- The Big Ideas are community-based projects targeted at individual year groups. They were first introduced in session 2013/14 and are being further developed in the course of 2014/15.
- Each year group in the school will embark on their Big Idea at the beginning of the session and the project will span the school year.
- The projects will culminate in various forms of demonstration of the children’s learning in real life contexts within a community setting.
- The Big Ideas are trans-disciplinary. This means that learning in many areas of the curriculum is developed in the course of any one project. This equips the children with the full range of knowledge, understanding and skills required to complete their community project.
- The building of a wide range of sustainable partnerships within the community is key to the success of the Big Ideas.
- The Big Ideas are integral to the curriculum at Dean Park Primary School. The projects are planned in terms of specific CfE Experiences & Outcomes, and an audit of the curriculum carried out in sessions 2013/14 and 2014/15 will ensure that they are accounted for in a balanced approach to curriculum planning, along with discrete subjects and inter-disciplinary approaches.
- The model for the Big Ideas is the New Basics programme of Rich Tasks developed in Queensland in Australia. We aim to build on this model by ensuring sustainability of the projects in the long-term, and by maintaining a clear focus on the development of specific learning outcomes as children engage with their Big Ideas throughout the year and from year to year.
- Continue to develop the partnerships established in the session 2013/14 with the aim of enriching every project
- Complete the curriculum audit and ensure that the Big Ideas activities are fully accounted for within the curricular structure. This is necessary to avoid overload and ensure long-term sustainability.
- Fully develop The Pentlands Big Idea at the P6 & P7 stages.
The Big Ideas
Nursery – The Village
In the course of the year the children will have the opportunity to explore, investigate and engage with a range of aspects of Balerno Village and village life. This will allow the children to develop their four capacities in learning in a rich community context. The journey for this should be very responsive and flexible.
P1 – The Eco Garden
In the course of the year the children will have the opportunity to explore and develop the Eco Garden (Bio diversity). This journey should enhance the children’s knowledge of Health, Citizenship, Ecology and Enterprise creating rich tasks which they undertake and share in a real life context.
P2 – The Raised Garden
In the course of the year the children will have the opportunity to create a raised garden in the school grounds to develop produce. This journey should enhance the children’s knowledge of Health, Citizenship, Ecology and Enterprise creating rich tasks which they undertake and share in a real life context.
P3 – Food for Thought
In the course of the year the children will develop the focus of Health in relation to links that can be made using the produce from the school gardens, the technologies at the high school and local business such as the Mill.
P4 – Balerno Village Trust
In the course of the year the children will have the opportunity to find out about the work of the Balerno Village trust and establish a link with a citizenship focus to gain an understanding of what is going on in our community. E.g. farmers market, RDA, walled garden, Fairtrade.
P5 – Balerno Village Screen
In the course of the year the children will have the opportunity to establish a link with the Village Screen in an enterprising way to help the children develop their four capacities in learning in a rich community context. The journey for this should be very responsive and flexible.
P6 and P7 – The Pentlands
This project is being developed in collaboration with the Pentland Hills Regional Park Service. There is a perceived need on the part of the Service to further engage young local people and families to ensure that the amenities offered in the Pentlands are fully utilised and that the local environment around Balerno is cared for by all who access it.
From our perspective, the Pentlands offer an abundance of learning opportunities right across the curriculum, and we aim to take full advantage them.
We aim to develop partnerships with wide range of organisations, e.g.
- Friends of the Pentlands
- Malleny Angling Association
- Harlaw Hydro Project
- Scottish Natural Heritage
- Scottish Wildlife Trust
- National Farmers Union
- Scottish Water