The Cornerstones Approach


Our curriculum is supported by Cornerstones which is led by Big Ideas that cover all aspects of learning.

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 10 big ideas that provide a purpose for the aspects, skills, knowledge and contexts chosen to form the substance of the curriculum. These big ideas form a series of multi-dimensional interconnected 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.

· Humankind- Understanding what it means to be human and how human behaviour has shaped the world

· Nature- Understanding the complexities of the plant and animal species that inhabit the world

· Processes- Understanding the many dynamic and physical processes that shape the world

·  Place- Understanding the visual, cultural, social, and environmental aspects of places around the world

·  Creativity- Understanding the creative process and how every day and exceptional creativity can shape the world

·  Comparison- Understanding how and why things are the same or different

· Investigation- Understanding the importance of investigation and how this has led to significant change in the world.

·  Significance- Understanding why significant people, places, events and inventions matter and how they have shaped the world

· Materials- Understanding the properties of all matter, living and non-living

·  Change-Understanding why and how things have changed over time


The four cornerstones have provided with a solid foundation for planning our 2 year rolling programme for our foundation subjects.  They have provided a clear structure for lesson development whilst ensuring subject progression in all areas.  We have carefully selected a range of topics with a clear subject focus that are completed over a half term to continually keep children engaged.

The most important underlying principle of a curriculum is to help children learn. We believe that a successful curriculum is brought to life by high quality teaching, inspirational learning activities and opportunities to listen and plan for the developing interests and motivations of children.

That is why the Cornerstones Primary Curriculum is built upon a four stage teaching and learning philosophy…

The Four Cornerstones:    ENGAGE   –   DEVELOP   –   INNOVATE   –   EXPRESS

What do the Four Cornerstones look like?


· have memorable first-hand experiences – for example going on a visit outside the classroom or inviting a specialist visitor into the classroom

· have WOW experiences – Investigate and Discover

· be introduced in exciting ways to the new topic or theme

·  begin initial research and set enquiry questions

·  have lots of opportunity to make observations

·  develop spoken language skills

·   take part in sensory activities

· have a great deal of fun, allowing them to fully ‘engage’ with their new topic



·  dig much deeper to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of a topic across the curriculum

·  practice their newfound skills

·  compose, make, do, build, investigate, explore, write for different purposes, read across the curriculum

·  research their own questions and those posed by others

·  follow new pathways of enquiry based on their own interests

·  complete homework activities that support their learning in school



· apply previous skills, knowledge and understanding in real life contexts

· be challenged with real or imagined problems and situations to solve using knowledge and skills from the earlier stages

· be inspired with imaginative and creative opportunities

· have time to re-visit skills, knowledge and understanding not grasped during the develop stage

· have the opportunity to take on different roles



· become the performers, the experts, the informers

·  share their achievements with others in many different ways…….parents, class mates and the community

·  evaluate finished products/processes

· tie learning back to the beginning

· celebrate

Contact Us

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01963 220345
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