Tom Sherrington spoilt my Sunday (not really) – A blog about the Cornerstones Curriculum, then and now.


15th July 2019

Tom Sherrington spoilt my Sunday (not really) – A blog about the Cornerstones Curriculum, then and now.

It’s official. Tom Sherrington ruined my Sunday. Well, that’s not strictly true, of course. He actually did me a favour.

He wrote a great blog, Designing Curriculum: Values, quality, preferences-and sofa theory and only went and got me thinking, along with the rest of Edu Twitter!

Tom Sherrington spoilt my Sunday (not really) – A blog about the Cornerstones Curriculum, then and now.

So there were two things that Tom made me realise. One, that our curriculum was even on his radar (I still struggle with imposter syndrome). And two, that it was time to share important information on how the Cornerstones Curriculum has changed.

Cornerstones then: The IKEA modular sofa model

There are three critical questions raised in Tom’s blog. Which topics? Which sequence? How do they maintain subject coherence over a key stage? These are all valid and pertinent questions, especially for a curriculum that has in the past (using the sofa based analogy) been more of an IKEA modular sofa. In the beginning, the hard copy booklets, with no central platform, meant communicating the connectivity of the curriculum was difficult. Schools did indeed have to decide which topics they wanted to teach to best suit their curriculum intentions and do a significant amount of work to ensure their sequencing was right and that there was coherence across a key stage. That’s always going to be an issue for published curricula and still is for those delivering curriculum in this fashion. But schools who decide to adopt a published scheme do so knowing there is always further work to do. Just like modular sofas, sometimes cumbersome, often weighty, any published scheme requires some playing around with until it feels and looks just right. It also takes some living with until you find out if it works for you. But those schools that accept its foibles and work with them can reap the rewards to create magnificent curricula that really works, and save phenomenal amounts of time. I’m signposting a few brilliant examples here so hope these fabulous schools don’t mind the shout out (and there are many, many more so I’m really, really sorry I couldn’t mention everyone!).

Cornerstones now: The sofa, the suite and the kitchen sink

So what’s changed and where are we now? Over the last two years, we’ve reviewed and reflected on the Cornerstones Curriculum. We spoke to hundreds of schools; SLT, teachers, Ofsted and the DfE. We’ve acknowledged the good and thought creatively about the flaws, and we’ve embarked on a two-year plan to create more subject-specific knowledge-rich projects that will form the content of a new capsule curriculum. The first part of which, geography, will be available to schools in September with years 1-3  history curriculum to follow by Christmas 2019. This new content will give all schools at either end of the prog/trad debate the content and tools to create a curriculum that meets either ideology. We’ve also ditched the hard copy published materials. We’ve sought and found the best of coding experts, to build the technology needed to make the illusive 4Dimensional connectivity possible and visible. This comes in the form of Curriculum Maestro, an all-encompassing curriculum platform, ready for schools in September 2019. Underpinned by a mass of interconnected curriculum data that makes curriculum design, management and implementation available to schools with mind-boggling simplicity.

And finally, the introduction of Curriculum Maestro Lite offers those schools wanting to write their own curriculum, the tools to plan, deliver and manage their curriculum, coverage and assessment in one central location. And at a massively reduced cost. With hundreds of early adopter schools already working on the Beta model, there is already a growing plethora of quantitative and qualitative data for sharing.

Final words

So that’s my quick, whistle-stop tour of how the Cornerstones Curriculum has changed. I’m sure I’ll be adding to this blog at a later date, so I’m pretty grateful for the nudge (unwittingly of course) from Tom’s original blog. And if you want to see the curriculum or Curriculum Maestro for yourself, it’s easy to do, online, anytime and in just 30 mins or less. And all from the comfort of your own sofa, of course.

Footnote: Curriculum Maestro

Curriculum Maestro is a brand new comprehensive curriculum design, delivery and management system. Created to help primary schools complete and manage complex curriculum tasks with ease and with maximum time-saving efficiency. Pre-populated with fully editable and coherently sequenced early years and primary content, Curriculum Maestro supports the process of curriculum design, that begins with the articulation and creation of curriculum intent to the daily detail of individual teacher timetabling and lesson planning. Linked assessment and the ability to monitor real-time curriculum coverage enables all staff to ensure that plans are taught and assessed. A magnitude of teaching resources, a whole-school skills and knowledge framework and the ability to generate and publish bespoke curriculum projects makes Curriculum Maestro a must-have tool for all primary schools.

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