The vision for the Launceston College Primary Campus Free school

The aim of the Launceston College Multi Academy Trust is for children to become successful, responsible and happy young people by learning the knowledge skills and values which are important for society.

The Launceston College Multi Academy Trust currently consists of two schools, Launceston College in North Cornwall and Bideford College over the border in North Devon. Both are 11-19 school with a total of 2576 pupils on roll (Launceston 1257, Bideford 1319).

Launceston College was last inspected under Section 5 in February 2012 and was judged to be a good school with outstanding behaviour and safety; it became an academy in January 2013 and received a short inspection in April 2016 which confirmed the 2012 judgement. In August 2015 Launceston College was the highest performing secondary school in Cornwall at both GCSE and A level and in September 2015 was encouraged, by the then RSC for the South West, to become eligible to sponsor with the specific intention of sponsoring Bideford College. An academy order was issued in October 2015 and the MAT opened in March 2016.

Bideford College was identified as requiring Special Measures by Ofsted in January 2015 and became part of the MAT in March 2016 under a “full sponsorship” arrangement. Since then progress has been dramatic and significant and we are confident that this will be demonstrated by external examination results in 2017.

The MAT has a vision to expand over the next five years to include between three to six secondary schools and clusters of primary schools in each of these areas; the geographical region will be North Cornwall and North Devon. It is our intention to become an outstanding 0-19 education provider in this region, to support the continuation of small, rural village primary schools and to contribute to the economic and cultural development of the region so ensuring that all of our community flourishes. Negotiations are currently being concluded for the MAT to take on the running of the 0-5 nursery which is located on the Launceston College site.

The Launceston College Primary Campus Free School will be the next key step to realising our MAT vision. The development of the school will allow us to create an infrastructure for high quality primary phase provision, by developing a relatively large primary school in the town of Launceston which will then become a Launceston Hub for smaller rural primary schools to cluster around. We have expressions of interest in this model from a number of such local schools.

We consider the potential of providing a “through school” education is considerable. We will ensure that there is no dip in learning from Reception to Year 11. The close links with the secondary school in the MAT and the school’s geographical proximity will ensure pupils will have access for both specialist teaching and access to specialist facilities. The cross phase development of pedagogy will enable best practice to aid the development of learning in both the primary and secondary phases.

The rationale for the development of the school on this site is twofold: basic need for pupil places in the expanding town of Launceston and providing parental choice in the area. Cornwall Council has identified the need for additional school places in the town and has secured S106 funding and acquisition of land as a result of house building near to the Launceston College site. The three other primary schools in the town are oversubscribed and confined by their sites limiting their scope for expansion. The school will have a two-form entry from Reception to Year 6

The ethos of the new school will be different to that of the other three primary schools in the town which are part of a single MAT. The new school will focus on high academic achievement with an ethos of developing character and creativity in young people. This will add to the choice available for parents in the area.

The vision for the new school is consistent with that of the MAT: for children to become successful, responsible and happy young people by learning the knowledge skills and values which are important for society.

We will expect our pupils to challenge what they think they are capable of and exceed these expectations. We will set clear and ambitious targets for children to achieve; these will be set in a way that clearly demonstrates the flight path of achievement that a child is on. Progress will be assessed against this trajectory throughout the year. It will be reported on at six key points per year and this information will be shared with parents who will become collaborators in their children’s education.

The MAT has exceptionally high expectations for the achievement of all students. It is our expectation that disadvantaged children in the school will make as least as much progress as the average of all children nationally.

The school will have longer opening hours than other schools locally. The school day will be from 8:30am to 4:30pm for 190 days per year. This will ensure the necessary learning time can be given to the development of literacy and numeracy without narrowing the curriculum.

The MAT has demonstrated that we have a relentless focus on continually improving the quality of our teaching and learning and we see this as key to providing an outstanding education for our pupils. The MAT is driven by principles and we rely on these being consistently applied in our organisational systems, sophisticated quality assurance procedures and effective governance, at both local and strategic level, will ensure that outstanding pupil outcomes are achieved.

We have exceptionally high expectations for the behaviour of all pupils across the MAT, we never lower these expectations for anyone but increase the level of support for those who need it, as we believe that no student has the right to take away another’s right to learn. Launceston College has an outstanding track record with behaviour and safety and this will continue to the new school. We will ensure that all pupils behave responsibly, are kept safe and develop practices that will give them the skills and knowledge to remain safe in the modern world.

The school will be characterised as a happy place with a strong emphasis on respectful relationships in the school. The pastoral system will be structured around a house system which will provide care for the pupils, a communication mechanism for parents and the chance to compete, be creative and be compassionate.

The curriculum will be strongly supported by a co-curriculum with all students following our “A plus award”. This will ensure that pupils are rewarded for adventurous activities, participating in sport and creative activity, achieving their learning goals, understanding others from different backgrounds and developing the skills they need to be successful. Our pupils will receive meaningful praise and have their achievements recognised so that they become confident individuals and are proud of whom they are.

The curriculum will be ambitious, broad and balanced with an academic focus on mastering the key skill of literacy and numeracy whilst emphasising creative and expressive learning thought the curriculum. There will be a theme of adventurous learning which runs throughout the school; our curriculum will enable students to define their aspirations and then to achieve them. The balance of learning time will be a minimum of 50% literacy and numeracy, 30% science, humanities and learning a modern foreign language and 20% of creative, technological and physical learning, with all pupils engaging in a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day. Learning will be in themes and these themes will be carefully chosen to inspire all students with their learning.

To ensure that our students are prepared for learning and their learning prepares them for life, there will be a spiral skills development programme which develops the essential skills of: creativity, team work, resilience, independence, communication and self-reflection. This will permeate throughout their learning and develop as the pupils progress through the school. All students will take part in a residential experience in Years 3 and 5 (and then 7 and 9 at secondary school), to aid this skills development.

The success of the school will be built on strong relationships through the school and the wider community ensuring that pupils know, understand and respect the diversity within the school, the local area, our country and the world. They will develop a respect for the environment and an understanding and tolerance of others that will ensure that they become successful, responsible and happy world citizens.