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Creative Barnsley company signs up Sheffield school as its 800th customer

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A fast-growing Barnsley-based education company which supplies schools across the UK has gained its eight hundredth customer on its doorstep in Sheffield.

Cornerstones Education was set up just four years ago and already sells creative curriculum materials to schools from Kent to Cumbria and Surrey to Sunderland.

Now, Meersbrook Bank Primary in Sheffield has become the 800th school to sign up for their teaching and learning resources for three to 11-year-olds.

Meersbrook is also the twentieth school in Sheffield to adopt the Cornerstones curriculum – which means 10 per cent of the city’s primaries are now working with the creative education specialists.

Cornerstones business manager Julia McInallly said:

“Sheffield is an incredibly vibrant and creative city and everyone at Cornerstones is passionate about spreading and supporting a creative learning philosophy in schools here – as well as right across England and Wales.

“We are delighted to welcome Meersbrook Bank Primary as our eight hundredth customer nationally and look forward very much supporting its teachers to plan and prepare rigorous and engaging lessons which meet every requirement of the new national curriculum.”

Meersbrook Bank Primary headteacher Rachel Edwards said:

“We cannot wait to get started using Cornerstones.

“A stimulating and meaningful curriculum is at the root of all we do at Meersbrook Bank and we believe Cornerstones’ resources support our vision. Its projects present hundreds of opportunities for children to develop key skills as confident, collaborative and independent learners.”

Cornerstones was established in 2010 and the national company has strong South Yorkshire roots.

Two of its three directors, Graham Bell and Melanie Moore, previously worked as creative learning advisors at Sheffield City Council.

And, the third, Simon Hickton, was a Doncaster headteacher. Julia worked for Sheffield-based Creative Partnerships, an organisation which connected schools and working artists to collaborate on joint projects.

Cornerstones’ headquarters is in Goldthorpe, Barnsley, where they now employ a workforce of 30 and manages a fast-growing customer base.

The company recently expanded into Middlesbrough where it now supplies 35 out of 40 primary schools in the town.

It has growing concentrations of clients in Birmingham and Leicester and is gaining footholds in new areas such as Merseyside and north east Yorkshire.

Cornerstones works with over 25 per cent of primary schools in Wales, where its curriculum materials are produced in Welsh as well as English.

The Cornerstones team of creative learning experts design projects with titles such as Muck, Mess and Mixtures, Dinosaur Planet, Potions, Frozen Kingdom and Superheroes.

All its products have recently been re-written to ensure they are up-to-date with the new national curriculum requirements for September 2014 and are designed to help pupils’ exceed the government’s prescribed learning targets.

They also produce assessment and evaluation tools which work alongside its projects to help teachers keep on top of assessing pupil progress, reviewing the curriculum and recording evidence for OFSTED.

Julia said:

“We are constantly innovating and creating new imaginative learning materials.

“More science and language teaching projects are under development and we plan to launch an interactive, multi-media hub to provide teachers with useful and inspiring online learning resources later this year.”

Cornerstones' Julia McInally (left) with Meersbrook Bank headteacher Rachel Edwards and pupils
Cornerstones’ Julia McInally (left) with Meersbrook Bank headteacher Rachel Edwards and pupils

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