Understanding the World Faculty
This forms part of our creative and imaginative learning projects within EYFS and Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 within Rowan Park and The Rowan Tree. These provide a rich menu of exciting learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of learning. This holistic approach to learning allows for pupils’ meaningful connection between their learning. The subjects covered within these Learning Projects are History and Geography, The Arts, Music, science, RE and computing.
For our Theme learning projects we use the Cornerstones Curriculum which has been adapted to the needs of our children. The Cornerstones Curriculum is a coherent, skills and knowledge-based curriculum with a creative edge. It’s rooted in a proven pedagogy based on how children learn best. At its heart is the principle that every child deserves a rich, fun, engaging and broad learning experience. The curriculum nurtures engagement, curiosity and innovation, brings learning to life in meaningful ways, and really makes an impact. It encompasses all areas of learning and allows children to make connections through a topic-based approach. A spiral plan is in place, which supports a balance of stimulating contexts for learning through different experiences, themes and subjects that are continually revisited to reinforce learning.
We encourage all of our students to show that they can engage through the exploration of a chosen stimulus, giving them the skills needed to arrive at realisation, as well as to show their ability to anticipate what might happen next in any given situation. We enable them to be persistent in their approach to learning whilst also developing the skills they need in order to initiate their own learning experiences.
The planning is made up of four stages as follows –
Engage: hook children in with a memorable first-hand experience that creates an exciting introduction to the topic or theme. For our pre and semi-formal learners this could be a sensory activity and engagement within their new topic. For our formal learners this is enables then to begin researching and setting enquiry question about what they would like to know by the end of the topic.
Develop: allow children time to gather the skills and knowledge they need to develop a deep understanding as well as opportunities to consolidate and practice new skills and knowledge.
Innovate: offer creative experiences that allow children to apply their skills, knowledge and understanding.
Express: provide the space and time for reflecting, evaluating, and celebrating learning.
Each theme is connected and sequenced through the key stages and cycles. Each year has three or six themes that they use to map out their curriculum provision across the year. These themes are based on big ideas that connect subjects and link learning; developing understanding and allowing pupils to revisit knowledge in different contexts over time thereby deepening understanding. Using Cornerstones Maestro as a starting point, teachers and subject leaders are able to adapt and recreate curriculum projects to best meet the needs of our pupils and our changing world. Lessons within each subject are planned with purpose and rigour; providing a platform to recall and build on previous learning. Appropriate challenge develops the independence needed to make and learn from mistakes, building emotional and intellectual resilience.
Pre and Semi formal learners develop their transferable and connected concepts and skills throughout these lessons, giving them the opportunities to consolidate and transfer skills to enable pupils to master skill and concepts. Pupils are given a rich and wide variety of learning opportunities to enable learning to enter their long-term memories.
At Rowan High and within the Formal learners at Rowan Park, Understanding the World is taught as discrete subjects – History, Geography, Science, RE and Computing. Each subject has a long-term plan based upon the National Curriculum that is broken down into half termly topics, ensuring a full coverage of subject content and knowledge. This ensures pupils are equipped with the skills and knowledge for their accreditation pathway (Entry Level, Functional Skills and GCSE).
Celebration days and Collective Worship:
At Rowan, celebrating events and festivals in our schools is an integral part of learning and enables our students to build strong cultural beliefs. It encourages our students to embrace and celebrate other traditions and cultures as well as making them more aware of the world around them. Subject leaders are encouraged to plan and deliver specific days relating to their subjects and termly topics that provide enjoyment and education for all as well as bringing the whole school together. Collective Worship is an integral part of our school and is delivered through Key School Assemblies and time spent within Hello and Plenary sessions.