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CornerStones

Cornerstones Curriculum

 

Intent


At Alston, we follow the Cornerstones Curriculum which is a creative and thematic approach to learning. It has been mapped to the 2014 Primary National Curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Our curriculum is delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) which provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of our children’s learning.

Our curriculum is taught through a pedagogy that:

  • Excites, promotes and sustains children’s interest
  • Promotes problem-solving, creativity and communication
  • Enables and fosters children’s natural curiosity
  • Offers all children a memorable experience at the start of every topic
  • Promotes innovation and entrepreneurialism
  • Enables children to reflect on and evaluate their learning
  • and actively encourages and welcomes parents to take part in children’s learning and experiences.

 

We believe children learn better when they use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our curriculum provides lots of learning challenges throughout the academic year which require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum. 

 

Implementation


Every year, children complete six ILPs and progress through four distinct stages of learning in each ILP – Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express. Assessment is a vital part of teaching and learning and as such helps teachers in planning work, identifying problems and helping children to make progress. Through half-termly assessment, we monitor all children and through cross-curricular links (English, Maths and Computing) embed key skills and knowledge immersing our children in their learning.

 

Engage
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.

 

Develop
At the "Develop" stage, children:

  • Improve their knowledge and understanding of the topic.
  • Develop and practice their new skills.
  • Write an extended cross-curricular piece of writing.
  • 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.

 

Innovate
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.
  • Revisit anything not fully grasped at the ‘Develop’ stage.

 

Express
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.

 

Impact

At Alston, our curriculum gives every child the opportunity to:

  • See clear links between different aspects of their learning
  • Develop a rich and deep subject knowledge
  • Explore the breadth and depth of the national curriculum and apply their learning to other subject areas
  • Understand the purpose and value of their learning and see its relevance to their past, present and future
  • Develop and demonstrate their creativity
  • Experience the challenge and enjoyment of learning
  • Develop new skills through a variety of interesting contexts
  • Develop self-esteem and confidence in their abilities
  • Follow their own interests and be themselves
  • Reflect and think mindfully about their leaning
  • Work in a range of groups and settings

 

Through pupil voice, we strive to continually improve our curriculum. Regular half-termly meetings with class ambassadors encourage pupils to share:

 

  • What they like and dislike about their learning
  • Evaluate their own learning
  • Express their opinions on a range of different topics and issues
  • Explore ways of becoming an active citizens
  • Take part in charity events within their ILPs.

 

In addition to this, we pride ourselves on working closely with families to ensure all our pupils achieve in a happy learning environment. The engagement of parents and carers is crucial to this and we work hard on building a strong cohesive link between school, home, parents and the community that makes learning more real which is active, interactive and exciting. Thus parents are regularly invited to share what the children have learnt.

 

Year Group

ILP Title and focus

 

Topic One

Topic Two

Topic Three

Topic Four

N

Why do you love me so much?

Is it shiny?

 

Did dragons exist?

How many pebbles on the beach?

R

Will you read me a story?

Are we there yet?

Why do zebras have stripes?

Do cows drink milk?

1

Memory Box

 

Moon Zoom!

Bright Lights, Big City

 

Dinosaur Planet

Focus

History

  DT

Geography

History

2

Land Ahoy!

Towers, Tunnels and Turrets

 

Street Detectives

 

Coastline

Focus

Geography

History/DT project 

History

Geography

3

Tremors

Traders and Raiders

 

Flow

Urban Pioneers

 

Focus

Geography

History

Geography

Art/History

4

Gods and Mortals

 

Misty Mountain

ROAD TRIP TO USA

 

I am a warrior

 

Focus

History

Geography

History/Geography

History

5

Pharaohs

 

Revolution

 

Sow and Grow

 

A European study

Focus

History

History

Geography/Food technology

Geography

6

A Child’s War

 

Frozen Kingdom

Blood Heart

Hola Mexico

 

Focus

History/ DT project

Geography

Science

History/Geography

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