The University of Cambridge Primary School is committed to exemplary teaching and learning. It aims to be bold, free thinking and rigorous; underpinned by a commitment to the values of excellence, equity and learner empowerment. We aim to be:
- Ambitious: everyone is encouraged and enabled to achieve and attain highly
- Innovative: the learning community benefits from belonging to a research and teacher education community both within the school itself and as part of wider University and school partnerships
- Inclusive: everyone is welcome and everyone included
At the core of our curriculum: developing compassionate citizens
As such, our principled approach to designing our curriculum is rooted in:
- democratic notions of education (Dewey, 1916; Greene, 1995; Hart et al, 2004; Swann et al, 2012)
- in which children’s voice is central
- in which we empower children to make sense of the complex world in which they live (Rudduck and Flutter, 2004);
- in developing their ability to question; to discuss, challenge and contest diverse positions respectfully and compassionately; and to consider views about our world and how we should live in it.
There is a critical thinking nature so that we question assumptions about truth and knowledge. In understanding the intercultural communities in which we live, there is a need for children to learn with the diversities that exist in their local and global communities; inspired by the words of Lord Williams and the Cambridge Primary Review (2010),
‘If you’re going to be a decision-making citizen, you need to know how to make sense and how to recognise when someone is making sense…that there are different ways of making sense, different sorts of questions to ask about the world we’re in, and insofar as those questions are pursued with integrity and seriousness they should be heard seriously and charitably’ (Lord Williams, 2008; quoted in Alexander (2010: p.13).
- We aim to develop a community of compassionate active globally minded people.
- The values of empathy, respect, trust, courage and gratitude are embedded through learning experiences with the purpose of explicitly and implicitly enacting these and giving them meaning
- Three pedagogical pillars guide our practice: Oracy and Dialogue, Habits of Mind and Playful Enquiry
- Both domain-specific knowledge and skills, and positive dispositions towards individual subject areas are fostered through coherently planned learning sequences
- Positive relationships are fostered through the engagement with our vision and values forming an enabling space through which teachers and learners can develop the knowledge, concepts and skills to be and grow to become compassionate and active global citizens
- Diversities are enabled and celebrated.