Claverham Community College

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Claverham Community College
Claverham Community College Logo.svg
Established 1955 (1955)
Type Community school
Principal Mr Paul Swatton
Location North Trade Road
East Sussex
TN33 0HT
Coordinates: 50°54′58″N 0°28′01″E / 50.916°N 0.467°E / 50.916; 0.467
Local authority East Sussex
DfE number 845/4025
DfE URN 114584 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff ~70
Capacity 1120
Students c. 1170
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–16
Houses Caldbec, Montjoie, Oakwood, Santlache, Telleham
Colours Purple, Blue, Silver Red & Green
Publication Claverham Chronicle

Claverham Community College (often known simply as Claverham) is a comprehensive secondary school/community college in Battle, East Sussex, England.[1] It has a specialisms in sports and ICT, and has excellent sports facilities such as a climbing wall, Community Sports Hall, gym, dance studio, fitness suite, extensive playing fields including football and rugby pitches, an all weather astroturf area for a variety of activities & courts for netball, hockey, tennis, etc.

Claverham Community College is a mixed comprehensive school for pupils aged 11-16 and a Community College. It has approximately 1150 pupils and about 2500 associates of the College who are involved in the life of the College Community either through adult evening classes or as a result of membership of affiliated societies.

The Community College was established in 1973 and was developed from the former Battle County Secondary School built in 1955. In school terms the College became fully comprehensive in 1976 and now serves the educational needs of all children between the ages of 11 and 16 in Battle and the neighbouring villages of Ashburnham, Catsfield, Crowhurst, Hooe (north), Netherfield, Ninfield, Penhurst, Sedlescombe, Whatlington and Westfield.

In addition to this traditional intake area, the College attracts pupils in relatively large numbers from an additional 40 Primary Schools in the Rye, Hastings, Bexhill, Pevensey and Eastbourne areas in particular. Claverham was designated as a training school in September 2000 and achieved Specialist Sports College Status, with ICT as the second specialism, with effect from September 2006.

The school also achieved an "Outstanding" from Ofsted in its last two inspections.[1]


The college takes its title from the Anglo-Saxon pre-conquest description of the particular area in which it is situated - place of clover or good pasture. The college opened in 1955 and has been fortunate in having enjoyed considerable stability in that up to the time of the appointment of the present Principal (2008) there had been only four changes of leadership since that time with each one having made his own unique contribution to the development of the College. Robert Davies (1955-1958) gave the school a firm foundation. Peter Court (1958-1980) is most associated with the establishment of the school as one of three community colleges in East Sussex (the others being Portslade and Uplands, Wadhurst). The philosophy underpinning this concept was that a school should act as a focal point for its community opening its facilities to the general public during evenings and weekends. A wide range of adult education courses and activities was established as well as a youth centre housed in separate premises in the town. Christopher Thompson (1980-1992) built on the community provision with the establishment of the Battle Area Sports Centre and the Claverham Day Nursery while at the same time making a wide range of radical changes to the pastoral and academic organisation of the College, in particular by abandoning mixed ability teaching groups and replacing these with the setting of pupils by ability by subject throughout the academic subject range. This was also accompanied by the introduction of criteria based twice termly pupil assessments, the close monitoring of pupils and staff in regard to the setting, completion and marking of homework and careful oversight of lesson preparation and teaching standards. In regard to pastoral care, a fully fledged vertical house system was developed. When first opened, there were originally four houses. Mountjoy, Middleborough, Sandlach, and Telham - the names of the houses being derived from post conquest place names given by the Normans to areas of the battleground which had been significant in the action. However, originally, these house groupings did not form the core of the pastoral system which was, instead, based upon a horizontal year system. In 1981 the name Middleborough was replaced by that of Caldbec, and the houses became the key part of the pastoral care provision, replacing the existing horizontal year structure with a 'family' vertical structure where all staff and pupils shared loyalties to organisations within the College as well as to the college as a whole. The College Houses, each represented by a different colour and with all girls and boys wearing house ties incorporating their particular house colour alongside the blue and yellow College stripes - Calbec purple, Montjoie blue, Santlache red, Telham green and then, in 2008, Oakwood silver, when this additional house was introduced. These changes in academic and pastoral organisation facilitated the development of a strong ethos of high expectations in regard to all aspects of the life of the College - in particular, high standards of pastoral care, pupil discipline and attainment. Richard Pitts (1992-2008) greatly further consolidated the ethos of the College while overseeing considerable building developments including four new laboratories and classrooms, and further expansion of pupil numbers as the reputation of the college continued to grow. Starting from the first christmas, the school started using the Vivo Miles system replacing the old merit system.


The College is located about one mile (0.00001 km) west of the very attractive petite market town of Battle and is situated within 42 acres of most attractive wood and parkland with extensive playing fields and natural land and aquatic habits.

The main school buildings reflect a variety of architectural styles and both externally and internally the College is architecturally interesting, attractively decorated and has a warm and friendly atmosphere, although it is known amongst past and present students for its sometimes overly strict rules, especially with regards to uniform policy, and its sometimes unfriendly attitude to students who follow subcultures like 'Goth'(especially in the late 90s and early 2000s).

The College grounds incorporate land which belonged formerly to the Battle Abbey Estate and are immediately adjacent to the site of the Battle of Hastings. As might be expected, the geographical position is an elevated one within sight of the sea.


Claverham Community College offers many courses to its students. Below are the subjects available at Key Stage 3:

English, Maths, Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), French, Spanish, German, ICT, Food Technology, Product Design, Music, History, Religious Studies, Geography, Classics (Year 7-8), Latin (Top 2 Sets Year 8 and optional in Year 9), Art and Physical Education.

At GCSE, students are required to take the following courses:

English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Science and Religious Studies. In addition, most students will be given a language to take during their GCSEs as well as the option to take another.

Students are then available to choose several of these optional GCSEs:

French, Spanish, German, ICT, Media Studies, Food Technology, Product Design, Drama, Music, History, Geography, Latin, Physical Education, Dance, Art, Art Graphics and Textiles.

The college also offers the following vocational courses:

Hospitality, Travel & Tourism, Land & Environment and Health & Social Care.

The college now offers the chance for pupils to take a Diploma worth four GCSEs instead of sitting ten GCSEs. The Diploma courses are for: ICT, Sports and Environmental & Land base studies.

Note: some students have the option of taking Science Btec for GCSE which gives them two GCSE qualifications, worth either A*-C without taking and exam.

Sports and traditions[edit]

The College as a designated Specialist Sports College has many modern sporting facilities including full access to the local Battle Sports Centre, with a full indoor sports hall, dance studio and fitness suite. It also has outdoor football and rugby pitches and tennis courts. It also has an indoor gym which features a climbing wall.

House/Prefect System[edit]

At Claverham the house which a student belongs to can easily be identified through the colour of their tie; where the College operates around a five house system.

In Year Eleven, a select number of students from each house, approximately 10% of the year with 20 from each house, will be chosen as college prefects. As a reward for performing duties around the school, they are entitled to wear a college prefect tie, house badge (as the prefect tie does not distinguish between houses) there are no prefect rooms at break and lunch like there used to be.

The college awards the following titles to prefects:

  • Head Boy3
  • Head Girl3
  • Deputy Head Boy3
  • Deputy Head Girl3
  • Head Boy of House
  • Head Girl of House
  • Deputy Head Boy of House
  • Deputy Head Girl of House
  • Prefect
  • Music Prefect
  • Sports Prefect2,5
  • Travel Prefect2,4

1Oakwood Seniors are house prefects chosen to cover the vacuum of prefects created by the addition of the fifth house.
2Do not receive benefits listed above, Are not included in quota.
3Chosen from the Head Boy/Girl of each house.
4Now identified by Lozenge badge rather than shield badge
5White shield badge, does not distinguish between houses

Note: The senior prefect title was officially removed for the year beginning September 2009. Badges are still worn by Heads and Deputies of each house and also by all who applied for head of Montjoie house (at Mr Wilson's discretion). However, HoH are beginning to give pupils the title of senior prefect once again.

Heads and Deputy Heads of the college wear a Yellow badge in addition to their house badge(s).