Here at Wood End Primary School, we provide a creative thematic curriculum using the Cornerstones Curriculum to support teacher creativity and imagination. This is a nationally recognised approach for delivering outstanding learning opportunities for children.
What is Cornerstones Maestro?
Cornerstones Maestro 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 curriculum is delivered through Knowledge Rich Projects (KRPs) 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 curriculum provides 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.
Maestro also provides a rigorous progression framework that outlines the key skills and knowledge that will be gained in each subject from Early Years to Y6. Maestro enables staff to track children’s attainment and progress within all subjects and identify their individual learning needs.
As a staff, we have used the Maestro curriculum to structure the backbone of our curricular offer. We have supplemented aspects of the curriculum with other programmes of study, such as Charanga, Language Angels and Friends, Family and Feelings to further enhance the delivery of specific subjects.
Working collaboratively, we have determined the ambitious end points for our children and believe our curriculum provides the vehicle to achieve these.
Reading and Phonics
We teach early reading through the systematic, synthetic phonics programme Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. Right from the start of Reception children have a daily phonics lesson which follows the progression for Little Wandle Letters and Sounds and this continues in Year One to ensure children become fluent readers.
We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term. We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress (please click here for the progression).
Four new phonemes and their corresponding graphemes are taught (GPCs) each week and they are then used in the final lesson of the week to review the week’s learning. Children will also learn tricky words during these sessions.
In the Autumn and Spring term, Reception learn phase 2 and phase 3 GPCs and then will spend the final term learning phase 4.
Year 1 begin the Autumn term with 3 weeks of revision of phases 2, 3 and 4 before learning phase 5, which will be completed by the end of the year. Year 2 children will begin the year by revisiting phase 5 and other previously taught phases to ensure all children are completely confident with applying these GPCs in their reading. Half termly assessments take place through Reception and Year 1 and Year 2 if necessary to help inform future teaching and help identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and need additional practice. Daily assessment of learning also takes place within the classroom so staff can quickly identify any children who are in danger of falling behind and provide the appropriate daily ‘Keep Up’ intervention.
For support with the pronunciation of the phonemes taught, please refer to the videos below.
We are determined that every child will learn to read and become fluent, confident readers, regardless of their background and needs. All children will be exposed to stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction to develop their vocabulary, language comprehension and promote a genuine love of reading. We want to inspire them to become life-long readers who enjoy books and have a desire to read for pleasure.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum, underpinning every subject area. We want every child to read widely, and to gain a rich knowledge across the curriculum. By offering a wide range of texts, we will broaden their experiences to allow them to have a better understanding of the world in which they live and support the development of their cultural capital.
Reading is such an important life skill and it is of utmost importance that we enable them to become independent readers who can read easily and understand information, fully engage in all learning and be well prepared for the next stage of their education and life.
By the end of KS1, children will be fluent at decoding and those that are not will receive extra catch up and intervention.
By the end of KS2 children will read with confidence and understanding and read for pleasure and enjoyment and acquire a wide vocabulary They will meet age related expectations for reading, with the aspiration to exceed them.