School Newsletter 13th April - A New Approach to Learning
Dear Parents and Carers
I am writing to introduce our new creative approach to learning which is based on the Cornerstones Curriculum, a nationally recognised approach for delivering outstanding learning opportunities for children.
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. Our new curriculum will be delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) or topics, 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. Ofsted praised our already broad and balanced curriculum and we are now building on this to inspire children to develop a love of learning that will improve not only their enjoyment, but their attainment, particularly in writing. Our new curriculum will provide lots of learning challenges throughout the last term and in future years that will 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 ILP – Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express. To find out more about these stages please click on the link through to Cornerstones website:
In delivering our broad and balanced curriculum, we realise that it is essential for each child to experience different methods of learning through the effective use of a range of printed and practical materials including the use of ICT. Some of these learning skills are addressed through a whole class approach/small groups, and individual work. Within each class our children are grouped in different ways at different times with work differentiated to meet all pupils' talents, skills and abilities. Our learning activities are supported by the use of teaching assistants and opportunities to learn are maximised through workshops and visits throughout the year. The starting points for each topic vary and some will include a visit, others may require a visitor, such as the mobile farm visiting this Thursday for Years 1 and 2, and some topics might have a video or problem as the engage activity.
Children study all subjects in the National Curriculum. These include English, Mathematics, Science, Computing, History, Geography, Art, Design Technology, Music, Physical Education, Religious Education and Personal, Social and Health Education combined with Citizenship. Wherever possible, children are encouraged to explore thematic links between curriculum areas. RE and PSHE are taught in separate sessions throughout the year and others are covered through the Cornerstones topics. As we are part way through the year, we will continue to cover some aspects separately this term, and will reorganise our long term plan to use the topics in most subjects from September 2016.
Each class teacher writes to parents at the start of each half term to outline the topic and provide a starting point for discussions about learning at home. These letters are published on the class pages of the school website. As learning progresses throughout the first half term, a working wall will be developed on the main board in the entrance to share learning from each class with you. Please do come in to see it when you have chance. At the end of the half term, class teachers will share photographs and video clips with you to round off each topic.
Please also see our individual curriculum documents which are currently being updated to reflect the Cornerstones approach and will be available on the website soon.
If you would like more information about our curriculum or your child’s progress at any time, please do not hesitate to ask your child’s class teacher.
Mrs V. Farby
For additional information please visit the Curriculum section of this site.