Parkside Community College

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Parkside Community College
Established 1913
Type Academy
Headteacher Andrew Hutchinson OBE
Chair Dr Mark Carrington
Location Parkside
England England Coordinates: 52°12′16″N 0°07′43″E / 52.20441°N 0.12851°E / 52.20441; 0.12851
DfE URN 136636 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 666
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–19
Trust The City of Cambridge Education Foundation
Website Parkside Federation

Parkside Community College is a secondary academy school with 600 places for children aged 11–16, situated in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. It is part of the Parkside Federation, along with Coleridge Community College.


The grassed area next to the school used for recreation

The college has two specialisms in arts and languages. The College is situated in the centre of the city, north of Parker's Piece. It is now a member of the Parkside Federation along with Coleridge Community College under principal Andrew Hutchinson. Parkside was the first school to be designated a specialist media arts college in 1997, under the UK government's specialist schools programme. It has developed a second specialism in Modern Foreign Languages. Although called a 'community college', it is neither a community school nor a college but had foundation status since 2003 and then became an academy.

It is situated east of the A603 and next to the main Cambridge Parkside police station and the National Express coach stops. It is east of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.


The long history of the school is related in An Epoch-Making School, by former Deputy Principal Rosemary Gardiner (1983), which presents the transformations of the school from its origin as the Higher Grade Schools in Melbourne Place (1913), through its successive incarnations as the Central School for Boys and Girls and then Cambridge Grammar School for Girls.

Research work[edit]

Teddies in Space - taken in near space at 30,000m (19 miles - the edge of space is 66 miles): a project with Cambridge University Spaceflight

Its work as a specialist media arts college has been documented in a number of research studies by staff at the school. These include studies of an extensive primary school animation project (e.g. Burn and Parker, 2001), run in conjunction with the Cambridge Film Consortium, a group composed of Anglia Ruskin University, City Screen (an Arts cinema chain), the Cambridge Film Festival, and Parkside itself.

The most recent and comprehensive account of the school’s media work, giving examples of work in digital video, computer games, animation, and television drama, as well as work across the curriculum, is provided in Burn and Durran’s Media Literacy in Schools (2007).

On 1 December 2008, the Nova 9 helium balloon took two space-suited teddies close to the edge of space from the grounds of Churchill College, Cambridge. The space suits were designed by 11-13 year olds at the school. The journey took just over two hours. The teddies descended back to Earth and landed near Ipswich, being located by GPS equipment.

Academic performance[edit]

It gets well above average results at GCSE - the best for state schools in Cambridge. With around 60 state schools nationwide, the school plans to offer the IGCSE especially in science subjects, largely prompted by the scientists among its pupils' parents.

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Burn A & Parker D (2001), ‘Making your Mark: Digital Inscription, Animation, and a New Visual Semiotic’, Education, Communication & Information, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp 155–179 (and online at
  • Burn, A and Durran, J (2007) Media Literacy in Schools: practice, production and progression. London: Paul Chapman
  • Gardiner, R (1983) An Epoch-Making School, Parkside Community College: Cambridge

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Audio clips[edit]

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