Abbey Gate College Embrace Project Based Learning at its Best thumbnail image Abbey Gate College Embrace Project Based Learning at its Best Published on 23rd February 2024

It has been nearly two years since the introduction of our Project-based curriculum at Abbey Gate College Infant and Junior School. In that time, the our teaching team have continuously explored ways to further enhance this rich, cohesive approach to our pupils’ education.

Exciting and animated discussions ensued within the experienced the teaching team, brimming with ideas to enrich our pupil’s knowledge and skill rich curriculum base, to add further ‘stretch and challenge’ to our broad and balanced curriculum and to empower pupil voice within.

One aspect that has seen exciting development is learning outside the classroom. Teachers have expanded Project linked trips, with every year group enjoying several days out during the academic calendar to local landmarks, museums, and interactive visitor spaces. However, they have also looked at how they can enhance the Project work with outdoor learning, moving away from their fun ‘outdoor learning lessons’ to emerge into impactful learning outside the classroom, building within both Project and the curriculum.

Every class now experiences learning outdoors on a weekly basis, but with stronger curriculum links. The pupils may be using DT skills to create a Saxon burh, or be using the outdoor classroom as a book café to develop their love of reading. They may use science skills in our lovely ‘Nature’s Nursery’ area to explore parts of a plant or plant reproduction, or map the local area using geography skills, develop gross and fine motor skills in PE or use construction material to enhance their maths lessons.

This ability to develop the curriculum in the beautiful grounds around the school also allows pupils to develop independent learning skills and stretch and challenge their learning capabilities in the full breadth of the curriculum.

A prime example of the appealing overarching nature of Project for our pupils was recently seen with a very exciting topic for our Infant 2 class – The Great Fire of London! The pupils studied various aspects of this, with subjects taking a particular focus of the Project topic:

  • English work was based around a non-fiction text called The Great Fire of London by Emma Adams. The pupils studied the book and wrote a fact sheet about London and the events of the fire. They also did some research and artwork based on the fire.
  • In History, they learned about Tudor times.
  • In Art and DT lessons, they designed and constructed houses to build their very own Pudding Lane!

The VERY exciting culmination of this Project was to recreate the Great Fire on our school field and watched from a safe distance. The pupils talked about fire safety and understood why we made sure sand, water and a fire extinguisher were on hand, and there was a lively discussion about how firefighting has changed since 1666!

At Abbey Gate College we continue to build a curriculum for and with our pupils, based on courage and compassion.