Science expert recruited by creative curriculum specialists

2 December 2013

A science expert has joined South Yorkshire-based creative curriculum specialists, Cornerstones Education Ltd.

Dr Fran Barnes has been appointed curriculum development consultant with responsibility to research and write the science content of the company’s learning materials, which are supplied to more than 550 primary schools across England and Wales.

Cornerstones produce comprehensive creative curriculum packages and other materials designed to help teachers plan and prepare engaging lessons which meet every requirement of the National Curriculum.

Fran has nine years’ experience as a post-doctoral research scientist in the Department of Infection and Immunity at the University of Sheffield. While in this post, she developed a keen interest in promoting science as a subject to study and a career option for young people. She spent time visiting schools as an ambassador for the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

In 2009, Fran decided to leave academia to become a full-time champion of science working as a freelance science education advisor. She delivered practical science lessons to children aged four to 18 at schools in Sheffield and nationwide - and delivered outreach science sessions for families too.

Fran said: “I’m keen on the promotion of hands-on practical science and strongly believe children should be ‘doing’ science by exploring, investigating and being given the freedom to test their own ideas. I look forward to contributing to Cornerstones’ highly-regarded teaching and learning resources.”

Fran joins an expanding workforce of 26 people at Cornerstones which was established in 2011 by a team of just three former teachers and education advisors – determined to deliver learning materials to help teachers save time and plan rigorous lessons.

Another recent recruit to a newly-created post is Vanessa Wright, who has joined Cornerstones as business development assistant. Vanessa previously worked at Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council. She will support the company’s marketing strategy to boost its profile and extend its customer base.

Michael Philips, who joined the company as an apprentice just a year ago, has also been recently promoted the new substantive post of finance officer.

Managing director Melanie Moore said: “We are expanding rapidly as more schools buy into the Cornerstones’ creative learning philosophy and are delighted to be able to recruit high-quality talent to our committed Cornerstones team.”

Cornerstones plans to grow the business further as it expands its 550-strong customer base of schools across England and Wales.

Cornerstones also recently doubled its office space at their Fields End Business Park headquarters in Goldthorpe by taking on a further 1,300 square feet and developing training facilities and meeting rooms available for hire. 

Notes to editor

Photograph shows Dr Fran Barnes, Cornerstones’ new curriculum development consultant for science.

For further information please contact Julia McInally at Cornerstones on 0844 335 0300 or

Cornerstones Education Ltd was established in 2011 and 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, tel: 0844 33503000,

Additional media contact: Steph Pollard at or on 01226 766900/ 0776 196 4492.

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