An exciting new early years curriculum from Cornerstones


17th July 2020

An exciting new early years curriculum from Cornerstones

Looking for an engaging, connected early years curriculum? Whether you follow the new English EYFS framework or the Curriculum for Wales, our exciting curriculum projects will enrich your provision. 

So, what can you expect from this early years curriculum?

An exciting new early years curriculum from Cornerstones

Broad and balanced coverage

We’ve carefully designed this new EYFS curriculum to help you to meet national early years requirements, while still prioritising broad and balanced provision across all areas of learning and a play-based ethos. With the first full year’s project sequence available now and more coming soon, the curriculum will include over 20 fully resourced projects for Nursery and Reception, aligned with the Early Learning Goals and Development Matters for England, and the statements of what matters in the Curriculum for Wales. 


Play-based and language-rich

The new early years curriculum projects are written in sequence and have been created with children’s physical, social, and emotional development in mind. They encourage a play-based approach and offer the right balance between teacher-directed and child-led learning. We’ve also put children’s language development at the heart of the curriculum, so each project is built around stories and includes plenty of communication activities.

‘We’ve found the structure of new projects around key texts has given us a clear focus for language. We’ve got amazing writing pieces from those activities.’ Lauren Ward, Reception teacher, Wigan.

Phonics, literacy and mathematics

The topics are vibrant and designed to inspire awe and wonder in the world, but they also help children to learn specific skills and knowledge. You’ll find lots of ideas in each project where children can apply their phonics, literacy and mathematics skills through fun, play-based activities.


How to teach the projects

The early years curriculum offer you a sequence of main and shorter ‘companion’ projects.  All activities in the projects are differentiated for both Nursery and Reception and are supporting enhanced provision ideas. To help you make each lesson your own, the content is completely editable on Curriculum Maestro, our online curriculum platform. To provide a consistent pedagogical approach, every project follows Cornerstones’ unique four stage approach to learning: Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express.

Here’s what that looks like in practice.


Engage stage

A project begins with a memorable experience to hook the children in and spark their curiosity. During the Engage stage, children will have time to play and explore the themes within the project. You can use these activities to find out about the children’s existing knowledge and interests, to support further planning.

Develop stage

This stage offers teacher directed tasks that cover all aspects of learning and support the children to acquire fundamental knowledge and skills across the whole early years curriculum. Each task links to an enhanced provision idea, so that the children can develop skills and explore their learning independently. We also provide examples of key prompts and questions that help to extend children’s knowledge and challenge their thinking.

All activities are differentiated with a choice of both Nursery and Reception small group tasks. This allows you to tailor your curriculum to suit the needs of your children.

Innovate stage

After developing children’s skills and knowledge across all aspects of learning, the Innovate stage provides opportunities for children to apply them in new and exciting ways. It supports them to make links with their experiences, work collaboratively and solve problems together.

Express stage

Finally, in the Express stage, children have the chance to reflect on their learning and share their experiences with others.


The role of resources

We believe that the best approach to learning in the early years is through practical, experiential and play-based activities. However, where appropriate, the new projects include carefully designed, child-focused resources to support practical tasks.

‘The new early years projects are structured really well and offer a good balance of teacher-directed and child-led activities. What we enjoy about Cornerstones is that it offers us that flexibility.’ Lauren Ward, Reception teacher, Wigan.

Nursery and Reception Model

Want to find out more?

To see the early years curriculum projects for yourselves, ask any questions and get the best value quote for your setting, book a free online call with one of our friendly curriculum advisers at a time to suit you.

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