Shrewsbury High School’s Creative Curriculum celebrates skills-based teaching rather than content focused delivery.
In an ever-advancing world, employers see creativity as a vital attribute. To be able to think creatively gives employers an indication that the candidate is able to problem solve, will show resilience in the face of set-backs, has the flexibility of mind to think quickly and be innovative.
Therefore, our teaching strategies and curriculum for Years 1 to 4 places the emphasis on ‘learning to learn’ and has creativity at its heart. Our belief is that working creatively from an early age will encourage a love of learning, something that will be a lifelong passion and that will facilitate pupils to acquire tools that enable them to problem solve, to work imaginatively, to collaborate with peers and understand their learning in a context that matters to them.
Each term the pupils take a journey through a topic, this is the backbone to all of their lessons and is the contextualisation of their learning.
An example of a learning journey:
The topic will begin with a wow factor to capture their imagination such as discovering an arrow pinning a DVD to their classroom door. This starting point establishes a culture of curiosity. Who did this? Why? When were they here? What do they want from us? The DVD, when played, will display a message from Robin Hood asking the class to join his team.
And so, the journey begins…
They spend the term researching the skills they need to be Robin Hood’s new recruits and acquiring these skills. Firstly, researching Robin Hood by reading the story and writing a letter to him to ask what skills they need to be one of his new recruits.
The children will then spend time looking at British Woodlands and creating information texts to present their findings. What grows there? What or who lives there? How could you survive living in the woods? How do you identify food, types of trees, animals and insects? When children are engrossed in their topic, passion usually takes over and a heated debate about deforestation is a lively way of connecting the topic to very current world issues.
Scientific enquiry then ensues about rocks and soil. This curriculum cultivates a hands on approach and enables pupils to explore designs they wish to create such as experimenting with bird tables and feeders. Later in the topic their studies will shift to look at the historical period in which Robin Hood is set.
Enquiry is key.
What do the learners really want to know? How was life different then? What was different about the forms of entertainment? They will notice a stark contrast between their forms of entertainment and that found in this historical period which will lead them to read and create ballads, plays and listen to medieval music. Finally, they could try their hand at archery as a celebration of their topic ending and hopefully, gain a certificating welcoming them into Robin Hood’s team.