In our elementary school, we hold theme weeks twice a year. This is the first year we have done this and both weeks turned out to be hugely popular and successful. The idea is basically that teachers agree upon a theme and that theme is taught to pupils throughout the school for a week. It is a wonderful way to connect the whole school community together as teachers and pupils get to collaborate around a common topic. It is also an opportunity to firmly put into practice what we preach regarding learning about interesting topics through fun activities, which often include drama, art and music. At the end of the theme week, there are assemblies as each class presents what they have learnt to the rest of the school.
Our most recent theme week involved pupils learning about ‘world religions.’ Each class was assigned one of the major world religions to focus on. The school was alive with music, art, dance and drama and each class presented what they had learnt to the school. Pupils also took the opportunity to teach in ‘buddy learning’ pairs as they teamed up with partners in other classes to exchange and share all they had learnt. This provided them with a great opportunity to learn about some of the religions they had not studied themselves.
Earlier in the year, the theme was our Campaign for Plastic Reduction (CPR). The school was a hive of vibrant activity throughout the week, culminating in a stunning assembly, which involved each group of pupils teaching the rest of the school about the specific aspect of this important topic their class had focused on. There were many highlights, but few caught the imagination quite like the ‘plastic-free picnic!’ The whole school gathered together in our idyllic environs overlooking Rome, with picnic baskets and rugs, to indulge in our ‘plastic-free treats!’
"I learned so much this week and it was so much fun. When's the next theme week?"