Comberton Village College was opened in 1960. As a Cambridgeshire Village College, it was designed to be a centre for the life of its community and to provide quality education for pupils aged between 11 and 16. This remains the case today.
In 1974, the school became fully comprehensive and, in April 1993, it became grant-maintained. It changed to a Foundation School and more recently became a Foundation School with a Trust: the Comberton Educational Trust. In February 2011 the school became an Academy overseen by The Cam Academy Trust. The pupil roll is around 1,800 while over 2,000 adults use the college for a wide range of continuing education and leisure activities. A £7 million building programme was completed in 2003 that significantly enhanced a whole range of the school’s facilities, including major new leisure facilities. A further £4 million building project provided further specialist teaching and learning facilities across a range of subject areas and has been in use since September 2009.
A new Sixth Form opened in September 2011 following the completion of a £9.5 million building project. It offers a strong suite of academic courses, across the subject areas in conjunction with The AQA Baccalaureate, as well as applied courses.This exciting development has enabled students from Comberton to complete their sixth-form studies with us as well as providing opportunities for students from other local schools. There are already more than 360 students in the Sixth Form and this is set to expand further.
2. THE CAM ACADEMY TRUST
In 2011, The Comberton Academy Trust (CAT) was formed. It enabled Comberton Village College to convert to Academy status in 2011. Following this, the Trust has taken on further Academies and was renamed The Cam Academy Trust in 2016:
Comberton Village College has received a full Ofsted inspection on three occasions since 2000: in 2004, 2007 and 2013. On each occasion, the overall effectiveness grade has been ‘outstanding’. In the latest inspection in 2013, every aspect of the school’s provision was judged to be ‘outstanding’. This included the first judgement on Sixth Form provision, where both teaching and achievement were both clearly deemed already to be ‘outstanding’. The short summary was:
“Comberton Village College is a highly successful school which enables its pupils to achieve not only academic excellence but also to become mature, confident, thoughtful and rounded individuals with clear goals for their future lives.”
4. THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT
About the department
The successful English teaching team currently comprises twenty part and full-time teachers. We also have a high-level TA attached to the department who takes responsibility for teaching small groups in Years 8 - 11, and we benefit greatly from the services of a full-time administrative assistant. There is a strong sense of teamwork and consistency of approach in our teaching, supported by a comprehensive and detailed set of schemes of work and resources for all key stages. We believe that all our students have the right to access a rich, academic curriculum and are looking for teachers who share that belief and are committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for their students. The department also has had a long history of involvement with teacher training and is involved in mentoring trainee teachers as part of the school’s Initial Teacher Training partnership with the University of Cambridge and as part of the SCITT programme.
The department is housed in nine classrooms clustered around our office. This means that the full time members of the department are all based in their own teaching rooms. All rooms are equipped with data projectors and speakers and are connected to the school’s wireless network which ensures easy access to ICT to enhance our teaching.
We teach all year groups in ability-based sets, and from year 9 onwards, some pupils are by grouped by gender, a strategy initially adopted to tackle boys’ underachievement in English, but which we feel has many other benefits. All staff teach a range of ability and gender groups and the timetable is carefully constructed to play to their strengths and cater for their preferences whilst maintaining a sensible balance.
Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5
We currently teach AQA English Language and English Literature GCSE to all pupils and have successfully introduced the new specifications through a successful programme of staff development and training. We place great emphasis on improving students’ attainment and achievement and securing good outcomes across Key Stage 4 for all groups of students. Results in 2018 were absolutely outstanding, with over 90% of pupils achieving grades 4 or above in English Language and in English Literature, including a high proportion of top grades. A small proportion of our Year 10 and 11 pupils also complete an entry level course called Step Up which helps to prepare them for GCSE and provides an additional qualification.
At A-level, we offer English Literature, English Language and Film Studies. The uptake for these subjects has been excellent and they form part of a thriving, vibrant and popular sixth form with successful exam results and outcomes.
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 is regarded as an important opportunity to embed key skills and foster engagement with the subject. We teach a broad, balanced and innovative curriculum, with a particular emphasis on creativity as well as the key skills required to succeed at GCSE. Lessons are designed to be creative, collaborative and enjoyable and we offer a range of opportunities for students to enjoy English at Key Stage 3, including a well-established poetry slam, visits from local authors and theatre companies as well as a popular debating event. The department has fostered a genuinely enthusiastic reading culture and we work closely with our superbly resourced library to ensure that students are enthused about their reading and have access to excellent facilities for private study.
The department and the library run a number of extra-curricular clubs, and have enjoyed many successes in writing and public speaking competitions over the past few years. Trips organised recently include the Fitzwilliam museum in Cambridge, the Globe Theatre as well as theatre performances in Cambridge, Stratford and London. We also plan to carry on enjoying an annual performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’ for Year 11 pupils by a touring theatre company.
One of the strengths of the department and indeed the school is that we are genuinely committed to ongoing professional development for all staff and hold regular training sessions within the department and indeed the trust. We are always looking for opportunities for staff to be involved with interesting and rewarding projects both within and outside the school.
5. THE VACANCY
The post begins in September 2019. The person appointed will ultimately have the opportunity to teach all three key stages. We welcome applications from trainees, newly qualified teachers as well as more experienced teachers.
The post would provide excellent opportunity for personal development within a well organised and forward looking department and a school that has professional development as a core value.