The Curriculum Centre
What is the Curriculum Centre?
Our work focuses on the development of new, high-quality curriculum programmes for our schools to use. Initially, this work began in with Pimlico Academy in 2012 and has continued to grow as Future Academies has grown. In recent years, we focused on supporting our hub of primary schools in Pimlico, creating a common curriculum in ancient history, British history, English literature, English grammar, Latin, and geography. More secondary schools have since joined the trust and we are developing our Key Stage 3 curriculum offer and broadening our subject expertise. Over the last two years, we have launched common curriculum programmes in English Literature, English grammar, history, science, maths and Latin.
Why do we have a Curriculum Centre?
Our trust, and by extension our curriculum, is built on a belief in imparting knowledge to our students that will empower them. This curriculum is designed to be delivered by teachers who are experts in their fields, and has been written with the importance of memory in mind. Our work is also driven by a desire to reduce unnecessary workload for our teachers through the provision of long and medium term planning documents, accompanied by classroom-ready resources that support complete, coherent and challenging curriculum programmes.
A common curriculum across the trust also offers practical benefits to our schools, namely: access to high-quality and cost-effective resources for all teachers to use; the opportunity to collaborate during assessment moderation, which is especially important at Key Stage 3; the chance for staff to share best practice from our classrooms and exchange ideas and expertise on curriculum content; and the opportunity to access career development opportunities in curriculum design and leadership.
Lady Caroline Nash - Co-Director of the Curriculum Centre
Lady Nash has a BA in History from Bristol University. A stockbroker by training, she had a successful career in the international division of a French merchant bank. She is a former counsellor for the Citizens' Advice Bureau.
Caroline is the leading force in curriculum development across the Trust. Caroline has overseen the development of the new KS3 curriculum at Pimlico Academy and the KS2 curriculum at the primaries, and she led a national pilot with the Education Endowment Foundation.
Paul Smith - Co-Director of the Curriculum Centre
Paul is the Chief Executive of Future Academies and a National Leader of Education (NLE).
Over almost twenty years, Paul has gained wide experience in schools, leading his own schools to be judged 'outstanding' by Ofsted and turning around some of the toughest schools in the north of England. Paul started his career in primary education, teaching across EYFS, KS1 and KS2. He has also spent time as an advanced skills teacher in KS3 and KS4. Paul has gained a reputation for leading highly-effective teams to secure outstanding outcomes for all pupils regardless of background.
Through his work with the National College, as a NLE and as head of a teaching school, he has worked on developing several national programmes looking at improving system leadership in the sector. He has worked on several key development groups at the Department for Education over the last 15 years, including the National Headteacher Reference Group. Paul has also worked as an Ofsted inspector and has taken part in international visits to schools in Shanghai, Sweden and South Africa.
More recently Paul took up the post as one of the first Regional Schools Commissioners at the Department for Education. In this role, he raised standards across schools in the north-west of England and established the Blackpool Challenge initiative to raise outcomes in the local area.
Dr Oliver Wimborne - Head of the Curriculum Centre
Olly leads the day-to-day work of the Curriculum Centre. He joined Pimlico Academy in 2009 and, before qualifying as a teacher, he worked as a teaching assistant and in post-16 pastoral management. Olly studied at King’s College London and holds a BA and MA (philosophy, religion and ethics), an MRes, and a PhD (social science research and education policy). In 2019 – 2020, Olly also worked at the Royal Society of Arts as a researcher in education.
Dr Antony Smith - Deputy Head of the Curriculum Centre
As Deputy Head of the Curriculum Centre, Antony works closely with teachers and school leaders across our three primary schools to support the development and delivery of our curriculum. Over the last six years, Antony has been involved with the design and development of several Key Stage 2 curriculum programmes. He also leads the production of grammar resources for use in our secondary schools. Prior to his full-time role at the Curriculum Centre, Antony was the assistant headteacher at Churchill Gardens Primary Academy, where he worked especially with Year 6 and with children with special educational needs. He had particular responsibility for teaching and learning in Key Stage 2, for upholding the school’s behaviour and ethos, and for school organisation. His background is as a professional classicist; he still holds a stipendiary lectureship at Magdalen College, Oxford.
antigone Harries - trust lead (History)
Antigone combines her role as History Lead with her responsibility as Head of History at Pimlico Academy. She has worked with the Curriculum Centre over a number of years to develop our rigorous trust-wide Key Stage 3 History curriculum, which was based on the successful delivery of our pioneering, knowledge-rich curriculum at Pimlico Academy. Antigone oversees the implementation of the history curriculum across the trust, regularly visiting schools and working with their history departments to improve teaching and learning. As part of this, Antigone leads cross-trust moderation to ensure that all students are being assessed in a uniform manner, and organises reciprocal observations across the trust to promote parity in delivery of the curriculum.
Charles Furber - Trust Lead (Classics)
Charles is Head of Classics at Pimlico Academy and the Latin Lead across the trust. After completing his undergraduate degree in Classics at St Benet’s Hall, Oxford, and his Master’s degree at King’s College London (for which he received a Distinction), Charles became a teacher. Following two roles in the private sector, he trained to teach with Future Academies, receiving the prestigious Future Teach scholarship. Charles joined the trust at the point when Latin and ancient history were introduced on timetable at Key Stages 3 – 5 at Pimlico Academy. Latin is now taught to all students at all Future Academies schools at Key Stage 3. He is responsible for designing Future Academies’ bespoke Key Stage 3 Latin curriculum and ensuring that it is delivered consistently across the trust’s schools. His Latin curriculum is designed not only according to the principles of the Curriculum Centre (i.e. that it is academically rigorous, cumulative, iterative), but also according to the principle that all students can excel at and enjoy the study of Classical culture.
Nathan Baldock - Trust Lead (English)
Nathan graduated with a first class honours degree in Literature from Liverpool John Moors University before completing his PGCE and becoming a teacher. He has worked in education for twenty years, an extensive career which has seen him teach English language, literature and grammar across several countries and two continents. Nathan joined Future Academies over a decade ago and was closely involved in the implementation of our initial, knowledge-rich English curriculum as Pimlico Academy’s Key Stage 3 Lead. He is now the English Lead for the trust and works closely with our curriculum writers to develop a new English curriculum which combines a chronological appreciation of the development of the literary form with an understanding of how written styles are adapted, adopted and delivered. Nathan regularly visits schools across the trust to speak with teachers and students, to share best practice, and to ensure the curriculum is delivered consistently.
Philip Robinson - Trust Lead (Science)
Philip graduated with a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of York. He joined Pimlico Academy in 2015 and is the Science Lead across the trust. For the past three years, Philip has been the Key Stage 3 Lead for science at Pimlico Academy, as well as the head of literacy for the science department. In his Key Stage 3 role, Philip has developed the Future Academies science curriculum, including the implementation of skills assessments and the introduction of knowledge organisers and interleaved tests to aid students’ retention. Philip’s Key Stage 3 science curriculum begins with an introduction to foundational ideas in science, which are then studied in greater depth throughout the course, thus enabling all students to enjoy and excel in the subject. The curriculum is sequenced carefully and supported by challenging textbooks, teacher guides and assessments. To aid the implementation of this curriculum, Philip conducts regular training sessions and school visits to support science departments across the trust.
Lizzie Hardy - Trust Lead (Maths)
Having completed a bachelor’s degree (Mathematics and Biology) and PGCE at the University of Bristol, Lizzie has been teaching mathematics at Pimlico Academy since 2012. The implementation of the Mathematics Mastery curriculum at Pimlico Academy in 2015 enabled her to see the impact of students having a conceptual understanding of mathematical principles and using precise mathematical language on their overall understanding and enjoyment of maths. Lizzie continues to lead the successful rollout of the Mathematics Mastery curriculum at Pimlico Academy and, in her role as Maths Lead, works with school leads to ensure that students across the trust are all receiving the same high standard of mathematical education.
Michael Stock - Curriculum Writer (History)
Mike received a first class degree in History and German from Wadham College, Oxford, before training to teach with the Pimlico-London SCITT and becoming a history teacher at Pimlico Academy. In his role as Curriculum Writer, Mike has supported the development of the Key Stage 2 history curriculum. More recently, he has written the new Year 7 history textbook, which is now in use across the trust’s secondary academies. Mike is currently developing history curriculum resources for the rest of Key Stage 3. Mike supports the History Lead, Antigone Harries, in the delivery and implementation of a consistent history curriculum across the Trust.
Dominic Leonard - curriculum writer (English)
Dominic joined Future Academies in 2019 and trained with the Pimlico-London SCITT. He now teaches at Pimlico Academy and writes textbooks for Key Stage 3 English, helping to develop a new English literature curriculum that begins with Simon Armitage’s translation of The Odyssey before moving chronologically to the present. He graduated with a BA in English from Oxford and an MA in Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies from the University of Leeds. He is also a published poet and reviews contemporary poetry for the Times Literary Supplement.
Olivia Crawley - Curriculum Writer (Primary)
Olivia joined the Curriculum Centre in 2019. She graduated in 2018 with a BA in Classics from the University of Cambridge, and joined the Pimlico-London SCITT that year. Olivia is now working on the development of our Key Stage 2 Latin, English and history curriculum programmes, with a particular focus on developing children’s vocabulary, reading and writing skills through the provision of high-quality texts, challenging comprehension questions and stimulating creative writing activities. Alongside her work with the Curriculum Centre, Olivia also teaches Latin at Churchill Gardens Primary Academy.
Our Principles of Curriculum Design
The work of The Curriculum Centre in designing and developing the Future Academies’ curriculum is based upon seven principles of curriculum design. Our curriculum materials are:
5. Academically challenging
6. Written with memory in mind
7. Written for novices, not experts