At Eversholt Lower School we adapted aspects of the Creative Curriculum into thematic learning. We believe that active pupil engagement, thinking and reflection are the key to metacognition, understood to progress pupils’ learning.
Using a creative thinking approach is a widely accepted best practise for the teaching of Gifted and Talented Children. At Eversholt we believe that all our children can benefit from the methods and styles of teaching that stimulate and start the development of these higher order thinking skills, so we apply it to all of our pupils in an individually tailored way. Starting from driver questions, the pupils experience a range of skills which they apply in a meaningful way.
We intend that children will leave us with exceptional standards in Reading, Writing, Numeracy & Science together with emerging skills in creative and critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, research, analysis and communication. We seek to foster self-motivation, excitement and a love of learning which will hopefully stay with them for life. This is key to the aspirations we have for our school, and we have challenged ourselves to become recognised as a Centre of Excellence in the delivery of a Creative Curriculum.
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We started to deliver our “Creative Curriculum” with great success in 2008. We have found since then that the children have become more motivated and really enjoy the role play situations that have ensued.
What we seek to do within the classroom is provide open-ended tasks with a focus on problem solving, discussion, collaboration and imaginative thinking that leads to the following “creative behaviours”:
- questioning and challenging
- envisaging what might be
- exploring ideas, keeping options open
- reflecting critically on ideas, actions and outcomes
- making connections and seeing relationships
The Creative Curriculum takes the National Curriculum content and uses a “thematic” (topic or theme) approach to teach multiple learning objectives across different subject areas. In avoiding narrow subject based lessons, pupils have the opportunity to see linkage between subject areas and learning objectives. We use problem solving and open ended tasks, drama and role play to help children see “the whole picture”. They are helped to recognise relationships and patterns in their learning and they gain a deeper understanding.
We never lose sight of the importance of knowledge and skills. The Higher Order skills have to be built on a solid foundation – pupils are only able to engage creatively and purposefully with the challenges they encounter if they have a solid base of knowledge and skills. For this reason some subjects are taught wholly or in part “standalone”. These are Numeracy, some Literacy (Spellings & Grammar), some Science, RE & PE.
Our programme includes adventure training through a residential trip at the start of year 4, and a 4 day long trip to York in the summer term at the end of Year 4.