Why It’s Good To Stray From The Curriculum Sometimes
Most of the time, parents will be glad to see that their children’s school is sticking to the national curriculum. The national curriculum is an outline of what children need to be able to understand and what they should be taught at various stages of their academic life. All state schools and some private schools follow this curriculum, offering each pupil the same learning experience as the others.
It sounds ideal, but there are times when straying slightly – although never entirely – from the national curriculum can be good too. Here are some times when it’s a great plan and why it’s so important to take a break from the curriculum from time to time.
School trips are a perfect example of how to stray slightly from the national curriculum but still manage to teach some of its elements. When booking school trips in the UK, teachers don’t just pick random places they think might be fun; they choose sites that connect with whatever the children have been learning in the classroom.
The setting, however, is what makes these trips so special. The children can cement their classroom learning, but because they are out of the school environment and they are – hopefully – having fun, they won’t even consider that they are learning. They will absorb the relevant information, however. It’s incredible how much information a child can retain when they are doing something out of their regular routine.
Guests At School
Something else that works very well when it comes to straying a little from the national curriculum is to have guests come into school to give talks or entertain the children. Authors, for example, are often invited into schools, and there are travelling groups of actors who put on memorable plays that will teach the children as they entertain them.
The guest, who will, of course, be accompanied by teachers at all times and who will be checked before they are given the go-ahead to attend, will relate to the curriculum in some way, however, once again, it is the novelty of what is happening that will make the day stick out in children’s minds. They will remember it – and the knowledge they gained – for a long time.
Themed days can revolve around any aspect of the curriculum. Take one day and learn as much about one topic as you can. A World War II day, for example, could be an entire day dedicated to having fun but learning at the same time. The children could attend school dressed as evacuees, they could learn to play wartime games, they could cook wartime food, and more. Or the theme could be photosynthesis, or China, or times tables – it could be anything.
The point is, the kids are enjoying themselves, it’s something to look forward to, and it’s additional learning. Although schools can’t put these days on all the time, if they are used sparingly, they are sure to ignite the children’s imagination and genuinely enhance their education.