Our Curriculum Intent
At whitstone, we have adapted the Cornerstones Curriculum for our setting 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
- Actively encourages and welcomes parents to take part in children's learning and celebrating their learning.
We believe that 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.
Our Curriculum Implementation
Every year, the children complete six IL[s 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 termly assessment, we monitor all children and through cross-curricular links (English and Maths) embed key skills and knowledge immersing out children in learning.
The four stages
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.
At the "Develop" stage, children:
- Improve their knowledge and understanding of the topic
- Develop and practice their new skills
- Write an extended cross-curricula 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.
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.
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
Our Curriculum Impact
At Whitstone, 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 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 learning
- Work in a range of groups and settings.