Yvonne McBlain, curriculum support officer with Falkirk Council, enjoyed hearing how Cathy Quinn and staff colleagues at St Bernadette’s RC PS are developing pupil awareness of their learning across the curriculum. Over the last two school sessions, Yvonne has worked with staff to explore whether pupils understand what the curriculum actually is. Read more about the initial enquiry project by clicking here.
Staff have devised learning experiences which develop pupil understanding of the subjects within the curriculum, and piloted these during “Focus Weeks” so that children could :
- consider how the knowledge and skill in one curricular area links with knowledge and skills in other curricular areas; make connections in their learning
- identify their strengths and development needs and know what they should do to improve.
- connect their learning in school to the skills they will need for learning, life and work
All school staff are therefore beginning to build a toolkit and simple processes which should help pupils and staff to track progression of learning across the four capacities and the four contexts for learning. Yvonne and Cathy agreed that other schools will be working towards this also, and would be glad to hear from anyone wishing to collaborate and explore further – email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The photo above shows the characters which John Cloherty, principal teacher, primary 6/7 pupils created. They are: Robbie the responsible citizen, Elizabeth the effective contributor, Sam the successful learner, and Carly the confident individual. John and his class felt that using a storyline approach and having characters would help even the youngest children in their school understand what the 4 capacities actually mean.
Teachers in St Bernadette’s PS are following up on Yvonne’s initial work to build pupil understanding of the curriculum by designing new learning experiences suitable for their pupils in every stage. The photo on the left shows John’s simple but effective method. His pupils have made a simple curriculum subject display on their class room window. They have subdivided each curriculum area into its subjects and its organisers. At relevant points during their learning, they can then look at the display to help them discuss and understand how their learning is connected.