Contexts for Learning

From Year 1 to Year 6 we bring the curriculum to life through our Contexts for Learning.

Contexts for Learning provide the vehicle through which the richness of individual subjects are taught, whilst supporting children to make links and connections across all areas of the curriculum. 

Each National Curriculum subject area has been rigorously planned into the Contexts to ensure the progression and entitlement to learning is provided for all pupils throughout the school. Our Subject Curriculum Plans carefully allocate National Curriculum objectives for each subject into termly contexts for each year group. Each Context for Learning has a broad title and overarching key enquiry question, which act as the starting point for children’s thinking. Whilst high value is placed on each individual subject, the Contexts provide the opportunity for explicit links to be made across the subject areas ensuring an in-depth understanding of the learning. The organisation of the Contexts provides opportunities for children of all levels of experience to access the learning creatively, at an appropriate level and to be successful as learners.


Why Contexts for Learning?

Research shows that children learn more effectively when there are explicit links and connections in their learning. Learning doesn’t happen in isolation, but is built on what we already know, our prior experiences and being motivated to find out more. Children learn most effectively when they can make links in their learning, when they can see the ‘big picture’ and understand things in context. Learning needs to be motivating, exciting, connected and make sense to children. 

Below are a few quotes from research that show the benefits of children learning in a cross-curricular way:

“Content is likely to be retained if it is structured around powerful learning situations that relate to pupils and have meaning in their everyday lives.” 

(Professor Maurice Galton)

“…it is important that children have a rich and exciting experience at primary school, learning a wide range of things in a wide range of different ways.” 

(‘Excellence and Enjoyment’, DfES)

“At all levels and at all times, meaningful learning involves seeking and securing connections. An educator builds this into everyday classroom interactions…creates a connections curriculum where all classroom and online learning has a philosophy of learning behind it and shows explicit connections to real contexts throughout…rote learning does not invite us to understand connections.”

(Alistair Smith, The Brain’s Behind It)

Contexts for Learning Overview

Each of our year groups has a new Context through which to explore the learning, each term. Often, the Contexts are centred on a learning topic from History, Geography or Science.

Click on the links below to find out more information about each Context for Learning.

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6