Cornerstone School and College believe that a comprehensive, research-based curriculum is carefully designed to provide a rich academic foundation and foster a child’s creativity and independence.
Teachers act as partners, working alongside children and communicating with them both verbally and nonverbally to encourage learning. Key strategies for adult-child interactions are sharing control with children, communicating as a partner with children, scaffolding children’s play, using encouragement instead of praise, and taking a problem-solving approach to supporting children in resolving conflicts.
To create a predictable and active learning environment, teachers arrange and equip the classroom with diverse, open-ended materials that reflect children’s homes, cultures, and languages. The classrooms are organized and labeled to promote independence and encourage students to carry out their intentions.
A consistent framework for the day provides a balanced variety of experiences and learning opportunities. Students engage in both individual and social play, participate in small- and large-group activities, assist each other, socialize during meals, and develop self-care skills. These higher-level thinking skills are linked to the development of executive functions, which are needed to be successful in school and life. The school caters to two recesses including snack and lunch breaks to give ample time to reboot.
Ongoing child assessment is also an underlying component of the Cornerstone Curriculum. Formative and Summative assessments of students are collected throughout children’s natural play allowing teachers to assess child progress and plan meaningful learning experiences.