Curriculum Overview


Darwen St James’ Curriculum Statement


Here at Darwen St James’ PA we believe that a successful curriculum is brought to life by high quality teaching, inspirational learning activities and opportunities to listen and plan for the developing interests and motivations of children. To ensure that our children have the best learning opportunities we have embraced the Cornerstones Curriculum.

The Four Cornerstones:    ENGAGE   –   DEVELOP   –   INNOVATE   –   EXPRESS

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.

During the Engage Stage children will :- • have memorable first-hand experiences – for example going on a visit outside the classroom or inviting a specialist  visitor into the classroom • have WOW experiences – Investigate and Discover • be introduced in exciting ways to the new topic or theme • begin initial research and set enquiry questions • have lots of opportunity to make observations • develop spoken language skills • take part in sensory activities • have a great deal of fun, allowing them to fully ‘engage’ with their new topic

During the Develop Stage children will :- • dig much deeper to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of a topic across the curriculum • practice their newfound skills • compose, make, do, build, investigate, explore, write for different purposes, read across the curriculum • research their own questions and those posed by others • follow new pathways of enquiry based on their own interests • complete homework activities that support their learning in school

During the Innovate Stage children will :- • apply previous skills, knowledge and understanding in real life contexts • be challenged with real or imagined problems and situations to solve using knowledge and skills from the earlier stages • be inspired with imaginative and creative opportunities  • have time to re-visit skills, knowledge and understanding not grasped during the develop stage • have the opportunity to take on different roles

During the Express Stage children will :- • become the performers, the experts, the informers • share their achievements with others in many different ways…….parents, different classes and the community • evaluate finished products/processes • tie learning back to the beginning • celebrate

 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:

Some areas of the Curriculum cannot always be linked to Cornerstones and so will be taught in separate lessons. Please see the supporting Curriculum Area statements for more detailed information on specific Curriculum areas.


You can also click here to read our:

English Curriculum Statement

Mathematics Curriculum Statement

Religious Education Curriculum Statement

Foundation Curriculum Statement

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