The curriculum at Coleridge aims to:
- Give children a positive initial experience of learning, one that will enable them to become enquiring, enthusiastic, lifelong learners.
- Impart and teach our children values which will be fundamentally useful, despite changing political, economic and educational landscapes. Our core values underpin our curriculum, creating opportunities for our children to be:
- CREATIVE: using curiosity and imagination to solve problems.
- CARING: looking after each other, our school and the environment.
- RESILIENT: overcoming obstacles and learning from experiences.
- Provide support and challenge for all our children, including those that may be socially disadvantaged, those with special educational needs, and those for whom English is an additional language.
- Promote and actively develop children’s emotional wellbeing, allowing every child to develop and flourish on an equal footing.
- Ensure that all pupils, parents and staff feel represented by our curriculum and by our ethos more generally.
- Expose children to a broad and balanced curriculum, rich in knowledge, enabling children to make meaningful connections and develop a deeper understanding of the world around them.
In order to achieve the aims set out above, our curriculum has been designed to:
- Prioritise the development of early reading skills, empowering children to become literate, independent learners across all areas of the curriculum.
- Demand more of learners than is required by the National Curriculum.
- Build knowledge and skills sequentially over time, allowing children to develop schemata (interconnected knowledge webs). This enables them to put new knowledge into context, make links across topics, notice patterns and connect their new learning with what has come before. Without this web of understanding, new information can lack meaning and can be extremely difficult for children to process.
Example: Children are introduced to the ideas of Democracy and Government in their History learning in Year 3. They examine the rulers of the Persian Empire and the birth of democracy in Athens. They then revisit the idea of democracy and government again in Year 4 when children learn about the birth of the Republic of Rome. In Year 5, children learn about the tensions between the monarchy and the burgeoning power base of nobles in early Britain and in Year 6 children explore the development of parliament from the middle ages through to present day. As children move through their history learning, they are building a rich understanding of the different forms (or prototypes) that government and democracy can take. When a curriculum is organised in this manner, it allows our children to make sense of new information to a far greater degree, and connect it to their previous learning.
- Throughout the curriculum, children are taught both substantive knowledge and disciplinary thinking in their subjects. The substantive knowledge of a subject area refers to the broad range of knowledge we hope to impart, from learning about pivotal developments in world history, to understanding binary code in computing or learning about the style and techniques of famous painters in art. The disciplinary thinking of a subject ensures our children understand how the knowledge of each area is developed by experts in the field. For example, children will learn how historians use sources of evidence to further their understanding of the lives of people in the past and practise developing those skills themselves. They will learn how musicians create songs through experimentation, play and rehearsal, and we will give our children the time to compose their own music, to practise their compositions and refine them over time.
- Extending opportunities for all children by early identification of their individual needs and implementing strategies to overcome barriers to success.
- Exposing children to a wide range of experiences, enriching and deepening their knowledge and understanding of the curriculum and the world in which they live.
- Carefully planning and running extra-curricular opportunities which enable all children to further their knowledge and skills gained in the classroom and apply these to their local, national and global communities. All children have access to school based extracurricular activities through, for example, drama, music, the arts and technology.
Example: Our annual whole school play, which is a pivotal event in the school calendar, provides opportunities for children to collaborate together as a whole school. In the run up to the play, and throughout the performances, children are immersed in a range of creative activities: rehearsing scenes, creating props, painting a backdrop for the play, singing in the choir, performing dances or even playing in an orchestra. The play supports children to become resilient as they rise to the unique challenge of putting on a production for the whole community.
- Through our core values, we develop responsible global citizens with social, ethical and moral values. These are taught both explicitly through curriculum and implicitly through the culture of the school. Children at Coleridge are taught to value the contributions of others and to understand that, whilst everyone is unique, each individual is of equal importance.
We aim for all our children to leave Coleridge:
- Academically and emotionally ready to embark on and embrace the next phase of their learning.
- Understanding that the more they know, the more they learn.
- As caring, resilient and creative individuals, with a passion and excitement for learning.
- Empowered to actively participate in the world in which they live.
- As responsible individuals who are able to build and develop productive relationships with others and effectively contribute to the wider community.