Theme of the week is: The environment: local, national and international
I am delighted to introduce you to Faringdon Community College and give you a flavour of the ethos and culture that makes this such a special place to learn and work. Students, staff, and parents are incredibly proud of their school.
Faringdon Community College is a very popular, high achieving, 11 to 18 mixed comprehensive school situated on the edge of Faringdon, a picturesque market town in rural Oxfordshire. The school occupies a large attractively landscaped site with an excellent range of specialist accommodation and facilities. We are a values-based organisation that places students at the heart of everything that we do. We believe in kindness, working to the best of our ability and thoroughly enjoying school.
“The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding.” Ofsted 2019
I had the privilege of taking up the Headteacher post from 1st September 2020. I am an experienced Headteacher, having successfully fulfilling the role in two other schools; I decided to join Faringdon Community College because the students and staff are wonderful ambassadors for what is great about education and lifelong learning. Staff are committed and passionate about their subjects, and students are engaging and positive. I am fiercely ambitious for the school and the young people that we serve in our local community. I bring with me the experience and drive to take the school on to the next part of its journey. Our priorities are simply these: excellent examination outcomes, impeccable behaviour, great teaching and the widest possible range of high quality extra-curricular experiences and opportunities for ALL students. School should be an experience to evoke a lifetime of memories and friendship.
Faringdon Community College is officially a ‘Good School’ (Ofsted 2019) with learning and creating opportunity at the centre of all that we do. We are a forward-thinking school, always keen to do even better. It is a very happy place in which to learn and work. Those who visit the school comment on the calm and purposeful environment they find. The positive relationships between students and staff, based on mutual respect, are at the heart of high standards of teaching and learning which result in all students making very good progress.
“Adults demonstrate their high expectations for pupils by modelling them through their actions. Pupils respond appropriately well and a culture of mutual respect, equality and high aspiration ensues.” Ofsted
Providing an appreciation of a broader range of pursuits to create and celebrate character in our young people, as well as developing an appreciation of the wider world is a particular strength of the school and was acknowledged in our last Ofsted inspection.
“Opportunities for learning and experiences beyond the taught curriculum are many and varied. Pupils participate enthusiastically in a wide range of activities, including those linked to sports and the arts.” Ofsted
Every young person coming to Faringdon Community College has great potential, and we, as a school, will ensure all young people are valued and supported to make the most of their potential. We are keen to raise aspirations and provide opportunities for all the young people in the school and prepare them for the next stages in their lives. We have a very strong system of support, including our careers service and PSHE lessons that give students appropriate and timely support for the next, crucial decisions regarding their futures as well as an understanding of wider social issues.
“Pupils experience rich opportunities that support their personal development successfully. They play their part in enhancing the school community. Pupils’ understanding of important issues such as human rights and civil liberties lead them to behave maturely and considerately towards each other. This contributes to a highly tolerant atmosphere around the school, where pupils are confident to be themselves.” Ofsted
The atmosphere and ethos in the school has been continually strengthened over the years, particularly through our strong behaviour for learning strategy. The pastoral care and development of our students is one we take very seriously and the smaller learning communities within year groups is a real strength of the school.
“Nurture and promoting pupils’ welfare are absolute strengths of the school. Pupils’ wellbeing is first and foremost in leaders’ minds. Consequently, pupils report feeling safe and well looked after in school.” Ofsted
We want students to feel happy and successful in school, enjoy their learning, be kind, and make a unique contribution to the life of the school. Our school values are learning, leadership, resilience, respect and equality; we want students to be enriched by their experiences at school, both academically and personally. We have very high expectations at Faringdon Community College, and this is reflected in our students’ appearance, behaviour, and attitudes toward learning. Students take a real pride in their school, as do all staff, and all are fully committed to building character in all young people.
“Throughout the school, the environment is conducive to learning. Pupils work hard, responding well to teachers’ high expectations for their behaviour and engagement. Consequently, time in lessons is used productively.” Ofsted
Over the last few years, our staff and students have created an enviable record within our Academic Sixth Form of developing and supporting young people to become the best they can be. In the Sixth Form, our results last summer again showed that our students can and do achieve the highest possible grades, with many going on to the top Russell Group universities and others securing places at their preferred universities all over the UK which will best support them in their intended career path.
At KS4, we have a similar story, with many students achieving the top grades of 9, 8, and 7s and either securing places in our sixth form or going on to their preferred choice of an apprenticeship, employment and training, or other similar destinations. Results are consistently above national average with strong valued-added for all students.
“Overall, pupils learn well throughout their time at the school. By the end of Year 11, they attain standards that compare favourably with pupils in other schools. This demonstrates the good progress that pupils make across most of their subjects.” Ofsted
The school’s curriculum provides opportunities for students to study subjects which are well-suited to their needs, aspirations, and talents.
“Teachers have consistently strong subject knowledge. They use it well to plan lessons that stimulate pupils’ interests and develop their knowledge, skills and understanding appropriately over time. As a result, most pupils make good progress and attain well by the end of key stages 4 and 5.” Ofsted
It is always my privilege to welcome new students onto this exciting learning journey together. If you are interested in joining our school your son or daughter will be made very welcome. At the current time we are unable to host visits to the school. Please see our section on admissions to experience a virtual tour of the school.
Mr Phil Bevan, Head Teacher