Champion Learner Challenges
Start with a bang and end with applause!
At Blackhorse, we have structured our curriculum to ensure that children are immersed in a topic and encouraged to study subjects in depth over an extended period of time. Supplementary subjects (ie. subjects other than the core English and Maths - humanities, science, computing, arts etc) are taught in topics to help the children understand them in greater depth and make connections between subjects.
Topics are taught as follows:
- Each topic is taught for about 15 weeks. This allows us to teach them in greater depth and allows connections to be made between subjects. Click here for an example plan.
- Each topic starts 'with a bang'. We understand that to ensure that children learn well, we have to spark their imagination. We therefore start each topic with a trip or workshop which engages the children. We try to make these exciting and relevant visiting sites such as Hampton Court Palace (Tudor Topic), the steam in Swindon for an evacuation day (pictured above), or an open-topped bus tour of Bristol for Year 1's Bristol mapping topic.
- English texts use the topic as a context. In English, children read at least 6 complete novels per year and these are often linked to the overarching topic. For example, Year 6 study Bristol during the Second World War and read 'Goodnight Mr Tom' during this topic which allows the children to empathise with the experiences of evacuees.Click here for a full list of texts.
- Skills and knowledge are explicitly taught. Teachers create Topic Jigsaws which show the children the skills and knowledge which will be taught (click here for an example). These are shared with the children throughout the topic with the children assessing their progress.
- Topics end with a 'Champion Learner Challenge'. We feel that it is extremely important that children understand how to research and synthesize information from a range of sources. For the last 2-3 weeks of a topic, children plan and complete a personal project. For this they are expected to use skills learnt in English, Maths, Computing, humanities and the arts and combine them to demonstrate their understanding of the topic.
- We end with applause. At the end of the topic, parents are invited into school and the children share their 'Champion Learner Challenges', using their oral presentation skills to demonstrate their knowledge (see pictures below).