History of the College

History of the College

Bottisham Village College was designed by well-renowned local architect Urwin and built by Ambrose of Ely during the 1930s.

The school was opened as a secondary modern on January 1st, 1937 as the second of the Cambridgeshire village colleges; these schools were the brainchild of the then Director of Education, Henry Morris: his vision was to provide a good quality of education for local children, but also to provide adult classes for local adults in the evenings and at weekends. Morris also had a passion for the Arts, and the colleges served as the local picture house, concert hall and theatre too.
The 1970s brought a period of great change for the college, mainly for the remarkable change of the school from a Secondary Modern to Comprehensive. The school buildings were extended and upgraded and many new staff were appointed. In five years, the school doubled in size as the catchment area was extended and pupils who previously attended the old Cambridge Grammar school joined Bottisham. In 1997, the school changed the uniform from blue blazers and ties to a more casual bottle green polo shirt and sweatshirt. In 2004, the school became a Humanities Specialist College. The school was recently recognised with a High Performing School status. In 2009, the school began construction of a new block on the site that would mirror the original semi-circular buildings of the school and therefore complete the initial plans for the school as they were laid out in 1937. This new building includes a new suite of english classrooms as well as a new purpose built SEN (Special Educational Needs) unit. Along with new buildings, this has also lead to the redevelopment and landscaping of the Wardens lawn as well as the installation of a new sculpture designed and constructed by the local sculptor Matt Sanderson.
We are still proud of the concept of the village college, and we do all that we can to live up to Morris’s ideals: anyone who visits the college in the evening will usually find the car-parks full and the corridors buzzing with adults on their way to study, sing, act or do some welding.
We maintain a College Archive, which contains an extensive collection of records, and memorabilia dating from 1937 to the present day; pupils at the college use the archive as they study a unit on the history of the college as part of the GCSE History course. The Archive is open to the public: anyone interested in using it should apply to the Public Library, or to Mr Gee, Head of History.