Our curriculum follows the government's National Curriculum
What does our curriculum offer?
Statement of Intent
Our aim is to provide our children with an engaging, exciting and empowering curriculum that equips them for today and tomorrow.
At Cottage Grove Primary School, the curriculum is designed to:
- recognise children’s prior learning
- provide first hand learning experiences
- allow the children to develop interpersonal skills
- build resilience
- allow the children to become creative, critical thinkers.
Every child is recognised as a unique individual. We celebrate and welcome differences within our diverse school community. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values with a vision to prepare them for life beyond primary school. We constantly provide enrichment opportunities to engage learning. We believe that childhood should be a happy, investigative and enquiring time in our lives, where there are no limits to curiosity and there is a thirst for new experiences and knowledge. We use our Cottage Grove Values (Acceptance, Perseverance, Respect, Independence and Achievement) to promote positive attitudes to learning which reflect the values and skills needed to promote responsibility for learning and future success.
Community involvement is an integral part of our curriculum, inviting families and visitors to facilitate learning new skills and sharing experiences such as assemblies, parent workshops and other curriculum events such as cultural diversity day.
Children leave Cottage Grove with a sense of belonging to a tightly knit community where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners with high aspirations for their future.
How do we teach it?
The government revised the National Curriculum for Primary Schools in 2014 and as a school we have decided to develop an exciting and innovative model of teaching and learning which will engage children in learning whilst equipping them with the knowledge and skills which they will need to be responsible and aspiring members of the community and of the future.
At Cottage Grove, we teach the curriculum through ‘Learning Journeys’.
Learning journeys are an approach to learning in which the children have ownership. We will often launch a learning journey with a 'hook'. An event or activity which may take the children by surprise, but that allows them to be fully engaged in the learning process.
Learning journeys provide opportunities for children to fully engage with a subject e.g. becoming a geographer, historian, scientist or artist. They allow children to reflect on their learning as well as allowing opportunities to build on prior learning skills, knowledge and values and the ability to draw conclusions and to make connections between new ideas.
There is always a planned outcome for the end of a journey. This could be the publishing of findings through newsletters or posters, organising a public performance, making a board game or designing a computer programme. Through learning journeys, children are able to make clear links between learning and therefore develop their understanding at a deeper level.
At Cottage Grove, we believe in developing a love for reading within our pupils. It is through this love of reading that our pupils find out about and make sense of the world and are able to access the curriculum. Children are exposed to a wide variety of texts, fiction, non-fiction, stories, diaries, poems etc.
Reading is actively encouraged and promoted in school at every opportunity. Each week, pupils read independently, individually with an adult and in groups through guided reading, they read and share books with other pupils from different year groups through Peer reading and teachers read to their class daily. Reading skills are taught from nursery through the teaching of phonics and comprehension skills are taught throughout from years R to 6.
All pupils have a reading book for in class and at home and every class visits the school library weekly and Southsea Library termly.
Pupils are encouraged to read daily at home and are rewarded through the awarding of reading certificates.
Phonics plays an important part in early reading and writing. We aim to teach children fluent word reading skills and provide a good foundation in spelling through our phonics curriculum.
At Cottage Grove Primary School, we follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme. This is organised into six phonic phases which children progress through from Nursery to Year 2, as their reading ability improves. Phonics is taught daily from Nursery to Year 2. Sessions are short and fast paced, to ensure that children are reading a large number of words throughout the session. All children engage in applying phonics throughout the sessions, at a level suited to their ability. In Key Stage 1, our phonics lessons lead into our English lessons so that the children can see the link between what they are learning and the skills they are applying. Since not all of the words in the English language are decodable, we also have regular lessons to teach the ‘tricky’ words from each phase. These are taught as sight words and children do not use the letter sounds to spell them. Instead we teach and use the letter names to memorise these spellings.
How to help with phonics at home
The best way to help children develop their phonics is to read regularly. We suggest that children read their home reader a minimum of five times per week. They should be rereading their books several times in order to build up fluency. Children may also bring home lists of decodable and tricky words which they are working on. We find that playing fun games motivates the children to read quickly. You can find a list of useful websites here
Throughout the school, children are given a range of opportunities to inspire them to write by using the learning journey as a focus. Children are encouraged to be creative writers and to recognise the features of high quality written work. Children are given the skills to become writers through talk talking about their ideas and by enjoying a range of different text-types alongside the teaching of progressive skills. As a school, we ensure children learn how to edit and improve their own work as well as supporting them to reflect and develop their writing.
Throughout the school we teach regular, discrete, high quality lessons on spelling, punctuation and grammar and children are then guided to apply these skills in their writing.
In maths we deliver an engaging, creative and real life curriculum that follows the fundamentals set out in The White Rose - a scheme of work designed to deepen childrens' mathematical understanding through applying their knowledge in a wide variety of reasoning and problem solving activities. We try to model to children how Maths is much more than just numbers and often ask them to explain their thinking through both written and verbal answers. Alongside side this, we also ensure children can confidently recall their tables as this is a key skill that underpins a lot of concepts children encounter as they make their way through Primary school.
In Foundation Stage and KS1, teachers plan through the exploration of maths, giving children the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom. In KS2 we build on the children's confidence to apply their knowledge and understanding of fundamentals. All children are challenged to reach their full potential.