Cornerstones Curriculum

Curriculum Provision

Curriculum Topics

National Curriculum

Further Curriculum Information



The Catholic religious ethos of St John Fisher Catholic Primary School is to be found across the whole curriculum and not just within our Religious Education programme. Our faith is enriched through contact with the faith and prayer of the staff and the Christian atmosphere of our school. Pupils are helped to understand their world and their lives in the light of our faith. The school supports, extends and clarifies what the children learn and experience at home and in church. We work together to learn more about our pupils and families and to understand the community and Parishes of Sacred Heart and Blessed Dominic Barberi.


At St John Fisher School, the curriculum has been designed to meet the needs of the children and families within our community.  Our curriculum is designed to provide pupils with the opportunities, skills and experiences they need to be successful in their education and life beyond St John Fisher School. We recognise that a child’s time at St John Fisher School is not an isolated experience but rather part of a longer journey, which will prepare them to take up their place in the world as kind, tolerant, open minded and resilient citizens. Our curriculum aims to develop our pupils’ spiritually, socially and academically. We endeavour to provide experiences and opportunities that are above and beyond the basic curriculum, thus making our curriculum design at St John Fisher School unique.

Here at St John Fisher, we provide a broad and balanced 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. It is based on a child-centred pedagogy called ‘The Four Cornerstones’ and is delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) and Knowledge Rich Projects (KRPs), which provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of children’s learning. Children will progress through four stages of learning in each Knowledge Rich Project (KRP) and Imaginative Learning Project (ILP): ENGAGE – DEVELOP – INNOVATE – EXPRESS. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find out more about these four stages.

At St John Fisher School, we believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our curriculum provides many learning challenges throughout the academic year that require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively.  Using Cornerstones to support our planning and teaching ensures that pupils are assessed against 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.



Curriculum Provision

Curriculum Topics

We aim to offer a curriculum built on creativity and enjoyment which is carefully planned into topics and encompasses subjects across the whole curriculum and to support children’s natural curiosity. We endeavour to stimulate their imagination offering an opportunity to work in depth and become independent, confident and successful learners with high aspirations who are well prepared for life in the 21st Century.

Topics are planned on a two-year cycle; Year A and Year B and, where possible, are organised to coincide with nationwide and worldwide events and celebrations.

Pupils in reception are taught in accordance with the Department for Education’s Early Years Foundation Stage guidance.

Mathematics, reading, grammar and phonic lessons take place daily throughout the week.


Termly Topic Plans

Each term, topic plans are sent to parents to provide further details for their child’s year group; these can also be viewed on the class information pages:


National Curriculum

Our curriculum is mapped to the new 2014 Primary National Curriculum ensuring comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Should you want further information, please click on the link below to access the National Curriculum, covering each Primary school subject:


Further Curriculum Information

Scroll down to find some more information about: the stages of learning; the big ideas and the general principles of our curriculum.

If you require further information please speak to your child’s class teacher or contact Mrs Penman, our Principal.



Four stages of learning in each Knowledge Rich Project (KRP) and Imaginative Learning Project (ILP):


  • 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


  • 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


  • Apply skills, knowledge and understanding in real-life contexts
  • Lead their own learning through individual and group projects
  • Solve real or imagined problems using everything they’ve learnt
  • Be inspired by imaginative and creative opportunities
  • Revisit anything not fully grasped at the Develop stage


  • Become the performers, experts and informers through presenting their work in a variety of ways
  • Share their achievements with parents, classmates and the community
  • Evaluate their own learning
  • Link what they have learnt to where they started
  • Celebrate their achievements


Big Ideas

  • 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 everyday 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.
  • Nature – Understanding the complexities of the plant and animal species that inhabit the world.
  • Place and space – 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.


General Principles

Our curriculum will give children the opportunity to:

  • experience the challenge and enjoyment of learning
  • understand the purpose and value of their learning and see its relevance to their past, present and future
  • develop and demonstrate their creativity
  • see clear links between different aspects of their learning

We want to enhance the education by providing cultural and creative experiences so that all pupils recognise and develop their unique skills and talents.

For all children to develop a love of learning and develop their God given gifts.

For all children to be numerate, literate and competent technology users.

For all children to be well read individuals with a high level of vocabulary.

For all children to be safe and aware of managing risks.



Our curriculum will give children the opportunity to:

  • Spiritual – Explore beliefs, experience and faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity and reflect on experiences
  • Rule of law – Learn that all people and institutions are subject to and accountable for their actions and behaviour
  • Social – Use a range of social skills to participate in the local community and beyond; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict
  • Democracy – Be part of a system where everyone plays an equal part
  • Moral – Recognise right and wrong and respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues and offer reasoned views
  • Cultural – Appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain’s parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity
  • Tolerance and respect – To respect and tolerate the opinions or behaviour of others
  • Individual liberty – Be free to express views or ideas

We want children to develop their understanding of their rights and responsibilities as global citizens with a voice and to recognise that they can influence change whilst showing respect and kindness to those of differing opinions.



Our curriculum will give children the opportunity to:

  • develop self-esteem and confidence in their abilities
  • build respectful friendships
  • learn how to respect themselves and others
  • follow their own interests and be themselves
  • recognise that people are good at different things

The emotional well-being of our pupils is important to us. We recognise that a child’s well-being is essential and must be made a priority if a child is to learn and achieve. There are many challenges facing young people in the 21st century. We believe children should be taught life skills to help them become happy, ambitious and lifelong learners as well as strategies to avoid or deal with life’s stresses, as and when they arrive.


Pupil Voice

Our curriculum will give children the opportunity to:

  • make a positive contribution to the school and local community
  • explore ways of becoming an active citizen
  • express their opinions on a range of different topics and issues
  • take part in democratic activities across the curriculum
  • say what they like and dislike about their learning

We want to empower our pupils by valuing their opinions and contributions across all aspects of school life and encourage healthy debates.



Our curriculum will be taught through a pedagogy that:

  • excites, promotes and sustains children’s interest
  • enables and fosters children’s natural curiosity
  • promotes innovation and entrepreneurialism
  • promotes problem solving, creativity and communication

We want our pupils to engage in learning that develops their interests, creativity, curiosity and critical thinking skills to enable them to become enthusiastic, motivated, independent life-long learners.



We will enrich our curriculum by:

  • offering opportunities for children to learn outdoors
  • welcoming parents and carers to take part in children’s learning and experiences
  • using quality resources in and out of the classroom
  • developing partnerships with external providers that extend children’s opportunities for learning
  • holding specialist curriculum days or weeks
  • providing on and off-site subject or topic related activities

We believe that all children deserve a well-rounded, culturally rich, education.