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Cross-Curricular Links to Enhance Learning

Many schools wish to make their curriculum more coherent and so search for cross-curricular links. When effective, these can make learning more relevant, and can help learners make connections that help their learning and deepen their understanding.

Cross-curricular links can be used to:

  • Bring learning to life by using one subject to contextualise learning in another.
  • Use information from one subject to serve learning in another.
  • Skills learnt across disciplines help children build cognitive bridges.

But what makes for good cross-curricular links? 

The Principles

  • There are clear learning intentions for each subject.
  • What is taught is inter-related rather than inter-connected.
  • Learners see the relevance and use learning in one subject to enhance skills and understanding in the other.
  • Each subject contributes to improvement and progress.


PE and Maths

  • Athletics competition – how far can you run in 3 seconds? Jump your height – fair competition. Pace yourself over distance in 1 minute, 2 and 3.
  • Data handling.
  • Exploration of ideas.
  • Mathematical skills and concepts.

PE and Literacy 

  • Gymnastics – Talk and write your sequence.
  • Feedback – Describe – Evaluate.
  • Explore scientific concepts – e.g. balance and power.
  • Dance – use poetry as the stimulus for dance. Use movements to create a story.

When cross-curricular links do not work, they are often contrived, and links are tenuous. This leads to a loss of focus on what is to be learnt and limits learning in any one subject.

The key to successful cross-curricular links is pre-planning and using the resources and technology available.

James Latham

Trust PE Lead

Excelsior Multi Academy Trust

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