Our Broad and Rich Curriculum
At CPS, our pupils enjoy a rich and carefully planned curriculum. We use a two-year cycle of engaging themes to structure the topics and units, which follow the National Curriculum in all subjects. In addition to the core curriculum, which ensures that pupils acquire essential skills in literacy and maths, we actively seek opportunities for pupils to learn from an extended curriculum, enriching and broadening their experience and helping them to become well-rounded, pupils who are knowledgeable and confident in a wide range of subjects and endeavours. For example, we make sure that every half term all children are able to go on a trip or have a stimulating in-school workshop which will help them to embed the learning happening, providing concrete, hands-on experiences that will live with them forever.
At CPS we want parents to be able to talk to their children about the experiences they have at school and with this in mind we send out a 'What your Child is Learning Next Week' letter each and every week so that parents are informed about what learning is taking place over the coming few days - we don't want our exciting curriculum to remain a secret!
Recognition for our Award-Winning Curriculum
We are proud of our curriculum and of the awards that we have received in the last few years in recognition of its success:
'Enhanced Healthy School' Status
A 'Healthy School' promotes the health and well-being of its pupils and staff through a well-planned, taught curriculum in a physical and emotional environment that promotes learning and healthy lifestyle choices.
Arts Council Silver 'Arts Mark'
In recognition of the quality of opportunities at CPS in music, drama, dance art and design technology.
Primary Science Quality Mark
Recognising the excellent support for scientific knowledge and understanding at CPS, with investigation skills at the heart of pupils' learning.
Silver Sing-Up Award
Recognising the excellent standards of singing at CPS seen in assembly, in class and in the school's fantastic choir.
International School Status
Recognising the school's cultural offer supporting pupils to prepare for life as outward-looking global citizens.
High Quality Resources
We invest in high-quality resources to ensure that our children have the best possible opportunities to learn. In English our curriculum is planned around key texts, which inspire children and teachers alike. The texts have been carefully selected to offer children a breadth of exposure to picture books; classic and modern novels; poetry; and a range of non-fiction text types. In maths our children from Years 1 to 3 have begun using a Singapore-inspired approach to maths and to support this we have invested in whole-class sets of 'Maths No Problem' text books and work books that support pupils to deepen their understanding of mathematical concepts.
Stimulating Theme-Weeks and Popular Annual Events
As well as a topic-based curriculum based on termly topics , we plan a variety of one-off special themed weeks that give pupils the chance to immerse themselves in the focus for the week. We also have a number of very popular annual events that always capture the imagination of the whole school community. You can read about the theme-weeks and the annual events by clicking the links below.
Wonder Books - Capturing the Wonder of the Curriculum!
Sometimes to record exciting things happening in the curriculum when there is not a written outcome, we write up the activity in a ‘Wonder Book’ - this then serves as a record for lots of memorable learning experiences. Ask any pupil to show you their class’s Wonder Book and they will proudly share the trips, special visitors and inspirational lessons that they have enjoyed during the course of the year. We place a very high value on speaking and listening activity at CPS as well as subjects like music and drama - these experiences all find their way into the Wonder Books.
View the slideshow below to see an example of one of the class's Wonder Book.
Thinking about Thinking; Learning about Learning
We have introduced both Philosophy for Children (P4C) and Growth Mindset thinking at CPS as we believe that is important that children can both express themselves articulately and confidently, and also understand how they learn best. These teaching methodologies are used in subjects across our curriculum and have proved very popular with the children. We value our pupils' ability to think and reason both independently and in partnership with others and believe that P4C has had a huge impact in this regard. You can read more about both P4C and Growth Mindsets below.
Learning Beyond the Classroom and After-School
Inspiring Trips & Stimulating In-School Visitors
We value the experiences that pupils can gain outside of the classroom and so all of our year groups go on half-termly educational visits - these broaden horizons and get everyone excited about their topics, often leading to a lot of enthusiastic and high quality writing about their experiences on the pupils' return! Sometimes we let the experts or the outside world come to us; we will buy in a professional drama group for example to bring to life a historical period to help the pupils imagine themselves into another world.
Our Wonderful Rooftop Garden
We are fortunate enough to have marvellous gardens in our school. The gardening club takes great care to look after all of the plants around our school so our gardens always look beautiful. We have a roof-top garden which provides an oasis of calm where children can learn outside of the classroom. Children can visit the raised garden beds to learn about how our food is grown and how to make healthy food choices. The roof-top garden also provides our children with rich opportunities to learn about life-cycles, the seasons and how plants grow. The children also visit our garden for some art lessons, to make studies of the plants and sketch them in a calm outdoor environment.
Aiming High - Encouraging Pupils to Aspire to Achieve
Throughout the curriculum, but particularly through our ‘Dream Catcher’ assemblies, we invite our children to aim high. In Dream Catcher assemblies, we ask different professionals to come and speak to our children about their jobs, why they love them and the skills they needed to get where they are now. Recent visitors have included a local MP, a vet, a barrister, a professional comedian, a florist, an adventurer, an Olympic triple-jumper, a graphic illustrator and a team of architects!
CPS has developed a relationship with the full-time adventurer Nick Carter. Nick Carter gave two ‘dreamcatcher’ assemblies and talked about overcoming his fears, and developing team work skills and perseverance which led him to successfully climb Mount Everest. The children were amazed by his determination and commitment towards this challenge! In Autumn 2016, Nick Carter, visited the children to tell them about his latest project: a kindness adventure. Starting with nothing more than a plot of land and the clothes he was stood up in, Nick built everything he needed to live and have fun - a house, toilet, shower, cooker, games - with only his hands and the kindness of others. Inspired by Nick, the pupils at CPS embarked upon kindness projects of their own.
We also encourage pupils to aspire to high achievement through links with local businesses. In 2016 we were the only local school that got two debating teams into the final of the South Islington Hogan Lovells-sponsored debating competition held in their awe-inspiring central London head office. Our fantastically articulate and well-informed pupils had to debate on a range of things including whether female sports teams should be coached by males, and also whether paralympic sportsmen and women should get the same sponsorship as able-bodied sports people. Our debating club had the honour of a tour of the Houses of Parliament. Debaters were able to stand where the likes of Henry VIII and Churchill once stood and were also able to witness a debate in the House of Commons. They also got to learn about how the democratic process works and had a workshop showing them how MPs are elected to power.
Learning Ambassadors - Helping Others to Get the Most from the Curriculum
The Learning Ambassadors are a group of pupils who promote learning across the curriculum by helping other pupils become the best learners they can be. Our chosen Learning Ambassadors are nominated by their teachers and interviewed to ensure that they are excellent role models for other pupils, have good learning attitudes and are able to speak confidently to visitors, staff and governors. Come to visit our school and you might be offered a special tour by a pair of them
A learning ambassador:
- Shows consistent compliance with school rules and has a positive attitude to learning;
- 'Lives’ the school values at all times, showing maturity and setting a good example to younger pupils;
- Has leadership skills, such as good organisation, independence and confidence;
- Is reliable and can demonstrate that they will be able to carry out the duties regularly and to a high standard;
- Has a sense of responsibility and can be trusted;
- Has played an active role in all areas of school life and is always willing to lend a hand.
Sharing all of this with Parents - 'What You're Child is Learning Next Week' Letters
We don't want our exciting curriculum to be kept a secret! With that in mind, each week our teachers write a letter (the 'What You're Child is Learning Next Week' letter) in order that parents know what is going to be covered in the following 7 days, so that conversations can be had at home about all the amazing things going on at school. A few samples of the 'W-Y-C-I-L-N-W' letters can be viewed below. These weekly letters are in addition to the half-termly curriculum letters that can be viewed elsewhere on the website (as we felt that parents needed information about what was happening in school on a much more regular basis). The weekly letters have proved very popular.