Our primary school is organised into three teams:
- Aroha (Years 1-2), led by Mrs Katrina Bannister
- Manahau (Years 3-4), led by Mrs Jane Sutherland
- Tumanako (Years 5-6), led by Mr David Henderson
Teachers within each team plan collaboratively and support one another, thereby strengthening curriculum delivery and assessment practices across the team.
We teach the NZ Curriculum inextricably interwoven with our Special Christian Character.
Students with Special Education needs and students who need extra help are provided with teacher aide support under the leadership of our SENCO. Our dedicated ESOL teacher, Mrs Christina Havill, provides support for students who require extra help learning the English language.
Primary 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 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.
Morning programme – For students in Years 1-6, the morning programme begins with devotions. This is a time of prayer, praise, worship and Bible study which focus on the term’s theme. For the rest of the morning students focus on the basics: reading, writing and mathematics. Most classes do literacy before interval and mathematics between interval and lunchtime.
Afternoon programme – In the afternoons, Year 1-6 students’ learning focuses on the term’s curriculum focus area. For examples of how the Christian special character is integrated, please download any of the following examples of our Christian character units:
Literacy – We use a range of literacy strategies to assist students 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, listening posts, a wide range of reading material, websites, etc. All classrooms are equipped with a data projector and a suite of computers or iPads 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. statistics, trigonometry, geometry, algebra. The school uses Mathletics on-line learning as both a homework and a class tool and all students above new entrant level 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 specialists on site. The Principal has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and many years’ experience running secondary science departments and the Deputy Principal (Primary) is a science teaching specialist. The school is well resourced in this area with specialist science laboratories, sets of microscopes, laboratory equipment, light boxes, a telescope, chemistry modelling sets, etc.
Other subjects – The school routinely teaches a range of other subjects in Years 1-6, including digital technology, music, art and sport (assisted by various regional associations).