Here at Eglinton Primary School & Early Years Centre we provide a creative curriculum based around 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 to ensure 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 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 new curriculum will provide 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.
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 will progress through four stages of learning in each ILP – Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express. To find out more about these stages please click on the link through to Cornerstones website:
Mathematics is the language that expresses all the natural laws of our world. As such, understanding maths helps us understand our world and the way it works.
At Eglinton, we aim to provide children with practical and deep understanding of maths around us, as a part of our life not simply an abstract idea. We are developing our teaching to deepen children’s understanding of mathematics and that their reasoning and vocabulary enables them to explain the problem at hand We believe that at all stages, children should be exposed to practical representations first in order to explore the idea which then leads into securing the knowledge of that idea.
We identified the areas of the National curriculum that we believe are crucial for a child’s understanding on moving forward securely in each year group. We are working on embedding the journey of children progressing through the three aspects of learning mathematical concepts, based on CPA model (concrete, pictorial and abstract).
We aim to:
- ensure that our students are provided with the opportunities to demonstrate and apply skills, knowledge and understanding in variety of formats.
- foster the development of problem solving and reasoning skills through the use of mathematical models and multiple representations (visual, graphical, numeral and verbal)
- engage students’ intellect and interest through all tasks.
- contextualise maths, so that it is grounded in real life situations and connected to other learning across curriculum.
English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised. National Curriculum 2014
One of priorities at Eglinton is reading. Reading is not only the key that opens doors to other subjects, it also informs, enriches and entertains us in our daily lives. We are dedicated to ensuring children are confident readers and that we instill a love of reading into all our pupils. This is not only achieved through teaching of phonics skills, shared reading and whole class teaching but also by ensuring that the children are continually provided with a variety of high quality, enriching books which will motivate them to read and continue to ensure that they have positive reading experiences.
How we organise reading at Eglinton:
At Eglinton we use the Accelerated Reading Programme from Years 1 – 6 to organise our books into the appropriate reading age of your child. Each child takes an initial ‘quiz’ which levels their reading age and gives a range of books which they can read to improve their reading. The children then read books from that range, takes an online quiz and gets immediate feedback about how they have done. The children respond to this feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills. These books are used during the daily, whole class teaching of reading and in reading groups, led by the teacher; discussions takes place before, during and after reading the story and all children work independently on comprehension skills and on broadening and deepening their knowledge and understanding of vocabulary and language. All children read a variety of genres from a wide range of authors as recommended by the new National Curriculum.
When a child has reached a degree of fluency at their level, can display a range of skills, shows good comprehension and has read a variety of texts, s/he will move onto the next reading range/age.
Picture cues/reading for meaning
Children in KS1 are still encouraged to use the pictures in books to help predict and retell a story. Illustrated and picture books are tremendously important resources for all readers. Understanding how pictures and illustrations work with the text to create meaning for the reader is a high level reading skill. Opportunities to draw in response to texts can help and encourage children to move into an imaginary world or understand a character. Drawing helps children to begin to articulate their response to what they read and can help them to analyse the ways in which the writer has used language and images. (CLPE). As children build up knowledge of stories, words and sounds, they begin to focus more on the decoding/reading whole words, still use the pictures to help them read for meaning.
Children need to build up a basic sight vocabulary of familiar words. There are certain words that are repeated in many stories and, if children begin to recognise even the simplest of these, it builds their confidence, broadens their reading strategies and motivates them to want to read more. Children can then begin to use these words to predict meaning and attempt to read longer words. During our daily whole class reading lessons we focus on vocabulary where we discuss new and unfamiliar words to broaden children’s knowledge and understanding of words, using them in their speaking, reading and writing. Specific, focused activities during our daily group reading, help the children to understand and use the new vocabulary effectively in their spoken and written work.
Higher order skills:
As children become competent readers their skills need to be extended. More attention is paid to fluency, expression and intonation. Children begin to discuss plot and sub-plot, characters and inference, evaluate the author’s intent, reflect and comment on how the author has made them feel, think differently, comparing and contrasting the styles of different authors dealing with similar themes and give reasons for their personal preferences.
From the earliest stages children are, of course offered non-fiction books from which they retrieve a variety of information. Higher order skills include use of index, glossaries and contents pages, dictionaries, encyclopedias and the ability to read diagrams, maps, graphs and headings.
Listening to stories
Listening to high quality stories is also a key part of reading. Reading aloud to children slows written language down and enables children to hear and take in tunes and patterns. It enables them to experience and enjoy stories that they might not otherwise meet. Children can also listen to high quality CDs accompanied by the written text. This also broadens and enriches their internal ‘storehouses’ and will improve the quality of their writing.
Assessment of Reading
Reading is continually assessed daily during the daily reading lesson at Eglinton. It is also formally assessed through independent comprehension tasks and through SATS tests and assessments in Years 2 and 6.
Reading for Pleasure…regularly
Reading for pleasure is the highest motivator for reading regularly… that feeling that you can’t wait to get back to your book to see what will happen next or you can’t wait to discover another amazing fact about the planet or an animal you are very interested in! Research has shown that children who read for 30+ minutes a day achieve the highest levels of reading in all examinations. There is also strong evidence that reading for pleasure can increase empathy, improve relationships with others, reduce the symptoms of depression and improve wellbeing throughout life, new research carried out for The Reading Agency has found.
How do I help with reading as a parent?
As parents you play a vital role in helping you child to read and write. Research shows that reading with your child is the single most important thing you can do to help your child’s education. Children who enjoy reading are more likely to be successful readers. International research has shown that this is the most important factor in the success of a child’s education and transcends social barriers.
Think of ways to make reading fun - you want your child to learn how pleasurable books can be. If you are both enjoying talking about the content of a particular page then spend as much time on it as you like. Asking questions and enjoyment are key to a reader’s success.
Books are not just about reading the words on the page, they can also present new ideas and topics for you and your child to discuss.
Go to bookshops and join the library-it’s free and there are so many books to choose from. Take your child there regularly and choose the books together. It gives you quality time together and keeps you informed about how your child is doing.
Tips for helping your child to enjoy books:
- Encourage your child to pretend to 'read' a book before he or she can read words.
- Schedule a regular time for reading - perhaps when you get home from school or just before bed.
- Buy dual-language books if English is not your family’s first language - you can talk about books and stories and develop a love for them, in any language.
- Look for books on topics that you know your child is interested in - maybe fairy tales, adventure stories, dinosaurs, insects, cookery or a certain sport.
- Make sure that children’s books are easily accessible in different rooms around your house.
- Show how you like to read by reading yourself.
- Have different types of reading material around – magazines, newspapers, internet articles, poetry.
Useful questions to consider whilst reading:
Asking your child questions such as these whilst you are reading together will help to deepen their understanding and help you judge how much they have understood.
- How did this story begin?
- Who were the main characters? What were they called?
- Who was the hero/heroine? Was there a villain?
- What was your favourite part of the story? Why?
- Who was your favourite character? Why?
- What kind of story was it? Was it funny, frightening, mysterious…?
- Was it a novel with chapters, or was it a poem?
- What kind of ending did it have? What do you think might happen after the ending?
- Who told the story - one of the characters, or the author?
- Who was the author/the illustrator/the publisher?
- Do you know any other books by that author, illustrator or published by that company?
- If you had written this story, how would it be different?
What we do:
We love writing at Eglinton and believe it is important for every child to enjoy it and be able to write for many different reasons. We use the ‘Talk4Writing’ approach throughout the school, which has been developed by Pie Corbett, supported by Julia Strong. It is powerful because it is based on the principles of how children learn.
Once the teacher has established a creative context and an engaging start, a typical Talk-for-Writing unit would begin with some engaging activities warming up the tune of the text, as well as the topic focused on, to help children internalise the pattern of the language required. This is often followed by talking an exemplar text, supported visually by a text map and physical movements to help the children recall the story or non-fiction piece. In this way the children hear the text, say it for themselves and enjoy it before seeing it written down. Once they have internalised the language of the text, they are in a position to read the text and start to think about the key ingredients that help to make it work. This stage could include a range of reading as-a-reader and as-a-writer activities. Understanding the structure of the text is easy if you use the boxing-up technique and then help the children to analyse the features that have helped to make the text work. In this way the class starts to co-construct a toolkit for this type of text so that they can talk about the ingredients themselves – a key stage in internalising the toolkit in their heads.
The impact of ‘Talk4Writing’ has been outstanding. Children’s understanding of the rhythm, language, grammatical structure, genre and vocabulary has significantly improved and they have a firm grasp of the language ‘tools’ they need to use when writing in particular styles or genres. Teachers are also really enjoying this way of teaching and this has benefited the children enormously.
At Eglinton we are passionate about reading and we endeavour to make sure that all our children develop a love of reading and that every child leaves us as a reader.
A child’s reading journey starts by learning phonics. Phonics is all about sounds. We use the Letters and Sounds phonics programme, starting in Reception and continuing into Key Stage 1. Primarily children learn to listen for sounds and rhythms and then begin to learn the sounds of single letters. Reception use the Jolly Phonics rhymes to help in learning the single letter sounds and then learn to blend these sounds into words (e.g. ‘h-a-t’ becomes hat). Children are then taught to segment sounds and blend them together into words in order that they can read and write efficiently.
By the end of Year 2, most children will have a secure understanding of complicated letter strings, enabling them to decode two and three syllable words. Phonics is taught everyday with the children learning a new sound and revising sounds already taught.
Please click on the booklets below to learn more about Phases 1, 2 and 3
The Phonemes of the English Alphabet Code - Synthetic Phonics
This video will help in the pronunciation of all phonemes.
The websites below can be used to support your child's learning in phonics
Science is a subject that develops the essential skills of curiosity, perseverance, reflecting and thinking. At Eglinton we believe that enquiry should be at the heart of science education. The cornerstones curriculum that we follow allows the children to cover the content and skills laid out in the national curriculum in an engaging and meaningful way.
Working scientifically forms a large part of the science curriculum and most lessons have an element of working scientifically within them. Some of the skills developed within this are outlined below.
- Posing questions
- Making reasoned predictions
- Developing methods to answer questions
- Fair testing
- Collecting results
- Drawing conclusions
Useful links for science
British Science Week:
At Eglinton we celebrate science week with a variety of activities both inside and outside the classroom. This year saw our first Eglinton Science Fair, where parents and children were invited in to take part in a variety of challenges and experiments.
At Eglinton we run a weekly afterschool STEM club which covers areas from Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. The club follows the CREST Star awards programme where children take part in a range of fun investigations and challenges set by the British Science Association and gain a certificate when they have completed the programme.
Modern Foreign Languages
"Ici, nous parlons français"
"Tambien, hablamos español"
"Inoltre, parliamo italiano"
"وأخيرا، نتعلم العربية أيضا"
At Eglinton, children learn French from Years 3 up to Year 6, covering various topics, including myself, animals and food. We use the Language Angels scheme, which allows for high-quality French to be spoken and written in lessons, as well as ensuring that lessons are taught in an engaging manner.
Furthermore, we offer Spanish, Italian and Arabic as language after-school clubs, meaning that at the end of their time at Eglinton, the children would have had the opportunity to learn a number of languages.
Should you wish to brush up on any of the above languages, you can download the "Linguascope" app on the iTunes store or visit their website. Then enter the following details when requested:
In 2017 at Eglinton, we have continued to build on our exciting PE curriculum, called Real PE. We have continued to invest the Sports Premium to develop the students' and teachers' confidence and enjoyment in their PE lessons based on fundamental movements; agility, balance and co-ordination. Working on these three skills, we have tackled new sports including archery, fencing, judo, Taekwondo, cycling, sailing and welcomed Kidz Fit into our school to educate and promote a healthy lifestyle. To find out more about our curriculum, please view some exciting pictures from various PE lessons below and watch the official Real PE video.
'real PE' Showcase by Create Development
Johnathon Registe, year 4 student teacher, has introduced an exciting new Taekwondo afterschool club, that has been extremely popular with children throughout the school. It has focused on discipline, self-defence and fitness.
A group of year 6 children travelled to the Ahoy Centre in Deptford to complete their RYA Stage 1 sailing qualification, where they learnt to set up and sail a boat, different sailing terminology and finally receiving a certificate of achievement.
National Curriculum Physical Education
The national curriculum for physical education aims to ensure that all pupils
- Develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
- Are physically active for sustained period of time
- Engage in competitive sports and activities
- Lead healthy, active lives
Purpose of study
A high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities. It should provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
Key stage 1
Pupils should develop fundamental movement skills, become increasingly competent and confident and access a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others. They should be able to engage in competitive (both against self and against others) and co-operative physical activities, in a range of increasingly challenging situations.
It is expected that 85% of all pupils can do this at the end of year 2
Pupils should be taught to: master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities, participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending, perform dances using simple movement patterns.
Key stage 2
Pupils should continue to apply and develop a broader range of skills, learning how to use them in different ways and to link them to make actions and sequences of movement. They should enjoy communicating, collaborating and competing with each other. They should develop an understanding of how to improve in different physical activities and sports and learn how to evaluate and recognise their own success.
It is expected that 85% of all pupils can do this at the end of year 6
This will support your thinking around progress, assessment and annually reporting to parents
Pupils should be taught to:
- use running, jumping, throwing and catching in isolation and in combination
- play competitive games, modified where appropriate [for example, badminton, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, netball, rounders and tennis] and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending
- develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance [for example, through athletics and gymnastics]
- perform dances using a range of movement patterns
- take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team, compare their performances with previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best.
Swimming and water safety
- All schools must provide swimming instruction either in key stage 1 or key stage 2.
In particular, pupils should be taught to:
- swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
- use a range of strokes effectively [for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke] perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.