Create – Equip – Partner

Here at St. Michael’s CE Primary School we provide a creative curriculum based around the Cornerstones Curriculum.

In 2014 a new National Curriculum was introduced by the Government, here at St. Michael’s we have reviewed our curriculum and have decided to refresh our school approach and provision for pupils. In 2017, as part of this work, we decided to implement 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, ensuring 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 give high quality learning experiences by making 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. Cornerstones provides a number of high quality 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 progress through four stages of learning in each ILP –

  • Engage,
  • Develop,
  • Innovate and
  • Express.


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 practise their new skills.
  • 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 Six Steps of Curriculum Design – Principles and Purpose materials help to review our curriculum
  • Curriculum and Subject Maps help us plan and articulate long-term intentions of our curriculum and set out a clear plan of how to deliver this consistently.


  • Subject skills and knowledge are coherently sequenced and delivered through a range of engaging learning projects / topics
  • Authentic cross-curricular links enrich learning and enable the delivery of a high quality broad, balanced and deep curriculum
  • Day to day planning, teaching and lesson delivery are supported by high-quality knowledge-rich resources and include knowledge organisers, which set out the key knowledge children need as they progress through the curriculum


  • Planning, assessment and moderation allows for purposeful monitoring and evaluation that shows a high-quality curriculum where all children engage and flourish in their learning
  • The support for staff and delivery to children ensures children enjoy their learning and feel engaged at every step
  • Children achieve highly within school
  • Children leave St. Michael’s with a high quality, rounded education.