At St Vincent’s we deliver a rich, varied and meaningful curriculum to the children which fully complies with the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. We have chosen to follow a “Project Based Learning” approach which enables us to foster meaningful connections in the children’s learning journey towards an ultimate goal. This approach differs from topic based learning or other styles of creative curriculum.
Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge. PBL requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication. To answer a Driving Question and create high-quality work, students need to do much more than remember information. They need to use higher-order thinking skills and learn to work as a team (PBLworks.org). This PBL approach incorporates and fits well with the Utopia framework when planning each new termly project with our phases.
LKS2 (7-9 years old) Project – Autumn Term 2021: What do we need to grow?
Through the Vincentian Value of believing in practical hands on hard work and learning from our mistakes, we will look at the role of the author Roald Dahl with a particular focus on the book, ‘James and the Giant Peach’. The children will be investigating resilience and what it means to grow as a person, physically and mentally. We will also explore what living things need to grow and how we have grown as a community. We will research and compare British settlements to see how children’s rights have developed over time, how communities have developed and what it takes to progress as a society. The children will grow their own vegetables and evaluate what their vegetables need to grow and reflect this knowledge in their own lives and that mistakes and hard work are part of our journey. As part of the UTOPIA Erasmus+ project, linked to their cross curricular and outdoor learning, the children will develop skills for 21st Century life to enable them to build a better future for themselves embedding their learning, morals and curiosity into their lives (both personally and virtually) as well as being taken into their community. Roald Dahl’s life will also help the children’s understanding of growing as a person and they will identify how his life impacted his growth and success. We will also investigate living things and we will discuss their living conditions and evaluate what they need to grow. James from James and the Giant Peach embarks on a journey to New York so the children will develop map skills and knowledge of other countries. This will also get them to explore the difficulties James finds on his journey and what resilience and skills we need on the journeys we take in life. As part of this project, we will also explore the UN Convention on the rights of the child and analyse the importance of these for us today. The children will empathise with James by trying to see things from his perspective and link them to the UN rights of the child. At the end of this project, the children will showcase a song and dance online/in person that tells a story of struggles but how we can overcome things individually and together.