Swavesey Village College

Name Swavesey Village College
Website http://www.swaveseyvc.co.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school, converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.
Address Gibraltar Lane, Swavesey, Cambridge, CB24 4RS
Phone Number 01954230366
Type Academy
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1289 (50.3% boys 49.7% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 15.5
Academy Sponsor Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust
Local Authority Cambridgeshire
Percentage Free School Meals 6%
Percentage English is Not First Language 8.1%
Persisitent Absence 11.5%
Pupils with SEN Support 2.4%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (16 March 2011)
There may have been more recent inspections such as monitoring visits or short inspections. For details of all inspections, please view this provider on our map here.

Information about the school

Swavesey Village College is a larger than average sized secondary school with specialist status in science and languages. It serves Swavesey and a number of other villages that lie to the north of Cambridge. The school library is shared with the local community and the school provides a community education programme. The proportion of students with special educational needs and/or disabilities is broadly average. The proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is below average. A large majority of students are of White British heritage. Very few students are at an early stage of learning English. The college has been recognised through the Healthy Schools and International Schools Awards, Artsmark (Silver) and ICT Mark. The College is an Advanced Accredited Consultant School for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) and the Principal is a consultant headteacher and a National Leader of Education. Since the last inspection the school has become a foundation school within the Cambridge Meridian Educational Trust. Plans are well advanced for the school to become an academy.

Main findings

Swavesey Village College is an outstanding school in every respect. Every member of staff shows whole-hearted commitment to the school’s aim of meeting the needs of every student. Students reach high standards and make outstanding progress because of the excellent teaching, the exceptional curriculum and the very high standard of care, guidance and support. The Principal provides inspirational leadership based on an absolute belief that every child matters. The previous inspection judged the school to be good with outstanding features. However, senior leaders and the governing body were not content for the school to rest on its laurels. Although it was providing a good education for the majority of students, they sharpened the school’s focus upon the needs of every child. To this end, they set three very challenging ’100%’ targets, known as the ’Vital Few’. These were: that every student should achieve a Level 2 qualification; that every student should participate in the wide range of activities that make up the ’Swavesey Experience’; and that the school should be recognised as outstanding in every judgement in its next inspection. All three targets have now been achieved. In 2010, every Year 11 student gained the equivalent of five or more GCSE passes at grades A* to C. Nor was quality sacrificed for quantity: the proportion of A and A* grades was twice the national figure. Students’ progress was so good that the school was in the top four per cent nationally. The wide range of curriculum choices has played an important part in this success. Every student in the school engages in the school’s enrichment programme. For example, more than half engage in sporting activity and a third are involved in the arts programme. More than ten per cent of students are involved in the production ’Jesus Christ Superstar. Last year, every student joined a sponsored walk to raise money for charity. Students’ personal development is outstanding because of the highly effective tutor system and the excellent impact of the extended curriculum. Students get on very well with adults and with each other. They have a well-developed sense of right and wrong and behave very sensibly and safely. Their behaviour makes an outstanding contribution to their learning, with many showing well-developed independent learning skills. The school gives a very high priority to keeping students safe and goes beyond statutory requirements in its safeguarding procedures. It provides high quality home tuition for students with medical needs. Students have great confidence in the support available through their tutors and the student support assistants. Bullying and racist incidents are rare, but always taken seriously. A very large majority of students say they enjoy school. Attendance is high, with only a very few persistent absentees. The school is assiduous in working with students to address concerns that they raise. For example, the school has rebuilt some of the students’ toilets, after some students said they avoided the traditional kind. It also introduced staggered break and lunch times to reduce congestion and anxiety, especially for Year 7. The school has maintained its outstanding capacity for improvement because leaders pay close attention to detail. The systems of self-evaluation, improvement planning and performance management are extremely well integrated. Action plans are devised in response to issues identified through thorough and rigorous monitoring and evaluation. They are linked to staff performance targets to ensure that everyone plays their part. For example, apart from the Principal and the five senior tutors, every teacher is responsible for the achievement and well-being of each student in a mixed-age tutor group. Each student has regular one-to-one meetings with their tutor to discuss their academic and personal development targets and progress towards them. As a result, the school’s care, guidance and support have improved from good to outstanding. The quality of teaching has similarly moved from good to outstanding through a programme of professional development to improve teachers’ skills in using assessment to support learning. Students and teachers make excellent use of information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance learning. Last year, every student gained a qualification in ICT. Partnership working has been central to the school’s improvement. The school works very well with other providers to enhance the outstanding curriculum. It also arranges regular ’benchmarking’ visits, for both staff and students, to compare Swavesey’s provision with that in other successful schools. These visits provide a stimulus for new ideas. However, changes are only made if they are consistent with Swavesey’s aims and philosophy. The governing body encourages the school’s extensive support for other schools because of the benefits it brings, particularly in developing the school’s leadership capacity.