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Cornerstones Curriculum

Primary to Year Seven Curriculum

Forest Oak follows the Cornerstones Curriculum for children from Year 2/3 up to Year 7. Cornerstones is a concept-led primary curriculum informed by the latest evidence from cognitive science and the requirements of the Education inspection framework (Ofsted, updated 2022). Cornerstones encompasses the subjects of history, geography, science, design and technology and art and design: progressing sequentially year-on-year to build the knowledge and skills of the children.

English and RE follow a bespoke curriculum which is reviewed annually to suit the needs of the current cohort. Maths follows the White Rose Curriculum, differentiated for the current pupils in each year group.



The intent of the Cornerstones curriculum is led by ten central Big Ideas, or macro concepts, that provide the overarching aims of the curriculum. Conceived by careful analysis of the national curriculum subjects, and drawing out common themes in education, the Big Ideas put significant transferable concepts at the heart of the curriculum and support its horizontal, vertical and diagonal organisation.

The ten Big Ideas are:

  • Humankind

  • Processes

  • Creativity

  • Investigation

  • Materials

  • Nature

  • Place and Space

  • Comparison

  • Significance

  • Chang


The progression framework is implemented through a series of engaging and knowledge-rich projects. The projects are organised so that curriculum content, knowledge and skills are taught in a well-sequenced way that allows children to learn and do more as they progress throughout each year group. Each project is subject-driven.

At Forest Oak we have adapted the planned sequence of the Cornerstones curriculum to the needs pupils in each class, content then being further differentiated by the expert teacher who has the pupil knowledge and progress data available to allow them to plan lessons which are accessible and engaging for each individual child. 

This ensures maximum impact on children’s learning and the connectivity of the curriculum overall.