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Sawston Village College


Founded 1930


Learning is the core business of the school. We are determined to be outstanding in all aspects of our work and to develop in pupils the key attributes that will ensure they are successful not only in GCSE examinations but as lifelong learners, prepared for further and higher education as well employment and training. These core skills are encapsulated in our ASPIRE principles, which reflect our ambition that all pupils will Achieve to their potential; that they will be Self-motivated and Positive learners; that they can demonstrate Independence and show Respect at all times to others and their community; and Engage with the opportunities around them. ASPIRE is at the heart of our ethos, aims and values as a school. Children thrive in a school community where they are known, valued and feel safe. Our strong system of pastoral care supports young people to become successful learners. We also understand that school is about more than just simply qualifications. The College

offers a vibrant and extensive programme of extracurricular activities, believing that such opportunities allow pupils to forge strong relationships with each other and with their teachers, helping them to develop their potential as people. Sawston Village College is a highly successful school, which strives for excellence in all areas of its work. We expect our pupils to be the very best they can be, supported by well qualified and well-motivated staff who have high expectations of themselves and our pupils. I hope that once you have read this prospectus you will want to experience what the College has to offer you and your child by attending our Open Evening in October or by making an appointment to visit the College during the working day. We would be proud to introduce you to our school, its staff and its pupils. Jonathan Culpin, Principal


Welcome to the Sawston Village College prospectus. I am delighted that you are considering our school for your child’s secondary education. We are committed to providing a happy, safe and stimulating environment in which your child will achieve his or her full potential. We welcome all parents who share this ambition, as a strong partnership between home and school is essential, if each child is to do his or her best.

“Sawston Village College is a very effective school that provides a good standard of education and an outstanding standard of care for its students.” (OFSTED 2008) SawstonSawston Village College Village prospectus | 1

“The ideals of Henry Morris, the college’s founder, are very much alive and flourishing and, in many ways, this is a school at the heart of the community but also with its communities at the heart of the school.” (OFSTED 2008)

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Learning for life

Sawston Village College was founded in 1930, realising the vision of Henry Morris, the Secretary for Education, Cambridgeshire. He believed in life-long learning ‘from the cradle to the grave’ and created the Village College to bring that ideal to life. Morris’s vision encompassed a centre of learning for people of all ages, which had no barriers separating it from the community it served.

Today, the College’s campus encompasses some 30 acres of classrooms, laboratories, workshops and sports facilities, which include a fitness suite, a swimming pool, gymnasium, sports hall, an all-weather playing surface, a squash court and extensive playing fields. Our Arts Centre includes a studio theatre, Music tuition rooms and dedicated Music practice rooms. The Science Wing provides the College with nine state of the art laboratories, while a bespoke hospitality suite and café, a hairdressing salon and a construction area have recently been added to enable the College to provide a full range of vocational courses for our learners.

Henry Morris also believed that education must take place in an environment that offered inspiration. The original buildings reflect those ideals, based as they are on Cambridge University courtyards. Eighty years after its founding, the College’s emphasis on rigorous academic standards, enterprise, innovation and community makes it a fitting monument to the ideals of its founder.

At the same time, we have not lost touch with our history and the College maintains a vibrant adult learning programme, with more than 1500 members of the local community attending courses, seminars or events each week or as customers at the Sawston Sports Centre. We believe that our pupils benefit enormously from the presence of so many adults engaged in educational activity on the College site both during the day and in the evening. It reinforces our message that learning is for life, one that Morris would have endorsed.

Community ethos

The first Village College

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“The school has an outstanding ethos of care and support that guides students throughout their time at the school.� (OFSTED 2008)

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Our approach to providing care to all of our pupils begins even before they join the College. We have an extensive programme of primary liaison with our partner primary schools and Senior Staff make regular visits to get to know our new pupils before they join in Year 7.

Pastoral care Sawston Village College is a warm, friendly and welcoming community, with a team of staff who care deeply about the academic progress and pastoral welfare of the children in their charge. We consider it vitally important to get to know all of our pupils as individuals. Each year group is overseen by a Pastoral Leader, a non-teacher, who has overall responsibility for the achievement, well being and happiness of all pupils. The Pastoral Leader can respond quickly to any concerns raised by parents or pupils. Furthermore, all pupils are placed in a form group, led by a tutor. This member of staff sees their form each morning, will closely monitor the progress and welfare of the pupils in the form group and intervene to make sure that they are achieving to the best of their ability. We offer all Year 5 pupils the opportunity to visit the College in June for a ‘taster morning’ to help remove any anxiety they may have about their transfer to secondary school. In addition teachers from the primary schools and the College meet on a regular basis to share information

about the pupils and our curriculum. This ensures that we are prepared to provide a high level of challenge and engagement to pupils from the moment that they join Sawston Village College.

A strong partnership with parents A strong partnership between home and school is essential, if we are to support our young people to achieve their best. Parents can access up to date information about their child’s academic progress through online reporting, which will also record the number of credits a pupil has achieved. Newsletters and other communications from the school can also be accessed via this portal. Parents in Year 7 will also have the opportunity in September to meet their child’s tutor and later in the year the parents’ evening provides an opportunity to discuss progress in each of their subjects. For pupils where there may be difficulties in their learning, parents can make appointments during the day or early evening with Pastoral Leaders, with the Special Needs Co-ordinator and the College is supported by an extensive Locality Services team which can provide more bespoke interventions to ensure that pupils make good progress at school and at home.

Care and guidance

Primary liaison

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Academic excellence

High expectations for all

We are proud of our achievements in public examinations. Our Mathematics, English and Science Faculties attain results well above local and national averages every year at GCSE while our performing arts provision is second to none, with our pupils achieving the highest standards of performance in Music, Dance and Drama. The quality of the teaching within our History Department is acclaimed by the University of Cambridge and the results gained by pupils taking GCSE RE are amongst the best in Cambridgeshire. In short, we aim for excellence in everything we do.

We believe that all pupils have the right to educational provision that meets their needs and offers them the opportunity to realise their full potential where excellence is expected of all children and also supports their progression after they have completed their GCSEs. To support these aims, we offer a diverse curriculum to suit the whole spectrum of interests and academic profiles. Our most able pupils will be able to take GCSEs in Statistics, Triple Sciences, Ancient History and a wide range of extra curricular courses including Music Technology, Dance and AS Politics. We also offer Engineering and Construction courses, Health and Social Care, Hairdressing and Catering, alongside the core curriculum that includes the majority of pupils taking a Modern Foreign Language and a Humanities subject. At Key Stage 3 pupils follow the National Curriculum together with Learn to Learn, a course to support pupils to become independent, successful learners and, from September 2012, there will be the opportunity for pupils to study Latin. Pupils who may have difficulties with literacy at primary school will be given additional support and grouped accordingly – our ambition is to ensure that no child falls behind in their learning.

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One of the strengths of the College is the breadth of opportunities on offer beyond the regular curriculum. In July 2012 the College achieved Artsmark Gold status from the UK Arts Council in recognition of its extensive programme of extra-curricular opportunities available to all pupils which includes film making and exceptional provision in Music and Drama. Sawston Village College was also awarded International School Status by the British Council, a reflection of our widespread links with schools across the world and the successful work to raise awareness of global issues and to celebrate diversity and difference. Pupils also represent the College in a wide range of sports, with some going on to win county and even national awards for their level of performance. The College encourages pupils to participate in extracurricular competitions and challenges to extend their learning. Our pupils regularly participate in the National Maths Challenge and Faraday National Science Competition. The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Club is very popular, giving pupils the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of Science.

“There is some outstanding and inspirational practice where fast-paced, interactive teaching is complemented by detailed marking and assessment.�


Extra-curricular success

(OFSTED 2008)

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“Students feel valued, safe and greatly enjoy coming to school.” (OFSTED 2008)

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At Sawston Village College we expect our pupils to be self-motivated learners, willing to reflect upon their current progress and set themselves new, more ambitious goals. All pupils are given minimum target grades for academic performance, based on their prior attainment. They are also given aspirational targets and, working closely with their form tutor and other staff, plan how they will reach this level of performance. Whether this is in the classroom, in sport, in music or in some other form of participation, we expect our pupils to be ambitious for themselves and their school, looking always to extend their horizons and opportunities.

Celebrating achievement and success Recognising and celebrating the achievement of our pupils is at the heart of a positive ethos. We value our pupils’ positive attitudes towards themselves, learning and others in the school and community. At Sawston Village College every opportunity is taken to reward success, whether this is through assemblies, school communications or Credits. Credits can be earned for a wide range of school and extra-curricular activities and achievements. Parents have access, via our Parent Portal, to the number of Credits that have been awarded to their son or daughter so that they can celebrate the success being achieved at school. Other opportunities for celebration include sporting competitions between form groups, 100% attendance by pupils and participation in charity events or through our extensive arts and extended schools programme.


Setting goals, achieving targets

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“Students’ spiritual, moral social and cultural development is outstanding.” (OFSTED 2008)

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International citizenship

Pupils at Sawston Village College are encouraged to make a positive contribution to their school and community. Over the past year a great many of our pupils have been involved in events to raise money for local and national charities. This has included raising a substantial sum of money to support the Rotary Club with their campaign to eradicate polio; taking part in the Sawston Fun Run, the largest organised event of its type in the region; and supporting organisations such as The Papworth Trust, a charity providing opportunities for young adults with learning difficulties. Over the course of the year it is expected that pupils will contribute in some form to improving the school or the local, national and international community.

Sawston Village College has strong partnerships with a number of schools across the world. Pupils are involved in annual exchange visits and we regularly host visits from international visitors. We have strong links with our partner school in Rwanda; teaching colleagues have been involved in reciprocal visits to explore differences in schooling systems and a number of charity events take place to raise money to sponsor educational facilities. We also have links with schools in Holland and Russia and have established further connections with schools in Wenchi, Ghana, Nairobi and Kenya as part of our involvement in the Eco Schools International Council.


Supporting others

During the school’s International Week all pupils are involved in activities to raise awareness of other cultures and to celebrate difference and diversity. A number of pupils are also involved in hosting and performing in high profile events and conferences such as the Amnesty Week in London and the Holocaust Memorial Concert at the Guildhall in Cambridge.

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Next generation learning

Pupil leadership

Sawston Village College is committed to harnessing the very latest technologies to support independent learning. If pupils are to flourish in a rapidly changing economic and technological world, then they must be equipped to adapt and deploy the key skills which will enable them to work in different contexts and environments. To support them, pupils have access to our virtual learning environment, where they can communicate between each other and with teachers, to collaborate on projects and activities. Five ICT suites and many more laptops and tablets provide further opportunities to use the latest technologies to be creative and successful learners.

There is a strong emphasis on developing pupil leadership at Sawston Village College with many opportunities for young people to become involved in the school and influence decisions. At the heart of pupil leadership is the Senate. The Senate co-ordinates all pupil activity, under the direction of a Head Boy and Head Girl and is in turn supported by specialist groups who have responsibility for developing the College’s Ethos, the Environment, Learning and finally our leading edge programme of International Citizenship. Our pupils have attended national conferences to discuss their leadership activities, contributed to the development of ASPIRE and school environmental projects and take the lead on fundraising for local and national charities.

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Alongside this pupils train as Sports Leaders, helping with activities for younger pupils as well as supporting in our local primary schools. Pupils can also volunteer as Form Helpers to work with Year 7 pupils and also train as reading mentors. Our group of Eco Warriors is also very active, working with other schools in the UK and with partners in Africa to develop our awareness of the plight facing other school children and make an active contribution to our environment and that of others. The opportunities to get involved in leadership in the College are endless, helping enrich the school environment and providing valuable team building and organisational skills which will help pupils as they move through the school and beyond.

“An outstanding range of leadership opportunities helps (pupils) to develop into confident, articulate young adults.�


Positive role models

(OFSTED 2008)

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“Pupils are eager to learn, and working relationships in classrooms are excellent.” (OFSTED 2008)

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High expectations of behaviour are essential if outstanding teaching and learning is to take place. Our guiding principle is that no one pupil has the right to disrupt another’s learning. We believe that young people require clear boundaries and we provide these in a set of clearly-defined expectations which are understood by all pupils and supported by all staff to ensure that the school is a safe and pleasant place for all members of the community. We expect our pupils: • to treat all adults and each other with respect; • to work to the best of their ability; • to take responsibility for their own progress and behaviour; • to take care and pride in the quality and presentation of their classwork and homework; • to respect the College and surrounding environment;

• to be positive members of the school community, willing to become involved in the wider life of the school; • to support the local community and act appropriately, representing the College’s aims and values at all times as active, positive citizens

Supporting good behaviour The College believes strongly that recognising achievement and success helps to maintain a positive learning atmosphere. However, the College is prepared to use a wide variety of sanctions to ensure that all pupils can achieve to their potential, be happy at school and to be safe. These sanctions include detention, isolation from peers and, where appropriate, exclusion from school. The College looks to parents to help support our expectations and any measures used to ensure these are met.


Expectations and responsibilities

Successful learning is dependent on high standards of behaviour, mutual respect and adherence to the College’s code of conduct at all times.

• to arrive at school and at lessons regularly and on time, properly equipped to learn and achieve; • to wear the College uniform correctly and take pride in their appearance;

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“The school comfortably meets the requirements for Artsmark Gold in terms of curriculum provision, GCSE options, extra-curricular activities and arts partnerships.” (ARTS COUNCIL ASSESSOR 2012)

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Cultural opportunities

There are many clubs and opportunities for our pupils to pursue their individual interests and develop new hobbies and skills at Sawston Village College. More than twenty lunchtime and after school clubs are offered daily, offering pupils the opportunity to develop their skills in first aid, pottery and much more. Pupils can participate in a wide range of sporting activities and represent the school in a wide range of team sports including cross country, basketball, netball, badminton, rugby, football and hockey.

Each year pupils in Key Stage 3 have the opportunity to travel abroad to Spain, France or Germany on language or adventure visits, including the legendary trip to the Ardèche. At GCSE visits include the Battlefields of Northern France, Berlin and Rome in History, and Cologne and Paris for Art and Languages. In addition there are a number of other opportunities on offer to support curriculum study. These include coastal field trips in Geography; visits to local print works in Art; and theatre trips to see some of the very best performances in London.

The opportunities for pupils to pursue an interest in Music are outstanding at Sawston: the College boasts an Orchestra of over 100; a Brass Band; a Choir of 90 and a wide range of ensembles such as the String Orchestra, the Recorder Group, the Madrigal Singers, the Jazz Band and many more. Pupils participate in prestigious performances including annual concerts at West Road Concert Hall and Great St Mary’s Church in Central Cambridge and have contributed to high profile carnivals and musical events including the Olympic Torch Relay Carnival in Cambridge and Luton and Holocaust Memorial Day Concert at the Guildhall in Cambridge.


Enrichment and extension

The extensive arts opportunities at the College also allow pupils to become involved in film production and are involved in running the only youth led cinema in the country. Some of our pupils have achieved global success in film making, winning international film awards for their animation and productions. Sawston Village College prospectus | 17

Next steps

Information, advice and guidance

Destination of Leavers 2012 Pupils pursuing full time education


The College has particularly strong provision in relation to careers and education guidance. In addition to the personal development programme on offer as part of PSHE, Key Stage 4 pupils receive an hour a fortnight of targeted lessons to support work-related learning and progression. All pupils participate in work experience to develop their understanding, knowledge and work-based skills; Information Advice Guidance lessons support their preparation and evaluation of this process. Form tutors and IAG mentors also guide pupils through the post-16 application process; providing support with applications to sixth form study and personal statements and directing pupils to appropriate careers advice.

Pupils in employment and training


Pupils seeking employment (NEET)


Post-16 partners We have strong links with post-16 providers and our pupils benefit from taster days, master classes and visiting speakers from a range of colleges in Cambridgeshire. In addition to finding out about the breadth of post-16 courses on offer, post-16 colleagues have also supported Sawston pupils by providing sessions on application and interview skills. A number of staff work closely with sixth form colleges to ease transition and develop progression opportunities.

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(All of these will be pursuing full time education or training)

“Sawston Village College has provided me with so many amazing opportunities that have made my experience here really wonderful.� (YEAR 11 PUPIL 2012)

Sawston Village College is a mixed comprehensive academy providing secondary education for pupils in the 11-16 age range. Its published admissions number is 230.

1. Children in care, also known as Looked After Children (LAC), and children who were looked after but ceased to be so by reason of adoption, a residence order or special guardianship order.

The College is not selective in its intake and all pupils who are able to access the National Curriculum are entitled to a place. Due regard will be paid to the Equality Act 2010.

2. Pupils who live within the College’s catchment area, have a sibling (i.e. a brother or sister who lives in the same family unit) in the College at the time of admission and attend the following primary schools, Babraham, The Bellbird (Sawston), Duxford Community, Great and Little Shelford, The Icknield (Sawston), Stapleford Community and William Westley, Whittlesford.

Most pupils are drawn from the seven local primary schools set out below, but each year a significant number of pupils apply to join the school from outside its defined catchment area. For more detailed information on the College’s catchment area, parents may contact the Local Authority’s Admissions Department. For admission into Year 7 in September 2013, the LA, on behalf of the Governing Body, will offer places to 230 children. Should there be applications above that limit, the following admissions criteria would be applied; it is important to note that all preferences will be treated equally.

Oversubscription criteria Children who have a statement of special educational needs that names the school will be admitted. Those children with a statement of special educational needs that does not name the school will be referred to Student Assessment to determine an appropriate place.

3. Pupils who live within the College’s catchment area and attend the primary schools listed above. 4. Pupils who live within the College’s catchment area and have a sibling in the College at time of admission, but do not attend the above primary schools. 5. Pupils who live within the College’s catchment area but do not attend the above primary schools. 6. Pupils who live outside the catchment area, who attend primary schools within it and who have a sibling at the school at the time of admission. 7. Pupils who live outside the catchment area but attend primary schools within it.

Admissions policy

Admissions policy 2013-14

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residence. An address used for before and after-school childcare arrangements will not be considered. ‘Sibling’ refers usually to brothers or sisters, aged between 4 and 16 who live together in the same family unit. For further clarification, please contact the LA Admissions Team. 8. Pupils who live outside the catchment area, do not attend primary schools within it, but have a sibling at the College at the time of admission. 9. Children who live outside the catchment area, but nearest the school as measured by a straight line. In cases of equal merit, priority will go first to children living nearest the school according to the straight line distance. The distance, for admissions purposes, is measured using the straight line distance from the centre point of the home to the main pupil entrance to the school. These distances are produced by the LA Admissions team for the school. All measurements are calculated using a digital mapping system. For families who live outside the area covered by the system used in Cambridgeshire, both straight line distances and travel routes are determined using a combination of local maps and on-line resources. Interviews for the purpose of admissions are not lawful and are therefore not included as part of the admissions procedures. For the purposes of this policy where a child lives at more than one address, the address that will be considered will be where the child spends the majority of their school nights, and to which the child benefit is paid. Only one address can be considered as your child’s main

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The application process for admissions into Year 7 is co-ordinated by Cambridgeshire LA, who acts on behalf of the Governing Body to offer places at the College. Parents should submit an application either online via or on a paper application form, available from their child’s primary school or from the LA Admissions Team, no later than the national closing date of 31 October 2012. Offer letters will be issued by the LA on 1 March 2013. Late applications (those submitted after the national closing date) will be handled by the Admissions Team. For further information and full details on how to apply, please see the booklet ‘Admission to Secondary School; a guide for parents 2013-14’. This is available from the College or online at To apply for a place after the start of the school year, or for any other year group, please contact the LA Admissions Team for an ‘In-Year School Application Form’ on 01223 699200 or by email to The application form must be returned to the LA Admissions Team who will contact your preferred schools to determine the availability of a school place. The LA Admissions Team will then write to you to confirm the details of the school at which a place is to be offered and, where appropriate, a suitable start date. Where the Admissions Team is unable to meet any preferences expressed a place will be offered at the next nearest alternative school with places available.

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