Medium-term plan: Why are bees so brilliant?
This medium-term planning for an enquiry of learning about bees brings together subject content and skills from across the curriculum.
Bees are some of the best examples of interdependence in the natural world; they play a crucial role in sustaining healthy ecosystems, pollinating flowers to facilitate the production of fruits and seeds.
The cross-curricular teaching and learning set out in this medium-term planning allows students to explore the importance of bees, discover how bees in a hive work together and begin to understand the ways in which we can care for these fascinating and essential creatures.
In relation to this enquiry on bees, linked to the principle of Interdependence, a great partner in learning would be a member of a local Beekeepers Association, who can talk about what a beekeeper does.
There may be opportunities, too, for the Beekeepers Association to lead visits to beehives and to advise on the appropriate safeguarding measures to support this. There is a wealth of expertise in our communities, which we can tap into when we look beyond the classroom.
When it comes to a Great Work outcome for this enquiry of learning on bees, making a hexagonal book out of card gives students the opportunity to share their learning about bees and beekeeping. The involvement of a local beekeeper or a Beekeepers Association can provide much of the information the students need to write their Great Work bee information books. This is a great way to pull the learning together.
Each hexagonal page in the bee book can focus on a different aspect of the learning. It could be that students add a new section week by week while the learning is still fresh in their minds. The sustainability theme for this enquiry is about caring for bees, so one hexagonal page in the bee books needs to relate to that. When the books are complete with fascinating facts and colourful illustrations, they are ready to share with others: another year group, parents and carers or the wider community. If the students can spin off some honey from the beehives and incorporate honey tasting as part of their presentations, even better.
Through this Great Work, students are able to see themselves as experts in bees and beekeeping. They will have a real sense of ownership of their learning and their self-confidence is likely to be significantly enhanced by what they have done.
This enquiry links to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 Life on Land.