Curriculum Information

Since September 2014, St. Bernadette’s have been following the Cornerstones Curriculum, which works together with the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage to make the learning at our school fun and creative.

Cornerstones Education make it their mission to help schools create a vibrant and creative curriculum that puts children at its heart. The Cornerstones Curriculum contains 70 inspiring 'Imaginative Learning Projects', brilliantly thought out and expertly written. Exceeding the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum, it provides hours of rich cross-curricular and creative learning experiences.

Cornerstones excites children's imaginations, inspires them to learn, extends their horizons, deepens their understanding and meets their intellectual and personal needs.

The Cornerstones Curriculum is based on four corners which teachers and children use to work together to create an exciting and stimulating learning environment.


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

 Daily Maths Lesson

Maths is taught daily at St. Bernadette’s. Each lesson is taught in line with the New Curriculum objectives. Maths lessons build upon skills in Number, Shape, Space and Measures, Data Handling and Using and Applying Maths. Problem solving is a key feature of lessons so that the children understand the relevance of Maths in the context of everyday life. A range of stimulating resources are used within Maths lessons to inspire and engage the children. In addition to the daily Maths lesson we teach Big Maths daily for 20 mins in order to develop the children mental maths skills.


Big Maths is a numeracy programme that was introduced at St Beranadette’s in September 2013. We teach Big Maths in addition to the daily maths lesson in order to improve mental maths skills.  It has already had an impact, helping our children to become even more numerate and exceed in their mathematical achievement. Big Maths provides children with a fun and lively experience as they learn with jingles, songs, games and the famous Big Maths characters.

Children work through steps known as ‘Progress Drives’ where they follow a natural sequence of progression e.g. to know double 60 they need to first know double 6. Each step is always very small, but essential. This helps to boost confidence as all children can see that the next step up the progress drive is always easy and achievable. These Progress Drives allow for continuity and consistency across the whole school as all teachers are using the same steps of progression.

The lessons involve lots of repetition, revisiting and reinforcement to ensure solid knowledge of the basic maths skills, constantly nudging children up the Progress Drives.

The CLIC session:

Counting: Children learn to count forwards and backwards (progressing from whole numbers to ten through to counting in decimals and fractions) and to ‘count on’ from any number.

Learn Its: Recalling basic number facts including all four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division)

It’s Nothing New: Children apply what they have learned to acquire new skills in a simple manner.

E.g. if they know 4 + 3 = 7, then ‘its nothing new’ to learn that 4p + 3p = 7p.

Calculation: Children use and apply facts and knowledge from CLI to all four operation calculation methods (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).

Big Maths Assessment

As well as tracking children’s knowledge and understanding using their position on the Progress Drives, once a week the children have a ‘Big Maths Beat That’ test and at the end of each half term the children will have a CLIC test. These are used as assessment tools that allow teachers to see exactly what the children know and what they don’t know. They also provide children with a fun and motivational way to track their own progress and set their own targets for numeracy. Both tests begin with fun, catchy jingles that enthuse and engage the children.

The CLIC test: The CLIC test is a set of 10 questions involving number.

E.g. The four operations, doubling/halving, multiplying by 10/100, using decimals. Each child works on a CLIC test of a level appropriate to them and when they have achieved full marks for three consecutive weeks will move on to a higher level test, regardless of age or year group.

The Big Maths Beat That test (BMBT): The BMBT test is based on the children’s weekly Learn Its. It is a timed test where the children are constantly challenged to increase their own score (literally…”Beat That!”, where ‘that’ is their best ever score).

Children with the most improved score in their year group are celebrated at the end of each half term in our Worker of the Week celebration assembly.

Big Maths Characters

Many of the It’s Nothing New concepts are introduced and taught using fun and interactive characters. This has proved to be a very powerful tool as the characters and the mathematical language that is associated with them is used consistently through the school and constantly referred to by both children and staff.

Each character helps children to learn and remember key principles that can be applied across a range of topics and difficulty.

E.g. Pim helps children make links between 3 + 4 = 7, 30 + 40 = 70, £30 + £40 = £70 and 0.03 + 0.04 = 0.07.

Through parent information meetings this year we will be introducing Big Maths and explaining the ways that you can help and support your child with the skills involved.

Reading Schemes

Early Years and KS1 follow Letters and Sounds for their daily phonics lesson (,

KS1 use Rigby Star and Oxford Reading Tree as their core reading schemes. A variety of other schemes are used to widen the children's experience of books or as support when needed,

Singapore Maths

At St Bernadette’s we use the Singapore Maths Scheme to teach the mastery of mathematics to our children.

Mastery of Mathematics - What is it?

All pupils are encouraged by the belief that by working hard in Math’s lessons, they can succeed.

Pupils are taught through whole-class interactive teaching, where the focus is on all pupils working together on the same lesson content at the same time, although due to historical gaps we do differentiate for some group and independent work.

Children will learn Maths concepts through the ‘concrete/pictorial/abstract’ approach. They will use practical (concrete) apparatus first to fully understand concepts. Then they will learn to present this pictorially. After this the children will begin to express these concepts in an abstract way using formal written methods. All children, even those in Key Stage 2, will be encouraged to use practical apparatus before they move onto the other steps in order to demonstrate that they have conceptual understanding.

The Lessons…

·        Ensure that all children can master concepts before moving to the next part of the curriculum sequence, allowing no pupil to be left behind.

·        Identify gaps in learning quickly and early intervention ensures the pupil is ready to move forward with the whole class in the next lesson.

·        Identifies the new mathematics that is to be taught, the key points, the difficult points and a carefully sequenced journey through the learning. In a typical lesson pupils sit facing the teacher and the teacher leads back and forth interaction, including questioning, short tasks, explanation, demonstration, and discussion.


The lessons aim to teach conceptual understanding and increase fluency in Mathematics. Significant time is spent developing deep knowledge of the key ideas that are needed to underpin future learning. The structure and connections within the mathematics are emphasized, so that pupils develop deep learning that can be sustained.

The children use concrete materials in lessons to aid their understanding of concepts. Every lesson is based upon problem solving and encourages the children to use and apply Maths to different situations.

‘Rapid Graspers’

For those children who grasp concepts quickly in Maths, teachers provide opportunities within every lesson to encourage the depth of understanding through challenging tasks to further their learning.

In lessons children are required to discuss and explain their ideas to prove that they have ‘mastered’ the concepts. They are also encouraged to record ideas first pictorially then using formal (abstract) mathematical symbols.


Curriculum Overview - Maths