As well as our daily maths, English and Reading sessions, we also learn through a theme-based curriculum using the ‘Cornerstone’ approach. This centres on the belief that children learn better when their interests and fascinations are allowed to flourish.
What we’re learning
In the first half term of the academic year, we study the topic ‘A Child’s War’. It’s 1939 and Britain is at war. We explore the impact of WW2 on children in Britain – through air raids, shelters, food rations and blackouts. We take a look at why child evacuees made long journeys from their homes and families into unknown territory. We dress up as evacuees and interview relatives and visitors about their experiences. We read extracts from the diary of Anne Frank, written whilst hiding from the terrifying Storm Troopers in a secret annexe, and try to empathise with her hopes and fears.
Our second topic is called ‘Frozen Kingdom’. We explore the planet’s coldest lands… vast wilds, hostile territories, incredibly beautiful yet often deadly. We begin the topic by comparing the Arctic and Antarctic, and find out about a famous ship struck by a deadly iceberg. We continue the topic with research into Ernest Shackleton and his team of explorers, who set out on an exceptional journey to Antarctica. Along the way, we collect facts and figures of climate, temperature, habitats and eco-systems and compose evocative poems about Arctic phenomenon.
‘Blood Heart’ is our topic this term. We discover about our circulatory systems by dissecting an animal heart; we examine the veins, arteries and chambers up close and find out how they all work hard to move blood around our bodies. We learn about William Harvey and his ground-breaking discoveries. Keeping our hearts healthy is a focus this term…what can we do to protect our hearts? What is the impact of exercise on our heart rate? Finally, we end the topic with a fund-raiser for a heart charity and find out about the work they do to save lives.
Our ‘Revolution’ topic focuses on the Victorian Era – a time when Victoria was Queen and Albert was Prince Consort, and when some people lived in slums while others prospered. Teachers were super-strict and punishments were unquestionably terrible! How will you feel on our trip when faced with Ma’am in the Victorian classroom? Will you be ordered to wear the Back Straightener or will you receive the honour of the Attendance Medal?
We discover a time when great minds thought new thoughts and ingenious inventors created so many things we take for granted today: the electric light bulb, the telephone and even the first flushing toilet!