The reasons why we are proposing a new school  are:

○ There aren’t enough places in our existing secondary schools for the children currently in primary. Even when other schools are expanded (which may take some time) there will still be a shortfall. This is before any further housing development takes place. If/when that happens, there will be huge pressure on secondary places.

○ The Oldham secondary sector has improved hugely since 2014. Over 60% of pupils are now in a school that has an Ofsted judgement of “good” or better. But there is still a way to go before we can guarantee that all young people in Oldham have an excellent education that gives them the full choices and opportunities for their future. Our Trust has one outstanding secondary – Blue Coat – and we want to develop another, to add to the capacity in Oldham for all young people. The more really good schools we have, the more that brings up the whole system.

What would our school be like?

○ Its motto would be that of our Trust: Ambition, Excellence, Community.

○ The school would be large enough to accommodate around 270 pupils in each year, so it could offer the full curriculum and employ specialist teachers full-time.

○ It would build up, year on year, starting with Year 7 in the opening year, and then adding a year at a time. This would help ensure that we get the culture of the school right from the start, with good behaviour, teaching, learning and pastoral care, so that the Year 8s would be excellent role models for the next Year 7, and by the time they reached Year 11, we would have a team of outstanding student leaders for the whole school.

○ It would be a proper school – students will wear uniform, with blazer; they would learn subjects in specialist facilities. The school would have the highest expectations of their conduct and commitment and would not accept people giving less than their best, because it is their future that we are building and the future of our wider community.

○ It would not have a Sixth Form – students would be able to go to Blue Coat Sixth Form, or any other Sixth Form or College that was right for them.

Will it be a Church school, and who could get a place?

This school will serve all the communities of Oldham and will be a community itself.

It wouldn’t matter where students had come from – when they come through the gate, they are simply our students.

The 270 places will be divided 50:50, with 50% (135) places open to all pupils, and 50% (135) places allocated on a faith basis to Christian children and children of other faiths. (So if you attend a Christian church, or go to Mosque, or are a member of your Temple, you could be in both the faith and the open places).

Our school will be a Church of England school, because we are a Church of England Trust.

Where will it be?

The Education Funding Agency would negotiate a site with us and Oldham Council. We want it to be in West Oldham where there has been high population growth. West Oldham is also very accessible from other parts of the borough – so long as we can get a site close to the main transport routes, and that is what we will campaign for. You can help us. (See below).

When would it open?

If we were successful in our bid, and we got a suitable site quickly, we could be open as early as 2019. Certainly there will be a need for the places.

What would the students learn?

The same as they do at Blue Coat.

In Years 7 and 8 they would study the full curriculum of:

Maths | English Language and Literature | Science | Modern Foreign Language (probably Spanish) | History | Geography | Religious Studies | Computing | Art & Design | Music
Drama | PE | Citizenship | Wellbeing (PSHE)

Students would choose their GCSEs at the end of Year 8. Everyone would take:

Maths (GCSE) | English Language and Literature (GCSE) | Science (Dual or Triple Award) (GCSE) | Religious Studies (GCSE)

Most students would also take:

History or Geography | A Modern Foreign Language

(This means that students have a broad range of subject qualifications which opens up the doors for A-Level/Level 3, Higher Apprenticeships and Degrees).

Students then choose two further options from a list including GCSEs in Art, Music, Drama, Textiles, Photography, Computing, Sociology; equivalent Technical qualifications in Sports Studies, Materials Technology, Cooking and Nutrition, Children’s Learning & Development; and other qualifying subjects such as Construction and Hair & Beauty.

Everyone would have PE lessons and Wellbeing, together with coaching and mentoring time with their tutor.

There would be full provision for pupils with Special Education Needs, pupils who need more support with literacy, pupils who are very able and need the challenge to get them to top grades and top universities.

How would the school day be organised?

We would start at 8.30am, with 10 minutes registration and form tutor time in the morning, and 20 minutes in the afternoon. Lunch would be 45 minutes.

There would be 5 x 1 hour lessons on 3 days, and 6 lessons on 2 days. The 6th lesson is for extra-curricular activity – we want all our students to be able to develop fully and to try new things.

This extra hour will also create time for students who need some extra help to have that with their teachers.

Our additional commitment to our pupils is this:

Every Day
○ Read for pleasure

Every week
○ Attend a club. Try two new clubs per year

Every year
○ Meet an inspirational person
○ Go on a trip outside Oldham
○ Go on a cultural trip (e.g. museum, gallery, theatre, historical site, place of worship)
○ Have a meal or meeting with an adult visiting the school
○ Contribute to a community activity
○ Make a presentation to a ‘real’ audience
○ Participate in a school production or assembly.

Every year (Years 7-8)
○ Play a musical instrument

Every year (Years 7-11)
○ Visit a university
○ Take a leadership role in a community project
○ Represent the school in a competition

At least once in Years 7-11
○ Complete a meaningful work experience placement
○ Participate in an extended volunteering / community project.

At least once
○ Attend a residential trip outside Oldham
○ Take part in a formal interview process

Where are all the teachers going to come from? How do you know you will be able to get the best?

The Cranmer Education Trust, through Blue Coat and our Teaching School Alliance, is also a nationally accredited trainer of teachers through Manchester Nexus (www.manchesternexus.com).

We started small in 2013 and have built this up, so that next year we will be training over 60 teachers across our Alliance schools. We have invested a lot in this to be able to recruit the very best and most committed graduates, who want to work in the North Manchester area and make a real difference to young people’s lives and opportunities.

Over 20 of the teachers we have trained are now employed in local schools, 8 in Blue Coat alone. So we know that we are developing the best teachers of the future for our schools.

Would you like to learn more and be kept in touch as this proposal develops and goes through the Department for Education for approval?

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