At West Road Primary, our curriculum is based around the National Curriculum. We follow the Cornerstones Curriculum to ensure that all themes are cohesive, relevant and that children make great progress, whilst enjoying their learning.
Thematic Cross Curricular Approach to Learning
At West Road Primary School we address the foundation subjects of History, Geography, Art and Technology through a thematic cross curricular approach. Our theme usually also includes our Science and IT but these are also taught as discrete subjects on their own as necessary in order to cover the National Curriculum Programmes of Study.
We did a lot of research to find a curriculum that we felt suited our children and provided us with a structure of exciting and interesting themes. We finally adopted the ‘Cornerstones Curriculum’ which bases its approach on 4 corners of learning
The themes are planned on a 2 year rolling programme to take account of our mixed age classes, this ensures that the children are not taught the same knowledge even though they may stay in the same class for two years.
Examples of the these being taught during 2013-14 are ‘Remember Remember’, ‘Potions’, ‘Traders and Raiders’ and ‘Champions’.
As the New National Curriculum is introduced in September 2014 we will update our themes accordingly to meet the new expectations.
What do the Four Cornerstones look like?
During the Engage stage children will :-
- 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
During the Develop stage children will :-
- 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
During the Innovate stage children will :-
- 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
During the Express stage children will :-
- 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
As parents you will be invited in to school to share the work that your child(ren) has been working on. This will usually be part of the ‘express’ stage of the Cornerstones stages.
The feedback so far about our new curriculum has been very positive. The children have enjoyed the exciting themes and parents have enjoyed being invited in to school to take part in the ‘express’ and sharing their child’s successes.