Cornerstones Education launches ‘Curriculum Maestro’, a new online curriculum management platform for primary schools, to meet changes to the Ofsted Education Inspection Framework.
South Yorkshire based Cornerstones Education has launched a new online platform, Curriculum Maestro, designed specifically to meet the curriculum challenges faced by primary schools ahead of the new Ofsted Education Inspection Framework (EIF) which launches on 1 September 2019.
Curriculum Maestro has been created after extensive qualitative research with more than 150 primary headteachers, senior leaders, The Department for Education and Ofsted. The research included face-to-face interviews, focus groups and online surveys.
When asked what their main challenges are when faced with the new EIF this autumn, the key issues raised were:
- Workload: Reducing teacher workload whilst still providing a broad, balanced and connected curriculum.
- Delivery against the new EIF: Teachers want to make sure their curriculum delivers everything the new EIF says it should.
- Subject coverage: Providing good coverage for all subjects through sequenced lessons, progressing covering both knowledge and skills.
- National curriculum coverage: Being able to track intended and actual national curriculum coverage across the whole school.
- Planning, teaching and assessment: Being able to link live planning, teaching and assessment across the whole curriculum.
It was concluded from in-depth interviews with the Department for Education, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Amanda Spielman, and Deputy Director for Schools, Matthew Purves, that primary schools often have the harder job when it comes to providing a broad, balanced and connected curriculum.
With 10 years’ experience of primary curriculum design, Cornerstones Education has developed Curriculum Maestro as a solution to these challenges. It provides a mix of pre-populated and editable options to help leaders quickly define their curriculum intent and measure whole-school and individual coverage and progression. Teachers can design or choose projects, activities and lesson resources that meet the needs of their classes and make instant, purposeful assessments.
Simon Hickton, Managing Director of Cornerstones Education said: “With a renewed inspection focus on the curriculum and its “connectedness”, we know there are even more leaders looking to refresh or redesign their curriculum. Some schools have tried to do this alone, but for primary schools, in particular, the task can be a mammoth undertaking and has a significant impact on people’s workload.
Creating a whole-school, coherent and connected curriculum is hard work and takes up a lot of time. I am all too aware of the pressure primary school teachers face with such high expectations on the levels of planning, marking and data management required.
Maestro will revolutionise the way that schools can define and measure their curriculum intent, implementation and impact by giving them the tools to create a curriculum with appropriate coverage, content, structure and sequencing.”
Curriculum Maestro has undergone extensive piloting as well as been showcased to more than 300 primary schools across the country who currently use the Cornerstones Curriculum. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive:
Christian Hilton, Executive Headteacher at Shipston-on-Stour Primary School, has been trialling Cornerstones Maestro and said: “It’s a real game-changer for curriculum design, leadership at all levels, planning and assessment, all while improving workload and the quality of teaching and learning. The balance of strategic leadership and operational use at the chalk face is brilliant.”
Lyn McNamara, Executive Principal, Probus Primary School, said: “It’s fantastic. For assessment of all subjects, including the foundation, to be integral and for us to be able to do it while we teach is a real answer for me. I also love the fact you can assess for impact and coverage. In terms of senior leadership being able to make use of it, I think it’s a fantastic tool to have.”
Cornerstones Education was founded by Simon Hickton and Melanie Moore 10 years ago, both of whom have over 20 years of primary teaching and leadership experience. The foundation of the Cornerstones Curriculum is to provide a primary school curriculum that develops the skills and knowledge required by the national curriculum, as well as being creatively stimulating and allowing children to explore their own interests. It is currently taught in over 2000 schools to 500,000 children.
A Cornerstones Curriculum yearly license gives access to over 80 themed projects and 1000s of lesson ideas mapped to the national curriculum.