Cross-curricular topics

Each topic is chosen by the students and teachers together.

"The tremendous power of a river is diminished when it is fragmented into little streams. However, when the streams are channelled together, it then can develop a deep flow. So it is with learning."
Ben Johnson


After the topic has been chosen democratically, the cross-subject curriculum is planned by all the teachers together and taught as a whole. Each teacher is aware of what the others are doing and every effort is made to connect the learning in one classroom to that of another. The teachers themselves broaden and deepen their practice by linking their subject to others and excitement of learning is spread all around the community.

This collaborative approach to planning, teaching, assessing and evaluating allows us to be holistic in the true sense of the word as it is genuinely a community-wide approach.

introducing our engineering topic

Here you will find some of our classes that we created for our engineering topic for our 11-14yrs group.

Engineering - Origins

We looked at the origins of engineering, from early human beings and the first tools. Especially focussing on bio-mimicry to see how early humans observed nature to learn how to best to develop new ideas.


Engineering - Bicycles

We dismantled and rebuilt real bicycles in science, then looked at how bicycles helped the suffragettes to communicate with each other and organise their activism.

Humanities and Science

Engineering - Balance

Taking inspiration from Alexander Calder, we made gorgeous, balancing sculptures.

Creative Arts

Engineering - L S Lowry

We drew and painted industrial landscapes in the style of Lowry. The artist had an unhappy childhood. He wasn’t very popular at school, didn’t have a very close relationship with his parents, and he had few friends. Do we think that his unhappiness influenced his painting?

Creative Arts

Engineering - Bridges

We studied Roman arches and experimented with building different arches to see how much weight they could support. This was followed by suspension bridge exploration and model making.


Engineering - Permaculture

We studied the ideas that inform permaculture house design and then each made a design of our own.


Engineering - Fracking

We ran a workshop with a mock public meeting to decide whether a controversial engineering project (fracking) could go ahead. The students took different roles including engineer, activist, local landowner who would gain financially and local farmer worried about his livestock.


Engineering - Mechanics

We started with the basics of mechanics e.g. development of the wheel, use of leverage and moments, triangulation, and linear vs rotational motion.


Engineering - Gothic

Inspired by Gothic architecture, we looked at the role of gargoyles. The name comes from the French 'gargouille' meaning throat or gullet and refers to their function as water channellers. We made our own gargoyles with clay.

Creative Arts

Engineering - Triangles

We started with basic angle work – identifying different types, measuring, and drawing, then moving on to triangles – their names, properties and constructing them, as well as the many types of quadrilaterals and their features.


Engineering - Steam Engines

We learned about steam engines and internal combustion engines, followed by the Great Pacific Railroad and the damage it did to the environment and indigenous communities in America.


Engineering - Angles

We learned how to calculate the size of angles according to their position around a point, along a line, and within triangles and quadrilaterals. Alongside this we learned how to calculate the angles that are made within a set of parallel lines, before moving on to three types of transformations - rotations, translations, and reflections, then finally learning how to construct a line bisector and angle bisector.



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