LONGBENTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Principalâ€™s introduction Thank you for taking time to read our college prospectus. Choosing a secondary school for your child can be quite stressful. In this prospectus we shall show you that Longbenton Community College is the ideal school for your child. This is based on our excellent examination results (69% 5 or more GCSE A* - C grades with English and maths in 2012 and 64% in 2013, placing us in high positions in local league tables), alongside our excellent pastoral care and the large range of opportunities on offer to our students.
It is also based on the fact that we shall be able to provide an even better learning environment as we move to our new building. Planning has already started for this, and we expect the new building to be open in September 2016. This will be an exciting opportunity for all of the young people who will join us in future years. I also believe that Longbenton Community College is an excellent school because of what our students and their parents tell us. In the rest of the prospectus, you will hear from a range of our young people who will talk about their experiences of their time in the college.
Let me introduce these young people to you:•
Penny, Sophie and Locky are now in Year 8, having completed a wonderful first year with us. Locky told us that if there was a new opportunity, he would take it, while Sophie felt that a highlight of her year was the residential at High Borrans. Penny felt that everyone, including the teachers, is really friendly.
Laura, Ben and James are currently in Year 9, and, like the rest of their year group, are already starting GCSE courses and are enjoying the challenges of these courses.
Craig, also in Year 10 and a member of the Melrose Centre, described some of the activities that he has been involved in, such as singing at the Sage, as “awesome”.
Eve and Frankie are currently in Year 10, and, as well as doing their academic work, are heavily involved in the performing arts, with both taking major roles in productions and concerts.
Victoria, Adam and Steven are now in Year 11. Victoria and Adam know that they have major challenges in the coming year as they take their GCSE examinations, but they already have achieved excellent GCSE grades in maths and science. Steven very much enjoys the vocational courses he does, as well as his work in ICT, as he wants to go into that field of work.
Tom and Alex have recently done superbly in their GCSE exams, with Tom achieving 10 A* and 2 A grades and Alex 7 A* and 5 A grades. Both have now entered the Sixth Form to continue their studies.
“I wouldn’t have got as far if it wasn’t for all the school has to offer.” The views of Sarah and Josh perhaps sum up the thoughts of the students. Sarah, who has achieved so much said, “I wouldn’t have got as far if it wasn’t for all the school has to offer.” Josh agrees, saying, “I really couldn’t have wished for anything else. Everything is tailored round the individual needs of the student.” Parents also talk very highly of what the college has to offer. Laura’s parents say that they would strongly recommend Longbenton to any parent. Eve’s parents said, “Longbenton is the perfect school for Eve.”
Lara and Jack have completed their first year in the Sixth Form and achieved very high AS grades. Lara said that there was an enthusiasm that permeated the student body and teachers. Jack felt that for him the highlight of school life was appearing in the college play which helped him form strong bonds with people.
Josh and Sarah have recently completed their time in the Sixth Form, and with their outstanding grades (2A*, 3A and 1 AS A grades for Josh and 1A*, 3A and 2 AS A grades for Sarah) have gone off to university, Josh to study medicine at King’s College, London and Sarah to study pharmacy at Aston University. Both have been heavily involved in a wide range of school activities.
My prayer is that all of our students will take hold of all that Longbenton Community College has to offer, and in so doing absolutely flourish. So many of them are clearly already doing that. Do take the opportunity to come and see for yourself what we have to offer.
J Cockburn Principal
Welcoming Making that step from a relatively small primary school to a much larger secondary school can be quite daunting. James admitted that coming in to Year 7 was a bit scary, but everyone was really nice and he realised what a great school he had come to. That is a common feeling amongst the young people. Lara found it exciting to interact with people from different primary schools. Eve found it helpful to have old friends around her and then make new friends. Ben, on the other hand, did not know anyone before he came, but he found it very easy to make friends. Steven found that getting to know the teachers really helped him settle in, and of course the map in the planners helped him get around a very large site. Both Penny and Locky felt that getting involved in activities helped them quickly settle into college life. The college has developed a sophisticated programme to help students settle in. This very much starts in the primary school. Many college teachers go into the primary schools as part of their timetables to teach lessons to the children there. This helps the children learn new concepts as well as providing them with familiar faces whom they will see when they come to the college.
Locky remembered Ms Logan teaching maths in Benton Dene using high school methods. Frankie remembered Longbenton teachers coming into Holystone to teach science and robotics. James remembered PE staff coming to Benton Dene to take sports sessions. Students also come to the college when they are still at primary school to take part in activities and sample college life. Penny remembered coming to a rounders tournament, while Jack remembered coming for a football trial and how he felt that the college PE teacher was “a really great guy”. Both Victoria and Adam are very gifted at maths and they remembered how excellent the maths masterclasses were, as they were able to do more advanced maths and meet similarly gifted children. James remembered singing in the Pyramid Music Festival when he was still at Benton Dene, and he still does this as part of the college choir. We try to personalise the transition arrangements for individual students. Ben remembered having a special tour because he missed the main transition events. Sophie came with her mum round the college to take photographs, joined a special day for the students who would be in the Nurture Group and participated in a summer school when she took part in different activities in West Theatre as well as going on museum and beach trips all prior to her joining the college in September.
The Year Leader for Year 7 and the Year 7 form tutors go out of their way to make sure that students are well settled into their classes and taking part in different activities. If a student arrives in a later year, the Year Leader for that year group and the student’s new form tutor will likewise make sure that they are well settled into their new school.
Parents agree that the college works hard to welcome students from primary school. Laura’s parents said, “Laura has a wonderful form tutor who has helped to make the daunting transition from primary school much easier.” Sophie’s parents said,
“Sophie has made a fantastic start to high school life this year; she settled in quickly due to the support she has been given, particularly by the staff in Learning Support, and because of effective communication between school and home.”
â€œLaura has a wonderful form tutor who has helped to make the daunting transition from primary school much easier.â€?
Supporting and Caring As a college we pride ourselves on looking after students as individuals so that each can achieve their full academic potential whilst also developing as well-rounded members of society. Both teachers and support staff have developed expertise in looking after the whole child, helping them in their academic, spiritual, social and moral development. Alex pointed out that staff cared more about the students than simply the results they achieved (although Alex has achieved phenomenal results!). Frankie talked about the “nourishment” provided by the staff, by which he meant the way that staff were able to look after students. He said,
Adam said that his tutor will always follow everything up, and Tom stated that the tutor he has had for five years was very helpful. James said that his form tutor was always there for him. The work of the form tutors is overseen by Year Leaders who are experienced teachers with overall responsibility for the welfare of the students in their year group. Many of the students have said how easy it was to go to see their pastoral head if they had a problem. There are also members of the support staff who are available to give advice to students on particular issues.
“I know that I can rely on the school to steer us in the right direction”. Adam gave a practical example of when he had an accident early on in his school career; Adam’s parents were amazed at how incredibly well the school looked after him, including continually phoning up to see how he was getting on. The form tutor is a key person in the whole process of supporting our young people. Students will meet with their form tutor each day, and their tutor will ensure that the students are organised for the day and that any issues are dealt with quickly.
Older students are also allocated a mentor who will spend time with them as individuals to look at their academic progress. Jack said that it was always good to have a one to one, and Lara said that her mentor gave her great encouragement. Victoria said that her mentor gave her helpful advice before exams as well as explaining the university application system. All of the students said that they felt safe. Both Locky and Sophie have made use of the peer mentoring room where there were older students available to talk to and play games with; this helped to make them feel well settled in their first year. Parents have also appreciated the support that they have received through the pastoral system. Eve’s parents were full of praise, saying,
Year Leaders are also responsible for taking assemblies for their year groups, and ensuring that they have a Christian emphasis. Both Sarah and Josh commented on the fact that these assemblies helped them in their own Christian beliefs.
“The college’s pastoral staff ensure that any problems are addressed and resolved promptly, and parents are kept informed.”
“It was clear from early on that teachers knew Eve as a person and this helped me to be confident she would be happy and supported at school.” Penny’s parents appreciated the friendly and approachable staff who were always willing to help and advise.
Challenging We wish to challenge our students to learn in greater depth and explore new ideas. We do not believe that all students will necessarily learn at the same rate or learn in the same way. We do believe, however, that all of our students can make excellent progress with the guidance and support that we give them. Students are placed into academic groups in Year 7 based on their ability, taking into account advice given by their primary teachers. This enables them to make progress and learn at a level appropriate to them. There are challenging targets to be achieved by all students in whatever group they are placed. The parents of Sophie, who was in the nurture group in Year 7, were very pleased that she had surpassed her target level in maths. Students can be moved between sets, depending on the progress they make. Locky who likes to “push himself to the next level” was pleased that he was to be promoted to a higher set in French and that he was being given extension work to prepare himself for the move. For those students who are very good at maths and science, we put them into express groups so that they work through the Key Stage 3 curriculum in two years, rather than three, and then begin GCSE work in these subjects at the beginning of Year 9.
Alex and Tom each achieved 3 GCSE A* grades in maths and science while they were still in Year 10, and Victoria and Adam did similarly well by also achieving A* and A grades in maths and science. Josh who was in our first express group seven years ago felt that there was a clear progression from primary to GCSE and that it put him at an advantage compared with students in other schools. Ben enjoyed doing GCSE standard work in maths in Year 8, and felt really stretched by doing it.
Sarah’s parents appreciate the challenge the college has provided, and have said,
“All three of our children have received teaching and care of the highest standard from the college staff. They have each been challenged to develop their interests both academically and in a wide range of extra-curricular activities.”
It is not only in academic subjects where challenge is provided. For Year 7 students, Tuesday afternoon enrichment activities give them opportunities to learn new skills and meet new challenges. Penny enjoyed doing handicrafts work and learned to put things together in ways that she would not have thought of.
Likewise, Alex’s parents have been impressed with the challenges offered, saying, “Both of our children are gifted and talented and Longbenton staff have taken the time to ensure that they are challenged and motivated.”
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme is highly popular with older students and provides them with many challenges. Jack,who has achieved his bronze award, felt that he had been taken out of his comfort zone. Sarah, who is on track to complete her gold award, said that she enjoyed the challenge of her gold expedition, and, despite the horrendous weather, she carried on and finished it.
“We have been impressed by the school’s rigorously high expectations of Lara’s academic achievement.”
Lara’s parents said,
Adam’s parents commented, “We are privileged that the school took such an interest in Adam and allowed him to use his natural ability and talent, with positive supportive input from teachers enabling him to sit exams early.”
Creating Creativity is one of the aspects of life that makes Longbenton Community College very special, and indeed the college has been awarded the Artsmark Award for its involvement in the creative and performing arts. James believes that performance, along with technology, are very much at the centre of the college and that everything else flows from performance. The students believe that there is a uniqueness about the college’s approach to music, drama and art. Adam felt in talking to friends in other schools that “our music and drama is very different to theirs”. Victoria is very proud of the choir of which she is a member and commented,
“No other school has a choir like ours.” College productions are of exceptionally high quality. Our annual drama productions are written by local playwright Keith Williams, and are very challenging for the young people who take the leading roles. They are highly acclaimed by the audiences who come each evening to be enthralled by the gifted young people who spend months rehearsing for them. Jack who has taken the leading role in a number of productions feels that for him the play is the high point of his college life.
We have now started a tradition of putting on musical productions at the Whitley Bay Playhouse with “Grease” being an amazing success in July 2013. For Frankie, playing the Artful Dodger in his first year was a particular high point and he said that
“performing in a proper theatre made it even more special.” The choir plays a major role in the life of the college. It has developed a tremendous reputation as a result of its performances within the local, regional and even international community. For Lara, some of the highlights of her time in college have centred round choir performances in Amsterdam and Prague as well as winning the “Let’s Get Lyrical” competition at Newcastle City Hall. Students start young in performance at the college, and even before they start with us. The Pyramid Music Festival is a major annual event, when children from our feeder primary schools take part alongside the older college students in an excellent evening of music. The thirtieth music festival was celebrated with a tremendous evening of music at The Sage in Gateshead.
Art is an important, popular subject that allows students to be creative. Students produce highly imaginative pieces of work which go on display either in college or in the community. Lara spoke very positively about her experience in art, saying that you are encouraged to explore what you want; she is currently doing a major project on the conflict in Syria.
Sarah felt that there was now a culture of success with one successful production leading to another. Frankie summed up the college’s success in creativity by saying, “Everyone wants to work for the teachers.” Parents also appreciate the importance of the creative and performing arts. Victoria’s parents are very appreciative of her involvement in the performing arts which have allowed her to make a whole new circle of friends. Josh’s parents said,
“Everyone wants to work for the teachers.” The college regularly gets invited to exhibit its art work, the most recent exhibition being at Tynemouth Station during the Mouth of the Tyne Festival on the theme of “Personal Spaces, Public Places”, and included some of Steven’s artwork. Eve believes that the reason for the success of the arts at Longbenton is that the teachers are really ambitious with high, but not unreasonable, expectations.
“We know of no other state school locally whose performing arts are of such an amazing standard. We are very grateful indeed for the provision and variety of music experiences, and the Senior Choir in particular has been outstanding. How lucky the children are to have teachers who bother so much.”
Achieving Longbenton students consistently do well in public examinations and staff put in a lot of time and effort to ensure that students achieve high grades. In 2012 69% of students achieved 5 or more A* to C grades with English and maths, and in 2013 the corresponding percentage was 64%. In 2013 68% of the year group achieved A* to C grades in English. A very impressive 27% of the year group, including Tom and Alex, achieved an A or A*in English.
It is not only in academic work that students achieve. For example, students achieve well in sport. Laura was part of a winning school team in the North Tyneside under-13 tennis championships. Locky was part of a school team that got through to the Tyne and Wear trampolining final, and he, himself, was placed first in his section. Laura and Ben did exceptionally well recently in their events in the regional athletics championships at Monkton Stadium.
In maths 76% of the year group achieved A* to C grades, our highest ever percentage. 20% of the year group achieved an A or A* in maths. In addition, some of our most able students who achieved an A or A* in Year 10 went on to take GCSE Further maths, with some achieving exceptionally high grades; 5 students including Tom and Alex obtained an A* with distinction, which are given out to very few candidates nationally.
Tom got through to the regional schools’ badminton championships, and has also won silver medals in swimming at a regional level. In addition, other school teams have done well in 2013, including the under-16 netball team and the under-16 ladies’ football team who were both North Tyneside champions. Students who excel in sports, particularly by performing at county, regional and national level, receive special sports ties. From our group of students, Laura (for tennis and athletics), Ben (for rugby), Alex (for judo) and Tom (for swimming and badminton) have all received their sports tie.
Our “A” level results were magnificent in 2013 with 24% of all entries being at A or A* grades (including all of Josh and Sarah’s grades) and 53% being from A* to B. Our average point score per entry of 219 placed us third highest in the North Tyneside league table.
Our group of students have achieved in other aspects of college life. Penny got through to the second round of the Young Chef competition against students from catering colleges, which will help her in her ambition to be either a chef or a cookery teacher.
Victoria, Eve and Frankie have all got singing grades from the Associated Board, with some as high as Grade 8, and which they are able to use in taking part in college productions, concerts and assemblies. Lara and Jack have each achieved their bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award, while Sarah is well on course to completing her gold award. James has taken part in two science related competitions with the Longbenton teams doing very well. He and four others from the STEM Club competed in the Toyota science and technology Challenge Northern Regional Final at the National Railway Museum in York. Their solar powered car came fifth in the Northern Region. He was also a member of a team which got through to the final of the Salter’s Festival of Chemistry at Newcastle University, where the team were awarded third prize. James’ parents are pleased with his achievements. “The college has helped build James’ confidence and turned him into a well rounded young man whilst maintaining extremely good grades. He is also taking an active role in all drama activities.” Our students are motivated to achieve high standards, and with the support of their teachers they are able to achieve the success they deserve. Tom’s parents said,
“The approach to learning at the college has been the catalyst for Tom to excel across all subjects.”
â€œLongbenton Community College has made learning enjoyable and interesting for Locky. He comes home excited and wants to talk about school.â€?
Inspiring All of our young people spoke very highly of the excellent quality of teaching they received and agreed that their teachers were absolutely passionate about teaching their subjects. Alex felt that they were really dedicated to both their subjects and the students they teach. Josh spoke about the brilliant lessons they taught. He felt that they worked incredibly hard to prepare such lessons and that they were prepared to go the extra mile for their students. Locky felt that the teachers were enthusiastic, and were “always there for you”. James was prepared to mark them ten out of ten as they really knew what they were doing. Victoria felt that the teachers were the real strength of Longbenton. The relationship between staff and students at Longbenton is exceptionally good. Sarah felt really grateful for all the support they gave behind the scenes. Both Jack and Lara felt that they had a very close relationship with their teachers, and so they very much wanted to impress them. Penny felt that teachers made everyone feel special. Students very much enjoyed their lessons and felt inspired by their teachers. Alex felt that maths and science were particularly good, with very inspirational lessons being taught. Jack felt inspired by his English teachers to discuss literature with his friends outside school. They enjoyed the variety of approaches used by their teachers, with, for example, Victoria commenting on the good balance between individual and group work.
Laura enjoyed active approaches in history such as re-enacting the Battle of Hastings and the Spanish Armada, as well as having philosophy discussion lessons. Ben enjoyed Personal and Social Development as you learned a lot about life and it was an opportunity to discuss sensitive issues. Locky enjoyed the way in which teachers were able to bring “Attitudes, Skills and Knowledge” (ASK) into lessons, for example, by encouraging students to persevere when they were struggling.
Parents also feel that teaching at Longbenton is inspirational. Josh’s parents said, “They seem to be genuinely enthusiastic about their subjects and we have often commented that we ourselves would like to have been taught by ‘someone like that.’ ” Locky’s parents commented “Longbenton Community College has made learning enjoyable and interesting for Locky. He comes home excited and wants to talk about school.”
Inclusive Longbenton Community College welcomes students of all abilities and backgrounds. The curriculum is personalised to meet the needs of individuals and particular groups of students. Some students need support in particular areas, and for those students there may be in-class support in particular subjects or booster sessions in core subjects. Other students may require more intensive support and have a different sort of curriculum. Three of our young people, Sophie, Steven and Craig will share their experiences. Sophie has completed her first year at the college and during that year was a member of the Nurture Group. This group is relatively small, which has fewer teachers than other groups in Year 7 and which allows students to get intensive support. Sophie is now in Year 8 and is in classes with the rest of her year group. She believes that the group has helped her to be more independent. Sophie has enjoyed her first year. For example, she has participated enthusiastically in the Tuesday afternoon activities programme and has taken part in badminton (a new sport for her), dance, crafts and gardening. Because she was one of the top praise points earners, she went on a special success trip to Beamish Wild. She also enjoyed her residential experience at High Borrans. Sophie’s parents are full of praise for what the college has done for her.
“The transition visits, summer school and the nurture group have given Sophie the confidence and support to bring out the best in her. We feel that Longbenton Community College recognises all students’ achievements regardless of ability; behaviour, attitude and effort is valued as much as progress in academic work.” Steven is in the Foundation Learning group in Year 11. As well as doing his core GCSE subjects, he is doing a lifeskills course called ASDAN, working towards the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness and does one day a week with a work-related learning provider. He has greatly enjoyed his ASDAN course, particularly the projects he has done as a part of it, including planning an American style brunch which his parents attended. In his work-related course he has learned skills involved in catering, painting and decorating and bicycle repair. He knows that these experiences will be useful in his future life and in developing his career. Steven’s parents are also complimentary about what he is achieving on his courses. “Steven has benefitted greatly from being part of the ASDAN course. He enjoys going out of school each Friday to experience the reality of working life.
Working in small groups has helped Steven grow in confidence, and an improvement in his grades was evident in recent exams.” Craig is a member of the Melrose Centre for students with autistic spectrum disorder, which is based within the college. He does a number of subjects within the Centre, but he goes to some classes in the main part of the college as well as having his lunch in the college canteen. In mainstream science classes he enjoys using Bunsen burners and microscopes, while in art he enjoys drawing and painting and making clay models and pots. He makes full use of ICT in his learning, for example by using iPads for research and the MyMaths programme to consolidate his understanding in maths, as well as learning about computer programming. Craig’s parents feel very positive about the work of the Melrose Centre and the college as a whole. “The Melrose Centre has highly professional and dedicated staff who constantly work towards developing not only our young people’s educational needs but also their social and lifeskills, offering them new and exciting opportunities. As parents, we know that he is in the very best environment where he is flourishing and extremely happy.”
“The Melrose Centre has highly professional and dedicated staff who constantly work towards developing not only our young people’s educational needs but also their social and life skills.”
Embracing Technology Longbenton Community College has been a specialist technology college for a number of years and so we have endeavoured to put the intelligent use of technology at the heart of our teaching and learning. Longbenton students are very e-confident, knowing how and when to use particular applications. This high level of e-confidence is partly as a result of extensive investment in the ICT infrastructure with its highly sophisticated network, high concentration of hardware and wide range of software applications. It is also a result of the imaginative approach to learning that teachers demonstrate in harnessing the power of technology in their lessons. The students very much appreciate the ability to use hardware and software to enhance their learning. Tom, for example, appreciates the high availability of iPads which he says are excellent in helping him in his research. Frankie, who has started GCSE Media Studies a year early, makes use of many programs in doing projects for this course. Likewise, Eve who has started GCSE Product Design a year early, enjoys using design software to make sure that her projects are of a very high standard, and appreciates the guidance given to her by her teacher. Lara enjoys using Photoshop for her art projects, and was grateful that a special tablet was bought in for her to use.
Adam finds MyMaths very helpful in consolidating his understanding of complex maths concepts. Ben enjoys using Serif software to edit videos as part of his courses. Steven uses a netbook in each of his lessons to support him in his learning. Although there is currently a high usage of technology in the college, we are committed to moving forward to allow students to embrace technology in an ever deeper way. We are committed to developing programming within our ICT courses, which Locky says that he greatly enjoys. We have adopted a new virtual learning environment called “Frog” which allows students to have access to their work both inside and outside college. Alex, for example, appreciated the large amount of material that was available on “Frog” to help her in her GCSE Geography revision. James finds it handy to have everything there including his timetable and his homework projects. Locky enjoyed watching videos of the college’s most recent visit to Kenya. Over time, we wish to put mobile devices into the hands of all of our students. We have started this with current Year 7 students who will each have use of their own iPad both in lessons and at home. This will enable them and future generations to embrace technology in a powerful way to deepen their learning.
Progression Our present Sixth Formers and those who have just left recently believe that the college Sixth Form has so much to offer. Jack felt that for him staying on in the Sixth Form was the only avenue for him, because there were a lot of subjects on offer and that
“the choice of curriculum is fantastic”. He is right. Students have a range of over thirty “A” level or other Level 3 courses to choose from, covering the arts, maths and sciences, social sciences and applied subjects. These courses promote academic excellence, although increasingly we are able to offer more vocational courses such as the BTEC National Diploma in Science, the BTEC National Diploma in Photography and the Level 3 CACHE course for those interested in childcare as a career.
Tom likes the more personal approach within Sixth Form because of its size, and Josh appreciated the atmosphere that staff created, and for him there was no reason to look elsewhere. Students achieve high results in the Sixth Form as a result of the excellent teaching they receive. The 2013 results put the college third in the North Tyneside league table. Josh’s 5 “A” levels all at A* and A grades and Sarah’s 4 “A” levels also all at A* and A contributed to putting the college in that position. The students believe that they are well supported in their time through Sixth Form by the Head of Sixth Form and the tutor team. This includes preparation for going on to university, which for most is the next step in their education. Josh spoke highly of the mock university interviews. His parents agreed saying,
For those students who would not find Level 3 courses particularly appropriate, we have a range of work-based courses at Level 2 which will help students develop the skills necessary for their future careers.
“Josh’s UCAS application had to be submitted very early in Year 13, and the college ensured that he was given early interview practice and support by experts outside the school, in order to prepare him as well as possible.”
It is not only the courses that encourage the students to return to the Sixth Form, but it is also the quality of teaching that inspires students to return. Lara said, “I know that the teachers here are fantastic. They have different approaches for different students in the group.” Likewise, Sarah said, “You know the teachers and they know you.”
Alex and Tom who are considering Oxbridge entry appreciate the support that they have already been given, as do Adam and Victoria who, although still in Year 11, have recently been on a visit to Jesus College in Cambridge with the Head of Sixth Form and other interested students.
Adam’s parents said about this visit, “It has certainly made Adam realise the goals he wants to reach and encouraged him to want to meet these goals.” If these and other students are successful, they will be following in the footsteps of other Longbenton students who have gone to either Oxford or Cambridge colleges in recent years.
Josh’s parents summed up what the Sixth Form had to offer by saying, “Though “A” Level exams finished weeks ago, it’s lovely to see that the Year 13 students are still fully involved in the final events of the summer term, and seem to be in no hurry to get away! What a credit to the school that these young people are on the brink of moving on to such exciting new things, yet are finding it very hard to leave what has been such a happy place for them.”
â€œI know that the teachers here are fantastic. They have different approaches for different students in the group.â€?
â€œEveryone wants to do something for Kenya.â€?
Contributing Part of the college’s mission statement is to “enable members of the college to become successful, adaptable learners, who will become responsible, caring, moral citizens able to make positive contributions to the local and global community”. In our teaching, we encourage our young people to consider the needs of both the local and global community and how we might work together to meet these needs.
Students volunteer in different ways. Penny, through the Gardening Club, did work round Forest Hall. James worked with Year 5 students at Benton Dene and inspired them to write poetry for a competition which they won. Some have done volunteering as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, with Jack helping with the Reading Club, Lara helping in a charity shop and Sarah helping with Guides.
Some of our students do this in a very big way. Josh, for example, was awarded the Rotary Club Service to the Community Shield for the different ways in which he contributed to the community both as a result of what he did both in school and in his own time. One of his activities was as Stage Manager for our production of “Grease” at the Whitley Bay Playhouse. The technical manager of a production company working there described him as “the exemplary example of the good that comes from your college, and who is a magnificent advert for all that is right in today's youth.”
The choir provides opportunities to serve the community by putting on concerts in different venues. Victoria and Eve spoke about the choir performing in different places such as in churches, the Oxford Centre and Westmoor Community Centre for the senior citizens’ Christmas party. The choir has also performed in Amsterdam, Prague and Berlin.
Frankie has been elected to the position of Cabinet Member for Young People's Activities on North Tyneside Youth Council. His aim is to make North Tyneside a better place for young people. He has helped to organise rock festivals and other events.
We have strong links with a school in China, which we see as part of our global community. In October 2012, a party of Sixth Formers visited the school in Tangshan, with another trip due to take place in October 2014. Each year a party of about fifty Chinese students visit the college and our students take great pride in looking after them. Sara, Alex and Lara have all been involved in working with the Chinese students and thoroughly enjoyed hosting them.
Our biggest commitment to the global community is undoubtedly our support for the work of Team Kenya, which works towards improving educational opportunities at Arina Primary School and sponsoring secondary school pupils in Ndhiwa in Kenya. As James says, “Everyone wants to do something for Kenya”. In geography where they were studying Kenya, Ben and Laura wrote letters to the pupils in the primary school. Penny and Locky took part in a bag pack, and although they are too young to go to Kenya at the present time are looking forward to going when they are older so that they can see for themselves how the money has been spent. Adam, however, is going to Kenya in 2014, and he received a fundraising grant through Key Fund to support Team Kenya, and will also be taking part in a fundraising fashion show prior to going. One aspect of our contribution to the global community which Tom sees as being quite unique is our annual rock festival, Africaid. Here the whole college comes together on the school field on the last day of the school year to listen to rock bands, take part in competitions and buy items for sale, such as Lara’s art work, all with the aim of raising money for Kenya. The event is organised by students and staff, with Josh having taken the lead in the project over the last two years.
Longbenton Community College
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Hailsham Avenue, Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE12 8ER
0191 2189500 0191 2706760 email@example.com www.longbenton.org.uk
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