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Curriculum Aims

Our curriculum is based on what we believe our children need to know, understand and do to achieve success in all areas of later life. We work hard to ensure that children are prepared for the next phase in their learning and that they have the resilience and independence to achieve their very best outcomes. We use the Cornerstones curriculum as the basis for our whole school approach to teaching and learning from EYFS to Year 6. We find that this gives consistency of approach and a broad and balanced provision for all our children as the progress through the key stages at St Thomas' Primary Academy.

Children in Foundation Stage 2 and Key Stage 1 are taught a daily phonics lesson to develop their early reading skills. We us Read, Write, Inc. as our main provision for phonics and early reading and writing, which is supplemented by the use of published interventions and bespoke support for children who need it. We hold regular workshops to help parents and carers to support their children's reading at home as well as demonstrating during stay and play and morning work sessions. Children in Key Stage 2 who have difficulty with reading will continue to receive support with phonics as appropriate through the Fresh Start, Read, Write, Inc. intervention. Reading material across the school is wide ranging but is organised using the Book Bands colour system and regularly assessed using the PM Benchmarks assessment system and PiRA (Rising Stars, Progress in Reading Assessment) testing.

The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum meets all statutory duties whilst being appropriately tailored to meet the needs and interests of the children in the class. Further information about the EYFS can be found in the documents below.

In Key Stage 1 & 2, children follow a carefully planned curriculum from Cornerstones which uses the statutory requirements each subject to create an engaging and purposeful programme of study which is relevant to the children. Most subjects are taught through a topic based approach and are linked to first hand experiences wherever possible. More information on the curriculum at Key Stages 1 & 2 can be found in the class pages. Assessment throughout Key Stages 1 and 2 is done using EAZ MAG and is directly linked to National Curriculum programmes of study for all subjects; core and foundation. Outcomes from PiRA and PUMA (Progress and Understanding in Mathematics Assessment) is correlated with our in house assessment system on a termly basis and is moderated with other schools in our academy trust, Learning Community and Local Authority.


The curriculum at all stages is enriched with wider opportunities such as professional sports coaching, visiting speakers and performers, visits to the local library and residential visits to name but a few. More details of visits and activities can be found in the class pages.

Cornerstones Curriculum

 

Here at St Thomas' we provide a creative curriculum based around 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) 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. 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.


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:

 

https://cornerstoneseducation.co.uk/why-cornerstones/

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