‘I've adopted a tiger’: enhancing teaching and learning with infants through an active and integrated approach

Henry Maitles, Colette McAlpine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


In Scotland, A Curriculum for Excellence [Curriculum Review Group. 2004. A curriculum for excellence. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2004/11/20178/45862 (accessed January 6, 2010).] is being implemented in every school from August 2010. This gives teachers greater responsibility, flexibility and professional autonomy when planning and delivering the curriculum. A Curriculum for Excellence is the major priority in every school’s Improvement Plan, and schools should be adopting teaching, learning and assessment strategies that support the four capacities of A Curriculum for Excellence (successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens, effective communicators). The Curriculum for Excellence describes experiences and outcomes for children's learning in ways that will support a more active and integrated approach to teaching and learning within the curriculum. This article reports on one infant teacher’s attempt to plan and implement a programme of study for the social studies topic ‘The Zoo’, adopting an active and integrated approach to teaching and learning for her Primary 2 class (children aged 5–6 years). Dealing with children of 5–6 years requires a varied methodological approach. The approaches involved questionnaires to parents, observations of pupil involvement in lessons and focus group interviews with pupils. There was a strict ethical approach taken, which involved both parental and pupil consent as well as allowing pupils to opt out at any time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-531
Number of pages17
JournalEducation 3-13
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2012



  • citizenship
  • integrated active learning
  • infants
  • action research

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