Cotteridge School follows a creative topic based curriculum.

Within a topic children will have the opportunity to develop their skills across the following subjects:


For our curriculum statement, please click here!

At Cotteridge Primary School, we follow the programmes of study for individual subjects as outlined in the National curriculum in England: primary curriculum 2014. An overview of how these subjects are taught at Cotteridge can be found below.

A topic based approach is used for the teaching of non-core subjects like history, geography, art and design. The whole school curriculum topic map shows the topic titles for each year group whilst a more in depth look at the curriculum for each term can be found on class pages.

In line with our school ethos of Achieving Excellence and Inspiring Dreams, our exciting topics, along with relevant and stimulating school visits ensure our children achieve a well-rounded education at Cotteridge Primary School.

Please look in individual year group pages for more detailed curriculum.

English teaching and learning involves the four elements of English: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. At Cotteridge School we want our children to become:

  • Confident speakers in a variety of situations;
  • Good listeners;
  • Readers who enjoy all sorts of stories, poetry, plays and information;
  • Writers who have the skills to write for different purposes.

We believe parents are partners in our teaching of reading and set reading as homework in all classes as well as attending Reading workshops throughout the year. We teach phonics in the Foundation Stage and in Key Stage One using Letters and Sounds. Using PM Benchmarking, children’s reading levels are assessed. Using the Oxford Reading Tree scheme, children are given a fully decodable home reading book that corresponds with the sounds that are being taught in class, in addition to a richer reading book each week. Each week, the children take part in a guided reading session with their teacher, reading books at their reading level.

Accelerated Reader is a reading programme which is used in KS2, whereby the children read books suitable to their reading and comprehension ability. We have a wide range of resources, including whole class book collections and well stocked Junior and Infant libraries.  In Year 2 and Key Stage Two, children and staff participate in DEAR (Drop Everything And Read), encouraging reading for pleasure several times per week. The children are exposed to high quality picture and chapter texts, exploring different themes. Each term, every child in KS2 receives their own copy of the class text to enjoy at home for years to come.

Every year we celebrate World Book Day as a week to promote a love of books and reading. Children and staff dress as a character from a book, we invite children to a Big Book Breakfast (Juniors) or bedtime stories (Infants). There is also a Book Fair during the school year. Across the year, Key Stage 1 classes may also visit local libraries.

Across school, we link our English lessons to other areas of the curriculum in order to make the learning real and relevant. We use the Talk 4 Writing process in Key Stage One and Year 3 to embed vocabulary and language features, supporting the children by having a high-quality framework for their own independent writing.  In Years 4, 5 and 6, children continue to explore a range of high-quality texts and novels, including poetry, which offer a variety of writing opportunities to develop writing for purpose. Our children have a positive attitude to English and enjoy writing for a range of audiences.

Mathematics at Cotteridge Primary School embeds the three aims of the National Curriculum into daily practice. Children are encouraged to be fluent through daily counting, number fact activities, number relationship tasks and the practice of inverse operations. A wide range of opportunities to then apply these skills are offered, across a range of problems and puzzles, which ensures the knowledge and understandings of children are of depth. Maths is made real, with scenarios children can relate to. We encourage children to reason within mathematics, using mathematical language to discuss learning, explain thoughts and determine conclusions. Children follow the Concrete-Pictoral-Abstract model in order to make links and build on concepts. Concepts are explored in a variety of ways to ensure structures and relationships are understood. We encourage cross-curricular maths within our topics, which enable children to practise mathematical skills across the variety of topics they study.

We follow the Bright-Pi programme of study, which maps out the complete coverage of the mathematics objectives. Our written calculation policy is robust and ensures written calculations are taught consistently so children can build on prior learning and extend methods as they progress through the school.

At Cotteridge Primary School our standards and expectations are high. We strive for all pupils to perform at their best and to achieve their mathematical potential under our specific, creative, supportive and challenging curriculum.

Please look in individual year group pages for information on Maths National Curriculum Programme of Study.

Vision for Science

At Cotteridge Primary School science is a time for us to harness children’s natural excitement and curiosity and inspire them to explore the world around them while developing their skills as young scientists.

We believe that scientific enquiry is one of the most powerful ways to learn; encouraging curiosity and perseverance as well as challenging what we know about the world. We strive to make science as practical as possible, linking it to real life contexts and giving our learning meaning.

Through a range of engaging topics such as The Human Body, Plants, Keeping Healthy, The Earth, Moon and Sun, and many others, children are given the opportunity to use a wide-range of resources to lead their learning and make their own discoveries. We are committed to building their scientific skills around enquiry and providing our young scientists with opportunities to predict, plan, test and record their ideas before drawing conclusions on their discoveries.

We aim to nurture a love for the natural world and an excitement for future possibilities in science. As such, lessons aren’t just limited to the classroom…we make use of our fantastic outdoor classroom area in the Orchard in Cotteridge Park, and visits including the Botanical Gardens, Sea Life Centre and Nature Centre provide further opportunity to enrich and inspire learning.

At Cotteridge children and staff believe…

At Cotteridge Primary School, we believe it is important for children to develop skills in all areas of Computing in a cross curricular way to equip them for the future as active participants in the digital world.

Working in liaison with Entrust Education Technologies, we follow their updated scheme of work, which is in line with the National Curriculum for Computing.

The curriculum is split into three strands: Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. At the core of the computing curriculum is computer science, in which pupils develop their understanding of information and computation, how digital systems work and programming. With this knowledge, pupils are better equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of digital content. Knowledge and understanding is built upon year on year across each of the strands, equipping pupils to become digitally literate by using and developing their ideas through ICT.

We have a cross curricular approach to teaching computing, making strong links with the topics studied in each year group throughout the school.  However, some units of work, particularly coding, may be taught through discrete computing lessons.

At Cotteridge School we value children’s art. We encourage them to use their imagination and creativity by exploring and experimenting with a variety of materials such as clay, textiles and paint. They develop skills in using and handling different types of tools and techniques. We provide them with visual, tactile and sensory experiences to help them communicate what they see, feel and think.

Our children learn about artists, crafts people and designers both past and present and those from different cultures. They learn how to appreciate their own work and the work of others.

Arts Week, which usually happens in the autumn term, provides the perfect opportunity to explore art works from around the world and respond using a variety of media. The children then share their learning with parents through a gallery.

At Cotteridge School we believe it is important for children to develop an understanding of the importance of design and technology as it relates to the real world. Design and technology provides opportunities for children to be creative problem solvers, where they can combine thinking with practical skills. It allows pupils the chance to work collaboratively with others where they can share and evaluate ideas and respond to challenges appropriately.

We feel there are two key principles to the subject; products must have a purpose and an end user. At Cotteridge School we follow the National Curriculum for design and technology which we have developed to include the following design process:

  1. Introduce user/purpose of the project
  2. Research, develop and evaluate existing ideas
  3. Plan an initial annotated design
  4. Complete focused practical tasks where they learn a range of new skills and develop existing ones
  5. Make their final product
  6. Evaluate their design, including peer and self-assessment

Pupils at Cotteridge School will get the chance to complete a number of exciting DT projects during each academic year, one of which will be to design and make a food product.


At Cotteridge, we aim to instil in pupils a curiosity about the world, which will provoke questions and provide answers about the ever-changing world in which we live. We provide pupils with opportunities to explore both their local area, as well as other diverse parts of the world. This enables them to strengthen their understanding of the place in which they live and make comparisons with the places, people, resources and human and physical features of other worldwide locations. By learning about other parts of the world, pupils are given the chance to develop their map-reading and locational skills, alongside increasing their awareness of different cultures.

As young geographers, our pupils will study both human and physical features of the various places they investigate, confidently knowing the differences between these and the influences they have on our lives. Undertaking school trips linked with Geography and carrying out fieldwork will deepen children’s understandings and highlight in a very real way how Geography influences and impacts upon the world in which they live.

As our curriculum is taught through topics, we assign a place to each termly topic, ensuring that our pupils will gain an all-round greater knowledge of the world and their role within it. Our hope is for the children to develop a love of geography, and a fascination of the world and its people, that will stay with them throughout their lives.

At Cotteridge School, we believe it is important for children to develop a sense of historical curiosity about their world, and provide them will the skills they need to build up a comprehensive picture of the past, thinking and acting as historians. We are committed to providing pupils with opportunities to explore and make discoveries in their local area so they can develop an understanding of where they come from and the history and heritage of their home.

The range of topics we study allow children to develop their knowledge of history within the United Kingdom and the wider world. As historians, pupils will use and evaluate historical sources, to gain an insight into the past and understand the varying versions of it. By supporting our topics with educational visits, pupils become immersed in the topic they are focusing on, and the key historical figures and events which have shaped the world.

We strive to instil in our students a love of History and equip them with the tools needed to continue making discoveries.


The aims of the MFL programme at Cotteridge are to ensure that children begin Secondary school prepared to deepen their knowledge of French, ready to explore other languages on offer and, above all, to give them a life-long love of language learning.

At Cotteridge French is taught throughout years 3 to 6, as a requirement of the National Curriculum. Children are introduced to the French language in spoken and written form, and learn to reproduce its sounds and spelling systems. French is taught using a variety of techniques including games, songs, stories and rhymes which, as well as improving language awareness, also give the children an insight into French-speaking cultures around the world.

French at Cotteridge enables children to develop skills in four key areas – reading, speaking, writing and listening – and even singing about a range of topics! Children in year 3 begin by learning to introduce themselves and cover the basics such as colours, numbers and animals before moving on to forming simple sentences and questions. Various topics are covered during the course of Key Stage 2 as children’s language skills develop, including travel and weather, money and shopping, clothing, places in town and French food. Grammar is introduced gradually throughout the four years giving children a basic grounding in number, gender, some key verbs and an understanding of how pronouns and adjectives work. Finally in Year 6 we take a look at past and future tense.

To enable children to gain as much exposure as possible to different languages, occasionally we are lucky enough to have visits from language specialists who can provide children with introductory taster sessions in additional languages. In preparation for the transition to the juniors, one off sessions are delivered to the infants as an early introduction to MFL.

Cotteridge School puts singing at the heart of school life. This has been recognised by the award of the coveted SingUp Gold Award in July 2011.

Children in Year 2, 3 and 4 enjoy class music lessons with a visiting specialist from Birmingham LEA music service, as well as expanding their musical knowledge and composition skills with their class teachers. The Foundation Stage enjoy music-making with singing, rhythm and instruments as an integral part of their curriculum. They also use music as a starting point for introducing Makaton into their daily routines.  Our creative curriculum gives us ample opportunities to use musical aspects of learning. We sing fantastically well in assemblies and SingUp Together sessions, as well as using songs to help learn about other topics.

The Year 4 to 6 choir rehearse each Thursday lunchtime, and regularly performs in school, in Gala concerts at the Symphony Hall, at the Sharing Concerts, and at Cotteridge CoCoMAD festival. The Infant Choir (Years 1 to 2) practice each Wednesday lunchtime and perform in front of the school and their parents.

Visiting music teachers give individual and group lessons in Guitar,  Clarinet and Brass, children have opportunities to perform in school. We are participating in the Wider Opportunities whole class instrument learning programme for Year 4 who are learning to play the cornet and clarinet.

There is a considerable musical emphasis in the Key Stage 1 Christmas productions, Choir Concerts from Key Stage 2, Year 6 Leavers Production  and in class assemblies.

At Cotteridge, Children have a fantastic range of opportunities in order to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of a variety of sporting contexts to promote and maintain a healthy, physical lifestyle.

Through a minimum of 2 hours of PE per week, our children strive towards success, driven by our embedded School Games values of: Respect, Determination, Team-Work, Passion, Self-Belief and Honesty.

Across Key Stages 1 & 2, children actively participate and enjoy units such as Invasion, Net & Wall and Striking & Fielding games, as well as areas such as Dance and Gymnastics. Children are able to apply skills taught in inter-house competitions – which have included Basketball, Dodgeball and Hockey – in addition to a range of extra-curricular clubs (such as Football, Netball, Basketball Gymnastics, Cricket and Multi-skills) and regular inter-school competitions against other local schools.

Children in Years 2 and 3 swim for a two week blocks and are able to develop their confidence, technique and stamina throughout the duration of the unit.

At Cotteridge we believe that the teaching of Religious Education helps to develop a child’s character and to understand the world in which they live. At our school we follow the Birmingham Local Agreed Syllabus. This means that our curriculum is reflective of the diverse and dynamic religions in our city. The teaching of Religious Education is fun and engaging in order to deepen the children’s understanding of faith and belief.

Across the school the children are taught to explore their own ideas of faith and belief and then make connections between these and the many religions they learn about. The learning is based around 24 moral and spiritual dispositions (all of which are deemed important by different faiths across the city) which give the children an opportunity to evaluate what they think and discuss with others about different ideas before learning from different faiths about these particular dispositions.   Many of the activities we engage in are role-play, hot seating and creating religious stories.  We use the Internet, visit places of worship and invite people to speak about their faith. The children are also given an in-depth understanding of religious traditions which prepares them for their future encounters as they live in a diverse world.

The children are taught about Christianity, its beliefs and customs, as well as studying Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

As a Unicef Rights Respecting school, we encourage our children to talk about their own beliefs and to be respectful to the beliefs and practices of others.  We closely link many lessons to our multicultural society and British values.


PSHE Intent

At Cotteridge School, we believe that, through our Personal, Social Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculum, covered by the PSHE Dimensions lessons and resources, our children will be able to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepare for life and work. These skills include:

  • Understanding of what is meant by a healthy lifestyle
  • Be aware of safety issues including E-Safety and being safe online
  • Being thoughtful and responsible members of our school and community
  • Developing self-confidence
  • Making informed choices regarding personal and social issues
  • Developing good relationships with peers

UNICEF Rights 
We are an UNICEF Rights Respecting School and our children are aware of their rights as described by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. These are covered through discrete lessons and assemblies.

At Cotteridge School we believe that Relationships and Sex Education needs to be taught in a sensitive manner and at an age appropriate level. We communicate with parents on the content of sex education lessons in school, enabling parents to discuss any concerns they may have and view the teaching materials before the sessions occur.

At Cotteridge School, we use the Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach to teaching and learning, to help children to develop into effective, critical and creative thinkers and to take responsibility for their own learning in a caring and collaborative way. We do this by providing practical ways of developing good thinking, questioning and communications skills.

During regular P4C sessions, children and their teacher share a stimulus, for example, a story, film clip, picture, they then take thinking time to devise their own questions and together the class chooses one question to enquire into further.


With experience, children’s questions get deeper and more thoughtful. The children’s discussions become more disciplined and focused yet, at the same time, more imaginative. The approach not only helps to develop creative and critical thinking skills but also encourages children to care more about what others say and develop the ability to recognize differences and explore these collaboratively.

The aim of P4C is to help children to develop the skills and dispositions that will enable them to contribute as responsible citizens of the future. This supports the schools ethos and values of creating a caring school and classroom environment where children learn to listen to and respect each other.