At St Vincent’s, we deliver aspects of the curriculum using a ‘project based’ approach. Through this, our pupils gain knowledge and skills by investigating, exploring and responding to an engaging real-life problem.
This method of teaching has developed from pedagogy which states that pupils learn best when they experience and solve real-life challenges.
It fosters active and engaged learning where pupils are inspired to gain a deeper understanding of the subjects they’re studying. They are often motivated due to the fact that each project has an end product which is meaningful and purposeful to them. Our aim is to therefore inspire greater levels of commitment and determination in the children.
Our projects often combine different subject areas together. This helps the children to see relevance in their learning and provides opportunities for them to use and apply the knowledge they are gaining in a variety of contexts.
Each project stems from a question or challenge posed to the children. Some projects may be long-term, others much shorter.
To see what projects our children are working on, please take a look below:
Project 1 – What is Happy?
Reception’s project this half term is ‘Happiness’ with our driving question being: What is Happy?
The children in reception will start to think about what makes them happy as individuals as well as learners, friends, members of a family and part of a class. We will also look at how our actions impact other people’s happiness and complete friendship interviews to investigate this further.
The children will be identifying the key things which make them happy and coming up with ideas for how they can be happy during their first year at school. Inspired by listening to older children’s first-hand accounts of starting school, the children will create their own video diary on what happiness means to them at the beginning and end of their first half term in reception.
These will be published on Tapestry along with all the different activities the children take part in to find out what happiness really means to them and how they can spread happiness to all around them.
Project 2 – Why are they not freezing?
The children in Reception will be learning about what the weather and conditions are like at the North and South poles. They will get the opportunity to learn about different animals from these areas through a visit to Colchester Zoo and meeting real life penguins.
They will investigate how animals stay warm in colder places through different science experiments and discussions. They will also get to be creative and make their own penguins, winter collages and snowflakes.
They will get to showcase their work at the ‘Tea in the Gallery’ art exhibition and will post their letters to Santa Claus closer to Christmas.
To see our Foundation Stage Project Based Learning Blog, please CLICK HERE.
People Who Help Us
This term the children will embark on our topic ‘People who help Us.’ We will be investigating our driving question ‘Can you identify people in our local community who we can turn to for help?’ The children will be learning about valuable members of the community, e.g. doctors, nurses, postmen and postwomen, dentists, firefighters that we turn to for help with various things.
We will also focus on why people help others and the importance of doing so. Faith will be at the centre of all learning, with Vincentian Values incorporated into the topic. As part of a rights respecting school, children will be educated on the UN Charter for Children’s Rights.
The children will create a class book, which will be a record of everything that they have learnt about and experienced in order to share this journey with the children in Reception. The children will also create individual books where they will focus on specific people in the community that help us, enabling the children to realise the importance of looking after others.
To see our Key Stage 1 Project Based Learning Blog, please CLICK HERE.
How can we show care and compassion during conflict?
LKS2 are utilising the centenary of the end of WW1 to highlight how we can show care and compassion even in the most extreme of conditions. The children will be learning about how the war began and the conditions that the soldiers lived in and their means of communication. This will lead the children into designing their own communication device to share coded messages.
LKS2 pupils will be using Critical Thinking & Problem Solving skills to develop and debate opinions linking to World War 1 perspectives. The final product will be a formal letter to the UN to convince them that we should all be compassionate led individuals.
To see our Lower Key Stage 2 Project Based Learning Blog, please CLICK HERE.
How can we provide clean water for everyone?
The children in Upper Key Stage 2 have the unique opportunity to work as part of the Global Scholars Project. This is a worldwide project whereby the children will be working with schools from other countries on a common project, communicating via the internet and technology.
The children will be looking at the Water Cycle and how it works to recycle water in our world. They will investigate water usage in the local area and across the world in collaboration with the other Global Scholars. They will be exploring the importance of water to the unique culture, commerce and daily lives of their own cities and cities around the world. They will also learn from one another as they investigate environmental issues such as water pollution, the impact of climate change and the challenge of providing equal access to clean, safe drinking water.
The project will culminate in designing and making a water filter which could be used to clean water. They will present these filters to their global peers through film and power point presentations. Parents will be invited to see the project and be treated to a creative representation of their learning about water through the medium of dance! There will also be the opportunity to raise money for water charities through the selling of teas and coffees.