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Can someone explain creative curriculum to me (in very small words)?

(20 Posts)
JillStill Sat 02-Jul-11 07:34:43

I understand the idea but in reality does it mean that the sort of topics like 'Florence Nightingale', 'Katie ruddy morag' are gone to be replaced by topic work with a 'hint; of geography/history?

Could you give me some REAL examples of topics you have and how you deliver it? I haven't taught for 5 yrs and am returning in September to a whole new (but in a way nothing new, can we all say 'carousel' teaching - wow, I am OLD) world.

I LOVE the sound of it and the flexibility that goes with it but does it mean stuff like Florence (which could be dull but I like that my children know who she was) is gone.

Please explain to a oldie newbie! Thank you smile

Fifis25StottieCakes Sat 02-Jul-11 09:49:07

We have done this and its great.

Year 4 done the Tudors and we built a tudour castle and they went on a trip. They made clothing. We have done various projects via powerpoint which we emailed to the teacher. The kids who didnt have access to a pc were paired up with a local child who did.

They have also designed their own park.

Year 2 done nature. They went to a local nature park, built a den and campfire, made various models and went bug hunting.

The also had eggs and an incubator in the class room. They watched the eggs hatch, they have gone back to where they got the eggs from and two chickens are to be returned to the school. They are doing fund raising to build there own chicken coup in year 3.

Our school was one of the first to do it and are now instructing one of the other local school.

Fifis25StottieCakes Sat 02-Jul-11 09:52:49

Forgot to add, year 2 have made their own little mini nature park with a hut and have been bug hunting in the bushes with them instruments which suck bugs up. They then studied them in the classroom.

mrz Sat 02-Jul-11 10:00:12

The National Curriculum is still the only statutory requirement so basically how you deliver it is up to you (head/school). History and Geography still need the same depth of coverage as they always did but you can pick how you cover them.
Instead of the QCA Katie Morag I took my class to a tidal island where we visited the lighthouse explored the rockpools (variation) created "works of art" using natural materials found on the beach looked at coastal erosion and on the way home did a quick stop to look at the statue of Admiral Collingwood, who took over when Nelson was killed at Trafalgar then back in school we researched Nelson, Collingwood, Trafalgar celebrated Trafalgar Day by planting an oak tree, made our own lighthouse and used wire batteries bulbs and switches to make a circuit to light the lamp ... basically a cross curricular approach.
I'm lucky to work in a school that never bought into QCA units and has always worked this way

purepurple Sat 02-Jul-11 10:04:44

Sounds very exciting and a lot like what we do in the early years. We know where we are taking the children but how we get there is entirely up to us.

Hulababy Sat 02-Jul-11 10:12:16

Topic work smile

Works really well where we are. I work ina Y1 class and we runa creative curriculum to cover all manner of subjects. Some of it is child led and some adult led. We don't cover everything through the topic, but try to do as much as possible.

We are currently doing rainforests. The whole classroom now looks like a rainforest smile We do literacy and numeracy based around it, lots of geograohy, a bit of history but we have covered hstory in other topics so not a focus this time. Science fits in, as does lots of phse, craft stuff and the arts curriculum stuff. We have zoolab bringing in anumals and we are visiting the local botanical gardens. We had fruit tasting and smoothie maing last week, using tropical fruits, etc.

Elibean Sat 02-Jul-11 10:35:02

Our school has always worked this way, though there is also single topic work (numeracy/literacy) that goes on. We still have Florence, but we have all sorts of exciting stuff around Florence - and dd absolutely loved that one!

I think you will enjoy it - possibly more work initially, as you have to use your own creativity I imagine, but so much fun smile

Fifis25StottieCakes Sat 02-Jul-11 11:36:32

Our school have always done creative activities but they have been taken to whole new level. The kids get more out of it. My dd was obsessed with the Tudors. They even wrote a letter to David Cameron about it being taken out the curriculum.

I enjoyed the topics as well and was more involved than usual homework. The class assembly was brilliant and is being shown at other schools.

blackeyedsusan Sat 02-Jul-11 13:58:14

jillstill, how long have you been teaching?

just read the first post and that reminded me of what we used to do pre literacy and numeracy hours. think i missed the quca units altogether (thank God)

AdelaofBlois Sat 02-Jul-11 14:37:09

Basically, negotiate a topic (this year I was given 'knights and castles', 'space' and 'Britain') and then structure learning around it. I really like it, especially at the start of each term when my class come in to a slightly revamped classroom and discuss how to theme it further (new names for groups, words and pictures for phonics cards, target boards and peg names etc.) and the sense they get of owning their classroom as a result. And it does all feed together really well, a lot of work but a joy to teach.

My comments on the difficulties, also having returned to teaching, would be that resourcing can be a problem (especially if not all colleagues have good general knowledge), that topics can become fuzzy as other weeks and events impinge (OK for a medieval Christmas but less good for a Space 'world awareness week' ), that the pace can be odd (I often think a half rather than a full term would be better), and that I have increasingly serious doubts about using historical periods given the chronological simplifications that occur (so I would prefer to, say, theme 'toys' and look at how roman, medieval, tudor and victorian children played than 'knights and castles' and look at medieval games).

But it is a lot of fun, especially if you can find realistic ways of involving your class in the planning.

shellye Sat 02-Jul-11 14:57:23

I vote the next topic should be how to clone mrz and make sure every school has one!

Bronte Sat 02-Jul-11 15:38:30

sorry to butt in on this thread..but I need mrz to read a PM from me!
The creative curriculum sounds great..reminds me of happy days in the 80's teaching amazing topics and creating wonderful cross curricular displays.
I'd like to try this in september with my year1 class.

JillStill Sat 02-Jul-11 19:05:27

Thank you so much you lovely lot! I'm glad to hear some of the more 'traditional' elements like the sainted Florence haven't been lost altogether. I do love the creativity side of it.

DanFmDorking Sat 02-Jul-11 23:58:30

The Creative Partnership team have been involved in my local school to great effect.

mrz Sun 03-Jul-11 07:52:38

I would say that there are many different interpretations of what exactly a Creative Curriculum is so it may be worth finding out what your school's definition is

clam Sun 03-Jul-11 09:19:14

Absolutely, mrz. And if you hear the letters IPC, run for the hills.

mrz Sun 03-Jul-11 10:03:25

I have to say we looked at IPC and a munber of other models (the creative learning journey Creative themes for learning ...and others) and thought that some (IPC being one) limited creativity rather than encourage it.

mrz Sun 03-Jul-11 10:08:21

AdelaofBlois some of our topics are very short - I'm finishing off the year with 4 weeks using Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief (with an Ancient Greek gods and monster theme attached) before that we had 3 weeks with a Pirate theme linked to a theatre group performance of the Night Pirates.

AdelaofBlois Sun 03-Jul-11 16:01:23

Mrz. We alas are stuck with term-long themes as school policy-to ensure all classes 'do' the same number of topics in a year (otherwise there was a great deal of complaint about some classes doing more).

mrz Sun 03-Jul-11 16:48:20

It sort of goes against the concept of creativity if it is in a straight jacket doesn't it? sad

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