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Welcome to Richard Taunton Sixth Form College

About Us

We are an academy, and a founding member of the Lighthouse Learning Trust, offering over 30 full-time A Level and over 35 vocational courses for 16-19 year olds,  together with a wide and varied range of enrichment activities and career guidance opportunities.  Due to our unique size, we are able to offer our students a friendly, supportive and caring environment where their individual needs are met on an academic and a pastoral level. 

Our class sizes, 1:1 tutor sessions, Upgrade learning support, gifted and talented academies and progression measures, such as  regular teacher review meetings and working at grade reviews, mean that each student gets the individual support and encouragement that they need. We put equal importance on developing our students so that they become independent adults and take personal responsibility for their own learning and progress.

The college also offers a number of part-time adult education courses and embraces and supports the local community of Southampton by opening its doors for evening and weekend lettings.

Based in Upper Shirley, in the heart of Southampton, our college is situated right next to Southampton Common and is accessible by a host of bus routes. 

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Passionate About Learning

The Context of the College

Richard Taunton’s is a vibrant Sixth Form College in the West of Southampton. Our core business is to provide full time education to 16-19 year olds (currently around 1000) but we also offer part-time adult education courses and provide facilities for a wide range of other community-based activities (including the Open University) in the evenings and at weekends. The College is firmly rooted in its community and it is our vision to be the sixth form of choice for all our community, an outstanding, high achieving college which inspires and challenges young people to be the best that they can be.   

We are working in close partnership with primary and secondary schools and colleges, with our local universities and with the local authority in Southampton, to raise standards and increase post-16 participation and progression. We work with our partners to make Southampton’s schools and colleges irresistible to the families who live in Southampton and in the surrounding area. We also champion positive progression beyond college to Higher Education or into robust employment-related training schemes.

The College takes partnership and collaboration very seriously. We are members of the national Association of Colleges and the Sixth Form Colleges’ Association.  More locally, we are part of the Wessex Group of Sixth Form Colleges, and work closely with the 9 other colleges in Hampshire, Southampton and Portsmouth to provide the best development opportunities for staff and to enhance the experience and success of our students.   We are also active members of the Solent Colleges’ Innovation Partnership which links the six Sixth Form Colleges which sit in urban communities across the coastal area of the Solent.

Making a Difference

Richard Taunton’s staff and governors are united by a desire to make a difference to young people’s life chances. There is a strong focus on providing high quality teaching, learning and assessment complemented by outstanding individual support. We set out to meet the needs of a wide range of students so we have a full range of academic and vocational courses at Levels 1 to 3.  

Tutorial, Support for Students and 'Prep'

Almost all teaching staff act as a personal tutor to groups of about 20 students who they also teach. As a personal tutor, the teacher’s prime role is to be a learning mentor, monitoring progress, intervening proactively to support improvement, helping individuals to develop positive study habits and achieve the right balance between paid employment and college work.   Tutors are required to meet with their tutees not only as a group, but on a 1:1 basis as well.  Tutors are tasked with tracking individual progress, identifying problems at an early stage and acting upon this information as appropriate.  This may mean offering advice on a higher education application or career path, liaising with other subject staff or organising additional subject support. We have developed an innovative approach whereby the focus of tutorial work is developed in a weekly 45 minute session called ‘Prep’.  In this session, as well as carrying out 1 to 1 conversations about progress, the tutor works with the group to develop a culture of independent study and mutual support.   Parents are encouraged to be involved in the progress of their children and regular consultation events are held.


Student Voice & Extra Curricular Activities


The College also takes learner involvement and learner voice very seriously and actively seeks to engage students in the consultation and decision-making processes in the College. There is a Student Union with an elected committee, whose main officers have regular meetings with College managers and also serve as Student Governors. Students organised their own social activities and are actively involved in promoting the College. There is also a high level of commitment from staff to providing extra-curricular opportunities for our students.

A great place to work and a great place to learn

If you are an individual with a passion for education, a commitment to lifelong learning and a desire to make a difference to young people of all abilities and backgrounds, you will thrive here.   We are highly committed to the development of our staff, providing annual opportunities to access management training programmes run by the Wessex Group and an extensive range of curriculum specific networks and exam board training.   We also play a very active part in the local school and college network in Southampton which links our staff with colleagues in our local institutions and provides opportunity to get involved in outreach work with schools to support successful transition to college.  

Lighthouse Learning Trust

We are a founding member of the Lighthouse Learning Trust, a multi-academy trust, created in partnership with St Vincent College in Gosport. This partnership is based upon shared values and our existing relationship, which has seen us collaborate on many teaching and support services projects.

This strategic move, which has been two years in the planning, was a conscious decision made by both academy leadership teams and governors to protect and enhance the quality of teaching and broad-ranging curriculum offer.

Benefits

Students at both academies, and indeed future students from their local communities, are able to benefit significantly from pooled resources, knowledge and expertise as well as added investment, made possible through joint economies of scale in areas such as purchasing, as well as the VAT exemption awarded to academies.

Governance

The Trust is a single legal entity with a dedicated executive team and board of trustees, which is accountable for the governance and performance of both academies. Matt Atkinson (Former Principal of St Vincent College) is the CEO for the Trust.  Staff from both academies are employed directly by the Trust. Click here for more details about the governance of the Trust.

Message from our Head of College

What we stand for

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Richard Taunton is a community united by our desire to make a positive difference to each and every one of our students. We focus on providing strong teaching and learning, complimented by fantastic student support.

We have a dedicated provision for gifted and talented students in and also provide specialist support for talented musicians in our School of Music, and for high-performing sportspeople through our Talented Athlete Scheme.

Richard Taunton is a great place to learn and develop: our students will tell you that. Come and check us out by attending one of our Open Evenings – you’ll get the chance to look around the college, speak to our students and staff and find out why we’re a great place to work.

Dr. Liz Lee, Head of College

Location

Find Us

Richard Taunton Sixth Form College

Richard Taunton Sixth Form College
Hill Ln
Southampton
SO155RL
UK