Curriculum model - The diagram to the right depicts Cornerstone's primary curriculum.
The Christian Special Character undergirds the curriculum and is explored through curriculum themes which reflect the Character of God. On this foundation lies our school vision, for our students "To be confident followers of Jesus Christ, equipped and inspired to creatively impact our world." The Learning Areas, Principles, Key Competencies and Values of the New Zealand Curriculum are incorporated into the curriculum together with our Science speciality and the core school values of Respect, Kindness, Diligence, Integrity and an underpinning value of Humility before God. In line with the Tiriti o Waitangi our curriculum is responsive to Maori culture. It is also responsive to the Pasifika cultures which are strongly represented at our school.
Curriculum foci - Our year is divided into four terms each having its own theme and focus. Details of our curriculum themes are contained on pages 14-15 our primary curriculum outline.
Values - The values of Respect, Diligence, Integrity and Kindness are taught simultaneously with the curriculum and are underpinned with another value of Humility before God.
Morning programme - The morning programme begins at 8.45am (9am for Years 1-3) with devotions which last for about 30 minutes. This is a time of prayer, praise, worship and Bible study along the lines of our term theme. For the rest of the morning we focus on the basics: Reading, Writing and Mathematics. Most classes do literacy before interval and Mathematics between interval and lunchtime, although there is some flexibility around this at the discretion of the teacher.
Afternoon programme - In the afternoons, children learn according to the curriculum area in the table above and there are specific scriptures and focus areas which are aligned to this. For examples of how this is integrated, please download any of the following examples of our Christian character units:
Literacy - We use a range of literacy strategies to assist children to learn including specialist areas such as phonics and whole word learning. We have a wide range of resources to assist students, e.g. the Rainbow Reading programme, iPads with appropriate applications loaded on, listening posts, a wide range of reading material, many websites, etc. All classrooms are equipped with a data projector and a suite of computers and technology is regularly integrated with learning. Many classes use Google Docs as an on-line collaboration tool.
Mathematics - Mathematics teaching is influenced by the Numeracy project but all strands of the Mathematics curriculum are taught, e.g. topics such as statistics, trigonometry, geometry, algebra, etc. The school uses Mathletics on-line learning as both a homework and a class tool and all students are signed up to Mathletics (at the school’s cost).
Science - The school has a significant strength in the Sciences both in its resource base and having science specialists on site. The Principal has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and many years' experience running secondary Science departments, our secondary Science/Biology teacher was the Manawatu regional Science advisor to schools prior to his appointment at Cornerstone and the Assistant Principal (Primary) is a Science teaching specialist. The school is well resourced in the area of Science with a specialist science laboratory, sets of microscopes, laboratory equipment, light boxes, a telescope, chemistry modelling sets, etc.
Y7/8 Technology, Science, Drama, Music and Art - Students in Year 7 attend Monrad Technology Centre and Intermediate School on Tuesday afternoons and have specialist Science lessons at Cornerstone on Thursday afternoons. Year 8 students attend Monrad Technology Centre and Intermediate School on Tuesday afternoons and are taught by our own specialist teachers of Drama, Science, Music and Art on the remaining afternoons.
Other subjects - The school routinely teaches a range of other subjects including Computer use, Music, Art, Sports (regularly assisted by various regional associations), Movie making, Puberty (to Year 7-8 students in line with regular community health consultation), etc.