The Hathershaw College

The Hathershaw College - Academy Trust

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Curriculum Context, Vision and Intent

Our Context

The Hathershaw College, a Pinnacle Learning Trust Academy, is an 11-16 comprehensive school judged by OFSTED to be ‘good’. Our internal self-evaluation which has been externally validated continues to confirm this judgement and we have a clear ambition to be ‘outstanding’.  As a result of our provision, the quality of teaching and high expectations, the progress that pupils make is above the national average.  The changes we have made to our curriculum are enabling teachers to focus on achieving greater depth in what pupils study and the introduction of music is helping to ensure the arts and creative aspects of our provision are even more vibrant.  All children, whatever their background or ability, have access to broad and balanced provision which is at least as ambitious as the National Curriculum.

The College is situated in West Oldham, in an area which has high levels of deprivation. Oldham is one of 12 opportunity areas across the UK which is part of the government’s national plan for dealing with social mobility through education. 

The information below, taken directly from ‘Oldham in Profile’ published by the Business Intelligence Service in April 2019, demonstrates the importance of the educational experience we provide at Hathershaw and the passion and dedication with which we work towards achieving our vision.

  • Oldham has a higher proportion (22.5%) of non-white Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) residents than in England (14.6%). There may be an increased need to support community relations (the College does not reflect this need however and is proud of having a cohesive environment).
  • Levels of deprivation across the borough are generally ranked among the highest in the country. Relative to other authorities, Oldham’s levels of deprivation have maintained a steady downward trend since 2004, according to the Indices of Multiple Deprivation.
  • Oldham’s economy remains over-dependent upon relatively low-skilled and low-wage enterprise.
  • The employment rate in Oldham (68.4%) …remains significantly lower than the national average (74.1%). Oldham’s employment rate is negatively impacted by a high proportion of economically inactive residents. Oldham has high rates of residents with long term illness/disability and large numbers of inhabitants choosing not to work.
  • Oldham has a significantly higher percentage of its working age population with no qualifications and a significant deficit in the percentage of the working age population with a Level 4 qualification (or above).
  • In general, Oldham’s residents have worse health than England’s average
  • The gap between life expectancy in Oldham and the England average has increased: life expectancy is now 2.5 years lower for male residents, and 2.6 years lower for female residents.
  • According to the Mental Health Foundation, nearly one in ten children and young people aged 5-16 years are affected by a mental health problem. Oldham is estimated to have a prevalence of 10%.
  • Oldham’s children enter the education system at a lower level of development than most of the rest of the UK.


Our Vision

• Improve the lives and life chances of young people in Oldham to improve social mobility

• Ensure that all pupils make outstanding progress irrespective of their starting points, and those facing disadvantage are lifted from educational and social poverty

• Establish a culture of high expectations and aspirations, and to promote a commitment to lifelong learning

• Grow young people who have the confidence, resilience and knowledge to stay physically and mentally healthy

• Create responsible, respectable citizens that make a positive contribution to society

• Provide and nurture an ethos in which students learn by example and grow morally and socially

• Celebrate the rich diversity of our community and teach young people to have tolerance for those of other faiths and cultures.


Our Curriculum Intent

To ensure that students leave with the best possible grades in high quality qualifications; providing them with prospects and enabling them to access further education, training and careers

Examples of how we achieve this:

  • High standards and challenging learning environments
  • A culture of high aspirations
  • Creating a caring and supportive environment
  • Fostering study habits and self-regulation


To deliver a broad, balanced and inclusive curriculum

Examples of how we achieve this:

  • We embrace the national curriculum and use it as a reference point for curriculum planning
  • Students are offered a wide range of GCSE and vocational subjects during the options process
  • All students are offered the same courses at KS4


To provide a challenging and well sequenced curriculum which deepens and broadens knowledge as students move through each year and key stage

Examples of how we achieve this:

  • Curriculum leaders map out provision to ensure that the level of challenge increases each year from the end of KS2 to KS4


To grow cultural capital both within and beyond the college by providing students with a range of opportunities, responsibilities and experiences

Examples of how we achieve this:

  • Educational trips to various cities and towns
  • Trips abroad to Spain, France and Amsterdam
  • Aspirational trips to Colleges and Universities from Year 8 to 11
  • Student council
  • Student ambassador programme
  • The Oldham Pledge
  • Duke of Edinburgh programme
  • External speakers from industry
  • STEM events
  • Theatre performances and trips
  • Extra-curricular sports and sporting trips
  • Lunch time activities and expectations


To improve levels of literacy and numeracy across the curriculum

Examples of how we achieve this:

  • Delivery of reading intervention programmes
  • Cross faculty support between Maths and Science for numeracy
  • Spelling Bee
  • Whole school focus on the teaching of extended writing
  • Whole school focus on improving oracy



Curriculum Context, Vision and Intent