What makes a good story? What is your story? What is my story? What is our story? Stories are how we make sense of the world. Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end, and we use this structure to explore all our themes and topics throughout the school.
At Cotham Gardens Primary, we use the Power of Reading as the foundation of our learning. Each term, we use high quality texts and the Power of reading teaching and learning approach to learn what makes a good story, exploring characters and themes, enriching vocabulary and building our communication skills.
But we also use these texts as spring boards to explore more stories of the wider world: if the theme is Science, we learn about the story of a scientific discovery or go on an investigative journey, using theory, prediction and evaluation to plot the story of an experiment.
If it is History, we examine the story of our point of view, how there can be alternatives and diversions; we think about how we learn about history, who is telling the story, what it tells us about ourselves, and how it fits into our own story.
If it is Geography, we learn about the story of our planet, how we fit into it and what part we have to play in its ongoing ecology.
If we are focussing on Design & Technology or Art, we think about what we need to know or learn to begin, what skills we’ll learn along the way, and what we will achieve at the end.
Our learning fits together to form part of a story each term, but forms into something bigger; what is the story of Bristol? What is the story of Britain? What is the story of the world? We encourage children to always ask the questions “how do I fit into this story? What do I want my story to be?”
In all our learning, we are asking “where did we begin? What do we know already? How do we find out more? What is coming next?”
As children and staff at Cotham Gardens we are all part of our learning story, seeing how it all fits together but also reframing and building new stories based on our own interests, aspirations, cultures, beliefs and ethnicities.
At Cotham Gardens Primary we have an exciting and ambitious curriculum with lots of different opportunities to learn about all aspects of our world. Reading and high quality literature form a rich base for holistic topic learning. Language acquisition and oracy is a high priority for all students and supports our rich and diverse community to fulfil their potential. There is a strong commitment to ensuring that ecological issues are woven into the curriculum throughout the school.
Our intent is as follows:
- To have an exciting and ambitious curriculum with lots of different opportunities to learn about all aspects of our world
- To celebrate and explore the rich cultural heritage of our community, embedding Black and Ethnic Minority history, writers and significant figures across every sphere of learning throughout the year.
- To celebrate and learn about our rich cultural diversity through community links
- To recognise our impact on the planet and how to make positive changes for the future
- To build a coherent progression of skills and knowledge from EYFS to Year 6.
- To provide opportunities for broadening cultural horizons through trips, visits and visitors to school
- To promote high levels of oracy by focusing on speaking and listening
- To experience and teach performing and visual arts as an integral part of the curriculum
- To use the Power of Reading as a rich basis for holistic topic learning, with discrete skills mapped within broader topic learning
- Progression of learning is mapped out through the language of story with beginning, middle and end point. We elicit prior knowledge and ask questions, learning skills and knowledge through a variety of lesson experiences, and sharing what has been learned through an end project, presentation, WOW experience or piece of work.
- Texts are carefully chosen to ensure representation of our diverse community
- To follow skills ladders drawn from the National Curriculum to help build progression across year groups
- To link each Power of Reading text to Geography, History or DT.
- Children with additional needs will be supported to access the full curriculum.
- Use displays and working walls to celebrate and consolidate learning
- Use learning objectives based on skills and knowledge progression maps. Learning to be assessed through book looks and child consultations.
- Use knowledge organisers to consolidate and deepen understanding. Each class aims to have weekly review sessions recapping, exploring and celebrating learning achieved throughout the week.
- Children will leave our school having developed secure skills, knoweldge and understanding across a broad and balanced curriculum.
- Children will feel happy, energised and equipped to deal with our diverse and fast-changing world.
- Year 6 will leave our school fully prepared for the transition to secondary school, and equipped with knowledge and skills for later life.
The impact of the curriculum is evaluated through end of Key Stage statutory assessments, governor monitoring visits, external partnership visits and monitoring of teaching, learning as well as pupil voice.
School self-evaluation is focused on the impact of our curriculum.
Teacher assessment is used across all year groups in the school and is a professional judgement based on:
- Reflection on pupil work (using pupil books and tests)
- Observation of learning over time (evaluation of understanding in lessons and tasks)
- Professional discussion and CPD within curriculum teams