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Meet the staff

Mr N Hughes – Head of Faculty


Mr Hughes is our Music Technology teacher and one of our GCSE Music teachers. He has a degree in Music,
Technology and Innovation from DeMontfort University and has a real passion and love for all styles of music.

He has classical training in the Piano and Tuba and is a self taught guitarist. He has been writing his own music on computers since he was 15 and has been recording since he was 16. He has recorded many bands, mainly in funk, jazz, soul, rock, rap and metal styles and has dabbled in live sound mixes for a number of years, most notably with funk band, Decatone.

Mr Hughes is an experienced examiner; he is part of the A2 Music Technology examining team assessing the practical work of A2 students from across the country. He is also part of a Music Technology working group based at Huddersfield University who look at bridging the gap in Music Technology between FE and HE level. He has taught A level Music Technology at Robert Smyth since 2003, and has been teaching GCSE Music since 2005. He has been KS4 Music coordinator since 2012 and is leading the faculty this year during the faculty’s and Academy’s transition.

You should go and listen to: ‘Tell your Friends’ by Snarky Puppy


Mrs H Petersen – Head of Music


Mrs Petersen teaches A level Music as well as GCSE Music. She has a First Class degree in Music from the University of Nottingham, an MA in Musical Analysis from the University of York, and a PGCE in Secondary Music from the University of Cambridge.  Mrs Petersen, who was born in Denmark and moved to the UK at the age of 19, is a classically trained pianist but likes all styles of music and as a performer has played mainly with big bands and soul bands.

Mrs Petersen started her teaching career as a peripatetic keyboard and piano teacher in primary schools before moving to her first secondary teaching post in an 11-16 state school in Solihull. She took up the post of Head of Music at the Robert Smyth Academy in 2002 where she immediately formed the award-winning Robert Smyth Jazz Band and Soul Patrol with whom she has recorded 3 albums, toured as far as China and performed at the Royal Albert Hall.

In 2013 Mrs Petersen was awarded with the ‘Pride in Harborough Excellence in Education Award’ for “her dedication to helping children bloom through music and encouraging pupils to perform nationally and internationally”.  In 2012 Mrs Petersen received the Melvyn Jones Fellowship from the Lions Club for “exemplary service to the community”. Mrs Petersen has contributed to articles on music education in English and Danish music journals.

You should go and listen to: ‘All of Me’ by Oscar Peterson

Mrs M Routledge – Head of Dance


Mrs Routledge is our Head of Dance and teaches the GCSE dance course. She is also responsible for Arts Award at the Academy and the formation of the RSA Dance Company. She studied contemporary dance at Laban and has a degree in dance from DeMontfort University.

Mrs Routledge has taught dance part time at Robert Smyth since 1999 as well as teaching freelance work in all key stages of education, from foundation age to degree level. She has also performed for dance theatre in education projects touring schools and developing workshops.

Mrs Routledge is a member of the Leicestershire Independent Dance Network which meet to share resources, promote dance within Leicestershire and initiate projects to widen the dance community.

You should  go and watch Akram Khans Vertical Road

Miss K Eastwood – Drama teacher


Miss Eastwood teaches A-Level and GCSE Drama and Theatre studies.  She has a First Class degree in Drama and Theatre Studies from Liverpool Hope University and a PGCE in Secondary Drama with English from Warwick University.

As well as training as a teacher of Drama, Miss Eastwood also trained as an actress with companies such as the National Youth Theatre and Frantic Assembly.  She has directed and performed in several productions as part of the acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Miss Eastwood is an examiner for both GCSE and A-Level Drama and Theatre studies.  She also runs her own theatre company called Frenzy Youth Theatre which is based in Loughborough.  Miss Eastwood teaches freelance in schools, colleges and universities, specialising in physical theatre.

Although new to Robert Smyth Academy, Miss Eastwood has taught in both state and private schools with her first teaching job being Acting Head of Drama.  Miss Eastwood is thrilled to be working with Miss Parsons again after a number of years working with Parsnips.

You should go and see: Anything by Frantic Assembly

Miss C Parsons – Drama teacher


Miss Parsons has been involved in performing arts since a young age but trained as an actress with the National Youth Theatre in London between the ages of 17 and 21, acting in two of their West End shows. She then went on to complete a degree in Contemporary Drama Studies at Brunel University in London. Upon graduating she set up Parsnips Youth Theatre in Market Harborough and Rutland Youf Artz in Uppingham and has been running both Youth Theatre companies for the past fourteen years. She was nominated for a Pride of Harborough award three years ago for her contribution to empowering young people through drama.


Miss Parsons is passionate about drama in all its forms and has taught everything from Shakespeare to Physical Theatre over the years, but she has a real love for Clowning and specialises in devising new theatre. To this end she has written over thirty plays for and with children aged between 8 and 18 years.


Although Miss Parsons  is new to Robert Smyth this year she has been associated with the school for almost fourteen years, providing work experience placements to students. In fact Miss Eastwood was her first ever work experience student back in 2002, and it was so successful she has taken up to three students a year ever since. She is delighted to be working with Miss Eastwood again and with all the staff and students at Robert Smyth.

You should go and see Slava Snowshow

Mr E Hull – Performing Arts TechnicianEJT

Ed Hull is our Performing Arts Technician. He has recently graduated from Coventry University with an Upper Second Class degree in Music technology.

Ed has experience in a number of areas within music technology, particularly recording, live sound, and sound editing. Most recently Ed has undertaken a recording project for Jaguar-Land Rover in which he was part of a team who were required to record the engine sounds of a number of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, which the company plans to use for promotional purposes. Ed has also worked as an assistant sound engineer with ‘Tin Angel Records’, a Coventry based record company in their recent recordings of ‘Nicholas Krgovich’ for his upcoming album. This enabled Ed to work with the likes of world renowned trombonist, composer and musician ‘Peter Zummo’.

Ed also works in live sound whenever an opportunity arises to do so, and has helped out in gigs and festivals in and around his hometown of Bicester, and throughout his time in Coventry.

Ed is keen to put his skills into practice within the academy and is looking forward to working with the students in both the recording studio and setting up of the technical aspects for the vast number of shows and performances the academy hosts throughout the year.

You should go and listen to ‘Iambic Poetry 9 – Squarepusher’


Peripatetic Staff

  • Ms Jo Conquest – Flute
  • Mr Alex Crutchley – Brass
  • Mr Ben George – Brass
  • Miss Sally Griffiths – Oboe
  • Ms Jo Hemmings – Clarinet and Saxophone
  • Mr Rod Iliffe – Keyboard
  • Mr Darron McHarg – Tuned Percussion and Drum Kit
  • Mr Paul Moxon – Cello and Double Bass
  • Mr Darryl Page – Guitar (Popular & Classical) and Bass Guitar
  • Dr Nicholas Scott-Burt – Piano (Classical and Jazz), Aural, Theory, Composition
  • Mr Mike Shaw – Violin and Viola
  • Mrs Debbie Smith – Vocal tuition/Piano/Keyboard
  • Ms Francine Warner – Clarinet and Saxophone
  • Mr Ryan West – Saxophone: Jazz & Improvisation
  • Miss Rebecca Wong – Bassoon