Some of the most frequently asked questions are answered below. Should you have a question that is not answered, please contact us and we will be happy to help.
What is your vision?
Excellence: for all and in everything.
Our mission is to inspire, support and challenge every individual to be better than they ever dreamt they could be.
Our aims are to increase opportunities, maximise outcomes and improve life chances.
What are your strengths?
Setting extremely high standards and expectations based on traditional values; these are balanced with a very caring and supportive ethos.
Excellent results at GCSE for several years in succession and excellent achievement at post-16 compared with national averages.
Students behave very well, are polite and courteous to each other and to staff and are very well supported in everything they do. To see this in practice it is best to undertake a day tour when you can judge for yourself rather than taking our word for it.
Excellent staff with highly-qualified teachers who are fully focused on enabling students to make outstanding progress.
Will I get a place?
No-one can make any guarantees. However, everyone who applied for a place for Sept 2015 was successful. In Sept 2016 we have raised our capacity from 180 to 203 to cater for our increasing numbers. Given the numbers of primary aged children in the catchment area, we expect this might be the case for Sept 2017 too. Putting us down as ‘First Choice’ would certainly help.
What is the policy on setting?
This varies between subjects. Subject team leaders are the experts and decide what works best for their subject area. As students move up through the college, setting will be arranged in such a way as to maximise achievement for all students.
What are your class sizes like?
Class sizes vary significantly according to the nature of the subject, but they compare favourably to other local schools. In practical subjects (such as PE and Technology) class sizes are limited to around 20. Generally speaking, lower ability sets are somewhat smaller than higher ability sets to allow further support to take place.
What is expected of your students?
We challenge and support students so that they are enabled to achieve the very best learning and progress which they can. We expect them to take on leadership roles both within the College and within the wider community. For these two reasons, we have the strap line “Imagine what’s possible…”. We believe that it is very important that students take pride in themselves, in their learning and in their College. That is why we expect our students to wear the college uniform so smartly and with pride. We believe that students who develop this pride will have confidence in their ability to succeed and their ability to overcome any barriers which they may face.
Do you specialise in Technology, Performing Arts, Sports or any other specific areas?
No. We specialise in high quality learning, tracking progress and intervening to negate underachievement. We are renowned for our excellent PE and Sport provision and we have achieved Artsmark Gold for being a centre of excellence for Art, Music, Drama and Dance – but we consider these high standards the norm and not specialisms. For instance, we also have exceptionally high attainment in both English and Mathematics. We give students opportunities to be leaders and to become better learners. It is true that the College used to be, many years ago, designated as a Technology College and that our Technology, Mathematics and ICT have been strong subjects for some time. However, we know that children have a wide range of interests and strengths and we, as a comprehensive school, cater for all abilities and interests. Whatever your child’s interests, we will support and encourage them to pursue them.
What do you do about bullying?
We have a strong anti-bullying culture and strong anti-bullying procedures, with a team of students who lead our work in this regard. As a result of this, what little bullying there was in the past has further declined and when it does occur, students are strongly encouraged to report it immediately. We have a specialist member of support staff who is in charge of our work on anti-bullying, coordinates our systems and is always available to intervene and support. Everything we do with regard to bullying is based on best practice internationally. We are incredibly proud to have achieved national recognition for this work in 2016 when the ‘Diana Award’ selected us as one of only three schools nationally (the only secondary school) to be a showcase school.
What are exam results like?
Excellent and improving year on year. 2016 saw 97% pass rate at A Level with 61% A*- B. This represents the best results in the college’s history. GCSE results were also record-breaking with 71% 5 A*-C including English and Maths. 76% achieving A*-C in both English and Maths.