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New school

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A new secondary school for Oldham

Please see our latest Blue Coat II Newsletter for an update on our new secondary school in Oldham.

The Cranmer Education Trust is bidding to the Department for Education for approval to create a new secondary school in Oldham, opening in 2021 (if possible) or 2022.

Our mission is to provide a school that we are all proud of, that enables young people from across Oldham, from all faith backgrounds and none, to become everything that they can be and are meant to be, combining academic excellence and progress, the highest standards of behaviour, personal integrity and respect for others, and a commitment to building community within and beyond the school.

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What is the vision for our new school?


A traditional school, modelled on Blue Coat I, with the highest expectations of students in all aspects of their learning, development and achievement.  Our aim is that our school will be in the top 25% nationally.

A Church of England school which all young people and families in the borough can access, which is truly multi-faith, multi-ethnic and multi-talented.

An academic curriculum focusing on the mastery of knowledge and skills which enables every student to become a resilient, independent learner, to achieve, and progress successfully to the next level of learning and qualifications.

A culture of nurture and strong pastoral care which focuses on students’ welfare, and caring relationships which guide and encourage young people and enable them to become everything they can be and are meant to be.

A total offer to students which is enriching, and which links the school to the wider community so that students develop skills for leadership, for entrepreneurship, and become the people that employers want to recruit and invest in.

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How many pupils will be able to attend the new school?


We are bidding for 8 forms of entry (8FE), i.e. 240 pupils per year.  This is based on the number of places needed to ensure all Oldham children can go to a secondary in the borough, and to allow an element of choice within that.  The size also ensures that the school can provide a curriculum to meet the needs of all students.

It will have 5 year groups, 7-11, and will build up from Year 7.  By the time the school is full it will have 1200 pupils.

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Where will it be built?


We are working closely with Oldham Council to find a suitable site which is:

  • as central and accessible for everyone as possible;
  • big enough to provide the spaces needed for 240 pupils per year and the staff who will teach and support them;
  • suitable for building – i.e. all the complex detail about the topography of an area, and what lies beneath;
  • available so that a school could be built and open by 2022 at the latest.
  • This is detailed work which senior Council Officers have made a priority.  The Council will be able to make more information available when all possibilities have been fully analysed and evaluated.

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Admissions – who will be able to come to this school?



The school will serve all the communities of Oldham.

It will increase parental choice for all Oldham families.  By deliberately admitting children from across the whole borough it will also free up some space in every other oversubscribed school.

It will fully reflect Oldham’s rich and diverse social, cultural and ethnic mix.

Because the school will not have a catchment area defined by feeder schools or a particular geographical area its admissions policy will not impact disproportionately on any other school.

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How will admissions work?


50% (i.e. 120) places will be faith-based.

60 places will be reserved for practising Christian children.  All Christian denominations within Churches Together will be treated equally.  ‘Practising’ is defined by church attendance with one parent/guardian.

60 places will be reserved for children from the other 5 faiths represented in Oldham which are members of the Inter-Faith Forum i.e.

  • Muslim 
  • Hindu
  • Sikh
  • Buddhist
  • Jewish

Evidence of faith commitment comes from the leader of worship.

  • 50% (i.e. 120) places will be allocated to 3 geographical zones;
  • 40 places will go to pupils living within 1 mile radius of the school;
  • 40 places will go to pupils living within 1-2 miles radius of the school;
  • 40 places will go to pupils living within 2-3 miles radius of the school.

The central point from which the radius is measured will be the school itself, or a central nodal point.  This will be finalised when the site is confirmed.  Places will be awarded by random selection.

Children living outside the 3 mile radius could either get a place on the ‘faith’ criteria, or they would be ‘any other children’ who would get a place if not all the geographical zones-places were taken.

In this way the school will truly serve the whole borough.  All children, whatever their background, will have the opportunity to get a place and the school will reflect the whole community of the borough.  It will take some pressure off existing schools, freeing up places there, and so will enhance choice for everyone.

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What will be the curriculum (i.e. what will students study?)


The school will teach a broad, balanced, and rich curriculum, which is traditional, knowledge based, and focuses on mastery.

In Key Stage 3 pupils will have a broad, rich curriculum which builds on their primary and Key Stage 2 learning and includes:

  • English                         
  • Maths                           
  • Science                        
  • Religious Studies                                
  • Physical Education                                
  • Wellbeing, Personal, Social, Health and Careers Education       
  • History                         
  • Geography                  
  • Languages                  
  • Arts and Technology   
  • Project Based Learning                             
  • Drama                         
  • Music                          
  • Computing                  
  • Food and Nutrition      
  • Citizenship

Year 9 will be a transition year where students start to build the skills for GCSE.

All routes will lead to recognised qualifications at Level 2 i.e. GCSE, or Technical where appropriate.  Some students may have a bespoke curriculum with some Level 1 qualifications.

There will be a 10 GCSE entitlement, or more if students take both English Language and Literature and/or 3 separate sciences.

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) will be the standard expectation.  We believe that a broad academic base is the strongest foundation for success at GCSE, and at A level.

The majority of students will take all of the following:

  • English Language and/or English Literature 
  • Mathematics
  • Dual Award or Triple Science
  • History or Geography
  • A Modern Foreign Language

Students will also take GCSE Religious Studies, where they will focus on Christianity and Islam as their 2 world faiths.  The focus is on learning about religious faith (i.e. not being instructed in the faith/s itself), and how this affects people’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviours.

Students will then have a choice of 2 or 3 option subjects including the arts, technology, computing, business, sociology and some Technical qualifications.

There will be a wide range of activities to broaden students’ experience, engage them in the school as a community, and build the skills of communications, leadership, entrepreneurship, being a good team member, being a good citizen, and preparing for a healthy, enjoyable adult life.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award (bronze) will be part of the curriculum for all in Year 9.

We will expect all students to take part in this wider curriculum on at least two afternoons per week Monday – Thursday, and this will be part of the home-school contract.  There will also be homework clubs and, as young people get older, additional support

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]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.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”purple”][vc_column_text]

How will the school day be organised?


This is the model we are working on – it may change slightly to meet local needs.

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How will we ensure high standards of behaviour and personal conduct?


Students behave well when they know they are valued, and that staff believe in them.  So the first principle of behaviour policy is that all students will be well-taught, in a curriculum that is challenging, authentic and enjoyable, that prepares them effectively for the next step.

The school’s behaviour policy will reflect that of Blue Coat, with the highest expectations and high levels of recognition, reward and opportunity, balanced by sanctions where necessary to ensure that everyone is safe and respected, the teacher can teach and everyone can learn, and all reasonable requests are complied with.

The structure of the school day will create time to ensure that everyone is ready for learning and lessons.

We will build close relationships with parents to ensure they can support their son/daughter’s education, and with employers and the wider community, particularly through our careers strategy, so that young people understand how what they are studying applies and is relevant in the work environment, and how to ensure that they become the sort of people that employers/investors want.

The school’s ethos – see below.

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The school’s ethos


Our school will have a faith (Church of England) designation.  We believe faith is deeply important:

  • faith teaches us about a loving God;
  • faith teaches us that our lives have meaning in God’s eyes;
  • faith gives us a framework of values which inform our behaviours.  God loves us, so we should love one another, sharing kindness, respect, generosity of spirit, compassion and a willingness to find common ground; and equally be courageous calling out inequality, injustice, discrimination, persecution, corruption and the careless disregard of others.

As a faith-based Church of England school we commit to nurturing all our young people, and especially those who are disadvantaged in any way, to become everything they can be and are meant to be, to help them become good people, good neighbours, friends and citizens whom we are proud to know.

That starts within our school community, underpins every interaction within it, and is the foundation of all policy, including behaviour.

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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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