Open Futures is all about skills and enquiry, blending the two into an encompassing programme that helps schools implement a creative, relevant and fruitful learning mode to the benefit, above all, of their pupils.
The Open Futures curriculum is delivered across four strands: growit, cookit, filmit and askit, which afford the opportunity for children and their teachers to explore the worlds of gardening, horticulture, cooking and film. They also provide schools with a raft of cross-curricular benefits.
The four strands link, working together to create a learning environment in which useful practical skills are developed and children’s natural curiosity fostered. It is an approach and focus that is now being mirrored increasingly in schools across the country, with more and more planning their curriculum with a greater emphasis on the skills that they want their pupils to learn.
Open Futures operates under the core belief that the two elements of its programme – skills and enquiry – are inextricably linked.
“Enquiry makes sense of skills by providing them with a context and a framework”
Dr David Leat and Rachel Lofthouse
University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 26 June 2008
That is why the spirit of enquiry, as represented by askit, envelops and influences every aspect of Open Futures and its other three strands. It helps to stimulate children’s sense of awe, their urge to discover, and their abilities to reason; indeed, Open Futures starts from the belief that the natural desire to know is what defines children. What Open Futures attempts to do is to help schools and teachers develop that innate creativity and provides them with the tools to move their practice forward.