Hatch End High School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Hatch End High School's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Hatch End High School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Students thrive in this school
Hatch End is a happy, successful, high-performing school.
It performs consistently above the national average at
GCSE and A level and is Harrow’s first STEAM school – a
creative approach to promoting STEM subjects. It has a diverse
intake – 64 languages are spoken.
Head teacher Sue Maguire regards Hatch End as a “hub for excellence”, proudly
serving its local community. The school’s high-quality curriculum is underpinned by
outstanding teaching and stalwart pastoral care, unlocking the potential to a fuller
and richer life for its students. Their core values of co-operation, ambition, respect
and excellence, spelling out the word CARE, embody Hatch End’s conviction that all
young people can succeed as individuals while developing altruistic qualities and a
rounded world view.
Broad and balanced?
This expression has been used regularly in educational circles as the “eternal
marker” of a quality curriculum. Young people come to school to discover and learn
something new – be that knowledge, skills or an understanding of how the world
works. All this is incorporated in what is called “curriculum” – derived from Latin
meaning the “course of a race”, evocative of discipline and achieving an end goal.
Many see the end goals of a curriculum as no more than examination success. We
prefer the wider definition of curriculum – offering the totality of student experiences
that occur in the educational process, enabling a lifelong thirst forlearning.
For decades the national agenda has required significant changes, but we have
remained steadfast to our fundamental belief that getting the curriculum right
provides the essential bedrock for outstanding teaching and learning, resulting
»Head teacher: Sue Maguire
»Based in Harrow
»Type of school: Secondary
academy for students aged
»No. of students: 1,200
»No. of staff: 175
»Pupil premium: 43 per cent
»EAL: 64 per cent
»Ofsted: “Good”, 2018
»From 2012 to 2017, we were
consistently above national
average progress at GCSE and
A level
»Harrow’s first STEAM school
– a 21st-century, creative
approach to promoting STEM
Hatch End High School
Highlighting best practice
in marked student progress.
conversion to academy status in
2011 – giving us control over our
own curriculum – ensures that
student needs continue to drive our
provision – we remain committed
to “broad and balanced” principles
while celebrating our arts and applied
learning specialisms. We wanted to
affirm our excellence in the critical
STEM subjects and now broaden
to the more empowering concept
cience, technology,
engineering, arts and maths,
creative approaches to learning
represent a more innovative approach
to accessing and enjoying all subjects.
We were aware that the introduction
of Progress 8, the new and fairer
school performance measure, could
leave young people vulnerable to a
“warping” of the curriculum if schools
religiously conformed to the constraints
of a set of “subject buckets”.
Hatch End remains determined
that the accountability structure of
examinations does not preside over
what is right for individual students.
Far better to have some buckets
unfilled than a life left unfulfilled!
Getting the basics right
The length of a key stage is not as
important as its pace and coherence.
We use years 7 and 8 as a springboard,
preparing students for the challenges
of examinations. We focus heavily on
the “core” subjects but do not ignore
the richness of the arts, humanities
and languages. We look closely at
the primary school curriculum when
planning schemes of learning to ensure
there is no dip in challenge.
In years 9 to 11, we insist all students
study a humanity, with the majority
continuing with a modern foreign
language, promoting their value for
their own sake rather than a simple
collection of qualifications leading to an
arbitrary “EBAC measure”. Community
languages spoken at our school are
actively encouraged as we promote
cultural and linguistic diversity which
underpins and enriches our school
culture. All students follow a broad
range of academic courses – but this
may not always be the right programme
in its entirety. We offer a wide range
of high-quality applied courses enabling
real choice between, for example,
traditional drama or BTEC performing
arts, forensic/medical applied science
or biology, chemistry, physics and
computer science or BTEC ICT. We
are introducing new creative digital
courses to complement our existing
photography and product design
range. All students are exposed to
a rich diet of work-related learning
including comprehensive and impartial
career development and nurturing
Creative principles of the
arts enhance all subjects
in the curriculum
Science coming alive in
the classroom
thrive in this
employability skills. Furthermore,
learning by “doing” raises academic
achievement and stimulates learning.
We operate a “staged examination
whereby some GCSEs are
completed by the end of year 10 to
ensure students learn how to cope
with the pressure of the new reformed
linear examinations earlier while also
balancing an increased workload and
promoting mental health.
Real progression routes
Our sixth form was formed from a
successful collaboration in 2007 with
other local secondary schools, enabling
an extensive provision of Key Stage 5
programmes. At Hatch End, our post-
16 offer remains true to our curriculum
philosophy: broad and inclusive. We
offer 26 A levels, and a further 14 are
offered by our partners. We also offer
applied courses in six areas – further
applied subjects are offered by the
collegiate group.
Students can create flexible programmes
of study within the collegiate which
maximises access and choice. We are
not precious about “working alone” –
we believe that collaboration ensures
sustainable and system-wide success.
Beyond the formal curriculum
Our school curriculum is not narrowly
constrained within formal lessons,
extending to an array of extracurricular
opportunities. We wanted our young
people to have full access to the same
kinds of opportunities as students
in the private sector, but realised
that simply offering a wide range of
activities was notthe answer. Some
students were not accessing after-
school or weekend provision. From
2016, all year 7 and 8 students have
had a timetabled hour where they
choose an activity, providing them
with new skills and broadening their
horizons. This may be a new language,
such as Mandarin; an untried “game”,
such as chess; or a new sport, such as
Gaelic football. What is key is that it
is all new; something to experiment
and “have a go” with. By making
enrichment compulsory at a young
age, we have increased the number of
students accessing our voluntary offer
such as Duke of Edinburgh Award
Scheme, the Brilliant Club, Debate
Mate, Young Enterprise BBC News
Report and the National Citizenship
Service amongothers.
The arts are deep-seeded within our
school. We provide free lessons in
year 7 for those students who, for
financial reasons, would not have
had the chance to learn a musical
instrument. Our annual whole-school
production is a jewel in our crown
epitomising how both inclusion and
West End professionalism can be
Our STEM activities are constantly
growing, with dedicated staff
distributing their enthusiasm over all
year groups, and include astronomy
club, maths challenges and the
annual visit to CERN in Switzerland.
All of this results in a huge uptake of
science A levels and consistently strong
performance at GCSE and post-16.
To sum up, Hatch End High School
ensures the “whole child” thrives.
I never used to
watch the news,
but now I do
because at
Debate Mate we
talk about
what’s going on
in the world.
Iwant to be
prime minister
one day, and
that’s all
because of
Debate Mate
Year 7 student
3-year student-
destinations trend
compared to national


This article was sponsored by Hatch End High School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy