Greenhead College is a former grammar school and current sixth form college located in Huddersfield, in the county of West Yorkshire, England. The current principal is Simon Lett.
With over 2000 students, it is a relatively large college, attracting pupils from as far afield as Wakefield, Manchester, Barnsley, Bradford, Leeds, Halifax, Wetherby and even Wales. It is located next to Greenhead Park which is one of the largest parks in Huddersfield.
The college topped The Guardian and The Independent A level college league tables in 2006. It came fourth in 2007 and sixth in 2008. It is also The Sunday Times Sixth Form College of the Year 2014-2015.
Students usually study 3 subjects at A level. The college is quite flexible with respect to courses being studied, with a significant proportion of students studying 4 A Levels. There are over 30 different subjects for students to study.
Prospective students are informed that all applicants will be interviewed, and pre-interview selection criteria can be applied because of the number of external applications received.
Students from partnership feeder schools are given priority for places at the college, and are required to obtain a minimum of five GCSE C grades (including a grade C in English) to gain a place at the college. Current partner schools are All Saints Catholic High School, Almondbury High School and Language College, Colne Valley High School, North Huddersfield Trust School, Holmfirth High School, Honley High School, King James's School, Moor End Technology College, Newsome High School and Sports College, Netherhall Learning Campus, Royds Hall School and Salendine Nook High School.
Students from other schools are considered based on their mock GCSE results, a one-to-one interview and the availability of subject places, this after partner school students have been taken into consideration. Students from the Calderdale secondary schools, including The Brooksbank School, The Crossley Heath School and North Halifax Grammar School, can be accepted through the application process.
In 2005 principal Martin Rostron stated that he believed the college has been criticised for selecting only the best students, which he denied, saying that Greenhead took those of all abilities.
The Greenhead College campus is located on one site, near the centre of Huddersfield. The campus is fairly small in comparison with the number of students enrolled - however, it manages to effectively provide provision for a multitude of subjects taught.
The college has approximately 8 main buildings, all of which are internally linked. Each building represents a subject or a group of similar subjects. On 26 May 2004, the college officially opened a new building on the campus, the Conway Building. The building was dedicated to the former principal, Dr. Kevin Conway.
The college has a small football field on site and a small hockey field. Two tennis courts were replaced in early 2012 to make way for a new maths and science building, opened by the Duke of Kent. Many enrichments (extra curricular activities) offered by the college are done off campus due to the lack of outdoor space owing to the proximity to Huddersfield town centre.
In 2008 Ryder Architecture were commissioned to draw up plan for a new project with would provide a series of new buildings which were linked to the existing buildings via a central atrium hub. These buildings provided educational classrooms as well as various support and ancillary accommodation. The existing site was constrained with several existing buildings which would have caused a complex phased construction process. It was estimated that the project would cost approximately £15 million. In December 2008 a report examining the feasibility of the project was approved by the College. An application was submitted to the Learning and Skills Council in July 2009 with construction works commencing January 2010 for a duration of 2 years. Unfortunately LSC funding was not received and the project was placed on hold until alternative funding could be sourced.
There are currently around 100 teaching staff to cater for the large number of students, in addition to the canteen staff, IT technicians, lab technicians and caretakers who also serve in the college.
The College Principal is Simon Lett, who is supported by vice principals, Phil Rumsey and Christine Milsom. In addition there are subject heads and then finally the subject teachers and assistants.
Greenhead is well praised for its enrichment programmes which encourages pupils to partake in extracurricular activities designed to build students character, their personal, sporting and social interests and prepares them more effectively both for higher education and future employment. It was first introduced in 1990. Its most resent praise was from Ofsted in 2011 from their spot check report in which they said: A well-managed and excellent enrichment programme includes an extremely broad range of activities, from competitive and non-competitive team sports to Latin for beginners and from journalism to knitting and crochet. Students look forward to these opportunities that they say are fun and challenging, and participation helps to motivate them in their academic work.:
In November 2000 the college achieved its second Queen's Anniversary Prize bestowed for Curriculum development for sixth form students. When awarded the prize the award committee said: “The college’s enrichment programme is a national exemplar of what can be done at sixth-form level to extend students’ education and personal growth beyond their academic courses. The programme calls on students to develop self-reliance, promotes citizenship and prepares them to meet the world of work or further study with confidence and commitment.”
Enrichment is mandatory for student to undertake, this encourages pupils to partake supporting the programs success. There are a huge variety of courses for students to choose form including The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, sports, music and drama, information technology, voluntary services and The World Challenge; additionally students are free to start new courses on the proviso they can gain enough support for them. In 2011 a total of 79 different courses were available to students including 22 different sporting activates such as badminton, basketball, cycling, football (men and women’s), rugby (men and women’s), judo and squash and 9 different music groups. Taster sessions are provided so that students can make informed decisions.
As part of the enrichment program, pupils must undertake one week of PaWS (Projects and Work Shadowing) in their first year. Work shadowing placements include medical, political, scientific and language based jobs, usually at a senior level within the respective companies. If a pupil does not wish to do work shadowing, many projects, from circus skills to mathematical art, are available.Queen's Anniversary Prize in 1996
The Educational Institution of the Year Award in 1999
The Beacon College Award in May 1999, and again in September 2004
The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Excellence in 2000 (for the second time)
Officially announced as "outstanding" in the May 2004 Ofsted report and again in the 2008 report.
Source: Greenhead College: AwardsSunday Times Parent Power Top State Sixth Form College of the Year 2014.
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