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Cornerstones Curriculum

The New National Curriculum - A Parent's Guide - Year 1

The New National Curriculum - A Parent's Guide - Year 2

Our curriculum covers the whole experience that we offer the children at F& B. We provide an exciting, 'hands on' approach to learning appropriate to the children's ages and stage of development. We aim to ensure that every child's thirst for learning will be nurtured and encouraged through the many and varied learning experiences offered to them throughout the school day. Teacher's planning takes account of government requirements as well as using the school's own chosen schemes of work.


Teaching Methods

In the EYFS we have an integrated Montessori approach to children's learning. Our classes are beautifully prepared with a good range of Montessori materials to support children's learning. We have teachers and assistants that have been trained by the Montessori Centre to integrate the approach into our EYFS. Our Head Teacher was awarded 'Montessori Practitioner of the Year' - a national award in 2014.


What is Montessori?

Montessori is an approach to early education that focuses on the immense capacity of children to absorb information when given the freedom and independence to learn at their own pace.  It takes its name from Dr. Maria Montessori whose scientific background and belief in the potential and uniqueness of children empowered her to develop an educational approach that appreciates how children's thought processes differ from those of adults. Her insights and approach to child development have been enormously influential all over the world, both through which has become the Montessori movement and through mainstream education, which has come to accept many of her practices.  Increasingly, evidence from scientific research on how the brain develops, supports Montessori's views on how children learn and how to optimise their developmental progress.


What makes the Montessori approach different, and what makes it work so well, is that it is based on this deep understanding of the way children learn - through choosing, trying and doing themselves. When allied to the availability of specially developed materials in a prepared environment, and the close observation and guidance of a trained teacher, this leads to an enormously powerful, confidence-building approach to learning. (Reach Magazine).


In KS1, our children are taught in mixed ability classes. During the day they will be taught in a variety of groupings within the class - whole class, small ability groups, small mixed ability groups and sometimes, where appropriate individually. A variety of teaching strategies will be used by the teachers. To ensure children receive the best possible teaching all our Senior Leaders, including the Head Teacher will teach whole class, small groups or individual children at various times during the year.


Planning the curriculum


Whilst there is a curriculum focus/project each half term, all curriculum areas are taught throughout the term and cover learning intentions specified in the National Curriculum. Maths may link and children are given opportunities to apply and consolidate skills learned, but the teaching and learning of new concepts will be taught as a discreet subject.

In addition to the above themes and topics, we hold regular themed weeks and days linked to important days in the British Calendar such as Remembrance Day, Harvest, Children in Need, key religious festivals and any events special to our local community.


The School Curriculum - Key Stage 1

All children follow the National Curriculum as follows:

The Core Curriculum

The Foundation Subjects

English including Phonics
Religious Education

Physical Education
Design Technology
Personal, Social and Health Education


Personal, Social and Health Education/Citizenship, including sex education also forms part of our curriculum. Our curriculum is broad and balanced. The development of Literacy and Numeracy skills form a major part of our teaching and underpin the learning in other areas of the curriculum.

Fuller details about the curriculum content for Literacy and our approach to the teaching of phonics can be found in our School Brochure on our parent page.

To support reading and writing at home, please see the document on our parent page.

We have developed a new Calculation Policy which can be found on our policies page.


We use the DfE's Letters and Sounds principles and practice of high quality phonics across the school. We support our phonics teaching with Montessori phonics, Espresso Education, Education City & Phonics Play.


The Early Years Curriculum

This covers the period from Birth to the end of Year R.


Our work with our youngest children is guided by four principles:

  • The Unique Child
  • Positive relationships
  • Enabling environments
  • Learning and Development


The characteristics of effective learning are:

  • Playing and Exploring
  • Active Learning
  • Creating and Thinking Critically


The Early Years curriculum is planned around the seven Prime and Specific areas of development.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This prime area focuses on supporting children's sense of confidence and independence, helping them to feel good about themselves and teaching them to get along with others.

This covers:

  • Self-confidence and self-awareness
  • Making relationships
  • Manging feelings and behaviour


Communication and Language

This prime area focuses on children being able to focus attention and listen.

It covers:

  • Listening and Attenetion
  • Understanding
  • Speaking


Physical development

This prime area underpins all other areas of learning. movement supports the growth of the brain and nervous system and is involved therefore in all aspects of development.

It covers:

  • Moving and Handling
  • Health and Self-care



This specific area covers Reading and Writing.



This specific area is a hands-on, practical and exploratory area of learning using exciting , stimulating and real objects that the children can explore, count, talk about and move.

It covers:

  • Numbers
  • Shape and Space and Measures


Understanding of the World

This specific area focuses on the beginnings of history, geography, science and technology and covers:

  • People and communities
  • The World
  • Technology


Expressive Arts and Design

In this specific area there is a strong focus on children's experiences of exploring and learning through their own creative expression and covers:

  • Exploring and using media and materials
  • Being Imaginative

The Early Years staff provide the children with freedom within a structured environment. This allows the children to develop their skills within a range of teacher-led and self-chosen activities. A range of records and observations are kept of each child and next steps are used to continually take each child's learning forward. The Nursery forms part of the Early Years Foundation Stage and is part of the school. There are close links between the nursery and reception classes.  We use certain principles of the Montessori philosophy in our Early Years provision as referred to above.


To find out more about the National Curriculum, please go to the Department for Education website at

To find out more about the EYFS curriculum, please go to the Department for Education website at


Please contact your child's class teacher if you need any further information about the curriculum being taught.