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Unlocking the curriculum for Years 5 & 6
 
At Birkdale Primary School, Sefton, David Jessop 'unlocked the curriculum' by using Irish materials for a ten-week unit for Years 5 and 6 to encourage creative learning.
 
The hub
The hub of the unit was a range of Irish texts - myths and legends, historical and contemporary fiction and poetry - in the Literacy Hour

Myths & Legends
‘The Quest for Aideen’, Celtic Magic Tales by Liam Mac Uistin, O’Brien Press, 0-86278-341-0

‘The Giant’s Causeway’, Irish Fairy Tales & Legends by Una Leavy, O’Brien Press,

0-86278-482-4

Finn & The Fawn: Narrative Poem by Neil Williams, IiS


Historical novels

Under the Hawthorn Tree by Marita Conlan-McKenna, O’Brien Press, 0-86278-206-6

Resource


Contemporary novels

The Battle Below Giltspur by Cormac MacRaois, Wolfhound Press, 0-86327-356-4

The Moon King by Siobhán Parkinson, O’Brien Press, 0-86278-573-1

Resource

Cherokee by Creina Mansfield, O’Brien Press, 0-86278-368-5
Poetry

Wishes & Dreams, based on W B Yeats ‘Had I the ...’
The spokes

The spokes - the Foundation Subjects - drew upon the texts to inspire, with the assistance of visiting artists, an impressive range of creative work in Art, Dance and Drama.

Click here for examples of this work.

Art/D&T
Pen & Ink Designs
Celtic Knots/Historic awareness - shape & form & use of colour/Step-by-step process
Banner Design - ‘Celtic Rotunda’
3D Art

Finn McCool the Legendary Giant


Dance

Celtic tales/Knot design/Folk songs


Drama

Based on events from historical novel Under the Hawthorn Tree

Created two authentic sets to perform within


Music
Original music compositions inspired by Irish myths & legends

Culmination

The culmination of the unit was a presentation in which the performers stayed in place as the audience took a journey through Irish history and culture in song, dance and prose.