As a part of the first wave of the BSF programme in Leicester, we moved to a new building in 2009. Our highly impressive school offers excellent accommodation and facilities for all areas of the curriculum and the local community. We have also recently opened our Training Centre which is used for a wide range of activities; attached to this building we also have a new Integrated Service Centre which offers further meeting space and accommodation for multi - agency staff.
In the past year the school has become involved in a number of exciting and rewarding developments. These include being a member of the first cohort of schools involved in the ‘Challenge Partnership’, which is an exciting national initiative that recognizes the value of schools working together and challenging each other in the pursuit of excellence and it also recognizes the support that Soar Valley can offer to other schools. We are also playing an important role in the development of the Leicester Teaching Schools Alliance. In addition we have hosted various training programmes for the National College and the Challenge Partnership and as of next year we shall be offering accredited Middle Leader training (MLDP).
All secondary and special schools in Leicester belong to the Education Improvement Partnership (EIP) which is an alliance of schools in Leicester to offer support and challenge to each other. The partnership is a very strong and brings a number of distinct benefits to the city and member schools. Our two most recent OFSTED inspections have been very successful, one general inspection in February 2010 and one subject, English June 2011, which was graded Outstanding. We also had a Quality Assurance Review, led by an OFSTED Inspector in October 2011 as a part of the Challenge Partnership, which was again very successful. As a school we are looking to continually improve the experiences and outcomes for our students and we invest a good deal of time, energy and resources in our self review and monitoring procedures, and CPD for staff at all levels. “Students have positive attitudes to learning and work hard. Relationships between students and staff are excellent.”(Ofsted 2010) Achievement is very good. When students start at the College the standards of their work are generally below national expectations. However they rise throughout both KS3 and KS4 to above national averages by the end of Year 11.
Parents are generally very supportive of the College and the benefits that it brings for their children. Students make an outstanding contribution to their community and we are proud of the range and quality of extra – curricular activities that staff offer; we were for example the first school in the county to gain the QiSS Award (Quality in Study Support) at each level. We are a specialist Maths and Computing College, which has led to significant investment in ICT resources across the college. A large part of our Specialist College Plan is concerned with links with the community, vital to the ethos of Soar Valley. We are the ‘hub’ school for Maths development across the city and have very strong links with our feeder primary schools through both curricular and extra-curricular activities. We also have a wide range of activities on site in the evenings and at weekends that benefit the wider community. “Soar Valley College places the individual well being of all its students at the centre of its work. There is strong concern for, and commitment to, ensuring that each student is supported to achieve their best. Provision for care, guidance and support is exemplary.”(Ofsted 2010)