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Bideford College
Abbotsham Road, EX39 3AR Bideford
01237 477611

Statement from the College Principal. Released Wednesday 3rd October 3.00pm

Dear Parents and Carers,

You will, no doubt, have heard that there was a serious incident on the Geneva site towards the end of lunchtime yesterday. A year 11 student was attacked by someone who came onto the College premises and left immediately afterwards. The attack involved a knife.

Given the timing of the incident I did not have the chance to communicate with parents and carers yesterday other than by way of the media and through the College website. I apologise for any alarm that this may have caused but there really was no alternative given the circumstances.

The student was taken by air ambulance to hospital (because there were no ambulance vehicles available at the time and not, I understand, because of the seriousness of his injuries). He was sent home from hospital at the end of the afternoon. The Police are investigating the attack and an arrest has been made.

Because this is a serious incident and the Police are involved I cannot say any more at this stage. I have asked staff to make sure that students do not talk about the details of the incident for obvious reasons. Some College students will be formal witnesses.

I know that students are much more settled now that they know that the student will make a full recovery. The Police have praised College students and staff for the mature and efficient way in which they responded.

We are all shocked that what we normally only hear about in the news has happened in our College. I shall be working with others to review College site arrangements in the light of the incident. I must emphasise that this is an ‘open’ College site and has been for many years. In this respect, it is very similar to most other secondary schools. Clearly, the new College site will have a higher level of security but until that opens we must do all that we can to ensure the safety and well being of each of our students.

I am very grateful to those parents who have contacted me and expressed their support for the College and their understanding about the situation. If anyone would like to speak to me directly about the incident please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Yours sincerely

Veronica Matthews (Miss)


Specialist Status

Science at Bideford College
Following discussions with staff and the local community it was decided to bid for specialist college status in Science.
The specialist schools programme is an important part of government plans to raise standards. Currently 54% of schools in the UK are specialist colleges in one of the ten disciplines.

  • Arts
  • Maths and Computing
  • Engineering
  • Humanities
  • Languages
  • Media
  • Music
  • Sports
  • Technology
  • Science
Specialist Schools Trust
Science colleges focus their specialism on Both Science and Mathematics, however the drive for improvement remains across the whole curriculum.
The fact that two of the core subjects are covered in the Science specialism was one reason for deciding on Science for Bideford College. Other factors include:-

  • Relevant Local Business.
  • Local Environment particularly the designation of the area as a biosphere reserve.
  • Accessibility of Science to all other subject areas.
  • Strength of Science Department results at GCSE and A Level.
  • The desire to educate students and the Community in environmental issues.
Successful application for specialist status recieved additional funding in the form of :-

1) One off payment for capital (Building) projects. Find out more about our Sponsors.
2) Recruitment funding for school improvement projects (4 yr funding)

New Computers for Maths
New Computer Suite
Interactive Whiteboards for Maths & Geography

College are required to bid for specialist status by outlining how they will use the additional funding to ensure college improvement and community envolvement.
Bideford College prepared a 56 page bid which was submitted to the DFES in March 2004.
Confirmation of our designation as a specialist Science College was recieved in July 2004 and we ofiicially took up status on 1st September 2004.
Since 1st Septmber there have been a number of changes to:

  • Staffing
  • Facilities
  • Community involvement
  • Environmental awareness
These projects will continue to develop over the next four years.
They include annual themes for environmental action. Year 1 saw the theme of Recycling. This included a community launch event at the Hallsannery Field Centre and a school launch where all the curriculum areas addressed Science and/or Recycling through their own subject.
The upcoming annual themes are:

primary schools in Bideford, secondary schools in Bideford, schools in Bideford

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