At the Independent Jewish Day School we believe that children learn best when they are motivated, excited and totally immersed in their learning. We believe that the way to achieve this is through a creative curriculum approach, where the whole curriculum is delivered via a topic. This way we can ensure coverage of objectives from the National Curriculum, whilst ensuring the learning environment is innovative, imaginative and fun.
Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives set out in the Literacy policy also form part of the Creative Curriculum policy aims and objectives.
- To ensure that all objectives set out in the National Curriculum for History, Geography, Science, Art & Design and Design & Technology are covered from Y1 – Y6 each year
- To ensure teachers are tracking and monitoring the coverage of objectives taught in the year
- To teach the objectives through a topic and make links with Literacy and Numeracy where possible
- To help the children present their topic learning in a fun and interesting way in their topic books
- To raise the standard of displays through topic teaching, creating stimulating and interesting learning environments
Teaching and Learning
The timetable used to be split into rigid sessions, outlining when a teacher should teach History, Geography, and Science etc. That is not the case anymore. Now the timetable shows where Literacy, Numeracy and Science should be taught, and every other session is titled as ‘Topic’.
Teachers have the freedom to decide what objectives they will cover in these sessions, and how they will teach them, but must link them to the topic that they have chosen for that term.
Each child will be provided with a topic book for each of their topics. Children will present their learning in these books in a fun and creative way. Some suggestion as to how this learning is presented must be modelled by the teachers to help the children to become independent, resourceful and creative.
KS1: Three topics will be covered in the year – one for each of the three terms. Two of these topics will remain the same from year to year, and one topic will be ‘Children’s Choice’, where the children can choose a topic that interests them.
Six topics will be covered in the year – one for each of the six half terms. 4 of these topics will remain the same from year to year, and two topics will be ‘Children’s Choice’, where the children can choose a topic that interests them.
KS2: Three topics will be covered in the year – one for each of the three terms. Two of these topics will remain the same from year to year, and one topic will be ‘Children’s Choice’, where the children can choose a topic that interests them.
Tracking and Monitoring Objectives
Every class teacher has an IJDS Creative Curriculum folder containing the objectives that have to be covered in the year for History, Geography, Science, Art & Design and Design & Technology.
These tracking sheets are split into terms/half terms. Before teaching a topic, class teachers must tick the objectives they plan to cover for that topic. At the end of the topic, teachers must evaluate and highlight off the objectives they have absolutely managed to cover. If they did not manage to cover an objective, then that objective does not get highlighted and must be covered in the next topic. It is okay for an objective to be covered more than once in the year.
It is the teachers’ responsibility to replenish their IJDS Creative Curriculum folder with new tracking sheets at the end of the school year in preparation for the new school year. The tracking sheets can be located in the staff common area in the Creative Curriculum folder.
It is our aim that after another year of tracking and monitoring the objectives for the topics taught from Y1 – Y6, we can create topic packs e.g. a WWII topic pack which will include all the History, Geography, Science, Art & Design and Design & Technology objectives to be taught (Y6)
Teachers create topic webs for each of their topics, and these webs should be uploaded to the staff common area under the Creative Curriculum folder. They should also be printed off and inserted into their IJDS Creative Curriculum folder.
Teachers also plan by ticking off the objectives they plan to cover before teaching a topic, and are constantly evaluating to inform next steps and progression.
Assessment and Recording
Subject Leaders will inform teachers of how they should be assessing the objectives in each of the subjects.
Links with Literacy
Teachers should make links with Literacy where possible, including completing writing tasks linked to their topic e.g. a diary entry as an evacuee during WWII or an information leaflet on the planets for a space topic.
Topic teaching also provides a context for teaching grammar and punctuation rules e.g. adding subordinate clauses to basic sentences about evacuation in WWII.
This also applies to the teaching of spelling rules, where children could be asked to write sentences using those words, but write sentences about their topic.
These lessons can happen during the Literacy lessons outlined on the timetable, or can be additional to those lessons and happen during Topic sessions.
Links with Numeracy
Teachers should make links with Numeracy where possible e.g. weighing, using scales, the weight of sugar rationed to a person each week during WWII.
These lessons can happen during the Numeracy lessons outlined on the timetable, or can be additional to those lessons and happen during Topic sessions.
Monitoring and Review
Monitoring of subjects is undertaken on a yearly basis according to the School’s Development Plan (SDP). Please refer to the current SDP for the current cycle.
We are aware of the need to regularly review our policies to take account of new initiatives, changes in the curriculum or development in technology.
Rabbi J. Ebrahimoff