For more than twenty years, topic work has been accepted as the "natural" way to teach young children in their first years of school. The introduction of a subject-based curriculum in England and Wales has led to intense questioning of that assured position. Teachers and others are wondering whether the topic approach can fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum and whether in any case it is necessarily the best way of teaching young children. The authors of Topic Work in the Early Years argue that the answer is "yes" in both cases although neither this nor any other strategy should be used exclusively in the classroom. With the help of detailed case studies, they give guidance on the planning and assessment of topic work within and across subjects and show how topics can be planned to fulfil specific curricular requirements while retaining the particular virtues of the topic approach: flexibility in the use of time and resources, the chance for coverage of certain areas in greater depth, and differentiation of tasks among children at various stages of their development.
Individual chapters cover planning and assessment of topic work across the curriculum, cross-curricular issues and topic work in the core subjects of the National Curriculum as well as history and geography. Overall this book provides a comprehensive source of reference for any teacher organising learning in the early years.