Sawston Village College
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Based on 6 reviews and 102 answers
Rylan Hancock
Former Student
Feb 9, 2022

Decent lessons, bad everything else

Sawston is a good school on paper. Good academic scores, many good clubs in a range of subjects led by people who are generally passionate about the subject, and lovely, historical buildings with nice outdoor areas.

However, the school's handling of abuse, bullying, and harassment were absolutely awful and unacceptable. Racism, Homophobia, Transphobia, and Ableism were rife through both students and teachers.

Starting with the most mild part, bullying was handled badly. Reporting it to the head of year or other staff mostly got ignored until parents intervened, and even then at most the perpetrator got was a lunchtime detention.

Unfortunately, it didn't stop with bullying.

On multiple occasions, myself and my friends were stalked, harassed, and physically assaulted both on and off school grounds by other students. Again, this was completely ignored by the school. A several students set out with the intent to seriously maim us, and fully intended to put us in the hospital in a racist and homophobic attack. Luckily no one was seriously hurt, but when it was brought to the school, it was completely brushed off since it happened down the road next to the school instead of directly on school grounds. We put up with more threats and attacks on school grounds from the same people, and again we were ignored until we had to get the police involved. After which the school suddenly became very interested, but still only dolled out detentions.

There were good things about Sawston, but they were overwhelmed by the blatant disregard for students wellbeing.

If you're looking to send your child here and they're anything at all out of the ordinary, then I'd recommend avoiding this school, or at least making sure that they have a solid support system to deal with it.
This is a subjective opinion of a SchoolParrot user and not of SchoolParrot
Jul 16, 2021

Great school- everything I could ask for!

The teachers there are amazing and they all catered to the students individual needs throughout the lock down! Admittedly the school attracts some quite mean students but the staff are all helpful and supportive (they have an lgbtq support club run every week) and the school grounds contain a variety of learning tools such as at least 4 computer rooms and 2 cooking rooms as well as a hair dressing room which all contain the things you need to boost your career.
They also have an abundance of sports equipment including an on site gym and pool! Would highly recommend sending you children here- they'll love it!
This is a subjective opinion of a SchoolParrot user and not of SchoolParrot
Former Student
Jun 11, 2021

Really great school!

So overall this school obviously had ups and downs as any school would, but I must say that even despite any negatives this school was really good!
Sure, I was relentlessly bullied throughout year 7-9 but that wasn't really the schools fault and more my own + the peers I happened to be in a year with. I never really tried to get help for the bullying so I suspect they never knew it went on.

Anyhow, in terms of education I would say they were excellent!! The majority of teachers were really engaging and great at making you interested in the subject. The content was generally taught in a very systematic way with lots of online resources like maths watch, my maths, Seneca, Sam learning, all those sort of things which were also available to students.
I must say that a teacher I found unbelievably incredible was my history teacher! She made every lesson incredibly interesting and managed to turn history into a fun subject rather than a tedious one!
Lots of other teachers that were absolutely amazing at SVC and we're all very supportive and nurturing of me and other students.

The clubs available are also excellent and there are so many opportunities to do different things! These clubs span from sports to STEM to art and more! I joined a few clubs during my time at SVC and all of them were good!

SVC also has some really fun and engaging weeks like Olympic day, Activities week and more. I must say the year 9 activities week was actually incredible! We had a STEM themed one around roller coasters where we did multiple stem related explorations around this theme as well as going to Thorpe park later in the week! I would say SVC really excelled in providing fun and engaging opportunities even outside of the directly academic area.

One notable thing I would like to mention is the quality of facilities at SVC. The DT department is great, with multiple class rooms fully set up for wood work, one where you can do metal work and then one where you can do textiles, as well as a computer room! The cooking department is also really well supplied with two classrooms for cooking! The science labs are all set up for what ever experiments you might do as well so I'd say overall, SVC was really well set up for all areas of education! Both academic and more vocational!

I look back on my time at SVC with great fondness and I must say I do miss the education there a lot now that I've moved on to the next level.

Honestly, any parent or child looking into attending this school, go for it! I don't regret coming here in the slightest and I couldn't have asked for a better school tbh. School funding in general is quite low so obviously there will be areas which are less nice due to funding but in terms of education I think this school really excells in that department!
This is a subjective opinion of a SchoolParrot user and not of SchoolParrot
Former Student
Jan 3, 2021

Exceeds brilliantly in some areas

If you plan to attend this school, you'll likely have mixed feelings about the school about it as I did, which consists both of really good highlights, and some areas this school could definitely improve on.

***(DISCLAIMER:All information given in this review is entirely opinion-based and you may have different opinions accordingly.) - reviewed by a former student. -- I do not wish to be contacted about this review in anyway, so therefore will keep this review entirely anonymous, any issues warranted by this review, please contact "school parrot" respectively.

Modern Science and drama and arts buildings, kitted with modern-tech equipment.

Exceptional specialist teachers (in some areas*: most notably the mathematics, computer science, music and arts, history, religious studies, which all exceeded well past my expectations, :) )

Well-kept gardens and some* beautiful architecture (for example the Henry Morris Hall and Library area, which both have well-kept gardens)

Mostly friendly/supportive community (you'll usually find a lot of support if needed at this school, however it will usually depend on the problem)

Variety of lunchtime and afterschool clubs (The school offered a wide variety of clubs both in-school and after-school to advance student's knowledge in subjects and particular interests, for example, STEM club offered by the science department)

Sports and field areas (The school consists of a community gym and pool area, as well as tennis courts, astro-turf and a large playing field, as well as many sporting activities)

Locations to study (I believe the social space and places to study of the school are satisfactory, with two main areas to study, being the computer science rooms and the library, as well as a large canteen to socialise in, and a large playing field in the summer months)

*NEGATIVES* (areas that could be improved to improve the overall experience at school*)

Cleaning, hygiene and facility management(in my opinion, I believe the overall cleanliness of the school whilst I was there was poor, mainly poor/gross bathroom facility condition and dirty and unsanitry changing room environments, which could all be improved.

Food and canteen (When I first started at the school, the initial food supplier they had in my opinion was a lot better to who they have now, the prices were cheaper, and in my opinion the food was of a lot higher quality and more appetising. The food supplier changed during my time at the school to supposedly more healthier options which I believe to be overpriced for the quality of the food that was served, and I believe the overall attitude/friendliness of the staff within the kitchen could be improved, however in comparison to other schools and environments, the food I can safely say isn't too bad :) )

Substitute/"Supply" Teachers (During my time at SVC, I have had a wide range of supply teachers to cover my classes when the normal teacher has been absent. The supply teachers range from being fairly good (where I actually had learnt something from the lesson) to out-right questionable and poor (where the lesson/s had been completely disrupted, and potentially had a negative affect on my overall grades/in particular subjects in the school due to the poor quality of teaching given by the supply teachers. For example, handing out the same worksheet several times in a row (which may be down to mis-communication, to the supply being "rude" and outright refusing to teach the class and leaving the class, which still annoys me to this day, as I believe I could have performed better in class and my grades with a better supply teacher. - I acknowledge that finding supply teachers to cover a class is hard for the school, but I believe it should have more management so situations like this do not re-occur.)

Quality of resources and state of buildings (Their is a large contrast in the school as some areas of the school are absolutely beautiful and well-kept, as other areas really require improvement, for example, ripped carpets, unpleasent odours, destroyed lockers) As for the quality of resources (ripped, dated and heavily graffitied books and revision-guides) I acknowledge that with education finance cuts that it is harder for the school to acquire new books, but I believe more should be done to preserve the state of the resources used within the school, most notably the quality of the resources in the English and Languages department I believe could be improved.

Management/Handling of bullying and other matters to be dealt with (I believe the overall handling over bullying could be improved heavily, as seen from several perspectives, I feel the overall management of bullying is fairly weak.) For example, not being strict enough on those who disrupt the lessons (i.e acting up in class) for others in the class.

Attitude of staff and teachers (This has been a mixed feeling for me as I believe some of the teachers at this establishment have been exceptional and should be really proud of themselves, however I believe some of the staff at the school could improve on their attitude at the school.)

*In conclusion*

This school strives and exceeds over many other schools in some areas, and lacks and falls behind in others, in my opinion, you'll likely have a mixed overall opinion of this school, but it certainly isn't a bad school, it just could be improved in various ways. (in my opinion***), I completely understand with a higher budget this school could easily fix the negatives that I have addressed in this review. 3/5 (AVERAGE***)
This is a subjective opinion of a SchoolParrot user and not of SchoolParrot
Former Student
Dec 29, 2020

Pretty decent

Pretty good for a secondary school. The work experience organised in year 10 for me was really helpful in writing up CVs and the like in the future and I know a lot of people who’s secondary schools didn’t do that. I had some really good teachers, especially the history department. The English department is really hit or miss depending on teacher, and if you’re like me youre probably doomed by the maths department from the start, as if you’re not naturally gifted they probably won’t try and help out much. Schools meals very decent, and although the art department aren’t he best at teaching the gcse course, the teachers that lead it are absolutely lovely. Pe sucks. Quite transphobic and ingrained in gender roles and the like. Some of the higher teachers are quite awful in terms of handling sensitive issues. I think out of the schools in the area, it’s pretty alright. It’s a school at the end of the day, and if you’re living local it’s probably your best bet compared to others. Had some good school trips as well.
This is a subjective opinion of a SchoolParrot user and not of SchoolParrot
Nov 25, 2020


I've encountered homophobic teachers, and casual homophobia has just bee ignored. One of the male PE teachers is kinda rude and bullied a student for their appearance alone. Some teachers are honestly just bad at teaching, though I know this comes with experience.
When taking "milestones" or low-stakes tests, the separate departments don't communicate and, as a result, students are bombarded with multiple hours of revision in the same week. This would easily be avoided if departments reviewed timetables and worked to organise this together; it's basic teamwork, come on guys.
The food is good but like... why use so much oil? Healthy eating is cool and all that jazz. BRING BACK THE BURRITOS!
Toilets can be kinda gross, not just because of students being unhygienic, but also because of basic design and some of the doors are broken on the cubicles. Instead of buying different brands of sandwiches each week, maybe spend the funds on renovations, art department supplies, and on teachers wages.
This is a subjective opinion of a SchoolParrot user and not of SchoolParrot

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