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Dedicated to Achieving Success and Happiness for All



Together Everyone Achieves More.mp4

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At Cumwhinton Primary School we see our school as one big family, one big team, where ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’


At the core of our curriculum is the aspiration that all our pupils will understand the importance of Global Citizenship, British Values and adopt a ‘Growth Mindset’ attitude, whilst practising the ‘Habits of the Mind’ through the ‘Chimp Paradox’ (which is an incredibly powerful mind management model that helps our pupils to become happy, confident, healthier and more successful people).


Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development, along with a well-planned and structured programme of personal development, underpins all our work and is monitored by the whole staff team.  This we teach through our six core ‘Cumwhinton Values’ which are: citizenship, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and trustworthiness. The curriculum is infused with opportunities to promote a Growth Mindset reflected in the characteristics of a ‘Cumwhinton Pupil’ which all children are exposed to and encouraged to develop.

Our school is successfully changing to a more skills-based ‘Big Questions’ curriculum which is aimed at both igniting our pupils enthusiasm for learning and at delivering a progressive knowledge based curriculum for our pupils.  Our teachers have adapted to the recently introduced ‘Big Questions’ curriculum well and are teaching it with skill and enthusiasm. Subjects are linked cohesively, giving meaning and purpose to pupils’ learning.  Cross curricular opportunities to extend pupils’ reading, writing and mathematical skills through other subjects are utilised regularly and effectively.


We carefully balance the requirement for pupils to reach national expectations in core subjects with our wider curriculum aims of providing a full spectrum of thoughtful and enriching experiences which reflect the school community and the growing cultural diversity of Carlisle. Our curriculum provides pupils with a well thought-out variety of academic challenges whilst nurturing personal development; we recognise the importance of core and foundation subjects alongside physical and mental wellbeing. These elements have been carefully considered in designing a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum for all, which gives children the knowledge and cultural capital to succeed, whichever path they take. 



Global Citizenship and British Values at Cumwhinton School


We believe we have a duty to prepare our pupils for the modern world - so that they understand the social, cultural, faith and economic facets of everyday life in modern Britain.


Through dedicated ‘MSSC Days’ (Moral, Social, Spiritual and Cultural Days) and dedicated themed weeks we teach our children to think about society, culture, faith, democracy and a range of key British values. As a school, these values permeate throughout our curriculum. We want our pupils to grow in awareness and understanding of the wider world - and their place in it. We encourage our pupils to take an active role in their community, to work with others to make our planet more equal, fair and sustainable and we help our children to build their own understanding of world events, by actively encouraging our ‘pupil voice’ (e.g. through dedicated weekly assemblies, the use of the ‘Picture News’ programme and our central ‘Pupil Voice’ weekly questions board and our democratically elected School Council ). We endeavour to make links with culturally diverse communities through ‘The Big Classroom’ social network and have links with a primary school in Tanzania.


Growth Mindset at Cumwhinton Primary School


We aim to raise our pupils’ achievements by promoting a ‘Growth Mindset’. Decades of research show a powerful relationship between mindset and achievement. Rigorous research also shows that mindsets can change and that when they are changed, to have a Growth Mindset, pupils are more successful. Pupil's beliefs about intelligence and learning impact: their motivation, their academic behaviours (e.g. working hard and asking for help), their responses to challenges and setbacks and their academic achievement. Therefore, at our school pupils are taught how to recognise a 'Fixed Mindset' (which is a fixed trait and belief that things can't be changed) and they are taught the benefits of developing a 'Growth Mindset' (a belief that you can grow your intellegence through effort). We use 'The Power of Yet' to explain Growth Mindset to our pupils. 

We teach the children how everyday interactions shape mindsets through the language we choose to use:

We don’t focus on:

    • Qualities commonly interpreted as stable,
      like talent or intelligence

Do focus on:

    • Effort and strategies used

“I like how you tried a new way to solve that.”

    • Abilities improving over time with practice

“You’ve been practicing and I can see it’s paying off.”

    • Mistakes and being challenged as necessary part of learning

“I love mistakes because they’re an opportunity to learn – being challenged is when the  brain grows most.”

We strive hard to:

    • Normalise and talk about struggle
    • Get excited about challenge and make it part of the culture of our classrooms
    • Encourage pupils to articulate their learning and to justify their thinking
    • Use talk partners to give feedback which encourages pupils to accept criticism in a positive way

The Habits of the Mind at Cumwhinton Primary School

 At our school we help children to understand and manage their emotions, thinking and behaviour through the ‘Chimp Paradox’ by Dr Steve Peters and his ten 'Habits of the Mind'. We teach our pupils how to manage their inner 'chimp' (which is the name we use for the bit of the brain which runs on emotions and gut instincts, makes snap judgements and thinks in black and white. It contrasts with the more rational, evidence-based part of the brain which sees shades of grey).

The ten 'Habits of the Mind' are:


  1. Smiling
  2. Saying sorry
  3. Being kind to someone
  4. Talking about your feelings
  5. Asking for help
  6. Showing good manners
  7. Trying new things
  8. Accepting when “no” really means “no”
  9. Learning to share
  10. Doing what you have to do