The Wider Curriculum
What do we mean by ‘Wider Curriculum’ at Cumwhinton?
At Cumwhinton we aim to bring our children together with fantastic teaching and take them on the learning journey in well-structured and creative ways that make the learning more memorable and enjoyable. However, we also know that if children are to flourish and receive a knowledge-rich experience in the truest sense, one that helps them develop into fully rounded adults, then they need to experience a wider curriculum, one that goes beyond the formal and ‘academic’.
So, for us, the wider curriculum embraces and builds in all those other really important things that enhance life: sport (for fun as well as for the competition), musical performances, drama, clubs and guest speakers on multiple topics, competitions, assemblies, culture, concerts, trips and so on.
Our bespoke house system, unique merit system, OPAL playtimes, Children’s Leadership Team school all provide the opportunity for children to learn about the world, participating to improve their school, representing their peers, formulating ideas and proposals and realising the restrictions of budgets, opposing ideas and the lessons learnt from both winning and losing.
At Cumwhinton, our wider curriculum offers our children the opportunity to learn about life in its broader context: its challenges and opportunities, how to respond to both successes and disappointments. It also represents the significance and importance of extra-curricular activities and provides a balance to be achieved between academic focus and recreational enjoyment.
A Wide Curriculum also recognises the importance of ensuring that young people understand and appreciate the core British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance. The opportunity to discuss these principles can form part of the formal curriculum through Personal, Social, Health and Economic lessons, but their promotion should also take place within a range of other activities specifically designed to incorporate these values, for example in our whole school MSSC days.
In summary then, our wider curriculum is two sides of the same curriculum coin; a knowledge-rich academic ‘core’ and a wider, enriching curriculum. Together they’re the way we help children to flourish.
Promoting British Values At Cumwhinton
Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and, within this, the promotion of fundamental British values, are at the heart of the school’s work.
We aim to prepare pupils positively for life in modern Britain and promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.
At Cumwhinton, we value and respect the rights of individuals, therefore it is important that everyone has the opportunity for their voice to be heard.
Each year begins with a democratic process where each class can nominate representatives for our Pupil Voice roles. Our pupils are encouraged to see the link with the real world and to know about the main political parties and how Government works.
Once the Children’s Leadership Team is established, they meet every half-term with an agreed agenda and, whilst they are supervised by an adult, they do have a nominated Chair and Vice-Chair who lead the meetings. Any pupil or member of staff can bring an item to be placed on the agenda for discussion but the key focus areas are school priorities, supporting charities and school development.
As pupils progress through school, they also have the opportunity to nominate themselves to be a House Captain, this process is like a real election, with Year 6 House Captain candidates having to prepare their own election speech to secure their classmates’ votes.
All pupils complete an annual questionnaire to put forward their views about the school and any suggestions they might have.
The Rule Of Law
At Cumwhinton, we are very conscious that our pupils are the citizens of the future. Therefore, it is important that our pupils learn about how society operates and the importance of being able to live in a way that does not negatively affect others.
At the start of every school year we focus on citizenship, school rules and behaviour expectations. All pupils are expected to sign and adhere to the Home/School Agreement to remind them about what is expected from them, including how we must behave in school. Our pupils are given time to consider the part that we all play in society. They are all expected to follow the school rules, which are displayed in every classroom and referred to daily. They learn about their rights and also their responsibilities and how our actions have consequences that can affect those around them.
Daily assembly sets the tone for the day in terms of our high expectations and, over the year, our pupils work towards Personal Bests as well as Star Achiever awards for exceptional work and behaviour over a half term.
Visits from the Police and Fire Service, the magistrates’ court and local government all help to reinforce our message that the rule of law both governs and protects us.
We provide our pupils with a safe environment and empowering education in which to make their own choices, e.g. pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms safely through PSHE and e-safety lessons.
Pupils are given the freedom to make choices within lessons, e.g. choice of learning challenge or choice of how they record their findings. They are also given the freedom to make choices in extra curricular time, e.g. participation in lunch-time clubs, after-school clubs or residential visits
Mutual Respect For & Tolerance Of Those With Different Faiths & Beliefs & For Those Without Faith
Mutual respect is one of our school rules.
Our pupils need to learn how to show respect for others and understand that difference is not only acceptable, but welcome. They learn that everyone is welcome in our school.
We have links with our local parish churches. Reverend Isaac school half termly to lead assembly and to teach about Christian values and ideas.
Each half-term we also have assemblies and lessons in each year group about different religions. This complements our RE curriculum so that pupils get an overview of a range of religions, whilst learning about one religion in depth each year. RE is taught throughout the school and follows the Cumbria Agreed Syllabus for RE. The overall aim of the subject is to enable pupils to develop respect for different beliefs whilst providing them with the opportunities to develop and discover their own personal values. The curriculum reflects the fact that the UK is a multi-cultural society with Christianity as its main religion. The teaching of RE is both creative and varied. Approaches include food tasting, drama, visiting the local Church, exploring festivals through art, re-telling important stories and considering personal beliefs.
Daily assembly and work in class ensure that this message is constantly reinforced. Any concerns raised about lack of tolerance or respect for others on school premises, are followed up stringently.
Whole School Trips
We have been looking at ways of enhancing our school visits offer for your children, in line with our school vision of …inspired by Cumbria, ready for the world… All of our school visits have been carefully selected in order to build your children’s skills and understanding of our three core school values:
~ Having A Voice ~
Diversity, Fairness, Individuality
~ Seizing The Chance ~
Truth, Change, Resilience
~ Being The Change ~
Responsibility, Equality, Sustainability
Starting locally, providing inspirational opportunities in our local area, the Lake District, and then moving further afield in Year 6 where your children will be offered their first educational residential in the wider world. Attached to this letter is an overview timetable of visits which will be offered to your children each year they are at our school. These are exciting and wide-ranging opportunities; all aimed at enriching our curriculum and embedding our values and helping to teach our children the valuable qualities they need to become successful global citizens.
Cumwhinton School educational visits include: