continuous provision areas. The children sign a sheet in each area so that I can see that they’ve completed that activity (or wandered past and signed it quickly so they can work outside!!) but I wanted to enable them to challenge themselves.
We had a practical maths twilight a few years ago so I raided the network to remind myself of the good ideas that were shared with us by the Lancashire maths team. Number square jigsaws were one of their suggestions.
Envelopes labelled tricky, trickier and trickiest with a corresponding star rating contained number squares that had been “jigsawed” if that is a word. Each envelope was also labelled with the colour of the number square jigsaw, this was because I am a fan of colour and so that they could put them all back in the right place! I’ve done this sort of activity before but this time I included a “completed” sheet. This showed clearly the hierarchy of challenge and could only be signed by the children if they completed a particular jigsaw. I think this extra sheet gave the activity that extra lift that I have been looking for. The children were determined to challenge themselves and were excited to show me which level of challenge they had aimed for. They even went home and told their parents, I received a tweet saying “J tells me he tried trickiest. Glad he’s aiming high #mathsteachermother”. This child had also helped other children to complete their challenges.
Have you any examples of ways to encourage challenge in your continuous provision areas? Please share them via the comments.