All cross curricular work is underpinned by aspects of the literacy and numeracy strategy. ICT and PHSE are areas that should be viewed as integral parts of any cross curricular topic work. Working in a broad and integrated way through projects that explore themes enables children to develop a deeper understanding of concepts, and this provides opportunities for practical application in other subjects. Children are required to develop research skills through carefully planned and implemented activities where the teacher becomes a learning partner with the child. The child's own questions, ideas and outcomes are valued to enable personalised learning to take place. See learning for the 21st century.

When planning cross curricular work it is important to keep in mind the key skills underpinning the National Curriculum)

  • Communication
  • Application of number
  • Information technology
  • Working with others
  • Improving the child's own learning and performance
  • Problem solving

Questions to consider when planning a cross-curricular project:

  • How does the theme fit in with the school's wider aims?
  • How will it relevant and meaningful?
  • How can we involve the children's decisions?
  • What are the overarching goals for the theme?
  • In what ways do we want the children to be different at the end of the project?
  • What shared experiences can we plan?
  • What levels of skills and knowledge in focus subjects do we need to help the children demonstrate?
  • What experts from the community (artists in residence) can we obtain to help?
  • How can we make the project personally meaningful?
  • In what ways can the pupils demonstrate the depth of their learning?
  • How can we help pupils show that their learning is transferable to other situations and settings?

Key points in cross curricular planning:

  • Limiting subjects - try linking 2 or 3 subjects only to your theme.
  • Providing powerful experiences
  • Using key questions
  • Ensuring a balance between skills, knowledge, thought and action
    Adapted from Barnes, J (2007) Cross-Curricular Learning. PCP: London

Some excellent examples of cross curricular projects can be found in:

Publications: