Welcome International Students!
We aim to help students to develop the knowledge, skills and personal qualities which will enable them to meet the demands of a fast-changing world, whether they are intending to move into Higher Education or employment. The college is open to 16-19 year olds, and older students, through our adult and community provision, with a genuine commitment to lifelong learning.
We have an Intranet which is available to staff and students and, if you do become a member of the college community, you will, I am sure, be impressed by the high quality of the interactive learning materials produced by our staff.
I am delighted that you want to find out more about our college. I hope you find the information useful – and, of course, if you need any further information or advice, we will be happy to help.
The College is situated in a single building on a large and pleasant open site with playing fields, in an established residential part of the town with easy access from major road and rail routes.
One of the few purpose-built sixth form Colleges the main building was completed in 1973. It has been regularly updated internally and externally including a new 10 classroom extension built in 2003. The premises have specialist accommodation in all the major subject areas: there are six Science laboratories, twelve networked ICT rooms and dedicated areas for Art, Design and Media Studies. There are good sporting facilities, including a large Sports Hall and an adjacent Sports Science area with its own ICT facilities and an Exercise and Fitness Measurement room. Please click here to view a selection of images of the College.
The College has invested heavily in ICT in recent years and has a ratio of one networked PC to 2.0 full-time students. 99% of classrooms have a multimedia projector, custom built computer desk and are connected to the internet and the College’s learning network. There are also banks of computers in study areas, the LRC and some classrooms. One of the largest labs is reserved exclusively for drop-in use by students. The College is keen to continue to develop the wide use of information and learning technology across the curriculum..
The College’s primary strategic objective is to increase participation and achievement on full-time courses within the 16-19 age group. It recruits from thirteen partner schools in the borough, although the majority of students enrol from six 11-16 schools in the immediate locality.
The College is a very popular choice for school leavers: in September 2005 there were 967 full-time 16-19 students on the College roll. The majority of these students are following GCE AS/Advanced Level courses in a range of 31 subjects. There is also a substantial programme of Applied Advanced Certificates of Education and a BTEC National Diploma in Applied Science (Sports Studies). The College has enthusiastically embraced Curriculum 2000 and all new Level 3 students follow a programme of four subjects and work towards a Key Skills qualification in Number, Communication or ICT.
The College is committed to providing a new start and second chance for young people irrespective of their achievement at school. It offers a wide programme of GCSE subjects. These Level 2 courses attract over 50 students each year and a substantial proportion stay on at the College for a further two years to take A Level courses.
The 2001 OFSTED Inspection Report highlighted as a “key strength” the high pass rates at A Level, which are above the national average and have increased year on year, and the positive value-added in a number of subjects – where students perform much better than might be expected given their GCSE scores. (The College was again inspected in February 2006 and although the report is still to be published and therefore confidential, we can say we are looking forward to the publication.)
Some 70% of Level 3 students go on to read for degrees in higher education and the College supports each student in finding the appropriate route into employment, training and further study. Work experience and work shadowing are well established, both locally and through contacts abroad.
The Borough of Stockton on Tees is an Excellence in Cities and Aim Higher area and the College is working with 11-16 schools and the two universities in the Tees Valley in order to widen participation and provide enrichment for “gifted and talented” students.
Over the years the College has gained a strong local and regional reputation in major sports and team games. Many students compete at county level in their chosen sport and in recent years increasing numbers of College teams and individual athletes have reached the national finals of the British Colleges’ Competition, with a number of outstanding athletes succeeding in representing their country at international competitions.
The College employs 55 teaching and 21 support staff in addition to the catering assistants and cleaning staff. There are good facilities for all the staff. Teachers share study offices equipped with a PC linked to the network and, in addition to a large, well-used staff room, there is an ICT training and workroom.
The Principal, Vice Principal, Director of Finance and three Assistant Principals make up the Senior Management Team. The Vice Principal leads on curriculum and staff development. The Assistant Principals lead on Schools Liaison, Student Services and Resources.
Heads of Subject have responsibility for the delivery of teaching and learning and they are grouped together in one of three Schools of Study, each of which is led by an Assistant Principal. The Assistant Principals have oversight for Quality Assurance within their School of Study and provide leadership in the delivery and assessment of teaching and learning, review of student progress and dissemination of good practice.
All full time students are members of a tutor group whilst at the College, with a specialist team of tutors responsible for administration matters and for the general academic progress and welfare of their tutees. There is a system for regular monitoring and review of student progress, both by subject teachers and tutors. Individual targets are determined for each student and progress against these targets is monitored and reviewed at regular intervals. There is an electronic registration system and reports for parents are produced electronically.
The College has very sound finances and has, for a number of years, achieved a grade A financial status under the criteria set by the Learning & Skills Council. The commitment of the College to continuous improvement has been recognised not only in Inspection Reports but also in the gaining of the Investor in People Award and successful re-recognition in 2005.