One of my challenges this year was to answer this question.
Creative curricula are all the new craze in primary schools and that’s a good thing. It looks like we’ve come full circle away from the 80’s subject led curricula and we’re getting all 70’s and topic based again, but hopefully without those tenuous links or cavernous gaps in learning because of teacher’s subject preferences.
However, science is in danger of disappearing behind a mountain of egg boxes and papier-mache if we’re not careful. If science is to maintain its integrity, schools following a creative curriculum must get out their magnifying glasses and look at little closer.
To begin with, they must ensure the National Curriculum Programme of Study for science is covered by the whole school curriculum. The school science leader will need time to do some ticking off and gap checking by comparing these two against each other. (Remember, whatever you think about our NC, which is about the change, you still need a lineage of coverage for your school.)
Alongside this, for every creative topic taught the learning objectives for science must remain explicit. For example, take a topic called ‘Set the Table’. It’s pure genius, the kids are going to love it. The children are going to write menus, persuasive adverts, add up bills, manage a budget and more, more, more.It’s all fantastic! For DT your going to do some cooking too and then you’ll get your science links in too for solids, liquids and gases by doing some cooking (imagine all that boiling, melting and cooling!)
Now all of this is great, but get hold of those level descriptors for Sc2 Materials and their Properties and be clear about the children’s learning outcomes. Make sure the children are clear about what success in achieving these outcomes is too. This is because learning is a process, a journey if you like, a movement from one point to another. So when did you last set out anywhere having no idea where you wanted to go? Unless teaching finally got to you and you walked off out the school gates like a possessed zombie, not recently. So like this, teachers need to make sure they know where all that colourful, creativity will take the children. If you do this, the children will learn science in a meaningful context, but importantly you will know what they have learnt and so will they! Hurrah!