Our Dazzle Curriculum is unique to our school and puts pupil voice at the centre. Through creative and meaningful activities, pupils experiences a thematic approach to learning that helps them create connections and learn through memorable experiences that cater to all pupils.
Dazzle Days and Weeks are activities the pupils partake in, related to their topic. These days can introduce them to the topic or be experiences in the middle or to end the topic. The first week of every term is a Dazzle Week and one particular day in this week is a Dazzle Day, which is a hook to immerse and engage the pupils in their topic. These days give pupils the experiences related to the topic i.e. having a beach day before the ‘Oh I do like to be beside the seaside’ topic. It ensures that every child has the same experiences and a base knowledge in preparation to complete work or carry out activities on that topic. The activities are engaging, fun and inspiring in order to motivate the pupils for the duration of the topic and used as an introduction to give pupils an insight into what the topic is going to be about.
Dazzle Days fit into the Health and Wellbeing aspect of the curriculum as pupils are partaking in fun, engaging activities. Literacy, Numeracy and DCF skills can be used throughout the activities when taking part in group work etc, but the focus should be inspiring the pupils and providing them with experiences that they will be able to draw on for the rest of the topic or to consolidate prior learning in the topic. The Dazzle Days also allow pupils to take responsibility for their learning environment i.e. by creating displays, resources, role play areas for use during the topic.
By the end of the Dazzle Week, the pupils should have an understanding and some knowledge of their topic and be eager to participate. The pupils should also have created the resources needed to ensure that the learning environment reflects the topic, including all resources to create the role play areas in Foundation Phase and communal areas in Key Stage 2.
Before the topic begins, the pupils may decide on what activities they want to partake in during the Dazzle Days based on the topic titles. The pupils may also choose activities that they want to complete and learn about for the duration of their topic.
We use topics to give pupils rounded life experiences and activities they may not have had the opportunity to experience previously. The topics also link to the Four Purposes of Learning and these are reflected in the mid term planning. The topics also ensure full coverage of the curriculum and to ensure that there is progression and activities are relevant to the age group.
Research carried out by staff in Cwmbach has identified that pupils learn through making connections. Activities and lessons are part of ‘projects’ that are drawn from the topic. Through this approach, a single activity e.g. carrying out a protest, can inspire many skills and experiences that develop multiple disciplines and AoLEs. The projects lead to learning about the wider community and pupils being inquisitive about the wider world linked to the Four Purposes and School Aims.
All topics are set for each year group and topic maps dictate some of the content, ensuring that coverage is present across the school and replication is minimised. However, teachers are encouraged to further develop the topic maps, through Pupil Voice and their own creativity. All books should reflect the topic, which is evident throughout the pupils’ work. The topic should also be present through the learning environment
All topics are paired with Picture Books in Foundation Phase and a Novel in KS2. These texts are used as a stimulus for writing and as a way of creating links and connections between different genres.