The Implementation of Topic at Bedgrove Junior School
At Bedgrove Junior School we cover the skills and knowledge in the subjects of history, geography, art and DT through our over-arching subject of ‘Topic’.
Through our topic curriculum, we are passionate about pupils having a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. We inspire our children to be curious about the past, gaining a secure knowledge of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, comparing different civilisations and appreciating the diversity of societies as well as understanding their own identity. Pupils gain an understanding of their local area and how that compares across the world, whilst also gaining a secure understanding of key geographical terms and concepts. Art and DT skills are taught explicitly during the final term of each year but understanding and application is weaved throughout the topic curriculum. Knowledge organisers are used successfully to develop key learning across the school.
During each term, over the year, there is a focus on a different curriculum area (history, geography and art and DT), although many skills are revisited in different contexts throughout the year to allow children the opportunity to embed and extend on the skills they have learnt previously or to introduce them to skills and knowledge they will later experience. The autumn term focus is history, the spring term focus is geography and the summer term focus is art and DT. As well as this, English, Maths, Science and ICT skills are interweaved into Topic sessions to allow further opportunity to use skills and knowledge they have learnt in other lessons within a different context and to make deep and meaningful links. Throughout Topic, there is also a strong emphasis on both British values and the school’s values of ‘Inspire, Challenge and Succeed’. All of the lessons across the school are carefully planned to ensure clear progression year on year where children have the opportunity to build on prior learning and develop key skills. Our topic curriculum allows children to develop resilience, collaborative working and to critically reflect on their own learning with a clear focus on children having the required skills and knowledge to go on to successfully access the KS3 curriculum.
At the start of each topic, children will experience a ‘WOW day’, which immerses the children into the new topic for an entire day to both inspire and enthuse them about their new learning. During this time children will also be introduced to a key question relating to their topic. Children will answer this once at the start of their topic, using their prior knowledge, and again at the end using their new found knowledge and skills. During each term, children will have the opportunity to either go on a trip out of school or have a visitor into school to enhance their current learning and enable their learning to ‘come to life’. At the end of the topic we invite relatives and carers to see the learning that has taken place throughout the term for themselves, giving the children the opportunities to experience real outcomes to their work.