What is the Cornerstones Curriculum and why do we follow this at MPI?
The Cornerstones Curriculum is a coherent, skills and knowledge-based primary curriculum with a creative edge. It’s rooted in a proven pedagogy based on how children learn best. At its heart is the principle that every child deserves a rich, fun, engaging and broad learning experience. The curriculum nurtures engagement, curiosity and innovation, brings learning to life in meaningful ways, and really makes an impact.
Imaginative Learning Projects
The Cornerstones Curriculum is based on more than 80 Imaginative Learning Projects giving a choice of nine per year group. We call these ILPs. Each ILP has an overarching theme linked to a national curriculum subject. In addition to the main subject focus, each ILP makes meaningful links across a range of subjects and covers multiple aspects of the national curriculum. Lessons are organised in a weekly series and link national curriculum programmes of study (the knowledge bit) and age-related skills (the skills bit).
How to use it
We have designed our curriculum by choosing ILPs that we feel meet their needs and curriculum principles. For us approach is entirely flexible, used as a tool to support teachers with ideas and resources, redusing workload withour compromising on the quality of T&L. After teachers have chosen their ILPs they can check their national curriculum coverage using the online coverage checker. Being able to check coverage means that if your our school's circumstances change, our curriculum can change too.
Subject depth and progression
Each project is closely linked to the knowledge and skills outlined in the national curriculum. Key concepts are learnt and built upon across year groups, ensuring subject depth, coherence and progression. Due to the structure of the Cornerstones Curriculum, our children are given ample opportunities to embed knowledge and master new skills in a range of contexts.
Keeping it broad and balanced
While literacy is at the heart of each ILP, each project makes meaningful links across the curriculum, maximising opportunities to apply and build on subject knowledge and wider skills. The front page of each ILP shows the breadth of subjects covered, teachers are mindful of curriculum balance as they choose which ILPs they want to do.
Engage, Develop, Innovate, Express
The Four Cornerstones of Learning provides the structure for every ILP. We call these Engage, Develop, Innovate, and Express. We believe this pedagogy reflects the best way children learn and is rooted in a variety of different educational approaches and research. Put simply, the four stages are as follows:
Engage – hook children in with a memorable experience.
Develop – allow children time to gather the skills and knowledge they need to develop a deep understanding.
Innovate – offer creative experiences that allow children to apply their skills, knowledge and understanding.
Express – provide the space and time for reflecting, evaluating, and celebrating learning.