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 SCIENCE DEPARTMENT
The Department staff work in eighteen laboratories. In the main school, there are fourteen laboratories and there are four laboratories for sixth form teaching. In the main school upstairs, there are five laboratories and one prep room. The downstairs area comprises nine laboratories, the Science office and three prep rooms, pond and conservation area. All of the laboratories are connected to the school wireless network and the department has excellent ICT resources with a multimedia projector in each lab and plans for students to have their own ipads in the near future.
The team of Science teachers currently comprises fifteen full-time and seven part-time specialists. There are three Heads of Subject who lead the group of teachers delivering their subject in KS4 and KS5, and oversee the development and delivery of their subject in all key stages. The Head of KS3 oversees the management and development of the KS3 course. Also, there are staff in posts of Head of Interventions and STEM, Head of L3 BTEC Science and a Deputy Head of Science. There is a strong sense of teamwork and consistency of approach, both as a whole department and within subject groups. This is supported by a comprehensive and detailed set of schemes of work for all key stages. The department has the support of six laboratory technicians. In addition, close working links with Special Needs Department mean that we receive in-class support from Special Needs Teaching Assistants. We run interventions for students not attending classes as well as peer to peer interventions, with older students tutoring younger students.
We have active links to local industry and scientists and are a STEM test-bed school. We have a thriving Science/STEM club, enter pupils for science competitions, run Science themed events during the school’s Activities week and involve pupils in a range of competitions and trips during a typical year. This is a real emphasis of the department, where teachers are encouraged to promote and offer these exciting opportunities.
For KS3 the Department has written its own course, matched to the new National Curriculum and drawing on relevant best practice from the old curriculum and the wealth of experience and knowledge within the department. This was a collaborative effort, as is its on-going review. It has resulted in a course that is taught by all teachers to groups of students in three broad ability bands and contains integral assessment opportunities. Staff teach across the Sciences in the Lower School. Pupils in Year 7 are taught initially in mixed ability tutor groups and then regrouped in to broad bands towards the end of Y7.
The Science Department has consistently achieved a high level of success at GCSE. All of the pupils are entered for GCSE Science, with some students also following Entry Level Science alongside.
Separate Science results were 71% 9 - 7 and 94% 9 – 5 grades in 2018. Approximately half of KS4 students choose the separate science option (about 140 students per year group). At KS4, for the new GCSE 9-1 Science curriculum, we follow the AQA Trilogy Combined Science and Separate Science series. Staff usually teach their Science specialism at KS4. We have written our own schemes of work at KS4, with an assessment theme of students consistently “following up” key assessed tasks. We aim to work smartly, looking for high quality yet efficient practices.
The school opened a new sixth form in September 2011. The A-level syllabuses taught are OCR A Biology, OCR A Chemistry and OCR A Physics. In the current year 13 we are running three Biology (49 students), three Chemistry (42 students), three Physics (47 students) and one L3 BTEC Science groups (11 students). Number of students and classes are similar in Y12. Our numbers in the Sixth Form have increased significantly where we aim to cap classes at 20 students maximum.
Good progress is made by our students, with most taking up their first choice university places. We have a large number of students who go on to study science related subjects at Russell group universities and Oxbridge. Our intake is varied and very few students “drop out”, therefore each year we do get variation in results depending on the cohort of students. The L3 BTEC Science course has been hugely successful with students going on to Science related careers or university courses.
For applicants with a chemistry specialism, the Chemistry team currently compromises 7 teachers able to teach to KS5. There are designated Chemistry technicians. We have close links to the University of Cambridge and take part in many of their outreach opportunities and have many students who go on to study chemistry or closely related courses at university.
3. THE VACANCY
The post will become available from 1st September 2020. We are seeking to appoint a teacher of science and/or a teacher of chemistry who has:
good subject knowledge, preferably with the ability to teach chemistry to KS5
- a strong sense of team work and willingness to contribute
- a desire to improve their own and departments practice
- enthusiasm for Science and the ability to convey this to pupils
- a working knowledge of the National Curriculum in Science
- successful teaching skills, including use of ICT
- efficient and systematic working skills
- effective oral and written communication skills
- a commitment to contributing to the success of the whole college
The post will offer excellent opportunities for development in a dynamic and successful Science department and a school that has professional development as a core value.