An investigation into the effectiveness of a thematic integrated curriculum on teaching and learning at Key Stage 2.
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
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This action research attempted to evaluate whether teaching a thematic based integrated curriculum at Key Stage 2 could reduce the perceived overcrowding of the curriculum and allow time for children to think about their learning, so that they could see the relevance of it and to apply it in different contexts. The research also aimed to investigate the children's response to this style of curiculum. The research involved devising a complete new thematic curriculum for Year 6. The research started by canvassing teachers' opinions by the use of questionnaires. During the research period all year 6 children were taught using the new style curriculum and field notes were kept. The research finished with all Year 6 children completing questionnaires and a sample group being interviewed. The contents of paired children's books from two consecutive years were analysed and compared with respect to the quality and quantity of work and skills coverage. The final results indicated a large increase in the quantity of work in the foundation subjects that were measured, with negligible impact on core subjects. The results also showed an increase in the use of skills across subject areas and showed that the children could see connections between subject areas. The children stated a preference for this style of curriculum. The research concludes that the use of a carefully designed thematic curriculum can give teachers greater flexibility in delivering the curriculum; provide time for in depth subject and skills coverage; provide a more interesting learning experience; and enable children to make connections between their learning. The research recognises that the results relate to a single year group of Year 6 children and recommends the further development, use and evaluation of a thematic based integrated curriculum across all Key Stage 2.
MA Education Thesis
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