At Smannell and Enham we really believe in the importance of a broad and balanced curriculum. We take every opportunity to ensure that our children have the opportunity to be engaged in their learning, that after all is what excites and motivates them.
All of children have access to a themed approach to learning, typically a theme will last for about half a term. Not all subjects are appropriate to themed learning. High quality maths and English teaching will accompany themed learning for our children as they progress through the school. We know that learning is successful where there is a genuine purpose which is what we aim to foster especially in our writing.
To make sure that we have a broad and balanced curriculum we regularly plan weeks during our school year that build upon this cross curricular approach. These have become known as 'Legacy Weeks'. There are two reasons for this. We wanted to reinforce the identity of our school, after all our motto asks us 'to leave a legacy.' We'd also like our weeks to provide our school and our learners with a legacy, it could be a legacy of learning or a physical legacy.
One of the aims of our Legacy Weeks is to make sure that children have access to high quality stimulating learning activities in a range of subjects that may not be easy to otherwise include. We plan to have three of these across the school year. In 2016-17 we celebrated the life of Roald Dahl in September, our 100th day in school in February and towards the end of the year explored the world of Treasure Island.
Within our Legacy Weeks one area of the curriculum will usually take the lead. In our June 2017 week we used the heritage text 'Treasure Island' by Robert Louis Stevenson as our lead. This enabled us to open up a different world for our learners of all ages and provided a range of English activities. Design Technology also featured with the construction of model rafts and some very 'wormy' ship's biscuits.
Autumn 2017 saw us adopt a title for the first time, 'What a Load of Old Rubbish'. This week had a focus on reducing , reusing and recycling. We worked extensively with Test Valley Borough Council to explore this theme, one legacy was that we became a certified Recycling Star.
Our planned programme for 2018 is very exciting. Our Spring term legacy week will have an 'Eco' theme, if all goes to plan we hope to achieve an award as our legacy. Summer term coincides with the festival season, our planned legacy is to hold our own arts festival. Our Autumn term week is simply titled '1918'. Within this we plan to explore two aspects as we learn about the legacy of the centenary of the end of World War 1 as well as the 100th birthday of suffrage. Our plan is to challenge some stereotypes.
We're so pleased by the impact our Legacy Weeks are having on our learners that we have embarked on a new journey. We've decided to review our current curriculum with the aim of including more of the successes of Legacy Weeks, along with our CIRCUS skills, into our curriculum.
One feature we always seek to include is cross age range working. This may take the form of our houses, (oak, beech, sycamore and lime) working collaboratively, this is an integral part of our CIRCUS skills.
We have also begun to develop the idea of a longitudinal study for our children. The mature trees around our school are helping with this. During the course of a year our learners will decide upon a question and then revisit it at key points during the year.