At Naunton Park Primary School we follow a broad and balanced curriculum, ensuring that the National Curriculum objectives are covered. To develop the children's zest for learning, we have recently introduced the use of big questions. Each term, each year group identifies a new big question, the solving of which underpins much of that term's learning.
Whilst a curriculum that makes use of big questions ensures that there is progression through the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum, it is, crucially, strongly centred on the characteristics of collaboration, curiosity and development of knowledge and skills. It also has Social, Moral, Spritual and Cultural understanding at its heart. Each question provides a fantastic source of topics to explore and investigations to carry out, allowing subjects to come alive for the children. The aim of a big question is that it is not something that is easily answered and that it provides a reason for children’s learning opportunities and shapes the lessons that are planned across the year group.
Learning is characterised by the following elements:
- The starting point for learning is an age-appropriate Big Question, to promote deep thinking and reflection. Children are encouraged to create their own questions in response to it.
- Children are taught the skills of, and have opportunities to: research evidence to answer questions, explain their findings and formulate arguments and justifications.
- Children are taught the skills of, and have opportunities to collaborate with other children to share ideas and skills, and extend their thinking.
- Children develop the skills of demonstrating or explaining concepts orally, concretely, visually and abstractly.
- Children become adept at applying skills or concepts across different contexts, automatically.
English - Speaking and listening, reading and writing is taught every day in creative ways, often (but, not always) using the Big Question as a stimulus, with opportunities to apply skills across the curriculum in different contexts. Writing remains a key focus at school and will require some discrete teaching. However, the nature of each big question can determine whether it links effectively.
Maths – taught discretely and only linked to work associated with Big Question when relevant.
RE – based on Gloucestershire SACRE.
Big Question themes provide the framework for the teaching of Computing, Science, Art and Design, PSCHE, Design and Technology, Geography, History, Languages, Music and PE. This approach takes account of children' own interests, and children are involved in making choices and generating questions about their own learning.
- Themes address local, British and international issues and topics
- Outdoor and offsite learning is given a high profile, using the local environment as effectively as possible
- All curriculum areas and themes encourage and foster high levels of creativity
- Wide ranging opportunities are given for children to apply their literacy and mathematics skills in meaningful contexts across all curriculum areas.
Below you will find, the parent letters and big question plans for the current term.
To the right, there is more detailed information about each curriculum area.