Devon, United Kingdom
About Okehampton College
Okehampton is a small county market town adjoining the Dartmoor National Park, approximately 30 miles from Plymouth and 23 miles from Exeter. It is the centre of a wide agricultural district, with growing light industry and services in Okehampton, and there is a strong community spirit. It is linked by the A30 to the national motorway system at Exeter where there is a frequent daily rail service in both directions to and from London.
‘Okehampton College is an outstanding school’ (Ofsted 2014) and is at a very exciting stage in its development. We are achieving success in many areas but we will not allow ourselves to become complacent. We believe that there is still considerable potential to exploit.
The College was granted Teaching School status April 2016, which has enhanced the quality of teaching and learning for our students and created opportunities for professional development for our staff.
We are delighted to be part of The Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust (DMAT) which came into effect on 1st January 2018. We are already finding the opportunities for sharing good practice and resources and the opportunity for staff development that DMAT offers are invaluable.
Within the wider organisation of DMAT the College is a member of a smaller cluster of schools called The Dartmoor Federation which came into effect on 1st September 2011. The Federation between Okehampton College and Boasley Cross, Bridestowe, Lydford, Exbourne Church of England and Northlew & Ashbury Parochial Church of England Primary Schools, gives us a great opportunity to make yet further progress in our bid to become truly outstanding across all educational phases.
The Colleges in DMAT are all Co-operative colleges and therefore adhere to the values and principles of the co-operative movement:
Encouraging all within the organisation to help each other, by working together to gain mutual benefits. Helping people to help themselves
To take responsibility for, and answer to, our actions
To give our stakeholders a say in the way we run our school
Equal rights and benefits according to their contribution
Being fair and unbiased
Supporting each other and those in other co-operatives
Okehampton College endeavours to:
- Provide an ethos in which teachers show commitment and hard work.
- Encourage pupils to have positive attitudes to learning and good behaviour.
- Show commitment to the care and welfare of its pupils. Indeed, OfSted considered our ‘core guidance’ and support to be outstanding.
- Make very effective links with the community and contributory primary schools.
- Offer an excellent range of extra-curricular activities, including outdoor and adventure pursuits.
- Provide an excellent peer education system which offers sixth form students an insight into teaching younger pupils.
- The College has Investor in People, Investor in Business Partnership, Investor in Careers Awards as well as the Sportsmark and Artsmark Awards.
Examination performance and student progress have been consistently high over recent years. In 2017 the proportion of students achieving a standard pass in both GCSE English and Maths was 73% while 52% achieved a high pass. We are also proud of our progress 8 score (In 2017 it was +0.28) and our value added scores which have seen the College surpass national expectations year after year.
At Post 16 level, students studying both AS and A2 courses achieved 59% of grades at A* - B. The vast majority of our level 3 students go on to their first choice university. The success of the NVQ programme at Post-16 is also something we are very proud of. The College has seen a significant increase in the number of students ‘staying on’ into Post-16 education, many of whom are electing to follow the NVQ programme.
Success should be considered in wider terms than solely the academic. Our enrichment and extra-curricular provision is very strong with students engaged in our wide range of activities, both inside and outside of school. The College is a full core service provider in accordance with the Extended Services in and around schools agenda.
The College enjoys established partnerships with a number of agencies committed to inspiring the opportunities and wellbeing of our students.
The College and Accommodation
The present College was formed in 1970 through the amalgamation of Okehampton County Secondary School, Okehampton Grammar School and some of the children and staff of the former Chagford Secondary School. The College is now on a purpose-built site with some 1,396 students between 11-18. The facilities include:
- State of the art Technology Workshops and Design Communication Rooms
- Specialist Science Laboratories
- Community Theatre with adjacent Drama Studios and Music Rooms
- Specialist suites for Languages, Humanities, English and Communications
- Mathematics, Home Economics and Post-16 Education
- Library Resources Centre, including a Print Workshop
- Skills Centre
In addition, there are purpose-built facilities for Computers, Business Studies and Art and Design rooms. Extensive playing fields exist and there is a full size Gymnasium and 'Astroturf', floodlit Hockey/Soccer Pitch. Parklands Leisure Centre which is located adjacent to the school provides excellent sporting facilities for both the College and the wider community. There is an independent Squash Club on the school premises which the College uses and the school also has Tennis Courts. The usual intake is about 250 students with a Sixth Form of about 225.
Organisation and Curriculum
The Post-16 curriculum has been broadened to cater for the needs of an open entry. In addition to the traditional range of AS, A2 & BTEC courses, the College also offers a programme of National Vocational Qualifications. Post-16 students all have the support of an individual tutorial on a weekly basis.
In Years 7 – 11, students are organised into two populations. Pastorally students are organised into tutor groups based on key stage with Key Stage 3 tutor groups made up of Years 7, 8 and 9 students and Key Stage 4 tutor groups being made up by students from Years 10 and 11. This mix of year groups allows for greater social interaction, greater opportunity for responsibility and greater oversight for the tutor of school matters affecting the whole Key Stage. Teaching groups are arranged in either mixed ability groupings or are set by ability according to the needs of the subject. All classes follow a broad based curriculum including English, Mathematics, Expressive Arts, French, Science, Humanities, Technology, Games and PE.
A Learning Support Department provides additional help throughout all Years.
In Years 10 and 11, the core curriculum comprises English, Mathematics, Science, PE, Careers/Enterprise Education and Religious Education. Over and above this, students may opt to follow the EBACC route through Key Stage 4 or choose other areas of study to meet their individual needs and aspirations. We have introduced a range of Vocational courses, to compliment the GCSE courses on offer.
Teaching and Support Staff
The College has a well-qualified and experienced staff, both teaching and support, and all are encouraged to participate in the corporate life of the College. Working parties are constituted as needed and involve a broad spectrum of staff. There is a Staff Association which organises a number of social activities, and each of the main teacher/support staff unions is represented in the College.
Local Governing Board
The Governing Board meets on a regular basis and serves the seven schools within The Dartmoor Federation. Membership is made up of:
- Two parent governors.
- One staff governor.
- Two Head Teachers.
- Co-opted governors.
- Two foundation governors.
Okehampton College Parent Teachers and Friends Association
The College is well supported by its parents. There are three main social and fund raising events held over the course of a year. Over the years, the PTFA has raised an enormous amount of money to purchase computers, minibuses and various items of equipment for Departments.
If you would like further details regarding the position for which you are applying or to arrange a visit to our College, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01837 650910 and ask to speak to a member of our Recruitment Team.