Sir Harry Smith Community College

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Sir Harry Smith Community College
Motto Committed to learning and success for all
Established 1954
Type Academy
Headteacher Mr Jonathan Digby
Location Eastrea Road
England Coordinates: 52°33′32″N 0°07′05″W / 52.55891°N 0.11806°W / 52.55891; -0.11806
Local authority Cambridgeshire
DfE URN 110870 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1079 [1]
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18

Sir Harry Smith Community College is a secondary school in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire. Opened in 1954 on the former site of the Whittlesey Workhouse, the College is named after 19th Century English Army General Sir Harry Smith who was born in Whittlesey, and whose grave is situated in the cemetery adjacent to the school. The college specialises in science and mathematics.

The school was noted for its racing car project, headed by Mr. Kneeshaw, who, with a team of mechanics, built a biofuel car to be entered into the 2008 Silverstone 24 hour race.

The school raised over £1400 in 2008 for 'Children in Need' and broke the world record for the largest number of people doing the Conga at once, beating the previous record by 10 people. During Children In Need the previous year, the school broke the world record for the most people performing the children's song, Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.

In September 2008, current Principal Jonathan Digby joined the school. On 1 April 2012, Sir Harry Smith Community College officially gained Academy status, enabling the school to operate more independently through a new charitable company, the Sir Harry Smith Academy Trust.[2]

Additions and Improvements[edit]

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, many improvements and extensions were made to the school's DT, Music, Drama, P.E. and English blocks.[3] On 14 May 2009, the new 'Laurie Richards Community Centre' opened. In recent times a special support unit named after EastEnders actor David Proud, who attended the school, has also been added.

Plans for major refurbishment of most of the school are part of the Fenland Building Schools for the Future scheme. Detailed plans were submitted to Cambridgeshire County Council in February 2011. They included a large extension to accommodate classrooms and Supportive Skills rooms, a spacious modern canteen, and new drama studios on the front of the main building.[4] Other alterations were to be carried out inside, such as the creation of new science laborotories, seminar rooms, and the refurbishment of all existing classrooms. A large overhaul of the heating and electrics was planned too.[5]

Preparatory work commenced in August 2011, and in early September the caretaker's house was demolished. Construction of the new classroom block began shortly after, followed by the refurbishment of four classrooms that were completed by January 2012. Subsequently, other existing areas of the school were closed off and rooms relocated so that all rooms could ultimately be renovated. Major work on the new classroom block was complete by May 2012 and the first new classrooms opened in June. Work on the new canteen was undertaken throughout 2012, being completed in time for the new school year, whilst the new drama block, for which groundworks began in July 2012, opened in December. The front end of the school, incorporating the entrance foyer, reception and administrative departments, was extensively remodelled in order to create a more functional layout.[6]

Notable former pupils[edit]

  • Micky Gynn, FA cup winning footballer
  • David Proud, Former Eastenders Actor, after whom the school's SEN suite is named