Welcome to our curriculum model…
Our curriculum has been written based on relevant and up to date research to ensure a clear logical rationale is used to create and develop the right curriculum for our pupils. We aim to design an effective curriculum, rich in knowledge to ensure learning develops over time and children retain information in their long-term memory. We want our students to experience a wide breadth of study, learning progressively, leaving Key Stage 2 with an ambitious body of knowledge which will prepare them well for their chosen careers and future lives.
Our curriculum is unique to us. It is driven by the following four key areas derived from an exploration of the backgrounds of our students and our beliefs about high quality education:
It is vital that our children excel in reading, writing and maths so they move onto secondary school in an excellent position to further their education. We know that if children leave primary school with a strong reading ability they are more likely to succeed at GCSE and beyond. Our school has an excellent reading culture: we tie reading into every curriculum area nurturing lifelong readers. Our whole school reading strategy is innovative and pioneering based around our motto ‘Reading is the only way to improve reading’. Our library is amazing! Come and look at our fantastic range of fiction and non-fiction books!
All children learn to write through Talk for Writing. This scheme enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally, before reading and analysing it, and then writing their own version. Our classrooms display washing lines containing modelled writing, awesome vocabulary and story maps. Pupils enjoy memorising and recalling texts. Our writing lessons are fun and creative!
Maths No Problem is a high-quality scheme which supports the teaching of maths mastery. Pupils master topics before moving on leading to a greater conceptual understanding. Struggling learners will be fully supported through accessing concrete equipment and use of visual models to support understanding. Confident learners will be challenged through exposure to unfamiliar problems, development of reasoning skills and by exploring multiple ways to manipulate numbers and solve problems.
We give our students the vital background knowledge and skills required to be informed and thoughtful members of our community who understand and believe in British Values. We are committed to the development of positive community links and we are proud of the work pupils undertake within the community. The Community Curriculum is an exciting opportunity for pupils to use and expand learning outside of school. We have selected ten areas where by the end of the academic year children will achieve a bronze, silver or gold award: resilience, enterprise, outdoor learning, culture, the arts, sport, science, digital media, environment and healthy living.
Knowledge of the wider world
Our curriculum is taught in subject topics with students returning to the same concepts over and over again gradually building and deepening understanding. Our curriculum is engineered to allow key concepts to be explored in a wide breadth of topics increasing pupils’ knowledge of the world. This is important in improving cultural capital (obtaining skills and knowledge which an individual can draw on to give them an advantage in social life).
We expand pupils’ knowledge of the world through well designed subject topics; carefully chosen reading texts; placing emphasis on non-fiction and providing a plethora of cultural experiences involving music, sport, drama, art and languages.
Well-being is the state of being comfortable, healthy and happy. The physical, mental and emotional well-being of every pupil in our care is essential. Our established Jigsaw program delivers weekly high-quality PSHE sessions. Regularly, pupils learn about healthy eating, fitness and have an age appropriate understanding of healthy relationships. It is important to us that our children are confident in staying safe from abuse and exploitation, and they have an excellent understanding of how to stay safe online. We enhance our curriculum by writing our own lesson plans to address key areas associated with the location of our school and on-going changes in society. School council are proactive in promoting pupil well-being.
In order for students to become creative thinkers, or have a greater depth of understanding they must first master the basics, which takes time. Cognitive science tells us that working memory is limited and that cognitive load is too high if students are rushed through content. Our goal is for students to display sustained mastery by the end of each year group and for the most able children to have a greater depth of understanding. Each subject is specifically planned to ensure pupils move through the curriculum in a progressive and timely way.
Foundation subjects are teacher assessed in order to evaluate what knowledge and understanding pupils have gained against expectations. Assessment is used by subject leaders to evaluate progress and drive improvement.
To help the transfer of information from working memory into long-term memory teachers use a range of fun retrieval practices including Kahoot quizzes, flashcards, memory games, self-testing, paired practice, summarising techniques and ‘tell the story’ explanations to name a few.
Each curriculum area has a subject lead. Staff are given the freedom to express their expertise and realise their passion for their subject. We have developed our own internal CPD program for subject leaders who are supported through monitoring and evaluating their area.
Pupils are involved in the shaping of their curriculum. Subject leaders regularly obtain pupil feedback to reshape and modify action plans in order to ensure that each subject is both meeting the needs of its learners and maintaining relevance and interest.
Overall curriculum design and monitoring is the responsibility of C. Bower (Head of School and curriculum lead). Together with S. Robinson (Executive Head Teacher) we are constantly looking at ways to progress and advance our curriculum.
At Cotmanhay Junior School, we ensure that pupils are involved in the shaping of their curriculum. Subject leaders regularly obtain pupil feedback on the subject or area they are leading. Feedback from the children is used to reshape and modify action plans in order to ensure that each subject is both meeting the needs of its learners and maintaining relevance and interest.
Our school council meet each term to discuss points that have been generated by each class in order to improve the provision for children across the school.