Our Learning Themes

Overview of our learning themes

The aim of Barnes Primary School is to provide as interesting and enjoyable learning experience for the children. This school is devoted to raising children’s expectations and aspirations.   Our principal objective is for each pupil to develop a deep interest in, and love for, learning.

Year 1 – Homes (Autumn Term)

Year 1 – Kings, Queens and Spies  (Spring Term)

Year 1 – Pirates, Plans and Adventures (Spring Term)

Year 1 – Africa (Summer Term)

Year 2 – Battles, Burns and Bandages (Autumn Term)

Year 2 – Konichiwa, Japan (Spring Term)

Year 2- All Creatures Great and Small (Summer Term)

Year 2 – full overview of learning themes

Year 3 – Richmond Park  (Autumn Term)

Year 3 – Changes in Britain during the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages (Autumn and Spring Terms)

Year 3 – The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain (Spring & Summer Terms)

Year 4 – Conflict (Autumn Term)

Year 4 – Civilisation: Ancient Greece and its legacy (Spring Term)

Year 4 – Change: ourselves and our environment (Summer Term)

Year 5 – Space (Autumn Term)

Year 5 – India (Spring Term)

Year 5 – Journeys & Exploration (Summer Term)

Year 5 -Local History unit (Summer Term)

Year 6 – Dangerous Earth (Autumn Term)

Year 6 – The Ancient Egyptians (Summer Term)

Children’s time in school is precious and there is much to do during the primary years. We believe in children having sufficient time to engage with their learning at a deep, rather than shallow, level. In order for this to occur they require quality time to really engage with their learning over an extended time frame. It is for this reason that we combine learning in four curriculum subjects – art, design technology, geography and history – within a theme based approach. This approach is more likely to result in high quality learning outcomes. In addition, it makes greater sense to the young learner.

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Learning is complex; it is not necessarily linear. It occurs when children are in a learning environment, secure and motivated. Positive learning is often interesting and fun. Knowledge is accumulated, skills become more sophisticated; independence and creativity increase. Children need to develop the skills that enable them to learn to acquire knowledge and understanding. Skills assist learners in becoming more interested, focused and prepared for a challenge. The skills are:

  • application skills
  • motivational skills
  • learning skills.

 Creativity in learning might be defined as ‘originality’, ‘resourcefulness’ and ‘vision’.  Creativity in teaching might be defined similarly, but with the added dimension of ‘facilitation’. Teaching should bear in mind how it facilitates creativity and learning in children. ‘Creativity’ is not the province of particular subjects.  This is the essence of ‘skills-based’ learning. For example, the skill of mixing and selecting colours is universal across drawing an impression of a battle in history, illustrating the petals, stamens and anthers of two flowers to show the similarities and differences or showing how a village might look and creating an imaginary visitor from mars.

 To achieve continuity, skills are taught and applied with increasing complexity. The complexity comes with accumulated teaching and experience of using and applying the skills. Knowledge and understanding are the products of applying skills successfully. In its simplest form knowledge is the commitment to memory of unrelated pieces of information. Knowledge in its more refined form is a product of facts being linked and grouped to become understanding and, although facts are still known, they are understood in context and by comparison. Skills should be taught to and practised by children. Teachers should bear in mind the progression in skills and offer different levels of challenge to children in applying their skills to gain more knowledge and understanding. Skills are equally applicable across the range of factual knowledge and understanding; and, more than one skill can be used to acquire and develop knowledge and understanding.

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Thus, the above approaches to learning and teaching are in line with the government’s agenda in “Every Child Matters” and help to underpin Barnes school’s adage of “maximising learning, love and laughter” through development of seven personal qualities:

  • Integrity – being honest, to oneself and others
  • Self-sufficiency – showing independence in thought and action
  • Creativity – possessing personal vision; being original, resourceful
  • Personal responsibility – taking initiative oneself without having to be told
  • Empathy – understanding others and being able to appreciate how they see things
  • Self-belief – the personal conviction that one can achieve; success is always possible, and usually likely
  • Positivity – being an optimistic learner who continually tries hard and takes a positive approach when problems or difficulties arise

We believe it is really important to help children learn how to learn as: the model that says learn while you’re at school, while you’re young, the skills that you will apply during your lifetime is no longer tenable. The skills that you can learn when you’re at school will not be applicable. They will be obsolete by the time you get into the workplace and need them, except for one skill. The one really competitive skill is the skill of being able to learn. It is the skill of being able not to give the right answer to questions about what you were taught in school, but to make the right response to situations that are outside the scope of what you were taught in school. We need to produce people who know how to act when they’re faced with situations for which they were not specifically prepared.