Inspired by nature | Based on captivating BBC natural history clips, the Natural Curriculum contains inspiring grammar lessons for KS2 and home learning activities for KS1 and KS2.

About

About the Natural Curriculum

Welcome to the Natural Curriculum!

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 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 pupils. To complement our current focus on grammar, we hope in the future to develop lessons for other core subjects such as numeracy and science.

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 and Year 6 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. Carrie has also written lessons for the Y6 grammar section. These lessons include the headlight beetle and the sparrowhawk. For the Y3 grammar programme, Carrie has written lessons on the mandarin duck, panda, toad and dikkop bird.

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.

Nicky Sivier – a teacher at Newport C of E, Newport, who has written lessons for the Year 6 grammar section. Her fabulous lessons include the sea snake, Tasmanian devil, olive ridley sea turtle, tarpon, Arctic wolf, hamadryas baboon, sea snake and sage grouse. Nicky also wrote lessons for the Year 3 grammar section. Her fabulous lessons include the Clark’s grebe and the snub-nosed monkey.

Alison Turner – a teacher at Byfield School, Daventry, who has written lessons for the Year 6 grammar section. Her fabulous lessons include the little red flying fox, sardine, six-plumed bird of paradise, white stork, Indian elephant, puma, cuttlefish and peacock jumping spider. Alison has also written many fabulous lessons for the Year 3 grammar programme. These lessons include the echidna, African elephant, golden mole, puffin, kingfisher, armadilo, pink river dolphin, barn owl, tapir and Pallas’s cat.

Lisa Carey – a teacher at St Bernard’s RC Primary, Ellesmere Port, who has written lessons for the Year 6 grammar section. Her fabulous lessons include the spinner dolphin and the banded mongoose.

Mel Leaford – a teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Wigan, who wrote a fabulous lesson for the Year 6 grammar section on the bull shark.

Charlotte Jeffs – a teacher at Fordbridge Community Primary School, Solihull, who has written lessons for the Year 6 grammar section. Her fabulous lessons include the flying fish and the banana frog.

Alex Jarman – a teacher at Cotham Gardens Primary School, Bristol, who wrote a fabulous lesson for the Year 6 grammar section on the Megellanic penguin.

Alan Thomson – a teacher at Cotham Gardens Primary School, Bristol, who wrote a fabulous lesson for the Year 6 grammar section on the king penguin.

Adam Robertson – a teacher at Horfield C of E Primary School, Bristol, who wrote a fabulous lesson for the Year 6 grammar section on the leopard seal.

Chloe Bethell – a teacher at Bannockburn Primary School, London, who has written lessons for the Y3 grammar section. Her fabulous lessons include the spectacled bear, the gentoo penguin and the bison.

Rhodri Thomas – a teacher at Frith Manor Primary School, London, who has written lessons for the Y3 grammar section. His fabulous lessons include the ibex and the sea otter.

Paul Bastin – a teacher from English Martyrs, Manchester, who wrote a fabulous lesson for the Y3 grammar section on the scarlet macaw.

Brigette Eugster – a teacher at Shaftesbury Park Primary school ,who has written lessons for the Y3 grammar section. Her fabulous lessons include the monarch butterfly and the fennec fox.

Sophie Burton – a teacher at Fir Tree Primary School, Newbury, who wrote lessons for the Y3 grammar section. Her fabulous lessons include the moose, howler monkey and the salt flat lizard.

Claudia Grant-Dawson – a teacher at Chieveley Primary school, Newbury, who wrote a fabulous lesson for the Year 3 grammar section on the long-tongued bat.

Naomi Bate – who wrote a fabulous lesson for the Year 3 grammar section on the sloth bear.

Mel Underwood – a teacher at Coates Way School, Watford, who wrote a fabulous lesson for the Year 3 grammar section on the poison-dart frog.

Stephanie Tassell – a teacher at Our Lady’s Catholic Primary, Princethorpe, who wrote lessons for the Year 3 grammar section. Her fabulous lessons include the marshmallow frog and the cockatoo.

Janine Jackson – a teacher at Burnside Primary School, Durham, who wrote a fabulous lesson for the Year 3 grammar section on the alligator.

Katie Cooper – a teacher at Steep CE Primary School, who wrote a fabulous lesson for the Year 3 grammar section on the rhea.

Emma Simm – a teacher at St Peter’s Smithills Dean C.E Primary School, Bolton, who wrote a fabulous lesson for the Year 3 grammar section on the dipper.

Caroline Walker – a teacher at Gusford Primary School, Ipswich, who wrote a fabulous lesson for the Year 3 grammar section on the emu.

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.