Our curriculum is firmly rooted in the National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework:
National Curriculum Key Stages 1 & 2
Early Years Foundation Stage Framework
At Bloxham we use the Cornerstones Curriculum 22 for our learning experiences. We have used this resource to develop a bespoke long term plan which is relevant to the pupils at Bloxham and enables us to draw upon pupil interest and geographical and historical resources relevant to the locality of the school.
In the Spring of 2023, we formally introduced the Cornerstones Curriculum for the teaching of History, Geography, Science, Computing, Art and DT.
This is a creative approach to learning built on the criteria for an outstanding curriculum. It ensures that our children learn in the most creative way and are involved in what they are learning.
We use this as a basis for our structure and within this very much understand the importance of personalising the curriculum to our children, our setting and our community. Themes are chosen appropriately and with relevance. Through our curriculum at Bloxham, we strongly believe in giving our pupils personal first-hand experiences.
Cornerstones Curriculum is delivered through a range of inspirational yet rigorous learning experiences. These are based on the National Curriculum but bring learning together in new and exciting ways.
Each learning experience 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.
Cultural capital means actively exposing children to a variety of cultural experiences which will enable our children to enter into society with the necessary skills, experiences and responsibilities for later life. Here are some of the ways we have incorporated cultural capital in to Bloxham.
We know our community
We know the children we teach and the community they live in well so we can tailor our curriculum to meet their needs better. We believe in developing good relationships with our parents and our community that will make for valuable relationships where ideas, traditions and needs can be shared and acted upon.
We teach more than just knowledge
As teachers we know that primary children need so much more than just knowledge; they need conversation, play, first-hand experiences and understanding.
To do this, we ensure that our learning experiences and lessons allow time for children to use their knowledge to debate, investigate, present and problem-solve.
We make time for talking
A good grasp of spoken language and a varied vocabulary are one of children’s most valuable social skills. In fact, children who read more and have a more extensive vocabulary typically do better in the long term in their education. It is also about being able to mix and talk to others, socialise in diverse groups and present yourself well.
Therefore, we have ensured our curriculum includes and makes explicit the social and technical vocabulary for all subjects. Our children have plenty of time for quality talk in lessons and activities. We encourage debate, group and paired discussion and plenty of opportunities for questioning.
We embed a variety of cultural experiences
Cultural capital exists in every community, both in the people that live there and the built and social environment. We therefore include the study of places, spaces, monuments and historical buildings and provide local knowledge and contexts to our learning experiences
We aim to include other cultural experiences within our curriculum – visits to our local museum, theatre or library and religious buildings in our vicinity.
We have quality resources
If we want our children to understand complex concepts, appreciate beauty and learn about great and ancient civilisations, then the images we use to show them must be accurate, compelling and awe-inspiring.
The Cornerstones Curriculum is based on inspirational learning activities which take place in a classroom environment that allows children to learn in a way that motivates and interests them. Cornerstones provides our children with a good level of challenge, giving them opportunities to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding across the curriculum.
Curriculum 22 is a fully sequenced and interconnected curriculum that develops across Key Stages to Year 6. The curriculum is ambitious in content and expertly crafted, with stringent sequencing and a web of multidisciplinary and subject connections. The curriculum is specially designed to help children build and sequence knowledge, without cognitive overload.
The rationale for the Cornerstones Curriculum takes the form of 10 big ideas that provide a purpose for the aspects, skills, knowledge and contexts chosen to form the substance of the curriculum. These big ideas form a series of multi-dimensional interconnected threads across the curriculum, allowing children to encounter and revisit their learning through a variety of subject lenses. Over time, these encounters help children to build conceptual frameworks that will enable a better understanding of increasingly sophisticated information and ideas.
Nature – Understanding the complexities of the plant and animal sp ecies that inhabit the world
Place – Understanding the visual, cultural, social, and environmental aspects of places around the world
Comparison – Understanding how and why things are the same or different
Significance – Understanding why significant people, places, events and inventions matter and how they have shaped the world
Change – Understanding why and how things have changed over time
Humankind – Understanding what it means to be human and how human behaviour has shaped the world
Processes – Understanding the many dynamic and physical processes that shape the world
Creativity – Understanding the creative process and how every day and exceptional creativity can shape the world
Investigation – Understanding the importance of investigation and how this has led to significant change in the world.
Materials – Understanding the properties of all matter, living and non-living
Curriculum 22 is carefully designed to help children learn and retain the required subject knowledge and skills in the correct sequence. Built on the national curriculum programmes of study, the curriculum begins with Big Ideas or higher-level concepts that steer the whole curriculum. These Big Ideas are broken down into smaller component parts called aspects. Aspects are further broken down to form a robust knowledge and skills framework that underpins the whole curriculum. The framework has clear endpoints and curriculum-related expectations up to Year 6.
Curriculum sequencing is the most critically important part of our curriculum. Without the correct subject sequencing, children will not have the building blocks to create a robust subject or concept schema. An effective curriculum needs correct sequencing within and across the subjects. This is so that concepts that span multiple subjects are cohesively mapped for maximum cognitive impact.
Sequencing subject-specific vocabulary
Subject-specific vocabulary is a crucial part of a well sequenced curriculum. Vocabulary is carefully mapped out across our curriculum to clarify when technical vocabulary phrases are introduced and revisited. In our curriculum, vocabulary is clearly mapped to ensure that children learn the correct words and phrases in the right order. This enables children to articulate their learning with confidence.
Organisation of content
The content of our curriculum is broad, varied and engaging and covers all statutory content set out in the subject programmes of study. In Years 1 to 6, curriculum content is organised into a range of main and mini subject-driven projects. Main projects span a whole term and are focused on geography and history. Mini projects are taught over a term or half term and are subject-focused for science, art and design and design technology.
A knowledge-rich approach
The curriculum is ambitious, steeped in meaningful and interesting facts and information. These facts and information work together to create powerful subject knowledge. Engaging with knowledge-led learning can be challenging for some children, so to support this, children are provided with a wealth of child-friendly and engaging knowledge organisers (which are sent home half-termly) videos, presentations, exciting lessons and activity plans, plus low stakes quizzes and tests.
The learning experiences are used to deliver a broad, balanced and engaging curriculum. Each individual learning experience is split into sections, which see children progress through four stages of learning: 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 the projects
- 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 project.
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.
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!
If you would like to find out more about the Cornerstones Curriculum, please visit their website at www.cornerstoneseducation.co.uk
At Bloxham Primary School we have specialised subject leaders that oversee a variety of specific subjects and how they are taught in school. Unusually for a Primary School we also have dedicated Music and PE teachers to ensure high-quality provision in those areas.
For details of our Phonics and Reading Schemes, please see our English Provision below:
Individual Class Curriculum Overviews
Each of our classes has its own curriculum overview, accessible from the respective class page, linked below:
Further Curriculum Information
Should you want to know anything further about our curriculum provision, please contact your child’s class teacher or the headteacher through the school office.