Springwell Community College
Derbyshire, United Kingdom
About Springwell Community College
Springwell Community College is a mixed 11-16 comprehensive of 800 students. It serves the village of Brimington and the town of Staveley, together with a number of smaller communities, in the former coalfield area of North East Derbyshire. It was formed in 1991 by the amalgamation of two secondary schools following a reorganisation of education in Chesterfield.
Currently a Derbyshire County Council maintained school, the college was granted an academy order in December 2018 to join the Two Counties Multi Academy Trust. Conversion is expected to take place before the end of 2019. More information on the ethos and work of the trust is available on their website www.twocountiestrust.co.uk.
The college was inspected by Ofsted in November 2018. The judgement for overall effectiveness was that the college requires improvement. However, the inspection team noted that standards in the college had improved considerably since the last inspection, particularly in terms of student behaviour, which is now judged to be good, and the quality of teaching.
In November 2010 we moved into our new college buildings, established under the previous government's “Building Schools for the Future” initiative. The college is housed in 5 learning pods that are the home of subject areas. Their names; Inspire, Discover, Create, Perform and Energise reflect the learning activities that mainly take part in and around them. Each learning pod has specialist facilities, rich in ICT, and is the home base to groups of teachers and students. Each learning pod has a home year group who share the custodianship of the building. The spaces in each pod have been designed to allow for flexibility in teaching and learning.
We use our specialist facilities to the full. Students build confidence through the curriculum and the extended facilities that take place at lunchtimes, after college and during the school holidays. The Perform and Energise Pod are open from 8.00 am to 10.00 pm each weekday offering a range of evening activities for members of the local community.
Students follow a broad and balanced curriculum in Years 7 and 8, studying a traditional core of academic subjects alongside a wide range of creative subjects in the arts and technology faculties. In Year 9 students continue to study a broad academic curriculum and, in addition, have the opportunity to specialise in two of the creative subjects they gained a taste of in Years 7 and 8. In Years 10 and 11 students supplement a core of maths, English, science and PE with four options subjects. Students are encouraged to use their options to create an academic curriculum for themselves, with all students choosing at least one, and usually two e-bacc subjects. The option offer is enhanced through the availability of vocational style courses, including some of the recently introduced technical awards.
Behaviour is seen as a whole college responsibility. In addition to a full time Student Support Worker there is a member of the SLT on ‘Climate for Learning’ duty during each lesson. Any disruption to learning is sanctioned with immediate after college detentions and these are staffed centrally by Faculty Leaders and SLT each afternoon. We have systems to communicate individual concerns to the pastoral team so that whole college problems can be dealt with.
The college employs a dedicated team working within a specially adapted Behaviour Improvement Centre, with the brief of helping the college to prevent behaviour issues and provide first day provision for excluded students.
After much recent investment, the college is well resourced with PCs and laptops, operating at a ratio of 1:1.8 students to PCs. We have four dedicated ICT classrooms and two ICT media suites. All teaching spaces have access to banks of laptops. Each teaching and social space has a docking station for teacher laptops. Each is linked to AV, intranet, internet and printing facilities. All members of the teaching staff are provided with their own laptops and the college has 100% wireless connection coverage. All members of staff have their own secure area on the college administrative server. All rooms have projectors and interactive boards using e-beam technology.
LEARNING RESOURCE CENTRE
Our Learning Resource Centre (LRC) is housed in our large social building at the very front of the college. The LRC is a major source of resources for the whole college; able to supply portable projection facilities, display boards, laptops, flipcharts, OHPs, etc. We have a full-time Learning Resource Centre Manager with an assistant over the busy lunchtime period. The LRC can be booked by any teacher during the day and students use it extensively at lunchtime, before and after college. The LRC Manager is also a fellow of the University of the First Age and college Governor.
There is a strong upward trend in our students’ GCSE performance. The basics percentage has increased from 40% in 2015 to 47% in 2016, 54% in 2017 and 56% in 2018. The prior attainment on entry of our students tends to be below the national average. Our through and robust tracking procedures, coupled with an assertive intervention programme, allow us to be confident that our results can continue to improve in the future. Our systems also allow us to track each child's progress from baseline data towards the long term, aspirational Key Stage 3 or Key Stage 4 targets we have for them.
TEACHING AND LEARNING
The quality of the learning relationships in our college is of vital importance to us. We are all learners and our staff have a core responsibility to continually improve as practitioners. We support this through a progressive programme of coaching and training. Good relationships and consistent learning expectations support our students to thrive in our classrooms. We strive to meet their thirst for new knowledge by giving our teachers the freedom to employ a wide variety of strategies to motivate, engage and challenge. The teaching and learning future at our college is an exciting one.
STAVELEY BRIMINGTON LEARNING COMMUNITY (SBLC)
SBLC is a collaboration of local Headteachers, formally recognised by the Local Authority. The group have formalised a consistency in practice and policy in order to facilitate a drive towards higher educational aspiration and attainment across the area by improving attendance, further developing parental involvement in the education process, improving student behaviour and encouraging further involvement of outside agencies.
LIFE OF THE COLLEGE
The college is based on positive relationships between staff and students. We have Peer Buddy Teams, Peer Tutors and Counsellors of all ages. Student and staff voice plays an important role in setting the direction of the college. Students play an active part in staff selection. We stage a major drama production each year and, in partnership with our feeder schools we stage a biennial music festival in Chesterfield. We have a good number of students who excel in sports and many of our teams are successful in area and County championships.
We aim to be a college:
- Where students are known;
- Which encourages and challenges all to succeed;
- Which carefully monitors progress;
- Which has a flexible curriculum which gives opportunities for success;
- Which employs sound, imaginative teaching from teachers who like students.
Springwell is located on the eastern edge of the Peak District, within easy reach of Matlock and Bakewell, and numerous attractive villages, beautiful countryside, and dramatic dales. It is close to the pleasant market town of Chesterfield and to the city of Sheffield. Proximity to the M1 gives access to a large range of housing which is wide in both style and price.
Further information can be found on our website, www.springwellcc.org