TES Schools Awards 2015 – profile of North Chadderton School

Friday 29 May 2015

Joy Clark is Head Teacher at North Chadderton School in Oldham – one of eight schools shortlisted for the Secondary School of the Year category that we're supporting at this year's TES Awards. In the sixth in our series of stories profiling the nominees, Joy tells us about the school and how it is one of the top 90 schools nationally to show the greatest sustained improvement in the percentage of students achieving five or more A*- C grades at GCSE.

North Chadderton is a very distinctive school with an ethos and vision of 'Driven to be Outstanding in all that we do.' The vision has been built and driven forward since September 2011 around an ethos of 'One Team' where every employee, student, Governor, and parent are invested in.

Their professional development takes many shapes:

  • through bespoke weekly continued professional development training
  • being a member of a Coaching triad
  • being involved in the school's 'Talent programme'
  • Senior or Middle Leader training
  • continuous training for the Governing Body
  • investment in parents through bespoke Parent Conferences
  • the school to school support programme
  • or a member of the student body planning and delivering regionally recognised Community initiatives

This has all resulted in sustained achievement and success at GCSE over the last 4 years which has received national recognition from the DfE twice.

A 'no excuse' culture complemented by innovative team work and leadership at every level pervade the school. I am so proud the team who have worked tirelessly to deliver 'Marginal Gains,' the foundation stone of North Chadderton's sustained school improvement. Every colleague strives consistently to 'deliver a hundred things 1% better rather than one thing a hundred times better'.

David Laws MP, the Minister for Schools, wrote in January 2013 to congratulate the school on being placed in the 100 best improving schools for progress from Key Stage 2 to GCSE. He has written again in February 2015 to congratulate the school on being one of the top 90 nationally to show the greatest sustained improvement in the percentage of students achieving five or more A*-C grades at GCSE including English and Mathematics. 

Furthermore, we are delighted that the DfE congratulated the school on its GCSE results since 2011 in terms of the attainment and value added progress of disadvantaged students. In English there is no Pupil Premium gap and in August 2014 the Pupil Premium gap reduced from 26 percentage points in August 2013 to 9 in August 2014. Marginal gains that the Team are very proud of.

The student body lead on embedding the 'soul of the school' with their strong Community ethos. They were awarded the Manchester Evening News Greater Manchester Community Award in July 2014 for their many fundraising activities, a selection of which include whole school themed Sponsored Walks, Valentine's weeks, Christmas Markets, World Pi Day and Comic Relief activities. A total of over £10,849.21 was raised for Dr Kershaw's Hospice in Oldham. In recognition of this the Hospice has used the monies to build the North Chadderton 'Walk of Hope' opened by The Duchess of Gloucester in October 2014.

The sense of teamwork, aspiration and achievement were complemented in May 2014 when the governing body were awarded Governor Mark in recognition of their rigorous practice. North Chadderton is a school that is determined to deliver the best opportunities of success to every single student and to ensure that its superb sense of team continues to be 'Outstanding in all that we do'.

It is a tremendous accolade to be shortlisted for the TES Schools Award 2015 - Secondary School of the Year category. The entire team at North Chadderton School, all staff, all students, Governors and partners of the school feel tremendously proud that they have received their recognition, which is down to the following:

  • their sustained academic improvement over the past 4 years at GCSE - particularly 5 A*-C including English and Maths
  • the continued improvement around attainment and the value added progress of disadvantaged students
  • the strong Community ethos and continued Charity work
  • the Governing Body achieved Governor Mark in May 2014
  • our school ethos of 'Driven to be Outstanding in all that we do'

Why do we deserve to win? North Chadderton has been on an exceptional journey since September 2011 when the new Head Teacher set down the ethos and vision for the school. The school Community has totally embraced this ethos.

A culture of investment in the entire school community, of opportunity, of development and very importantly 'leadership' at every level through all colleagues and the student body has built an exceptionally strong foundation of success:

  • Ofsted - 'good' in all areas - January 2013
  • placed in the Top 100 schools for progress - DfE - February 2013
  • AQA - Regional Science Hub - September 2013 onwards
  • top 100 most improved state Schools 2014 Performance Tables – February 2014
  • governing Body - Awarded Governor Mark - May 2014
  • awarded the Manchester Evening News - Greater Manchester Community Award – as nearly £11,000 raised for Dr. Kershaw's Hospice – July 2014
  • awarded the Oldham Evening Chronicle – 'Pride in Oldham Award' for the large amount of money raised for Charity – July 2014
  • placed in the Top 90 Schools nationally for the greatest sustained improvement - for 5 A*-C including English and Maths at GCSE - DfE - February 2015Congratulated by the DfE on its GCSE results since 2011 - for attainment and value added progress for disadvantaged students - February 2015.

These regional and national accolades have helped secure a culture of aspiration, leadership, success and moral purpose throughout the school.

If we win, there's a number of things we'll do:

  • We'll share the fantastic news with all the Team at North Chadderton, staff, students, Governors and parents along with all of our partners and the press.
  • We'll also continue to further share our ethos and journey of success and improvement to support relevant schools both in Oldham and the North West to assist their improvement. This is something that we already do and is central to our ethos.
  • We will champion the new opportunities that winning such a nationally prestigious award would provide for disadvantaged students in schools across Oldham and Greater Manchester - using our model of success to support other schools.
  • We will utilise the recognition to provide greater publicity for Dr. Kershaw's - Oldham's Hospice which is our chosen Charity, to attract more sponsors, partners and supporters for them, through a whole school Sponsored Walk in July 2015.