At Cottam, our curriculum aims to place all children at the heart of our school, regardless of background or disposition, by offering a rich and informed bespoke curriculum, packed with opportunities for all. This is echoed in our school motto:
‘Children at the heart of our School. School at the heart of our community.’
Taking the National Curriculum as our basis, alongside the fundamental life skills of Reading, Writing and Maths, woven through our curriculum are opportunities for our children to develop our core values, which we believe are essential so as to enable our children and staff to thrive in the world of the future:
Courage, Compassion, Challenge, Curiosity, Respect, Ambition
Courage: learners who boldly face challenges and support each other through difficult moments in learning and life.
Compassion: learners who care for one another, have empathy for others and want to act to make a better world.
Challenge: learners who embrace opportunities and are willing to learn from failure.
Curiosity: learners who are eager to know and learn more and ask questions and explore answers for themselves.
Respect: learners within our community who care for themselves, others, the world around them and accept people for who they are.
Ambition: learners with big dreams who recognise that hard work and positivity are the building blocks for future greatness.
We believe that this powerful combination will enable our children to perform well at the end points in their relevant stages of education (for example at the end of EYFS, Keys Stage 1 and Key Stage 2), as well as allowing them to enjoy successfully playing their part in helping to make our wonderful world an even better place, placing our school at the heart of our community.
An ongoing development of our ‘Cottam Curriculum’ – is driven by a strong belief that our children need a variety of ambitious learning experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, in order to become life-long learners and build on their Cultural Capital. Our children come to school curious about what they might discover and are provided with rich and varied opportunities to learn through exploration, so they develop a love of learning, fascinated by the world around them. A strong focus has been placed on developing our children socially and emotionally and improving mental health and wellbeing. Developing a robust PSHE and RSHE curriculum, incorporating My Happy Mind and Forest Schools enables our children to become compassionate citizens who care for the environment, learning from and contributing to the community, and challenging themselves to be the best they can be. In the same way, our approach to the teaching of reading is firmly focused on enabling all our children to develop their reading ability, in age appropriate ways – an essential factor in ensuring success across the curriculum.
As this curriculum continues to develop, further links within and across subjects and year groups will be exploited. Pupils will revisit key themes and ideas to develop depth of learning, so as to enable current learning to be founded upon prior development of relevant knowledge, skills and understanding.
We have ambition for all our children and any gaps in our children’s understanding of the curriculum which may present themselves are addressed in a multitude of ways. Amongst other things, these include: making sure quality first teaching is in place consistently across the school with lessons differentiated and resources utilised accordingly and a wide range of experiences and approaches in effect; ensuring an open-minded culture amongst all staff is in evidence across the school so we are always willing to continuously improve our practice to get the very best for the children in our care; ensuring an effective strategy in in place for the use of Pupil Premium Funding; systematic targeting of specific children who have ‘fallen behind’ with relevant interventions put in place, in depth analysis of all pupil performance at termly pupil progress meetings; obtaining and enabling any necessary Educational Health Care plans or access to Special Educational Need Support.
All adults in school share the desire to create warm, nurturing learning environments with strong relationships built between parents and school to ensure a clear partnership in order to support pupil learning and wellbeing.
Our curriculum is always developing, with stakeholders involved. This feeds back into the educational experiences our children partake in - all the while mindful of how we can best ensure all children remain at the heart of Cottam Primary School.