As a school we maintain that literacy and numeracy need to be core areas of learning. However we have adopted the ‘child led’ parts of the government’s Foundation phase that compliment the curriculum. So for example at the start of each half term or term period the children are asked to choose which topics they are interested in learning about. Once a topic has been selected they then have to discuss what they want to know about this topic, the curriculum is then devised around this and activities, project work and trips planned to support it. The idea behind this child led activity is to develop enquiring minds and problem solving skills.
In the Summer term 2010 for example Year 1 decided to study castles. So using this topic as the basis the skilled teaching staff built a curriculum to include:- the history of castles; where they are geographically; how people lived in them; what they were for; how they were built etc. As part of the development of the theme, the children used a role play room to re enact a prince and princess banquet, visit the beach to build sand castles and visited Caernarfon castle to discover the history and living conditions.
Previous topics include toys, which was enhanced by the visit to a toy museum, the building and running of a toy shop and the making of a puppet theatre where shows were then held. Another topic which covered animals and plants included a trip to the RSPB and bug hunts and botanic searches in the school grounds.