At Grove Vale we follow the Cornerstones Curriculum.
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 (ILP’s) which will provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of our children’s learning. As well as ILP’s children will also be accessing other projects that link to other areas of the curriculum;
Love to Investigate – Science focus
Love to Read - Whole class reading project for Juniors
Homework for topic will be linked to the current Cornerstones ILP and given out at the start of each new half term with guidance on how many tasks to complete over the half term. Children will still receive additional English and Maths homework
Memorable experience – each ILP starts with a memorable experience – this could be a trip, visitor or other events to engage children in the topic
Sharing assemblies – you will be invited to an assembly over the course of the academic year where your child’s class will showcase one of the ILP’s they have been learning about. This could be in the format of a traditional performance assembly or it could be a workshop where you can informally talk to children and see their work in action
Assessment – Cornerstones also provide a rigorous essential skills framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects and end of term expectations for English and Maths. 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. You will receive information in the autumn term about the age related expectations for your child in their new class.
We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our new curriculum will provide lots of learning challenges throughout the academic year that will require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum.
How it works?
It is built on a four stage teaching and learning philosophy.
Four Cornerstone Areas: ENGAGE – DEVELOP – INNOVATE – EXPRESS
Each ILP will move through these areas during every half term.
We are all very excited about the new curriculum and have been busy planning its implementation since the beginning of the spring term. If you have any other questions regarding this please see your child’s class teacher or Mrs Bunch (Deputy Head) who will be leading the Cornerstones Curriculum in school. You can also get more information on the following website https://cornerstoneseducation.co.uk/why-cornerstones/.
Cornerstones Curriculum Overview
Early Years Foundation Stage
Our pupils are given opportunities inside and outside the classroom to flourish and build foundations for learning in their early years. We ensure that pupil experiences and interests form the basis of our planning and provide clear next steps. We balance child initiated learning and activites and teacher led direction giving pupils the tools to feedback. Children have a daily phonics session taught during the morning session using our Grove Vale Progression in Phonics document which uses the Ruth Miskin - Read Write Inc. and Letters and Sounds documents.
Year 1-Year 6
The Core areas of the curriculum are:
Maths is a core subject in the National Curriculum. The aims of the School are to encourage the effective use and application of Mathematics in a wide range of contexts. Pupils may work individually, within a group or as a class. They will be introduced to a range of oral, mental and written methods that build on progression of knowledge and skill over time. Pupils will be give opportunities to apply knowledge in a range of investigative and problem solving contexts.
English is a core subject in the National Curriculum. The school's aim is to enable children to learn and employ, to their full potential, the four modes of communication (Speaking, Listening, Writing and Reading). We encourage the development of skills relating particularly to phonics, speaking and listening, reading fluency and written work, including spelling, grammar, vocabulary, comprehension and creative writing.
As a School, we primarily use the Letters and Sounds scheme with supplementary work taken from RML (Ruth Miskin). By using these two schemes together, we have created our own progression document which you can find below.
Science is a core subject in the National Curriculum. We aim to equip children with the knowledge and adaptability which life requires. We recognize that the acquisition of facts, principles and knowledge is vital but we place equal value on the skills which children obtain through a very practical involvement in Science activities. In this practical element, which the National Curriculum calls the "Exploration of Science", existing knowledge and understanding are applied. Through observation, testing and communication of findings, new knowledge and understanding are gained.
Computing is a core subject in the National Curriculum and an area of the curriculum that is not only taught as a separate subject with its own range of skills and knowledge, but as a tool for accessing a great wealth of information to support the teaching of all subjects within the National Curriculum. To facilitate this teaching we have a wonderful computer suite with Internet access and PC's in every classroom. We have a learning platform that enables pupils and staff to access a wide range of resources and activities at school and at home.
The creative curriculum combines skills on the following subjects; geography, history, art and design technology. It is delivered from Year 1 - Year 6. The curriculum is skills based and is taught through a cross-curricular theme. The progression of skills have been mapped out throughout the school to ensure continuity and coverage across the curriculum. The curriculum is delivered in a varied and exciting way using technology and includes many school visits and guest speakers.
The schools aims for physical education are to promote physical activity, positive attitudes and foster a healthy lifestyle. Physical Education should be enjoyable, promote teamwork and encourage the pursuit of excellence in all children. The time allocated to individual and team sports within the formal curriculum is, at present two hours.
Religious Education and Collective Worship
At Grove Vale we follow the Sandwell SACRE, which is the local agreed syllabus. The moral tone of the School is based on Christian principles, which form the basis for R.E. teaching however, the theories and workings of other faiths are also included in our teaching. As a parent, you have the right to withdraw your child from R.E sessions and if you would like to discuss this then, in the first instance, please talk with the class teacher. Collective worship is based upon religious festival and S.E.A.L objectives and we have weekly themed assemblies. We encourage pupils to be reflective and foster respect and understanding for other religions and cultures.
Find out more about Sandwell's SACRE here.
Modern Foreign Languages
Our curriculum reflects the content of the New National Curriculum (2014).
As part of this, the children have the opportunity to learn and acquire four key objectives which are as follows:
- To read fluently.
- To write imaginatively.
- To speak confidently.
- To understand the culture of the countries in which the language is spoken.
For More details on our use of the Rising Stars scheme, please click here.
Children are encouraged to take home their reading books and learn spellings on a weekly basis from Year 1. In foundation stage, key words and phonics are sent home. Learning logs are used throughout school and focus on independent and creative home learning. Each half term homework is sent linked to the Cornerstone ILP that children are learning about.
If you have any other queries about our school curriculum, please feel free to arrange a meeting with your child's teacher.
Alternatively you can find more information on the national curriculum website.