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Why Topic-Based Learning is important in Primary School

At Nord Anglia International School Manila (NAIS Manila), we teach the National Curriculum for England or the UK Curriculum, and have adapted it to better suit our students.  The curriculum is further enhanced with our exclusive Nord Anglia Global Campus platform and our unique collaborations with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), The Julliard School, and UNICEF.

One area that all Primary teachers were keen to carry over from the UK was Topic-Based Learning.

Topic-Based Learning involves combining many curriculum subjects (such as Science, Art, Geography and History) to allow students to explore subject matter at greater depth and to make better connections between different areas of learning. Studying a main ‘topic’ each Half Term (with a longer one at the end of the year) really enables children to develop a better understanding of what they are learning and allows them to have more fun doing it.

Whilst discrete subjects certainly still have their place, every class in Primary learns cross-curricular topics over an extended period of time. This provides a deeper understanding of the content being taught and allows students to transfer what they have learnt from one subject to the next. It is more child-centred, skills-focused and allows for more creativity in the classroom.

Applying skills at NAIS Manila, our experienced and dedicated teachers are highly-trained to teach the UK Curriculum and knowledge in a multidisciplinary way allows for facts to become truly embedded and makes them come alive. 

The charts included at the end of this article show the main topics currently being taught from Years 1-6. They have been selected by class teachers based on UK Curriculum objectives, age-appropriateness, and likely student enjoyment. The arrows show the main focus for each topic, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. For example, the Year 4 Aztec topic will, of course, involve learning a lot of History and Geography, but students will also take part in Aztec Art and Computing lessons.

Likewise, the Year 3 Under the Sea topic will allow students to experience Art, Computing, Music, Science and Geography lessons all based around this theme.

In Year 6, I have deliberately chosen topics that provide a great mix of Geography and History knowledge, but I will also blend these topics into other lessons including English and Maths.  

  • y1 term 2 topic
  • y2 term 2 topic
  • y3 term 2 topic
  • y4 term 2 topic
  • y5 term 2 topic
  • y6 term 2 topic

Our ethos at NAIS Manila is for students to receive meaningful learning that they can apply in a range of contexts. Our excellent curriculum and use of Topic-Based Learning is both exciting for the children and delivers excellent results.

 

Authored by:

jh
Mr. Hickman is also NAIS Manila's
Primary Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator

If you wish to learn more about Topic-Based Learning and our Primary School Curriculum, you may schedule an online meeting with our Admissions Team.

Do click the link below for details of our Virtual Discovery Meeting.

NAIS Manila Virtual Discovery Meeting

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