School2School Support

As an outstanding school, Blessed Thomas Holford was given a leading role
in contributing to the raising of standards of Primary and Secondary
schools through school-to-school support.

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The school is highly experienced in outreach work, having been part of the Greater Manchester Challenge for three years.

In addition to this, our Headteacher, John Cornally, is a National Leader in Education and the school is a National Support School.

What other schools say about our School2School Support

The Associate Headteacher has been an amazing role model to me over the course of this academic year as she has taken on the role of my coach for the Teaching Leaders programme. I feel much more confident in my own ability to lead and manage a team as she has shown me I do have the skills and has helped me to nurture them. She has given me the opportunity to visit BTH to observe good practise and has also been to my school setting – Astley Sports College. I feel I would not be as confident a leader if I did not have her coaching skills to make me believe this. I am looking forward to working with her for the second year of my Teaching Leaders course and hopefully in the years to come.Lauren Campbell – Science PATi, Astley Sports College
BTH has been a partner school for Future Leaders since 2010. They have shown a real commitment to our mission of addressing educational disadvantage by providing coaching and facilitation at local and national training events, and releasing key staff to provide extensive support to our wider network of participants and schools. They are one of the most outward looking schools that we work with, and a hugely valuable contributor to school improvement across the region.Geoff Stevenson, Regional Officer for the North West


Meet our Senior Leaders of Education

Natalie ShawClaire SummersEmma TaylorCatherine HorrocksGenevieve MoloneyNicola ZuppingerGemma BlackwoodAntonia ButterworthAlex DolanLinda EmmettLee FishwickShane GoldrickAndrew Keenan

Natalie Shaw

Natalie became a teacher 10 years ago and currently leading the creative Departments as Head of Creative Technologies.  Her motivation is not only for the pupils but the school as a whole as a beacon of excellence in this area, something she want’s to share with other schools.

Natalie considers herself to have comprehensive knowledge of the requirements of Art and Design curriculum at Key Stage 3,4 and 5. She has created exemplar material for each KS3 level/band and GCSE grade to help members of the department give accurate feedback on course work progress and how to improve so pupils can attain higher grades.

Natalie can offer advice in the following areas:

  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Improving GCSE and A level results
  • Creating a team ethic within the department
  • Working with the technology team improve teaching SOW
  • Stream lining assessment procedures
  • Baseline tests and interim marking
  • Improving the quality of lessons via observations, feedback and support for staff
  • Improving the quality of marking and feedback
  • Training, support and sharing of good practice

Claire Summers

Claire is currently Head of Whole School Numeracy and is a Mathematics teacher at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College. She has been responsible for whole school Numeracy since 2014 which has seen her establish many successful initiatives to raise the profile and standard of numeracy at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College.

Over the past two years Claire has worked closely with the highest achieving pupils in mathematics to raise their achievement and increase the number of girls continuing to studying mathematics at A level. Since working with the pupils the number of girls studying A level Mathematics has doubled and the retention rate of girls in A2 has significantly improved.

Last year Claire established the Further Mathematics A Level course in the Sixth and was a part of the Educating Tomorrow’s leaders programme supporting student’s to gain places at Russel group universities.

Emma Taylor

Emma is an Assistant Headteacher leading on Staff Appraisal, Monitoring the Quality of Teaching and Learning, and overseeing the Blessed Thomas Holford Teaching Schools Alliance. Emma teaches in the Business Studies department and has had the responsibility to plan for recent curriculum changes at Key Stage Four and Five. Emma has been deployed to support underperforming Business departments at Key Stage Four and has written A Level Pre-Public Examinations for The PiXL Club.

Emma firmly believes that in order for each child to succeed, the provision of teaching has to be outstanding. Emma meticulously monitors the quality of Teaching and learning in school and implements support where required. Emma leads an experienced team of facilitators with a proven track record of providing Leadership solutions to schools throughout the Teaching Alliance.

Emma’s desire is to inspire practitioners to develop in order that all children in their care receive the highest quality teaching in order to improve their life chances.

Catherine Horrocks

chCatherine is currently Head of Languages at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College. She has been teaching for 29 years, and has been Head of Department for 13 years. She is also one of the school’s Professional Mentors and has been involved with both Schools Direct students and PGCE students. She has also been a long standing Subject Mentor for MFL.

Her leadership skills of the department and thoroughness have moved the department forward. She works in an excellent department who have received some very strong results. A key strength is that of building a strong team which cooperates at a high capacity and has a shared vision for the quality of teaching and learning to which all pupils are entitled.

She is currently working with her team to develop a new KS3 and KS4 scheme of work as per the new curriculum, allowing the team members to have responsibility for the development of the programme by co-planning.

She has developed particular expertise and interest in tracking pupil progress at KS3. Catherine has developed a bespoke and highly effective assessment frame for all four skill areas. This has been implemented with great impact on tracking pupil progress, identifying gaps in knowledge and providing individual intervention.

Catherine is currently working with the Head of Languages in our Partner School in Duckenfield, and is in the second year of a collaborative partnership.

Genevieve Moloney


Genevieve is currently teaching G.C.S.E. Computer Science and A level ICT at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College.

She has been teaching for over 18 years, leading a diverse team delivering consistent outstanding results. Following government changes to the ICT curriculum, Genevieve has successfully led her team to make a smooth transition from the ICT curriculum to a new and challenging Computer Science curriculum, both at KS4 and KS5. During her time as Head of Department, Genevieve has been able to support and coach other key members of her team and has had a supporting role with borderline pupils and Sixth Form students ensuring they exceeded their full potential.

Nicola Zuppinger

Nicola joined Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College two years ago in the role of Special Educational Needs Coordinator and Teacher of English. She holds a number of qualifications relating to Special Educational Needs including: Specialist Dyslexia Teacher (AMDA), National SENCo Award and in Summer 2015 she graduated following completion of her Masters in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion.

Nicola leads a large team of HLTAs and Teaching Assistants who provide practical support in lessons for pupils and also deliver high quality, personalised intervention programmes to pupils.

Nicola has delivered specialist CPD training in a range of areas of Special Educational Need to colleagues from a number of different settings. She has lead on a new initiative to develop an Alternative Curriculum Pathway which is currently offered to a small group of pupils; and supported staff in adapting and differentiating resources and lessons for pupils across the school.

Recently, Nicola has been successfully accepted onto the Future Leaders Programme which supports the professional development of leadership skills in order to improve outcomes for all pupils, especially those in areas of social deprivation.

Gemma Blackwood

Gemma is currently Assistant Headteacher and Head of Pastoral Care and Guidance  at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College.

She works in Teaching and Learning and staff CPD but also teaches in a well-established and successful Modern Foreign Languages department. Gemma has led a department offering Spanish to A-Level with French and German to GCSE.

She is currently focusing on building the profile of MFL as deputy leader of the national Pixl MFL group whilst building the profile of languages at Blessed Thomas Holford through the introduction of Latin and Spanish to the curriculum.

Gemma has a record of supporting schools and departments to help improve outcomes for pupils with a focus on tracking for rapid and sustained progress across the four key skill areas.

Antonia Butterworth

Antonia was appointed Head of English at Blessed Thomas Holford three years ago having previously worked on intervention strategies within the department to raise attainment.

The English Language results in the Summer of 2015 were 88% A*-C, 33% above the national average and English Literature results were 83% with ambitious targets being set for the current Year 11 cohort.

Over the past four years Antonia has worked closely with C/D borderline pupils as a form of intervention through the Cambridge iGCSE in English achieving exceptional results. As a consequence of these results Antonia has met and supported middle leaders in other schools in the North West advising them on the introduction and delivery of the English iGCSE.

Antonia has facilitated a number of sessions to middle leaders within Blessed Thomas Holford and to other North West schools with a focus on developing teaching and learning, raising achievement and implementing strategies to ensure effective management of a department and team. Antonia has now been appointed Assistant Headteacher leading a programme for aspiring middle leaders.

Alex Dolan

Alex has recently been appointed as Head of Business Studies at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College. She also has experience in teaching Computer Science and Creative Media, and is also a teaching coach. Alex is about to start her sixth year of teaching, two of which were spent in London at a mainstream school. Whilst in London, she also taught at an alternative education establishment in South London.

During her time as a teacher she has been able to support and mentor other members of staff and has had a supporting role with gifted and talented students. Additionally, Alex led GCSE ICT within the alternative education establishment and her results ensured that the students were able to go in to further education. Furthermore, Alex has been an EPQ supervisor for two years and all three pupils under her supervision have achieved B and above, allowing them to go to University.

Alex has a record of outstanding results and has worked with a wide range of examining boards, which include the new Computer Science GCSE, ensuring she is ready for the government changes. Furthermore, Alex’s experience in a wide range of diverse school establishments has enabled her to ensure that progress for all students has been achieved throughout her career.

Linda Emmett

Linda is currently Headteacher at All Saints Catholic College in Tameside.  Linda’s particular expertise lies with leading and supporting schools in challenging circumstances.  She has led and supported schools in categories of special measures and requires improvement.

She has been teaching for 14 years and, during that time, has led a successful Modern Foreign Languages faculty; held  responsibility for the leadership of Teaching and Learning in three schools, and has developed a particular expertise in leadership, assessment for learning and the judgement of the quality of teaching over time.  Linda is a qualified coach and has had significant impact in the use of targeted coaching to help middle leaders and individual teachers to improve the quality of teaching.  Linda was designated as an SLE in 2014 and has had a number of deployments across the North West to support schools as part of Blessed Thomas Holford’s Outreach Programme, including undertaking faculty reviews and developing whole school approaches to improving teaching quality.

Lee Fishwick

Lee is currently Associate Headteacher with specific responsibility Achievement and Curriculum at Blessed Thomas Holford and a specialist Maths teacher.

Since his appointment results have risen from 57% 5 or more A*-C including English and Maths to 85% with over 90% of pupils making three levels of progress and 40% making four levels of progress. The gap between disadvantaged and narrowed significantly during this time.

Lee is an SLE for Closing the Gap, Achievement, Curriculum and Maths. He has been deployed across a wide variety of schools in the North west in schools placed in Special Measures following Ofsted Inspections.

Lee has facilitated training on Progress 8, New Maths GCSE for 2017 and intervention strategies. Lee has a record of raising achievement in a variety of schools. His current role involves the change to new accountability measures and identifying areas of development from Raise Online.

Shane Goldrick

Shane is currently Assistant Headteacher in charge of Heads of Departments and is responsible for behaviour and standards of year 11 pupils at Blessed Thomas Holford School.

He has been teaching for 9 years and, during that time, has led a large, successful Physical Education Faculty and has responsibility for KS5 A-Level Physical Education and KS4 GCSE PE.

Shane has undertaken the NPQSL and has recently been designated an SLE in December 2014.  He has supported several schools across the North West and recently conducted a PE review for a local school.  He has developed Pre-Public Examination papers for PIXL that have been used nationally to help pupils achieve in Physical Education.  Shane delivered workshops on the ‘Developing Outstanding Teaching Programme’ at Blessed Thomas Holford, the programme is designed to support teaching and learning and he has also facilitated coaching sessions across the North West.

Andrew Keenan

andrew-keenanAndrew is currently Head of Mathematics at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College.

He has taught at Blessed Thomas Holford for 9 years, has been Head of Department for 4 years and manages a high achieving department.  In August 2016 the department achieved 81% A* – C (20% above the national average).

He has delivered training sessions to middle leaders and subject knowledge enhancement.

In his role as an SLE he has supported new head of departments in other schools and supported existing heads of departments in improving intervention and targeting key classes to improve results.