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Peter Symonds College

Peter Symonds College

<h2 align="left">Vision: Counting in Ones</h2>
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<p> ‘Counting in Ones’ is our motto and is the key principle which guides everything we do.  Each student is an individual with their own distinctive personal needs.  We aim to work in the best interests of each individual, helping them to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations.  High expectations are at the heart of our vision for the College and all of its students and staff.</p>
<p> We aim to promote and support high achievement, providing an environment in which learners can grow in confidence and independence, and develop the knowledge, skills and aptitudes needed to progress to higher education or employment. </p>
<p>We seek to develop well-rounded, open-minded individuals with ambitious goals and a sense of social responsibility towards the local, national and international communities of which they are a part.  As a large college we are able to offer a wide range of both curricular and extra-curricular opportunities, enabling students to broaden their horizons and try new experiences. </p>
<p>Our reputation as a popular and highly successful sixth form college is well established.  We aim to be leaders in the sector in promoting, developing and sharing high quality, innovative teaching and learning and highly effective student guidance and support.</p>
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<h2>Background</h2>
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<p>Peter Symonds opened as a sixth form college in September 1974, having previously been a boys' grammar school with a history traceable back to 1607.   In 1992 the sixth form college took on the responsibility for adult education in Central Hampshire, with the successor to the free-standing adult education institute now forming part of the College.   In common with all sixth form and FE colleges, Symonds became an independent corporation in April 1993 and is now funded by the Education Funding Agency (EFA), the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). </p>
<p>The College grew rapidly in the 1990’s to its current size of around 3,700 full-time 16-19 year old students, plus some 3,000 (mostly) part-time adult students.  </p>
<p>Our intention is to limit future 16-19 enrolments so that the student roll does not exceed our capability to provide a quality sixth form education, given the physical and human resources available.  Thus, it is probable that the College will continue to have a full-time sixth form roll in the mid 3,000’s up to perhaps 4,000, plus some 3,000 part-time adult students, including those on short courses run for local businesses and in co-operation with the SFA. In recent years there has been significant growth into HE courses for adults. We continue to receive applications from far more students than we can accommodate.</p>
<p> "Peter Symonds College is outstanding"</p>
<p align="right">Ofsted Inspection Report 2005 </p>
<p align="right">“Overall effectiveness is outstanding”</p>
<p align="right">Ofsted Inspection Report 2008 </p>
<p>There is a conscious division between provision for full-time and part-time students, with the maintenance of a full-time ethos in the sixth form college being an aim.  All of the day time part-time provision is based at a separate site some one mile from the main site. </p>
<p>The growth and success of the College have been inextricably linked, with students being attracted to Winchester from a wide surrounding area. The College has been placed first or second in the Hampshire A level results league tables for state colleges in each year of publication and is often placed as the top college in the South of England.  Around 45-55 students are offered Oxbridge places each year, more than at most selective independent schools.  Approximately 45% of our full-time students come from Winchester 11-16 schools, with the rest coming from towns such as Southampton, Basingstoke and Andover.  Approximately 15% of each year's intake comes from the private sector.</p>
<h2> Boarding Education</h2>
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<p> Symonds is the only state sixth form college to offer boarding: current capacity being around 80.  The College provides sixth form education for the Falkland Islands, with 5-10 boarders coming from the islands.</p>
<p align="right">“Students’ achievements and standards are outstanding.  Success rates at Level 3 … are constantly above the high national average for sixth form colleges”</p>
<p align="right">Ofsted Inspection Report 2008 </p>
<p align="right">“The overall quality rating is outstanding”</p>
<p align="right">Ofsted Boarding Inspection Report 2010</p>
<h2>Accommodation </h2>
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<p>Adult and Higher Education (AHEd) is based in a refurbished ex-infant school at Stoney Lane, Weeke.   The AHEd Centre includes 10 classrooms including IT facilities, complementary therapy facilities and hair and beauty salons.  The Centre is close to local shops and is served by local buses from the town centre every 10 minutes.  </p>
<p>The main College site covers some 25 acres close to the centre of Winchester, within easy walking distance of the station.  The buildings cover the full architectural range from Victorian splendour to the most modern designs, via contributions from virtually every decade of the 20<sup>th</sup> and 21<sup>st</sup> centuries.  All our accommodation is of a very high standard.  There are extensive playing fields and the campus provides an extremely pleasant working environment.  There was a £4.4 million Learning & Resource Centre built in 2008 and further refurbishment around the campus over recent summers.  In 2013 a new science extension was built and in 2014 we opened a new classroom block.</p>
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<h2> Courses</h2>
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<p> Within the sixth form division of the College, ‘A’ levels are still by far the most common courses.  The vast majority of our full-time, teenaged students are with us for two years, studying AS/A2 levels chosen from the 45-50 on offer each year.  With well over 3,500 candidates sitting these examinations each year, Peter Symonds is one of (if not the) largest centres for A level in the country.  A significant minority of our students take vocational equivalents as single or double awards or as full BTEC Diplomas or Extended Diplomas. </p>
<p>Approximately 60 of our students are admitted for one year, initially at least, taking level 2 courses.  Each year, some 40 or so of these do well enough to then be re-admitted to the College on two year advanced programmes. </p>
<p>The Adult and Higher Education (AHEd) Division offers a remarkably wide range of (mostly) part-time courses, ranging from leisure or recreational courses in topics such as dressmaking or painting, right through to professional, accredited courses, teacher training, complementary therapies, hairdressing and beauty therapy, counselling or literacy and numeracy. AHEd is based at our Stoney Lane site in Weeke, but also runs courses in local outreach centres in the Winchester area.  In recent years, there has been a dramatic growth in demand for employment related courses such as childcare and adult care.  Both College sites are very well-equipped with the latest computer technology including a highly effective network and intranet.  There is also a flourishing Access course for adults wishing to go on to Higher Education and we have developed a range of Foundation Degree  and Full Honours Degree programmes, with our first full honours students graduating in September 2012.  We also have approval to run a Masters degree.  Our HE work is run in conjunction with Middlesex and Greenwich Universities. </p>
<p>"Teaching is outstanding and students enjoy their learning. Quality assurance and self-assessment processes are outstanding. Curriculum management is excellent. There are good and diverse staff development opportunities."</p>
<p align="right">Ofsted Inspection Report 2005</p>
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<h2> Student Life</h2>
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<p> In spite of unremitting financial pressure in response to the government drive for efficiency gains, the College remains committed to the highest standards of pastoral care for its students.  </p>
<p>In addition to pastoral and learning support, the College offers an extremely wide range of “enrichment” activities: short additional courses or activities such as First Aid, community service, Duke of Edinburgh Award, music etc.  Sport is extremely strong with teams in all the major and many of the minor sports. Many of those teams are regional and national champions or cup winners. </p>
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<h2>Staffing Structure </h2>
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<p>In the sixth form college, subjects are grouped into four faculties with the teacher in charge of each subject being responsible in the first instance to the appropriate Head of Faculty.  Heads of Faculty have responsibility both for curriculum and the pastoral well-being of students in tutor groups in their faculty.  Virtually all full-time and some part-time teaching staff act as tutors to a group of students and the role of the group tutor is critical in the support given to our students.  In addition there are non-teaching staff with managerial, administrative, technical, clerical and financial responsibilities.  </p>
<p>The large Adult and Higher Education Division is led by its own head of division with separate curriculum managers and administrative staff dealing with adult students. </p>
<p> In an anonymous survey of staff satisfaction, 97% said they would recommend the College to others as a good place to work.</p>
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<h2> Conditions of Service </h2>
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<p>Please note that detailed conditions of service will be issued to the successful candidate, and are available at interview on request.  This section is intended merely to give a broad picture. </p>
<p>Peter Symonds subscribes to the Sixth Form Colleges’ Employers’ Association. The Governors have adopted the form of contract agreed by both employers and unions nationally. </p>
<p>Current conditions of service for teachers are not dissimilar to those of school teachers, in that teaching staff are required to be on site for 195 days in each year, 190 of which will involve teaching as such.  Of course, as with school teachers, there is an expectation of a large amount of preparation and marking etc outside "directed time".  The main differences between sixth form college teachers' and school teachers' conditions lie firstly in the facility for the College to require, if needed, up to 2 evenings a week (6 hours total) evening class teaching as part of a teacher’s timetable, and secondly, in the fact that our pay and conditions are, of course, not within the remit of the School Teacher Review Body.  </p>
<p>Similarly non-teaching staff conditions are broadly similar to Administrative, Professional, Technical and Clerical (APT&C) conditions as common in local government. </p>
<p>Please note that for substantial part-time and for full-time teaching posts in any department of the college, a recognised full teaching qualification is normally a prerequisite (eg Cert Ed., B Ed., PGCE).  For less substantial part-time teaching posts or very short term appointments, a qualification such as a City & Guilds 7307 Stage 1 or Stage 2 or its successor may be acceptable.</p>
<p> In all cases it is possible for a strong candidate to be appointed without the relevant teaching qualification, but only on the understanding that such a qualification will be obtained within two years of appointment (four years if part-time).</p>
<p> Typically, an unqualified candidate who is successful in gaining an appointment to a permanent post will be given a two year fixed term contract if full-time, and four year fixed term contract if part-time.  Such a contract will be made permanent on proof of the qualification being achieved.  The College will give assistance in obtaining the qualification.</p>
<p> "Teaching was judged to be good or better in 88% of lessons, satisfactory in nearly 12% and less than satisfactory in less than 1%."</p>
<p align="right">Ofsted Report 2005 </p>
<p align="right">“Teaching and learning are outstanding”</p>
<p align="right">Ofsted Report 2008</p>
<h2 align="right"> </h2>
<h2>Beacon Status </h2>
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<p>The College was awarded beacon college status by the Minister for Further/Higher Education in July 2006 having previously been awarded accredited status by the FEFC in 2001.  Both awards recognise the high quality of the college.</p>
<p>Ofsted graded the college as outstanding in every single respect as a result of inspections 2004 and 2008. We have also receive numerous ‘good practice survey‘ visits and are regularly inspected separately in respect of our boarding provision. Since 2004 the college has never been rated as less than outstanding in any such assessment. Under current Ofsted policy we are not in scope to be inspected in the foreseeable future.</p>
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<h2> Other Matters </h2>
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<p>The whole College campus is strictly non-smoking, apart from one small designated outdoor area. </p>
<p>Winchester is considered a very desirable place to live, and is within one hour's train journey of Waterloo.  Thus prices of houses within easy travel of the City centre and station are high by national standards, on a par with outer London suburbs.  However, there is a considerable drop in prices outside Winchester itself, with neighbouring towns such as Basingstoke, Eastleigh or Andover being much more easily affordable.   </p>
<p align="right">“Resources for learning are very good and are well used.  Teachers are well qualified and benefit from a whole range of staff development opportunities”</p>
<p align="right">Ofsted Report 2008 </p>

Awards

LSIS Beacon Award
LSIS Beacon Award
Ofsted Outstanding 2009-2010
Ofsted Outstanding 2009-2010

Postal Address

Peter Symonds College

Owens Road

Winchester

Hampshire

SO22 6RX

Peter Symonds College

Sixth Forms