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Bottom Up Or Head Down!


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I went on a cluster group inset today - yippee! My cluster is very keen on the 'Learning Journey' approach and had invited some schools from Gloucester to talk about their approach to the creative curriculum.

 

We had to split into key stages and the person who was leading the foundation stage discussion bases her plans on a very tight central theme; the example given was 'Cinderella and her Asian Prince'. From here children focus on Asian food and clothing, writing invitations and so on.

 

Lots of the medium term plans I have seen previously have had a very broad central title e.g. 'Transport' or 'Animals' and then diversify out into different sub-topics e.g. 'Transport' = a week on bicycles, followed by a week on boats.

 

What do you think? Is one better than the other? What are the implications of doing Cinderella for a term if children hate it? Is it best to let young children learn about 1 thing in depth or provide them with a diversity of knowledge and experience?

 

Your wise words and thoughts would be appreciated!

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Hi

We have very broad themes like Toys, Ourselves, etc, but they are extremely flexible, and if children bring in 'something to show', etc we might do sub-topics on that, or they want to find out about something in particular we might arrange visits out and so on. I don't think children should focus for a whole term on Cinderella, I mean Fairy Tales can contribute to any topic can't they, and the multicultural links can be made across the early years curriculum.

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Thanks for replying. I didn't want to say what my thoughts were in my initial post but now that someone else has given their opinion I have to say that I agree with you - I also have very open topics. My justification for this is that within, say, the topic of 'Water' I have so many things that I want the children to learn/experience and that, hopefully, by having lots of different mini-themes, then if I don't 'get' a child with 1 bit of a topic, then I'll get them with another part!

 

I would really love to know what other people think.

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We have broad topics too and it certainly does give lots of flexibility. I guess the only catch might be trying to cover too much exciting stuff and thus not doing justice to it?

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