Study Work engages the children's interest level – taking account of how children enjoy learning. The Curriculum is planned and delivered in discrete subject areas, so that children recognise the separate disciplines, but linked to a holistic theme, usually a class story-book – a literature theme.
We monitor allocated time, progression and continuity for each subject area. A variety of teaching strategies are employed with the emphasis on creativity, in order to foster a sense of awe and wonder and a love of learning. We believe the Study Work approach allows us to concentrate on quality of our teaching, the quality of children's learning and the quality of the finished work.
Teachers make high demands of themselves in planning creative and challenging work. Study Work asks the children to transfer knowledge, skills and concepts from one area of learning and experience to another. Children develop the self-confidence to move from the familiar to the unknown, challenging themselves within a secure and supportive learning environment.
The work is teacher directed but allows for negotiation with individuals. Differentiation is implicit in our teaching approach, usually by teaching input and by learning outcome. A variety of teaching strategies allow the children to experience whole class, group and individual learning with opportunities for collaborative work and peer-tutoring. We encourage the children to become a self resourcing, independent worker who assumes responsibility for their own learning. Older children may be given the opportunity to exercise an element of choice and self-discipline through assignments with a specific time scale. They are accountable to the teacher for managing their own learning. All children are able to discuss and explain their work and the context of their Study Work with their peers, parents, visitors and teachers. Study Work reflects high quality; it inspires a sense of ownership and celebrates the individual's work. It stands as an artefact of quality, which endures the test of time.
Study work is our way of offering a balanced curriculum. It is about broad issues as well as specific activities. It is about creating an enabling classroom ethos. It is about having high expectations of the teacher and of the child.
The 'relevant' curriculum is interpreted as one which makes a valid contribution to the child's life skills - lifelong learning. More importantly, it's the emotional link that children have to their learning. Relevance is also interpreted as that which is appropriate to the child's interest level and takes account of how child learn. This is met through our Study Work approach comprising a holistic, integrated study with a Literature Study at its core.
To cover such a broad curriculum the primary classroom of the new millennium has to be very versatile. Our classrooms all have multi-media computer stations, networked across School with access to e-mail and the internet; all our teaching areas are equipped with large computer touch-screens and interactive presentation systems; white-boards, reading resource areas, practical investigation areas and art areas.
The arrangement of furniture, the tables children work on and drawers within which to store their books and equipment are flexible and change to suit different styles of teaching. The classrooms are organised so that the children can access and return equipment themselves without having to ask the teacher. This encourages self-discipline, independence and responsibility. We are fortunate that we have a clean, light, modern building ideally suited to the delivery of a wide range of traditional and modern subjects using a variety of teaching methods. Children work independently or with others depending upon the task set. They may be taught as a class or grouped within a class. The criteria for this grouping may be any of the following: ability; rate of progress; friendship or age. The work set is differentiated and challenging according to the teacher's expectations of an individual child.