Inspired by nature | Please note that the Natural Curriculum is a beta site: we are currently piloting the site with Year 4 and Year 5 teachers, whose feedback we will use to ensure our site’s content is of the highest possible standard for classroom learning. However, given the COVID-19 crisis, we have opened the site to the public to support home learning during this unprecedented time. In addition to this, we have produced a bank of literacy resources for Years 1-6 to help support parents with their children's home learning. For hour-long Year 4 and Year 5 grammar lessons, click on the 'Year 4 Grammar Lessons' circle, or the 'Year 5 Grammar Lessons' circle. For literacy resources to assist parents with home learning, click on the Home Learning Resources (Year 1-6) circle.

About

About the Natural Curriculum

Welcome to the Natural Curriculum pilot site!

Based on England’s National Curriculum, and developed with the Educational Recording Agency (ERA), this site provides grammar lessons centred on captivating clips from the BBC’s natural history archives, currently aimed at Year 4 and Year 5 pupils. It is our hope that after the site’s initial pilot, the Natural Curriculum will continue to grow, expanding our lessons to cover all primary year groups, and other core subjects.

Given the depth of exploration that visual media allows, and the creative stimulus that it provides, it has long been established that television is an invaluable learning resource; through the ingenuity of David Millington (a Bristol-based primary school teacher) and the support and guidance of ERA, the Natural Curriculum offers a free programme of learning in which children are immersed in the wonders of nature, provoking their creativity and inspiring their imagination.

Simply choose your grammar objective, and you will find all the necessary resources for delivering an hour-long grammar lesson, revolving around your selected animal:

  • a stimulating clip from the BBC (including The Blue Planet, Life, Africa, and more) alongside a focused learning objective
  • an explanation of the grammar (complete with high-level models)
  • scaffolded AFL whiteboard challenges
  • a writing activity with a downloadable worksheet.

With an ERA Licence, your school can access all of the site’s resources free of charge. The vast majority of schools in the UK have an ERA Licence, but if you need to check, click here.

 

Vision of the Natural Curriculum

Television has the power to bring the Earth’s vast landscape directly into the classroom, making the natural world accessible to all children, regardless of background or circumstance. Using the vast array of carefully selected broadcast media clips offered by the BBC, the Natural Curriculum aims to ignite children’s imagination; not only will this help pupils progress academically, but improve children’s fascination, understanding, and respect for our planet as a whole. Through regularly exposing primary school children to such awe-inspiring aspects of nature, we hope to instil their desire to protect and safeguard it, both for their own and future generations.

Author’s Note

“Children have an innate fascination for the weird and wondrous plants and animals that inhabit our planet. When a tiny pebble toad cartwheels its way to freedom down a cliff face, or when two fearsome Komodo dragons become locked in combat, children’s jaws drop. As educators, we all understand the importance of firing the imaginations of the children we teach. Whenever I use a natural history clip to inspire writing, I am always impressed and excited by the quality of the children’s written work that follows. With such a rich stimulus, this is no real surprise! I really hope you enjoy exploring the lessons on this site with your class as much as I have.”

David Millington, Primary School Teacher and creator of the Natural Curriculum

 

Website Terms and Conditions

To find the website’s terms and conditions, please click here.

 

With Thanks

To get the Natural Curriculum to this point, thanks must be given to a number of organisations and individuals:

First and foremost, the BBC – for producing the incredible programmes that make the Natural Curriculum possible, and everyone involved in the creation of the captivating natural history clips upon which each lesson is based.

Barbara Gillman – for proofreading the Year 5 grammar lessons.

Yvette Kydd – for proofreading the Year 4 grammar lessons.

Carrie Derrick – a teacher at Glenfrome Primary School, Bristol, who has written numerous lessons for the Year 4 grammar section. Her fabulous lessons feature the numbat, coconut crab, Arctic fox, jaguar, Weddell seal, kangaroo, bottle-nosed dolphin, Draco lizard, tusk fish, ring-tailed lemur, painted wolf and albatross.

Sam Mumford – a teacher at Henleaze Junior School, Bristol, who has written lessons for the Year 4 grammar section. Her fabulous lessons include the harvest mouse, cotton-top tamarin and cheetah.

Amy Parkin – a teacher at Horfield C of E Primary School, Bristol, who has written lessons for the Year 4 grammar section. Her fabulous lessons include the whale shark, spider monkey and firefly.

Laura Hilton – a teacher at Horfield C of E Primary school, Bristol, who wrote a fabulous lesson for the Year 5 grammar section on the Grevy’s zebra.

BrightMinded – for designing the Natural Curriculum site.

 

Feedback

If you would like to give feedback on the Natural Curriculum, please complete the feedback form here.