North Harringay

The Five Cs Curriculum



North Harringay Primary School’s curriculum is based around the “Five Cs”: creative, critical, committed, curious and cooperative. We believe these are the five essential ingredients of a successful learner.

Every learner in the school is encouraged to reflect on their progress in terms of these five dispositions and to set themselves targets accordingly. They record their progress against these targets on sticker charts which, when completed, earn them bronze, silver and gold awards. In Year 6 ten “advocates” are chosen, two for each disposition, as exceptional role models for the Five Cs.

The Five Cs were inspired by the work of cognitive scientists Professor Guy Claxton and Professor Bill Lucas on “Building Learning Power”, an attempt to bring to life the famous quote from the developmental psychologist Jean Piaget that a successful learner “knows what to do when they don’t know what to do.” They were also inspired, albeit less forensically, by the observations of the staff and leadership at North Harringay Primary School that children who “know how to learn” achieve so much more academically, as well as having greater levels of well-being, than those who do not.

When educators tell children to “behave”, “concentrate” or “think about what you’re doing”, it is not always easy for them to understand exactly what expectations are attached to these terms. Through the Five Cs, we aim to make our expectations of North Harringay learners clear and consistent across the school, and to develop a shared language for discussing those expectations with the learners themselves.

The Five Cs are not just skills for learning but skills for life. It is impossible for us to know exactly what the economy or the jobs market is going to look like when the young people at primary school now emerge into the workforce. Technological, political and societal change can happen extremely quickly and preparing our learners for adult life in the twenty-first century has to be about more than just rote learning of maths and English. At North Harringay we are committed to securing basic skills, but we are equally committed to ensuring that the young people in our care develop into cooperative, committed, curious, critical and creative thinkers.

The Five Cs Curriculum