Richard Huish College, Taunton
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Richard Huish College Front Sign, December 2015
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Richard Huish College is named after benefactor Richard Huish, a Taunton wool merchant from the 17th century who made his fortune in London. When he died in 1615, his will included monies to establish an educational facility in Taunton which came into fruition as a grammar school for boys in the 18th century. Since 1979, Richard Huish College has been a sixth form college. It is located on a single site in South Road, about a mile from the centre of Taunton, the county town of Somerset, England.
The College received an outstanding grade from Ofsted in 2007. The College has been consistently ranked in the top 10% when compared to all educational institutions in the country for its students' added value. Added value indicates how well a school/college has brought on pupils from one test level to another. It focuses on how much students have improved, whatever their ability. In November 2015, The Sunday Times Schools Guide published sixth form college league tables showing that Richard Huish College, is the top sixth form college in the South West of England and 15th in the country out of 93.
The College attracts students from a wide geographical area around the town, as well as from the schools in Taunton. The College also attracts students from the strong independent sector in Taunton, from other counties in the United Kingdom and has a growing International student community.
The College has around 2,000 full-time students aged 16 to 18 studying A Levels and BTEC courses, There are also more than 500 students studying Apprenticeships, Higher Education or Professional Qualifications. A small number of GCSEs are offered for 16-year-old students wanting to progress to the sixth form. The College places a strong emphasis on the breadth of its enrichment activities for students.
The College occupies a site of 8 hectares (20 acres), of which 70% is sports fields, in the south of Taunton. The College buildings, which range in age from 1880 to 2015 take their names from some of the trees that cover the campus.The site is alleged to have previously been an Aboretum.
Over the period 2000–2009, a variety of building projects have resulted in the Willow Building, the Hawthorn Building, Linden, and in 2009 Rowan House, each providing outstanding facilities for teaching and learning, with additional facilities for music and sport. In 2003, the Learning Centre at the heart of the campus, which is named after the science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, a former pupil of Huish's Grammar School, was extended and completely refurbished.
In 2006 the sports dome was opened, which at the time was a ground breaking project for an inflatable dome for sports. It is due to be replaced during 2016, by a sports hall, including a viewing area, gym, changing facilities and a classroom.
During 2015, a new cafe area and social space was built, including the first floor Redwood Suite. The cafe area includes a Costa Coffee. The Redwood Centre was renovated to house the drama and dance studios.
There is a campus wide Wi-Fi network installed so that staff and students are able to use compatible mobile devices to access the College network. Summer 2008 saw the removal of all the printers campus wide. These were replaced with more Multi-Function Devices that have been configured with ‘Follow me Printing’.
Staff and Students can also work from home using the Colleges 'Remote Desktop' service and can loan books from the LC using the ‘self-service’ kiosk. Students can use any of the three banks of ‘self-issue’ laptop lockers to enable them to access IT resources anywhere on campus.
More recently, the College's desktop machines are all being upgraded to 64 bit operating systems across the Microsoft and Apple networks.
Over the summer of 2015 the College internet connection on the JANET network was upgraded to 500MB and industry standard software has been deployed across all of the College workstations, including Microsoft Office products and Adobe Creative Cloud. Investment is being made in new ‘interactive TVs’ rather than projector based smart boards.
The College offers a large range of A Level and BTEC subjects. There are more than 45 subjects offered at A Level (Level 3). As well as traditional school subjects, many other A Level subjects are offered such as archaeology, classical civilisation, dance, economics, environmental studies, geology, government and politics, law, photography, psychology, sociology and statistics.
An increasing range of BTEC courses (Level 3 vocational courses equivalent to A Levels) are offered. They currently include applied science, business, creative media production, graphic design, health and social care/health sciences, information technology, music production, popular music and sport. A small number of GCSEs are offered for those wanting to progress to the sixth form. The College places a strong emphasis on the breadth of its enrichment activities for students.
The College also delivers Apprenticeships and Traineeships in the areas of accountancy, medical administration, business and administration, call centre operations, customer service, healthcare, IT user and IT professional, team leading and management, health and social care.
At Level 4 and above, the College offers FdA and BA degrees in business and sports development and coaching,and professional courses in Accountancy (AAT, ACCA and CIMA) and Institute of Leadership and Management course (ILM),
There are also short courses in computer skills available and bespoke training services.
More information on the College's courses can be found at www.huish.ac.uk.
- 2003/2004 - 99.3% pass rate
- 2004/2005 - 99.7% pass rate: A-B: 71%
- 2005/2006 - 99.8%+ pass rate: A-B: 75%
- 2006/2007 - 99.2%+ pass rate: A-B: 74%
- 2007/2008 - 99%+ pass rate: A-B: 55%
- 2008/2009 - 99%+ pass rate: A-B: 69%
- 2009/2010 - 99.3% pass rate: A-B: 55.9%
- 2010/2011 - 99.4% pass rate: A-B: 58.8%
- 2011/2012 - 99.1% pass rate: A-B: 56.5%
- 2012/2013 - 99.1% pass rate: A-B: 55.2%
- 2013/2014 - 98.7% pass rate: A-B: 55%
- 2014/2015 - 99% pass rate: A-B: 57%
- Andrew Castle, former British number one tennis player and television presenter.
- Arthur C. Clarke, author and inventor.
- Stephen Daldry, film and theatre director. His films include Billy Elliot (2000), The Hours (2002), The Reader (2008) and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011).
- William Gibson, Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford Brookes University
- David Hembrow, Olympic swimmer who represented GB in the 1968 Mexico Olympics.
- Rebecca Huxtable, co-presenter on Radio 1.
- Keith Parsons, cricketer.
- Andy Robinson, former head coach of the England national rugby union team.
Huish Sport runs a sports enrichment programme. Each year, over 500 students participate in Huish Sport across 19 different sports.
Richard Huish College currently offers performance sport programmes for Cricket, Football, Rugby and Basketball. There is also the 'Active Huish' scheme which encourages students to take part in sports they previously would not have considered and also provides a more relaxed atmosphere in which to exercise.
- "Department for Children, Schools and Families". Retrieved 2008-06-06.