Governors, Staff, students and guests have celebrated the first birthday of Bath’s newest sixth form provision, The New Sixth.
The £2.8 million facility for students at Saint Gregory’s Bath and St Mark’s Church of England School opened in September 2013 and now provides more than 25 A Level and BTEC courses to students across Years 12 and 13.
The party was held on Friday 17th October with guests of honour including the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Cherry Beath, Leader of the Council, Councillor Paul Crossley, People and Communities Strategic Director for B&NES, Ashley Ayre, together with representatives from both the Clifton Diocese and the Diocese of Bath and Wells.
The event was hosted by the Headteachers from both schools, Raymond Friel from Saint Gregory’s Bath and Barnaby Ash from St Mark’s Church of England School, to celebrate the collaboration of both schools one year on.
Headteacher at Saint Gregory’s Bath, Raymond Friel, thanked everyone for attending and told of the long journey that both schools have gone through to make The New Sixth a reality.
He said the federation between St Gregory’s and St Mark’s was already proving to be a great success.
“The New Sixth is an exciting collaboration between St Mark’s Church of England School and Saint Gregory’s Bath to create a very unique sixth form provision in the state sector in Bath and North East Somerset with an explicitly Christian foundation.”
“Our journey was at times a challenge,” he said, “but in the end what we have in common mattered more than what we don’t have in common and a vision was created for educating our young people in a setting which is Christian in its ethos while being faithful to both traditions.”
Mr Friel welcomed Mr Ash to the family of Saint Gregory’s and St Mark’s after his recent appointment as Headteacher at St Mark’s School.
“The appointment of Barnaby as Headteacher at St Mark’s was always part of the wider strategy for both schools and I am delighted to be working with him on our shared sixth form provision and continuing to develop the Federation for the benefit of our young people.”
Mr Ash thanked guests, staff and students for making him feel so welcome to both schools and spoke of his ambitions to further improve the opportunities for students through shared facilities and teaching.
“The New Sixth is a very impressive facility and I am looking forward to developing the offer for our students even further in the coming months and years. Raymond and I have already had a number of very positive conversations regarding our vision for The New Sixth and how it will continue to grow as an outstanding sixth form facility in Bath and North East Somerset.”
Mr Friel also spoke about the second phase of the sixth form scheme, which includes plans for a 250-seat auditorium and a pastoral centre.
“I am very excited by Phase 2 of The New Sixth and the development of this site to encompass a much-needed hub for both students of The New Sixth and the local community.”
The Gateway Fundraising Campaign was launched to find the additional £1.5 million needed for this development with a significant sum already raised. Fundraising efforts are already underway for this year’s target starting with a whole school challenge at Saint Gregory’s to raise £100k in 2014-15.
He continued, “Our schools have always been ‘outward-facing’ – very much part of their communities – and our intention is that this next phase of our project will not only benefit our students but the people of the local community.”
“The Gateway Campaign has already made excellent progress thanks to the generous support of many local organisations and charities, not to mention our PTAs and parents. We will continue to build on this in the coming weeks and months and welcome discussions with partners who may share in our vision and wish to be a part of a very exciting future for both schools.”
Applications are now welcome for students wishing to join the New Sixth from September 2015. The deadline for application is Friday 20 December. Application details can be found at www.newsixthbath.org.uk/howtoapply.
For further information or to arrange a visit, please contact The New Sixth on 01225 838232.