Comberton Village College
Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
About Comberton Village College
We are a highly successful, community mixed comprehensive school with Teaching School status in a pleasant rural setting only 5 miles from the centre of Cambridge. We currently have around 1,800 11-18 pupils on roll including our new sixth form centre that opened in September 2011. Our pupils are well motivated, staff morale is excellent and examination results at KS4 are outstanding: 78% of grades including Maths and English were A*-C and 39% of grades were A*/A: At KS5, the Sixth Form’s results are in the top 5% nationally for student progress made against predictors, with 38% of all grades in 2016 at A*/A grades.
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 has 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.
Our 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 over 320 students in the Sixth Form and this is set to expand further.
The Cam Academy Trust
In 2011, the Comberton Academy Trust (C.A.T.) was formed, enabling Comberton Village College to convert to Academy status in 2011. the Trust has continued to expand and in 2016 was renamed the Cam Academy Trust. The Trust now has the following schools:
· Comberton Village College, an 11-18 Academy, is the initial school which formed what is now The Cam Academy Trust
· Melbourn Village College, an 11-16 Academy in Cambridgeshire. This Academy joined the Trust in September 2013.
· Cambourne Village College, an 11-16 Academy in Cambridgeshire, close to Comberton Village College. This has been opened as a new Free School by the Trust from September 2013, initially with an intake of Year 7 students only. It serves the new and developing community of Cambourne that was formally in the catchment area of Comberton Village College. Numbers of staff are now teaching at both Cambourne and Comberton Village Colleges as both Academies work extremely closely together.
· Gamlingay First School and St Peter’s, Huntingdon, both joined us in September 2016.
· Hartford Infants and Hartford Juniors joined us in January 2017.
Jeavons Wood Primary School is set to join the Trust this year and there is the possibility that the Trust could develop further, although this remains an open question. We are seeking to ensure that all Academies in the Trust work in effective partnership with each other and that there are opportunities for staff to share ideas and resources. For some staff, there will be opportunities to work in more than one Academy.
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 ever 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”.
The school’s formal day runs from 8.30 a.m. to 2.50 p.m. with 6 timetabled lessons of 50 minutes each day. Pupils see their tutors daily and have a weekly assembly.
However, we believe that true education is broad and should develop character and individual interest. Given this, there is also a very full and wide-ranging extra-curricular programme that runs each day from 3.00 p.m. There are also many school trips and visits, both national and international. We have significant school partnerships that involve exchanges in Europe, Peru, South Africa and Mozambique.
We consider the following as very important:
· Our major Duke of Edinburgh programme. Most pupils do the Bronze award with many continuing to Silver. Some now also progress to the Gold award in our Sixth Form.
· We have held the Arts Mark Gold Award for a number of years, a symbol of our commitment to excellence and breadth in Arts education and provision.
· We have been accredited as a British Council International School since 2002, a sign of our commitment to the international dimension of education.
Aims and Values
At the heart of what we do are fundamental aims and values relating to education. The Cam Academy Trust has five core principles that must be central to all Academies in the Trust. These have been at the heart of Comberton Village College for many years:
· The Excellence Principle. Education must be of highest of standards and lead to high achievement.
· The Comprehensive Principle. Excellent education must be for all pupils of all types and abilities.
· The Henry Morris Principle. Education should be rooted in and serve its local community.
· The Partnership Principle. We should always look to work in effective partnership with others for mutual benefit.
· The International Principle. There must be a clear international dimension to education.
Within these over-arching principles, we seek to ensure that all of our pupils reach their full, positive potential and become:
CAPABLE in the skills relevant to their future lives and in having the knowledge which will increase their understanding, appreciation and interest in the world in which they live.
CARING of others and considerate of the mutual dependence human beings have on each other.
CONFIDENT of their worth because they have developed their strengths, understood their weaknesses and learnt that they can achieve success.