At Thames British School our philosophy is to instill a lifelong love of learning through relevance and enjoyment. We maintain that learning should be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone; it should be fun. Through our teaching we aim to equip children with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their lives. We believe that appropriate teaching and learning experiences help children to lead happy and rewarding lives.

Our yearly curriculum ensures coverage of National Curriculum objectives over the course of the Year. These have been aligned to promote an integrated approach with opportunities to include the UN Global Goals.

Medium term maps show which objectives will be met in each subject in each term. To integrate learning they are planned into conceptual topics. Topics are planned according to our Learning Cycle. A key concept of this cycle is questioning. As Albert Einstein once said, “The Important thing is to never stop questioning.” Questioning helps to develop critical thinking skills and motivate students to become more involved in their lessons.

Our Learning Cycle

Activation is a pre-teaching activity designed to stimulate curiosity.

What happened? What did we do? What did we think?

For example, Our Year 2 class was being introduced to the UN Global Goal of ‘No Hunger’. In order to activate their curiosity we chose a day that couldn’t have been better! The day that Mr. Darek, our fantastic chef, was absent from the school. Therefore, our students discussed what to do and they thought about ordering food, calling their parents to bring food and even going to the kitchen to check what was left in the fridge! Luckily, they didn’t remain hungry for long as we went with the option of ordering food.

Categorisation is where children say what they think they already know and sort this into groups.

What do we know? What do we want to check? What do we want to find out?

They then stated to categorise the process of how food goes from the ground onto the table and discussed how they felt if they were to be hungry.

Interrogation is where children pose questions based on the activation activity and previous knowledge that has been shared and categorized.

How will we find out? Where will we look? What will we do?

They were then told about Uganda and the problems that happen their with people going hungry. This led them to generate such questions as ‘Where is Uganda?’, ‘How do we find out where the country is?’ and ‘How can we help them with their problem’?

Investigation is where children plan how they will find the answers to their questions and carry out their research.

What did we find out? How did I check my research?

They used atlases as well as globes in order to find out where Uganda was and they used the Internet to research what food they eat there. They even read a traditional Ugandan recipe (Chicken Luwombo) and decided what healthy food to put into their lunchboxes!

Preparation is where children synthesise their learning and decide how they will present it.

How will I present my work? What will I need? How will I show this?

They are currently at the point where they are preparing a fact-file in order to compile all of the research they have done and then decide upon a way to show it to their peers, teachers and parents.

Celebration is where children share their knowledge.

What did I learn from other people? What did other people learn from me?

Topics culminate in Learning Success days where children get the opportunity to present all of the fabulous work that they have been doing to their parents and prospective parents. How will Year 2 present their work to you? You’ll find out when you come along to our ‘Learning Success Day’