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  • Curriculum

    The Curriculum at Pemberley Academy

    At Pemberley Academy, we have a thematic approach to our curriculum where each year group is working on a specific topic either termly or half-termly. The curriculum is planned around this topic, making links across a range of subject areas where possible. Teachers plan the curriculum to ensure children are building on from previous knowledge and lessons are skills based. We use the Cornerstones Curriculum which is a nationally recognised approach for delivering outstanding learning opportunities for children to enhance our curriculum planning and delivery. 

    EYFS Curriculum

    At Pemberley Academy, our early years curriculum is based around the Areas of Learning.  These areas are part of the Early Years Foundation Stage that guides children from birth to 5 years of age.
    As the children begin to learn to read they start by learning the 44 letter sounds which is taught following the Letters and Sounds programme, incorporating elements of  Jolly Phonics and Read, write, Inc.. Phonics is taught daily, often utilising Phonics Play which is an online interactive website to teach phonic development.  As the children’s reading becomes more proficient they are introduced to a wide range of reading schemes, including Bug Club and Rigby Stars whose reading bands are followed until the children become ’Free Readers’.

    Areas of Learning and Development in the Early Years

    There are seven areas of learning and development that the early years curriculum is built upon. These areas are often connected and taught alongside each other using a range of play based and adult led provision. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

    These three areas which are the prime areas consist of:

    • Communication and Language – giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
    • Physical Development – opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
    • Personal, Social and Emotional Development – helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

    Children are also supported in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:

    • Literacy – encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
    • Mathematics –  providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
    • Understanding the World – guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
    • Expressive Arts and Design – enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology..

    The National Curriculum

    Children begin to follow the National Curriculum in Year 1 and this continues until they leave us in Year 6.

    Pemberley pupils are taught the subjects of the National Curriculum which include English, Mathematics, Science, Computing, Art and Design History, Geography, Music, Physical Education, Personal Social Health and Education (PSHE), RSE and Religious Education.  In order to achieve a balanced curriculum – i.e. to ensure that each subject area is given sufficient prominence and that the skills, concepts and knowledge in each subject are introduced and developed in a structured way – we base each term’s work upon a long term plan. The curriculum has been designed to promote children for life in modern Britain.

    The teaching of English and Maths is taught during the two daily lessons of approximately an hour’s duration each, unless extenuating circumstances.  The statutory Programmes of Study of the National Curriculum are taught but as with all our teaching it is also led by the pupils’ knowledge, needs and continuing teachers’ assessments.

    Many subject areas are taught in an integrated way wherever possible, using themes or topics to give a focus to learning.  However, where such an integration of subjects cannot be achieved in a cohesive way, during a particular term, then these are taught separately for that term.  Parents are informed of the topics for each term through each class’ Curriculum News and the school website.

    For further information about each year group’s curriculum, please see the class pages which are linked below. 

    Reception | Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4 | Year 5 | Year 6

    Please also see our online learning links for useful websites related to the curriculum.

    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 will Cornerstones develop my child’s key skills?

    The Cornerstones curriculum offers significant opportunities for children to develop their key skills in maths and English across a wide range of subjects. As well as these subjects being taught discreetly within our school, every opportunity is taken for children to apply their skills within other subjects and to give a purpose for children’s writing.

    How it Works?

    Children will 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 practice 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
    • re-visit 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!

    To find out more about these stages please click on the link through to Cornerstones website:


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