1. THE COLLEGE
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 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 over 500 students in the Sixth Form who have achieved consistently high results year on year.
2. THE ENGLISH 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. 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.
The Wider Trust
English departments within the trust are committed to working collaboratively for the benefit of all our pupils. This takes the form of joint training, moderation sessions, joint reviews and opportunities for teachers to share good practice and effective approaches at all levels and key stages. Significant recent developments, particularly at GCSE and A-level, have meant that there are important benefits to be had in making best use of the pool of expertise within the trust’s English departments to share outstanding practice. Collaboration across the English departments has become an increasingly important part of our work and the fact that we have a real community of English teachers across the trust is one of its great strengths.
3. THE VACANCY
The post is available from September 2020 for a full-time teacher and the person appointed will potentially have the opportunity to teach all three key stages.
We are seeking to appoint someone who has:
• excellent subject knowledge
• enthusiasm for English and the ability to convey this to pupils
• a good working knowledge of the English curriculum and exam specifications
• successful teaching skills, including strong use of Assessment for Learning
• strong ICT skills
• the ability to contribute to the work of the English team
• An understanding of current developments in English education
• A commitment to contributing to the success of the whole college
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.