At St. James C of E Primary School we follow the 2014 National Curriculum using a thematic approach based around the Cornerstones Curriculum.
What is the Cornerstones Curriculum?
The Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the new 2014 Primary National Curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Our curriculum will be delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) which will provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of our 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 lots of learning challenges throughout the academic year that require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum.
Cornerstones also provide a rigorous essential skills framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects. These essential skills are tied to activities and are age related so that staff can track children’s progress and identify their individual learning needs.
How it Works?
Children will progress through four stages of learning in each Imaginative Learning Project – Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express.
At the ‘Engage’ stage, children:
- gain memorable first-hand experiences, such as going on a visit or inviting a special visitor into school
- enjoy ‘WOW’ experiences
- get an exciting introduction to a topic or theme
- begin researching and setting enquiry questions
- get lots of opportunities to make observations
- develop spoken language skills
- take part in sensory activities
- have lots of fun to fully ‘engage’ with their new topic.
At the ‘Develop’ stage, children:
- improve their knowledge and understanding of the topic
- develop and practice their new skills
- compose, make, do, build, investigate, explore, write for different purposes and read across the curriculum
- research their own questions and those set by others
- follow new pathways of enquiry based on their interests
- complete homework activities that support their learning.
At the ‘Innovate’ stage, children:
- apply skills, knowledge and understanding in real-life contexts
- solve real or imagined problems using everything they’ve learnt
- get inspired by imaginative and creative opportunities
- re-visit anything not fully grasped at the ‘Develop’ stage.
At the ‘Express’ stage, children:
- become the performers, experts and informers
- share their achievements with parents, classmates and the community
- evaluate finished products and processes
- link what they have learnt to where they started
- celebrate their achievements!