Ullswater Community College
Cumbria, United Kingdom
About Ullswater Community College
Ullswater Community College is a larger than average comprehensive school serving one of the biggest catchment areas in England, including both rural and small urban populations. This is a non-selective college whose nearest neighbouring school is selective. A large proportion of children travel to the college on buses; some of these students travel a considerable distance. The proportion of students who come from minority ethnic groups is very low, as is the percentage whose first language is not English, although this number has grown in recent years. The proportion eligible for free school meals is lower than the national average. Students come from a wide range of backgrounds, although the majority do not live in areas of significant social deprivation. The college has been awarded the CPD Mark, Sportsmark, Healthy School’s status and the Inclusion Chartermark.
The percentage of students with statements of special educational needs is around the national average and the college hosts a strategic facility, currently attended by sixteen students who, in the main, have severe, profound or multiple learning difficulties. The school was inspected by Ofsted in February 2014, who commented:
Students of all ages and abilities achieve well in a very wide range of subjects and courses…Above average GCSE results reflect the good progress that students make…The sixth form is good and enables students on AS, A-level and vocational courses to achieve well.
There is a good atmosphere for learning in all year groups…When students have not made expected progress, the school provides very effective teaching to enable them to catch up.
Teaching is either good or outstanding in the large majority of lessons, and continually lifts students’ attainment.
Students are welcoming and helpful. Frequently, they are impeccably polite and well-mannered. In all year groups they behave well and display a mature and sensible attitude to learning. They are keen to do well at school and fully respect the adults who work with them.
Participation in a wide range of extra-curricular activities is a strong feature of students’ life at school. They are keen to take part in drama, music, sport, voluntary work in the community and visits to other countries.
Parents are happy about the quality of education that the school provides.
The present Headteacher took office on 1st September 2009 and there is a collective determination to ensure that Ullswater Community College is the very best school possible.
Penrith is a small Cumbrian market town on the fringes of The Lake District National Park. The community serving the school is fully supportive of the efforts of all staff and appreciate the wide variety of extra-curricular activities and other opportunities that the school offers.
This is a happy school in which pupils and teachers expect to treat one another with respect. Candidates should note, in particular, however, that this is also a school that is relentlessly self-critical in pursuit of excellence in all areas of school life, fiercely ambitious on behalf of its pupils, and vigorous in the defence of the group and the promotion of its central values.
The school is developing fast and is an exciting place to work for staff who wish to be fully involved in whole-school and departmental learning initiatives, who are open-minded but who are also committed to traditional core educational values.
Recent and current key school developments are:
- The building of an Applied Learning Centre to extend the opportunities for vocational courses in Hair & Beauty, Motor Vehicle Engineering, Construction and Retail Trends, including the opportunity to study apprenticeships in Motor Vehicle Engineering post-16.
- Review of the Key Stage 5 curriculum to increase opportunities to study applied Level 3 courses alongside A level.
- The introduction of Dance at Key Stages 3 and 4.
- A focus on the use of active and co-operative teaching and learning strategies to improve pupil engagement and independent learning.
- The introduction of a new school uniform, which emphasises our pride in our school, in our pupils and in our achievements to date.
- An intensive Key Stage 4 intervention strategy to ensure that all students achieve the optimum outcomes at the end of Year 11.
- The introduction of English and Maths “Study Plus” in Years 10 and 11 to accelerate progress in these key areas.
The school prides itself on the offer it makes to post-16 students. We offer 24 A-level courses, as well as being one of the few schools licensed to offer the CACHE Childcare course.
The strong pastoral system is organised on a horizontal basis. Most staff are Form Tutors. In this important aspect of their work they are led and supported by their Head of Year. These teams deal with the academic progress, welfare and discipline of the pupils.
The Heads of Year maintain close working contact with parents and with the Children’s Services agencies.
Management, administration and overall policy in the school are led by the Senior Management Team of Headteacher, two Deputy Headteachers, three Assistant Headteachers, the Head of Sixth Form, the CPD Co-ordinator, the Business Manager and two co-opted members of staff with responsibility for Teaching and Learning and ICT developments.
The school is housed in several buildings of varying age but grouped closely together, with adjacent playing fields.
This is an excellent time to join the school. All those associated with the place – from site staff, administrative staff, teaching and non-teaching staff, governors, pupils and parents – are committed to and enjoying the school’s success. Morale is high and everyone is very optimistic about the school’s future.