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Topic success

At our school, we have never stopped organising the curriculum around topics and, because we have always had a flexible approach to the literacy hour and a daily maths lesson, each half-term sees the introduction of a new theme. We don't try to cram all the learning into a topic-based approach. The prescriptive literacy and numeracy content means that some aspects of these run alongside the topics. Only one year group at a time tackles a particular theme.

We look at the curriculum focus for each topic to make sure there is a balance over the six half-terms. There might be an art focus such as "Take one picture" or a health focus such as "chocolate", or something seasonal.

As we have three-form entry, the year-group teams plan together in detail.

If it's a topic we've used previously they can draw on those ideas. Each class teacher will do things in their own way but they are able to share lesson plans, organise resources and arrange visits. The classroom assistants also share ideas and the staff can visit each other's lessons.

At the end of each half-term, the topic is reviewed. Parents receive a newsletter at the beginning of each half-term explaining what topics are being covered. Half-termly plans are displayed outside each classroom and suggestions for helping are posted on the school website: www.

Peter Gordon, headteacher, Hazelwood Infant School, Enfield

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