Our Curriculum Intent

The primary and early years are a time where children progress and grow at a rapid rate and where children are bursting with awe and wonder, fun and joy. All the staff at St Mary the Virgin Primary School recognise the special responsibility they hold as custodians of these years and they do not lose sight of this treasured opportunity in which childhood is cherished.

At St Mary the Virgin CE Primary School our curriculum will….

Enable our children to learn and flourish in a Christian environment where every child is loved by God. ‘Direct my footsteps according to your word’ Psalm 119:133

Make learning a fun, adventurous and positive experience

Be knowledge rich and skills based

Encourage the development and progression of learning in a cohesive manner

Empower children to be courageous advocates of change

Encourage children to learn from mistakes; developing their resilience and tenacity for the next step in their education.

How we will implement our curriculum

We have now introduced the Cornerstones Curriculum.  This is a creative approach to learning built on the criteria for an outstanding curriculum.  It ensures that your children learn in the most creative way and are involved in what they are learning.

Cornerstones is based on the Four Cornerstones of Learning:

  • Engage;
  • Develop;
  • Innovate and
  • Express.

These Cornerstones provide a consistent philosophy for learning throughout school.

The Four Cornerstones – Philosophy

The most important underlying principle of a curriculum is to help children learn. We believe that a successful curriculum is brought to life by high quality teaching, inspirational learning activities and opportunities to listen and plan for the developing interests and motivations of children.

That is why the Cornerstones Primary Curriculum is built upon a four stage teaching and learning philosophy…

The Four Cornerstones:    ENGAGE   –   DEVELOP   –   INNOVATE   –   EXPRESS

What do the Four Cornerstones look like?

During the Engage stage children will:-

  • have memorable first-hand experiences – for example going on a visit outside the classroom or inviting a specialist visitor into the classroom
  • have WOW experiences – Investigate and Discover
  • be introduced in exciting ways to the new topic or theme
  • begin initial research and set enquiry questions
  • have lots of opportunity to make observations
  • develop spoken language skills
  • take part in sensory activities
  • have a great deal of fun, allowing them to fully ‘engage’ with their new topic

 During the Develop stage children will:-

  • dig much deeper to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of a topic across the curriculum
  • practice their newfound skills
  • compose, make, do, build, investigate, explore, write for different purposes, read across the curriculum
  • research their own questions and those posed by others
  • follow new pathways of enquiry based on their own interests
  • complete homework activities that support their learning in school

During the Innovate stage children will:-

  • apply previous skills, knowledge and understanding in real life contexts
  • be challenged with real or imagined problems and situations to solve using knowledge and skills from the earlier stages
  • be inspired with imaginative and creative opportunities
  • have time to re-visit skills, knowledge and understanding not grasped during the develop stage
  • have the opportunity to take on different roles

During the Express stage children will:-

  • become the performers, the experts, the informers
  • share their achievements with others in many different ways…….parents, class mates and the community
  • evaluate finished products/processes
  • tie learning back to the beginning
  • celebrate

Cornerstones Curriculum is delivered through a range of inspirational yet rigorous learning projects.

These are based on the National Curriculum, but bring learning together in new and exciting ways.

Each project combines different strands of learning so that children learn more holistically and start to challenge themselves and learn problem solving skills as they create truly fantastic learning opportunities.


Please follow the link below to see a yearly overview of Cornerstones topics.


St Mary the Virgin C of E VA Primary School  Long Term Plan 2020-2021