What are Topic Bundles?

All about PlanBee’s new thematically linked Topic Bundles, and why you should be using them in your school.

By Becky Cranham, founder of PlanBee and lead Resource Creator.

In some ways, things move slowly in the world of teaching: older teachers may remember delivering the old QCA units year in, year out, for what seemed like a lifetime! That said, here at PlanBee, we’ve noticed one significant change that’s happened relatively quickly in educational terms. Now, more than ever, teachers and schools are adopting a cross-curricular, thematically-linked approach to teaching and learning.

While we know that our teacher members love Classic Cross-curricular Topics – they’re perfect for those of you looking to teach a ‘mini’ topic over a series of afternoons, for example – we wanted to offer teachers something that would help them develop big topics lasting half a term or longer. That’s where the new Topic Bundles come in…


Vikings Topic Bundle Overview Page One A page from the free Topic Bundle Overview for Vikings, showing the main learning activities and objectives for every lesson included.

DOWNLOAD THE FREE VIKINGS OVERVIEW

What’s included in a Topic Bundle? All this, for just £35:

  • Four Complete Series (complete PlanBee schemes of work, each comprising 5-7 complete lesson packs);
  • Between 24 and 28 complete lessons in total;
  • A variety of thematically linked schemes of work, which may include Art, DT, History, Geography, Science or RE schemes;
  • As with all PlanBee lesson packs, they include plans, presentations, printables, differentiated activities, alternative activity ideas, plenaries and assessment questions.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a range of completely free supporting materials that go with each Topic Bundle! These are available for anyone to download for free, allowing you to decide which Topic Bundle is right for you before you buy, or incorporate the bundled schemes of work into your larger topic plan before purchasing. Free supporting resources include:

  • Overviews and topic planners, allowing you to expand the topic bundle you choose by incorporating your own planning, too;
  • Editable assessment grids for tracking learning;
  • ‘FreeBees’ – completely free resources such as display packs, vocabulary table mats, crosswords and puzzles.

BROWSE 400+ FREEBEES

What are the differences between new Topic Bundles and Classic Cross-curricular Topics?

Here’s a breakdown of the differences between the two:

A comparison of topic bundles and cross-curricular topics

Detailed overview: Seasonal Changes Free detailed overviews, such as this one for Wonderful Weather Topic Bundle’s ‘Seasonal Changes’ Geography lessons, show exactly what is covered in each lesson, what resources are included, and what (if any) additional resources are required.

WONDERFUL WEATHER: LEARN MORE…

What are the benefits of new Topic Bundles for me and my school?

Benefits for Individual Teachers

  • Get a massive head start when planning your class’s next big topic - get all of your planning for four subjects sorted before you start;
  • Big savings compared to buying each included scheme separately;
  • More time to spend on planning topic-linked English and Maths;
  • With four subjects’ planning done for you, you can focus instead on personalising the learning for your community of learners: what will each of your groups (or individual SEND children) need to get the most out of your lessons?

Benefits for School Leaders

  • Ensure all of your class teachers are providing consistent learning experiences by giving them the excellent prepared planning and resources included in every topic bundle;
  • Peace of mind – every included scheme ensures excellent coverage of the stated National Curriculum objectives;
  • Oversight of what’s being taught and when – overviews for every included scheme of work show learning objectives, outcomes, activities and resources required.

Benefits for Schools

  • With topic bundles available for KS1, Lower KS2 and Upper KS2, you can plan for thematically linked cross-curricular learning throughout school whether you teach in year groups or phases.
  • An incredibly affordable way to provide your teachers with high-quality prepared planning that can be used year after year;
  • Unlike traditional print resources, PlanBee packs are updated if occasional errors are found or significant events occur which mean information needs updating. Re-download the latest version of your resources at any time, as many times as you want.

For the launch of these new planning packs, we've released nine new Topic Bundles to choose from – three per phase. To begin with, at least, we hope that these are enough to give you a big helping hand with planning thematically-linked learning at your school! We're not stopping there, though: our team of planning bees are working hard to bring you more Topic Bundles as the year goes on, and we’d encourage everyone to sign up to the PlanBee newsletter to get up-to-date information about the latest Topic Bundles and other new schemes of work as and when they’re released. You can sign up here.

Happy teaching!

Becky Cranham

TAKE ME TO THE NEW TOPIC BUNDLES