Oasis Academy Leesbrook’s partnership with Eton College began in October 2022.

Prior to our first meeting we were excited to understand how we develop this relationship and build a lasting partnership for the benefit of our students. School partnerships can have a significant impact on the academic and personal growth of students, teachers, and the community at large. By bringing together our different educational institutions we hope to build even better relationships with educational organisations through our work with Eton College.

Research shows that school partnerships create a collaborative learning environment that fosters creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. We are very excited about the potential power of school partnerships and how they can benefit Leesbrook’s students, teachers, and the wider community in Oldham. Data shows us that school partnerships have the power to transform education and benefit students, teachers, and the community. By promoting collaboration, engagement, and access to resources, partnerships can provide students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in the future. We very much see the benefit of being able to use Eton College’s expertise, wider partnerships, and opportunities to open new avenues for our students’ futures.

At our first meeting, Sean Costello, Eton’s Head of Educational Opportunity immediately made clear that Eton saw the relationship between our schools existing in perpetuity. Eton would assist our school and look to build a resolutely unique partnership that worked for the needs and aspirations of our students. It was clear that immediate access to EtonX would provide a unique opportunity for students to broaden their knowledge and experience beyond the classroom. Through our partnership, we hope students can participate in extracurricular activities, attend workshops, and engage with professionals in various fields. For example, EtonX provides a suite of courses that enable our students to develop core skills and experiences. We hope to integrate further opportunities for insights into potential career paths, mentoring and social action as the partnership flourishes even further. EtonX as an online learning platform provides our own students with an opportunity to participate in additional and accelerated learning which would certificate them in various different courses.

In the future, we are looking to provide our students with opportunities to engage with expert speakers and Eton’s partners, and encourage students to apply for Eton’s Orwell Award, a fully funded sixth form scholarship. Throughout all these conversations the focus has been solely on helping our school achieve its aims, and whilst Eton has been enthusiastically helping us, they have also been realistic about new platforms and opportunities that we can implement gradually in order to achieve maximum impact.

In addition to the support for our students we have also looked to build opportunities for CPD for our teachers to share knowledge between our two schools. Moreover, we began productive discussions in regard to drawing on Eton’s expertise in supporting students to build up their portfolios for further education. We see the potential for our partnership to benefit teachers by providing opportunities for professional development, collaboration, and access to new teaching resources. We also hope to contribute and add to teaching, learning and research. Colleagues from Oasis Leesbrook will be looking to share their expertise, ideas, strategies, and best practices to the wider CIRL research to support the development of best practice on a national scale. We also see the vast opportunity of being able to potentially collaborate with other teachers and incorporate different subject areas, perspectives, and technologies in our work going forward. Recent Partnership events held at Eton College have also demonstrated the possibility of working in collaboration with Eton’s extensive museums, libraries, and community projects – particularly around social action.

Moving forward, we are excited about the new opportunities that this partnership will provide for our students. Eton’s forthright attitude with their platforms and connections could be the difference for some of our students, opening them up to voices, knowledge, and examples that perhaps are not available in their current context. Through our continued partnership we are aiming for Leesbrook’s students to have the aspirations and opportunities available to Eton.

For their advice, assistance, and generosity we are grateful and look forward to the future of our partnership.