At Christ the King, Topic consists of six subjects: history, geography, art, design and technology, music and modern foreign languages. These are all taught under an umbrella theme specific to each year group. Within their topic, each year group studies a city in the UK and a country from across the world. Christ the King is unique in teaching these subjects in this way. We recognise the lack of knowledge and experience some children may have of the world as a whole so choosing a particular country and region within the UK creates a child that is more culturally aware and more knowledgeable about the world in which we live.
Our school recognises and values the importance of an ambitious, broad and balanced education. Through topic weeks, followed by a succession of topic lessons, children of all abilities have the opportunities to acquire a range of knowledge and skills and use their creativity and achieve their full potential. The subjects within topic tend to be taught through an inspiring enquiry based question in order to hook the children in. Children then have the opportunities to work individually and within groups to develop both their social and personal skills.
The six subjects within topic are not taught in isolation: wherever appropriate, they are linked to other areas of the curriculum. This gives children opportunities to develop and build on specific skills related to each subject year on year.
A high-quality humanities and arts education intends to engage and inspire children, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to ask questions and investigate whilst creating their own theories, ideas and works of art. Topic at Christ the King is taught in a way that shows children how all six subjects shape and reflect not only the history within the UK but our world’s history too, developing their knowledge of cultural capital.
At Christ the King, our topic curriculum is centred on an overarching topic for each year group linking to history, geography, design and technology, music and modern foreign languages. The topic is designed to be full of meaningful experiences in engaging environments which support the needs of the pupils providing them with quality real life experience to draw upon. They have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and talents through teacher input, research, international days of celebration, educational visitors, exhibitions and school trips which lend themselves to particular skill building.
Topic teaching takes place during alternate half-term, starting with a topic week, followed by a weekly lesson. Teachers use subject specific overviews to map out a curriculum sequence that ensures depth and breadth of each subject that topic consists of. Although under one umbrella, each subject is taught discreetly to ensure coverage of subject specific skills (see subject specific overviews for KS1 and KS2’s topic).
EYFS cover these subjects slightly differently through topics called Knowledge and Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design. Their learning is centred around exploration and structured play. At this age, securing a sound understanding of both their world and the world around them through a child lead curriculum with teacher interventions is key.
Through discussion and feedback, children talk enthusiastically about their topic lessons linking each discrete subject to their overarching country and region. Children across the school articulate well about the benefits of learning the humanities and arts often looking forward to the fluidity that these lessons bring, where they can express their opinion and creativity is welcomed.
Through school trips and educational visitors, children have developed a wider sense of the world around them allowing for a deeper, more meaningful and memorable learning experience. Children’s knowledge is evidenced through individual work books, whole class floor books and end of topic assessment quizzes. Christ the King promotes a strong link between these foundation subjects and core subjects. Children’s writing opportunities have been enhanced as a result of significant experiences gained from studying both the humanities and arts in this way.