' I have come so that they have life and have it to the full.'
Inspired by Jesus Christ's example and the Gospel values of love, joy and compassion, we will nurture and develop the whole child so that each unique individual grows constantly in confidence , and has the knowledge, skills and self-esteem to achieve their true potential.
All children will access a rich, ambitious, challenging curriculum; one that is broad, balanced and relevant, fostering curiosity, creativity and a life-long love of learning. It will prepare them for each stage of education, employment or training and enable them, as educated citizens, to contribute to creating a better world.
The curriculum includes all the planned activities that promote learning and personal growth and development. It includes the requirements of the National Curriculum, but extends more broadly to include the 'hidden curriculum', or what children learn from the culture and ethos of our school - the way they are treated and expected to behave. We provide opportunities for children to voice their ideas and explore their own interests through taking responsibilities, involvement in wider aspect of school life as well as making decisions about their learning in the classroom.
St Mary's is a one form entry primary school with one class in each year group. We follow themes and learning process of Cornerstones and it's 10 Big Ideas, but we tailor this resource to our school so the learning takes account of our context, locality and children's interests.
What is the Cornerstones Curriculum?
The Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the 2014 primary national curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. It is based on a child-centred pedagogy called The Four Cornerstones and is delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) and Knowledge Rich Projects (KRPs), which provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of children’s learning.
We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our curriculum provides many learning challenges throughout the academic year that require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively. Cornerstones also provide a rigorous skills and knowledge framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects. These skills and knowledge are tied to activities and are age-related so that staff can track children’s progress and identify their individual learning needs.
- Hook learners in with a memorable experience.
- Set the scene and provide the context for learning.
- Ask questions to find our children's interests.
- Spark children's curiosity using interesting starting points.
- Teach facts and information for deeper understanding and knowledge.
- Demonstrate new skills to allow time for making consolidation.
- Provide creative opportunities for making and doing.
- Deliver reading, writing and talking across the curriculum.
- Provide imaginative scenarios that encourage creative thinking.
- Enable children to apply previously learned skills.
- Encourage enterprise and independent thinking.
- Provide opportunities for collaborative working and problem solving.
- Provide environments for reflective talk.
- Create opportunities for shared evaluation.
- Celebrate and share children's success.
- Identify next steps for learning.
10 Big Ideas
The 10 Big Ideas cover all aspects of learning. Please click here for them.
We believe that children deserve a balanced curriculum that enables them to develop a deep understanding of all subjects and the interconnections between them. The rationale for the Cornerstones Curriculum takes the form of the 10 Big Ideas that provide a purpose for the aspects, skills, knowledge and contexts chosen to form the substance of the curriculum. Theses big ideas form a series of multi-dimensional threads across the curriculum, allowing children to encounter and revisit their learning through a variety of subject lenses. Over time, these encounters help children to build conceptual frameworks that will enable a better understanding of increasingly sophisticated information and ideas. Please click this link to see how they are applied to subjects.
Inclusion and diversity
At St Mary's , we believe that the curriculum should positively promote the inclusion of all children and their families and develop respect and tolerance for their own and other cultures.
Throughout the teaching of our curriculum, children are encouraged to talk and work in mixed ability groups as this enables all children to participate in lessons and promotes the inclusion of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and children who come from a family where English is an additional or second language(EAL/ESL). More able children are challenged and supported through appropriate extension activities. This may take the form of further independent embedding of skills or application of skills and knowledge in other subject areas. Where the content of lessons would prove to be too difficult for some children within the setting, teachers differentiate their tasks to make learning accessible for all children.
Cornerstones is perfect for developing the EYFS characteristics of effective learning:
- Playing and Exploring
- Active Learning
- Creating and Thinking Critically
The Cornerstones EYFS Curriculum is carefully designed to enable children to practise and master the necessary skills needed to achieve the Early Learning Goals. Each activity that is planned is matched to the EYFS 'Typical Behaviours' and the corresponding Early Learning Goals and skills.