Soham Village College


Soham Village College

Infobox UK school
name = Soham Village College


size = 250px
latitude = 52.32964
longitude = 0.33904
dms = dms
motto = Non Nobis Sed Omnibus (Not just for us, but for everyone)Achieving Excellence with Care
motto_pl = true
established = 1958
approx =
closed =
c_approx =
type = Comprehensive
religion =
president =
head_label = Principal
head = Dr Carin Taylor
r_head_label =
r_head =
chair_label =
chair =
founder =
founder_pl =
specialist = Technology and Languages College
specialist_pl =
street = Sand Street
city = Soham
county = Cambridgeshire
country = England
postcode = CB7 5AA
LEA = Cambridgeshire
ofsted = 110909
staff =
enrollment =
gender = Coeducational
lower_age = 11
upper_age = 16
houses = Gryffindor,Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw
colours =
publications = Ice Fishing Weekly
free_label_1 =
free_1 =
free_label_2 =
free_2 =
free_label_3 =
free_3 =
website = http://www.sohamcollege.org.uk/
website_name =

Soham Village College is a state secondary school with specialist Foundation Technology College and Language College status in Soham, Cambridgeshire, England. It has around 1350 students, aged 11 to 16. It has a wide catchment area which does not include Ely, although some students from Ely attend the school. The college is split over two adjacent sites, Beechurst (formerly a House) and Lodeside, built more recently.

The School is controlled by Cambridgeshire LEA.

History

The College has its origins in the Soham Free School, established in 1686. The School became known as the Soham Grammar School from 1878 and occupied a site on Churchgate Street. In 1925 the Grammar School moved to Beechurst House, located on Sand Street. Beechurst House (built in 1901) was formerly the home of the late Newmarket jockey, Charles Moreby. The Grammar School took boys aged 11-18 from surrounding villages, and was also home to a few weekly boarders.

The name "Soham Village College" comes from the former secondary modern style Village College which was established in 1958. The original village college took boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 15, and was built on a 17 acre site next to the Soham Lode known as "Moat Fields". The village college system was the brainchild of Henry Morris, the Chief Education Officer at Cambridgeshire County Council. The College was officially opened by the Baronet and MP Sir Edward Boyle, a former Minister for Education. Morris's emphasis was on a community based establishment, and indeed the College was equipped with a public library and a youth leader.

The present day Village College came into being in 1972 when the modern co-educational Village College merged with the long-established Grammar School. The merger was a direct result of the government raising the school-leaving age being raised to 16.

Throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s building work was carried out under the headships of A.E. Lawrence (between 1972 and 1985) and Dr. A.W. Bullock (between 1985 and 1999). This included the construction of the Ross Peers Sports Centre, a science block, a music block, and a science and technology block.

In 1993, the village college gained grant maintained status. This allowed for generous donations such as the funds donated in the mid 1990s by Simon Gibson for the extension to the Mathematics and English departments (known as the Gibson Block in his honour).

In June 1998 the 'M Block' was opened by the late Princess Margaret, which contains science, humanities, ICT and languages rooms.

The latest addition to the school was in 2005, with the building of a lift (or elevator) connecting the two stories of the Lodeside building to allow wheelchair access to the upper floor classrooms.

Academic reputation

In the school's 2005 public exam results, out of 266 eligible students, 71% achieved at least 5 grade A-C GCSEs; the national average was 56.3% that year. But in the 2008 examinations, Soham Village College performed a lot worse than its traditional academic rival Witchford Village College, by only achieving a 48% 5 A-C grades, to Witchford's 68%. The school still attracts many students from many schools both within and outside the catchment area. Many students have the opportunity to take extracurricular GCSEs, including Astronomy, Italian, Spanish and Polish.

However, students wishing to continue onto sixth form studies must change schools, usually attending establishments in nearby Ely or Cambridge.

Awards

The Village College holds many awards. Currently it is a Foundation College with specialist status in technology and languages. The College has also been awarded the Artsmark - Bronze Award, International School Award, School Achievement Award, Sport England SportsMark Award, Basic Skills Quality Mark, Becta ICT Mark for Excellence in ICT. The school was a runner-up for the PEDRO award, which awards schools for thriving on ICT skills.

The students are also awarded many different forms of awards for various achievements by the school, such as outstanding attendance, awards for distinctive progression, and awards for extra curricular activities out of school such as sport. Scarlet or Tri-colour ties are awarded to students for outstanding achievement in sporting activities. There is also a new emerald tie that the school gives out to those who excel in the performing arts.

Catchment area

The school has a wide catchment area, owing to its rural location. Students come mainly from the following house numbers:
*Soham
*Barway
*Wicken
*Fordham
*Isleham
*Chippenham
*Snailwell
*Kennett
*Burwell

However, some students come from other nearby settlements outside of the catchment area including:
*Ely
*Littleport
*Newmarket
*Little Downham
*Witchford
*Stretham
*Wilburton
*Haddenham

The principal feeder primary schools are:
*St Andrew's C of E Primary (Soham)
*The Weatheralls (Soham)
*Fordham C of E Primary
*Isleham C of E Primary
*Kennett Primary
*Burwell Village College (Primary)
*Ely St. Johns (Primary)

External links

* [http://www.sohamcollege.org.uk/ Soham Village College website]
* [http://www.sohamgrammar.org.uk/ Soham Grammarians' website]


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