The Curriculum DaVinci is the most recent curriculum for Science and History for children ages 4 to 12 years. This curriculum works thematically with full coverage of the core goals “Self and World Orientation” in an integrated framework, as well as, global citizenship and civic education. Teachers do not teach separate subjects such as Geography, History, Biology, and so on. All subjects are integrated in one lesson a week. All themes are viewed from different perspectives that allow children to work using their interests, talents, and learning ability, either individually or in a group. This approach involves all children and results in connectedness within the classroom. Children will notice minor and major connections within and between the themes while working with realistic materials. The Curriculum DaVinci is characterised by this unique vision.
Curriculum materials for 30 themes for Pre-K to grade 6, for children ages 4 to 12 years:
Pre-K: Summer I, Autumn I, Winter I, Spring I
K: Summer II, Autumn II, Winter II, Spring II
Grade 1: Who am I, Together on earth, The future world, About poles and planets
Grade 2: Long ago, Treasure from earth, Weather and Water, From knights to space travel
Grade 3: The beginning, The life in water, The life on land, The first human
Grade 4: Egyptians, Greeks & Romans, Middle ages
Grade 5: Indians, Vikings, Ottomans, Modern Time
Grade 6: Maori, Asians, Present Time
It is possible to start in K, grade 1, 2 or 3 with the Curriculum DaVinci.
There is a project with “Egyptians” as a subject. In this project, you can talk about the Egyptian history, the pyramids and so on. Pyramids are built with special techniques, the construction behind it covers subjects from Science and Engineering. The distribution of pyramids and it appearance on Earth concerns Geography. The flora and fauna in the desert concerns Biology. Philosophy and Religion come together in the believe in life after death. By combining all these subjects, every child feels involved in the project while strengthening and developing his or her interests and talents.
Download an overview of the Teaching materials in pdf.
The Curriculum DaVinci works top-down, from holistic to individual parts. It also works bottom-up, from individual to larger parts depending on the subject. We also stimulate astonishment and wondering so children stay curious about the world surrounding them.
The direct experience of children is essential and, therefore, the window of the classroom will be open and the outside world will be transported in. DaVinci chooses to emphasize the year and the seasons in pre-K and K-grade. Each seasons will be repeated and all seasons are discussed in pre-K as well as in K-grade. We discuss cycles, such as from egg to fish and from seed to flower. At the end of K-grade, children will ask: “where does a seed come from?” Therefore, we will start at the beginning of all things in grade 1: the big bang and the story of creation. We also going to investigate how the earth originated and how the continents are placed the way they are now. We take a look at how the plants, animals, and people on earth live and how our cities look these days and in the future. How the earth and life has come into existence also brings us to the first humans.
Besides knowledge about core subjects, skills, competencies, and knowledge are taught in each theme to prepare the children for future grades and life in general. These skills and competencies consist of planning, monitoring, making mind maps, developing a sense of time, and preparing for tests.
The human civilization is the starting point for the higher grades. In grade 1, we start with the Egyptians and end in grade 6 with the Present Time. The themes are chosen in such a way that all continents and all periods are covered as well ass all topography, climates, and religions. By addressing these themes, children view at the world as having different views and/or cultures. This contributes to understanding world citizenship. For these themes a special time line is developed, called the Timeline of the human civilization. There is always a comparison between the culture discussed in the theme and the Netherlands.
Each theme covers a few weeks. After one central lesson, children process the new information by making assignments (work block, work sheets, experiments, computer assignments…). That will take about 1,5 hour a week, but it differs for each child depending how they tackle the subject matter.
DaVinci developed and designed several different overviews to visualize correlations and connections. Attention is directed to geographic aspects as well as flora wildlife and the societal connections to an area. For example, people live differently in a desert climate compared to living in a sea climate. How the climates are connected to one another becomes clear with the Climate overview. For visualizing the connections in the wildlife, there is a Wildlife overview for all grades. Children can place all animals on the visual display to gain insight in the hierarchy of the animals.
With the Key to our plants, children learn to name and to search for plants. This results in gaining a meta-cognitive view of the plants on earth.
Working in themes integrates the social surroundings and has its own pedagogy and didactics. More about the Pedagogy and didactics.
The curriculum materials from DaVinci Education are printed on FSC-paper. The international, independent FSC-mark assures the raw materials coming from managed woods with respect to the people dependent on them. All environmental- and developmental organisations recommend FSC and this makes it unique. Because teachers can copy only the assignments a child needs, no unnecessary paper is wasted.
The Curriculum DaVinci is continuously developing and we are working on a curriculum for Artistic Orientation with an additional digital learning environment.
More information about the vision and philosophy can be found on the page Vision and philosophy.
For the pedagogical, didactical, and philosophical ideas and principles, please go to the Dutch website www.wereldverkenning.nl