How to provide an exceptional primary Curriculum for Wales using Cwricwlwm Maestro

Curriculum

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13th July 2021

How to provide an exceptional primary Curriculum for Wales using Cwricwlwm Maestro
How to provide an exceptional primary Curriculum for Wales using Cwricwlwm Maestro

It’s been a year (and what a year it‘s been) since we launched Cwricwlwm Maestro, the online platform for primary schools in Wales. Maestro is now helping over 150 Welsh primary schools to design their curriculums in line with Curriculum for Wales requirements, and word is spreading fast.

Over the past 12 months, we have been adding exciting content and functionality to Cwricwlwm Maestro. This blog gives you the lowdown on these developments and offers our guidance on how to get the very best from this time-saving platform.

What is Cwricwlwm Maestro?

Cwricwlwm Maestro is a workload-busting online platform that allows you to design, teach, assess and monitor an exceptional primary curriculum all from one place. It includes over 100 engaging, editable curriculum projects from Nursery to Year 6 and more than 2000 high-quality teaching resources. All content is linked to the four purposes, covering the areas of learning and experience (AoLEs) and statements of what matters. You can even use Maestro to assess children and monitor their progress through your curriculum at the click of a few buttons. In short, Maestro puts you in the driving seat of your curriculum.

How does it work?

When you first log in, Cwricwlwm Maestro guides you through the curriculum design process. With an underpinning pedagogy designed to deliver the four purposes, it allows you to add or create projects and lessons that fully cover the statements of what matters for each of the six areas of learning and experience (AoLEs). The Literacy and Numeracy Framework (LNF) and Digital Competence Framework (DCF) can also be fully integrated into your teaching and learning.

Maestro makes it easy to monitor and share your curriculum with staff and stakeholders. Teachers have their own timetables that they can quickly populate with project lessons and links to resources. Staff can edit content easily on the platform to make it truly bespoke to their classes and assess the children’s progress.

You can access Cwricwlwm Maestro by purchasing a licence that’s priced according to your school size. If you already have a Cornerstones licence, the good news is that it’s included in your current package. Simply transfer to Cwricwlwm Maestro and you and your staff can enjoy access to all content, tools and resources at any time, on any device.

Contact us on 03333 20 8000 or email maestro@cornerstoneseducation.co.uk to transfer your licence to Cwricwlwm Maestro

How is it different from the Curriculum Maestro for English schools?

Both platforms have some similar content and features, but there are key differences. Cwricwlwm Maestro has been designed to help you to meet the Welsh Government’s requirement to design a bespoke curriculum. As mentioned earlier, the content on Cwricwlwm Maestro has the four purposes at its heart and enables you to cover and assess the statements of what matters. The Welsh platform also includes Wales-specific projects, such as the culturally vibrant Welsh humanities projects for Years 1–6.

Our curriculum advisers for Wales have worked with hundreds of school leaders and teachers to help us develop these high-quality curriculum resources and tools on Cwricwlwm Maestro.

‘For me as a leader, to be able to log on and check what is being covered has been really reassuring. I’m not sure how I would have been able to do that without Cwricwlwm Maestro. It’s helping us to get our heads around the requirements of the new curriculum.’  Jade Wakley, Deputy Headteacher, Pembroke Primary School

What is Curriculum 2022? Is it for Wales, too?

You might have noticed our recent announcements about Curriculum 2022. This is a curriculum sequence that we’ve designed using the newer projects on Maestro, as well as forthcoming projects. Curriculum 2022 particularly helps primary schools in England meet Ofsted’s current expectations around having a clearly sequenced curriculum. However, the ready-made sequencing that Curriculum 2022 offers is equally useful for Welsh schools, so we’ve included it as an option on Cwricwlwm Maestro. If you don’t wish to follow the Curriculum 2022 sequence, as a Welsh school, you can design and sequence your curriculum in a way that suits your purposes, drawing from the wide range of Cornerstones projects. Read on for more about these.

Planning your curriculum

Cwricwlwm Maestro gives you access to over 100 projects from the broad and balanced Cornerstones Curriculum, which includes a complete suite of teaching resources. Simply choose and adapt these projects to suit your needs or use the system to develop your own. Again, all content, including your own, will link to the statements of what matters and Cwricwlwm Maestro’s skills and knowledge framework. This underlying framework helps you to ensure clear curriculum coverage and progression.

Project choice

Maestro offers you a huge scope of rich projects to choose from, all editable to suit your children and context. Here’s the lowdown on each project type and some tips on using them in your curriculum design.

    1. Main projects – Main projects are longer, thematic projects that often have an AoLE driver subject and authentically linked cross-curricular content. They come in a choice of Imaginative Learning Projects and Knowledge-Rich Projects. If you’ve used Cornerstones projects before, you’ll notice that some newer projects replace existing ones. For example, Misty Mountain, Winding River replaces two older projects, Misty Mountain Sierra and Flow. Main projects are perfect for teaching over a half or full term, combined with other shorter projects from the selection on Maestro, or your school projects.
    2. Mini projects – As the name suggests, these projects are slightly shorter than the main projects. We have a wide choice already on Maestro, including the Welsh humanities projects, Love to Investigate and Love to Celebrate projects. However, we’re currently adding an exciting range of new mini projects to Cwricwlwm Maestro. These new mini projects focus on teaching children the essential skills and knowledge needed in the expressive arts, humanities, and science and technology. Many schools use these to teach children the essential skills before doing a main project. For example, if you plan to cover Muck, Mess and Mixtures, you might want to teach our new expressive arts skills mini project, Mix It, beforehand.

If you already use Maestro, you’ll notice that we’ve uploaded some mini project placeholders for science, which provide the objectives but not the lesson content. These are projects that are being produced over the next few months, so watch this space.

‘Cwricwlwm Maestro has provided us with a great platform to create and develop our own unique broad, balanced and enriched curriculum in line with the four purposes’  John McMorrow, Headteacher, St Josephs RC Primary School

Cwricwlwm Maestro Lite version

If you want to create, manage and assess your own curriculum, Cwricwlwm Maestro also comes in a Lite version. The table below shows you what’s included with both options.

Cwricwlwm Maestro

Lite Licence

Cwricwlwm Maestro

Full Licence

Access to the Cornerstones Curriculum

More than 2000 teaching resources

Live timetable function

Curriculum design and management tools

AoLE coverage and progression framework

Real time assessment

Science investigations and much more

Ongoing curriculum support

Easing the pressure on teachers

Curriculum development is hard work, but with Cwricwlwm Maestro, you’ll have the tools and resources to design, deliver and manage it with ease. As all projects are editable, staff can tailor them to your school context to develop a truly bespoke curriculum, an important aspect of the new Curriculum for Wales. Many schools tell us that they use the projects as rich starting points and that the ideas and resources save them many hours of workload.

‘Cornerstones saved days and days of planning time and, even then, it would have been difficult to have such a wide scope of lessons of this quality.’  Tania Morgan, Headteacher, Ysgol Y Bynea

‘I’ve just had a demo with Nicola. Cwricwlwm Maestro looks fantastic and will be amazing for teacher planning. I love the timetable feature and that the resources are attached to lessons.’  Mrs J Davies, Ysgol Bae Baglan

Easing the pressure on school leaders

Cwricwlwm Maestro also makes light work of leadership in your school, helping you to track actual coverage and progression in line with the AoLEs, LNF and DCF. As a leader, you have a clear overview of learning across year groups and the reassurance that projects are rich in skills and knowledge content, which can support staff’s curriculum knowledge.

In terms of curriculum monitoring, Cwricwlwm Maestro seamlessly links your curriculum, teaching and assessment, avoiding the need to buy extra assessment packages. Live tools help you to monitor coverage and your children’s progression in all key areas, including the mandatory LNF and DCF skills. This helps you gain an accurate judgment of what is being taught and learned in your curriculum.

Sharing your curriculum

With Cwricwlwm Maestro, everything is kept live and relevant. All staff have a login and can view and share lesson plans, timetables and assessments. As well as unifying your curriculum approach, being online allows for paperless curriculum delivery and management.

You can also share your curriculum design and project information with parents and the wider community, as everything that you need to share can be uploaded to your school website.

Helping you get ready for 2022

Cwricwlwm Maestro for Wales has everything you need to move towards the new curriculum ready for September 2022, in line with government expectations.

Want to see what it can do for your school? Book a free demo with a member of our team.

‘It couldn’t have come at a better time.’  James Paynter, Deputy Headteacher, Mayals Primary School

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