Creative curriculum specialists say future looks bright as they take on 500th school
21 October 2013
The future looks bright for creativity in the classroom according to a team of curriculum experts who have just supplied educational resources to their 500th school.
Yorkshire-based Cornerstones was set up by former teachers and schools advisors two years ago and has grown quickly. Five hundred schools now buy its creative curriculum packages and learning materials to help teachers plan and prepare engaging and rigorous lessons.
Managing Director Melanie Moore said: “We are delighted to have signed up our 500th school as we set up our company with the express intention of spreading and supporting a creative learning philosophy across schools in England and Wales.
“We are optimistic about further expansion and also hope to counter concerns that the new National Curriculum could threaten creativity in the classroom.”
Cornerstones has now launched a thorough review of all its products to ensure they are future-proof and comply with new National Curriculum requirements for 2014.
Melanie said: “We are aware of concerns that new demands presented by the National Curriculum may squeeze creativity out of learning, but we are adamant that a creative curriculum is proven to get results and improve educational standards and aspirations – there will be absolutely no need to compromise on creativity in the future.
“We aim to support schools to keep the curriculum creative by making sure our learning resources have all the revised government learning targets covered.”
Shipston on Stour Primary School in Warwickshire is the company’s 500th customer, joining a list of Cornerstones schools based as far afield as Kent, Cumbria, Birmingham and Cornwall;
Sunderland, Swindon and Swansea. Cornerstones supplies a high concentration of schools in Wales – a total of 375 – and also produces its resources in Welsh.
Headteacher at one primary school, which was previously in special measures, says the creative curriculum supplied by Cornerstones, helped her staff and pupils turn around the fortunes of the school. Marshland Primary in Doncaster saw its OFSTED assessment change from inadequate to good with outstanding features within just six months.
Marshland head Sally Kimber, said: “OFSTED inspectors really liked what they saw in the classroom. They said our curriculum ‘gave pupils plentiful opportunities to practice a whole range of skills’. I believe the Cornerstones curriculum definitely helped teachers by providing the framework for excellent cross-curricular topic work and saving us so much time in planning. We have been able transform the school with hard work and good creative learning resources.”
As part of the process of revising and re-writing the Cornerstones curriculum, the new resources are being expanded to give teachers more tools to help ensure their engaging lessons - which encourage children to develop, innovate and express themselves – do comprehensively cover all National Curriculum requirements. The company plans to re-publish its upgraded curriculum packages before Christmas – allowing schools plenty of time to plan for the new academic year.
Melanie said: “Cornerstones is also mindful that many teachers will be struggling to find time to even read the 200-page National Curriculum document released by government this September, so we are producing a concise summary of the key changes and developing a short training course to brief teachers.”
Cornerstones is also opening a new learning centre for curriculum training sessions at its Barnsley-based headquarters this month and is developing a new hub for online learning resources.
Cornerstones was established in 2011 by a team of three directors each with 20 years’ experience in the teaching profession behind them. Melanie Moore, Simon Hickton and Graham Bell now employ 26 people – many of whom are also former teachers.
Melanie said: “We are an educational business with our roots in the classroom. And, Simon, who is the company’s chairman, remains a full-time primary school headteacher. We know teachers do not want to talk to people who do not know what they are talking about.”
NOTES TO EDITOR
Photograph shows Sally Kimber, headteacher at Marshlands Primary School in Doncaster, with pupils showing some of their Cornerstones project work.
For further information please contact Julia McInally at Cornerstones on 0844 335 0300 or email@example.com
Cornerstones Education Ltd was established in 2011 and now works with over 500 primary schools across England and Wales. Cornerstones produce a range of educational resources and their primary product is a creative curriculum package for three to 11-year-olds. The curriculum is packed with exciting and engaging ways to help children learn; encouraging them to engage, develop, innovate and express themselves, while at the same time meeting all government-required learning targets in the National Curriculum. Cornerstones resources are designed to help teachers deliver high quality lessons. They also save them time planning and enable them to spend more time with children in the classroom.
Cornerstones is based at Fields End Business Park, Goldthorpe, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S63 0JF, telephone 0844 33503000. For further details, see http://www.cornerstoneseducation.co.uk/ and follow on Twitter @Cornerstonesedu.
Additional media contact: Steph Pollard at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01226 766900/ 0776 196 4492.