Together everyone achieves more.

Understanding the 5 Cs

Kerr Mackie Primary School’s curriculum is based around the “Five Cs”: community, challenge, confidence, curiosity and care. We believe these are the five vital elements of an effective learner.


Every pupil in the school is encouraged to reflect on their progress in terms of the five Cs and to see themselves as part of a whole school community. Pupils strive to do their very best not just in isolation but as part of the Kerr Mackie team. The school acts as a hub for the wider school community. We believe that by encouraging organisations involved in health, education, sports, arts and other areas we can help add value to the community and the families that our pupils belong to.  If the community prospers then so do the pupils. Additionally, in Year 5 and 6 ten “community reps” are chosen, two for each disposition, as exceptional role models for the Five Cs.


The Five Cs are underpinned by a number of educational theories and ideas. Underpinning ‘Challenge’ is research carried out by Tim Gill (Research fellow in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading). Inspired by his findings, we believe that, “Taking risks can have positive implications in terms of children’s developmental, social and emotional needs, as well as their overall health. By providing the opportunities for children to manage their own risks in a controlled environment, they will learn vital life skills needed for adulthood, and gain the experience needed to face the unpredictable nature of the world.” Alongside this we are creating a culture of high support and high challenge where pupils and colleagues feel confident exploring the edges of their capabilities.


Developing confidence in our pupils and colleagues is essential at Kerr Mackie. We believe as Jean Piaget did - that a successful learner, “Knows what to do when they don’t know what to do.” Supporting pupils to take ownership of their learning by giving them the confidence and the tools both in and out of the classroom is incredibly important. Observations by colleagues and leadership at Kerr Mackie Primary School show 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.

Curiosity and Care

Through the Five Cs, we aim to make our expectations of Kerr Mackie learners clear and consistent across the school whilst developing a shared curiosity for nature and the world around them. Curiosity is a tool that children use for learning and we want to fully develop their explorative instincts whilst they are with us. At Kerr Mackie we are committed to securing basic skills, but we are equally committed to ensuring that the young people in our care become future citizens who: participate responsibly in their community; challenge themselves every day; have confidence in their own ability; have curiosity about the world around them and care about themselves and each other.

The Five Cs are a bedrock for life. It is impossible for us to know what the future holds but we can prepare the pupils of Kerr Mackie with the best start possible, through the 5 C’s. Change… be it technological, political or societal, can happen exceptionally fast so preparing our learners for adult life with a positive outlook, which instils self-belief, is incredibly important to everyone at Kerr Mackie.