Free school story: Cambourne Village College | newschoolsnetwork.org

Free school story: Cambourne Village College

Rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted within two years of opening, Cambourne Village College (CVC) has been praised by inspectors for developing a, ‘culture of high expectations’ where, ‘academic success and education in its broadest sense are highly valued’.

The school opened in September 2013, becoming the first new school in Cambridgeshire for decades. It was established by Comberton Academy Trust, which runs five other successful schools in the area, in order to provide a local school for children in the surrounding villages, who previously had to travel long distances to attend a secondary school.

Located in a brand new, £20 million building, CVC allows pupils to access a range of modern facilities including sports and performance halls, technology rooms and music and drama studios. These have been well used so far, with more than 160 students recently taking part in a production of the musical Grease. The school also aims to be a hub for the local community, opening up its space to primary school pupils who want to study music after school and adult education classes in the evening.

When visiting the school, Ofsted inspectors found that pupils not only made ‘Outstanding’ progress in lessons, but also displayed high levels of enthusiasm for learning. This positive attitude comes from how much they value the impact adults make on their development and the way in which they have been empowered to have a voice in the school community, with the student council encouraged to lobby governors on issues such as uniform and the food available at lunchtime.

The pupils at CVC are clearly delighted with their new school, with a recent school survey finding that 97% of students felt that they were making strong progress. Their parents seem to feel this way too, as inspectors found that they had, ‘an overwhelming appreciation of the school’s impact on the progress of their children.’