What is RAPS Topic?
At RAPS, we have developed our own bespoke topics for each year group. RAPS Topic is a curriculum by which we teach History, Geography, Science, Design Technology and Art. Each year group has six topics outlined; one per term. These can be seen on our yearly overview. Although topics have a subject foci, the topics are cross-curricular (meaning a range of subjects will be taught throughout the topic).
The RAPS Topic is a knowledge curriculum. This means that the aim of RAPS topic , first and foremost, is to develop pupils’ knowledge, providing rich and meaningful information to pupils, enabling them to make ‘learning links’, develop schema and therefore develop their understanding of the world around them. We also aim to achieve this by providing our pupils with relevant, informative and inspiring trips and workshops, which link to their topics.
This knowledge-rich approach works very much inline with the aims of National Curriculum, which is largely knowledge based. Once pupils have developed knowledge, they can then apply this knowledge to aid them in developing their skills through a range of experiences.
RAPS Topic main aims are to provide:
- Fascinating facts and information built around themes.
- Engaging learning experiences that encourage pupils to develop knowledge.
- Opportunities to develop skills using the knowledge gained.
- The chance to develop understanding by making links between learning.
- A wide range of vocabulary, increasing pupils' word stock.
The RAPS Topic Cycle of Learning:
RAPS topic begins with an ‘Art to Start’ activity. This is always an engaging art lesson, which links well to the topic. Through the 'Art to Start' activity, pupils will explore an artist or style of art, creating their own pieces inspired by what they've explored. At the beginning of the topic, pupils are also provided with a 'Knowledge Organiser', which outlines what they will learn as they move through their topic.
Throughout the topic, knowledge and understanding builds through a variety of well-thought out lessons. Pupils make connections across subjects and learn new vocabulary to help aid their understanding. Pupils have the opportunity to write creatively within their topic and enjoy developing new skills through a range of hands-on activities too.
At the end of the topic, pupils take part in a ‘Topic Quiz’. This is presented as a low stakes quiz, which enables pupils to reflect on their learning and show what they have retained from the lessons taught. The topic then ends with a ‘Topic Finale’, which is intended to bring together the knowledge and skills gained through an activity. This could be anything from a class art project to a pupil led presentation or movie creation about their learning. The topic finale is intended to be a celebration of the work and learning throughout the term.
Across the term, parents are kept up to date with topic learning via the class blogs and will also be invited in to join in with selected lessons too!