In 2012 a group of Salisbury school governors and parents, with the support of the headteachers from the Laverstock secondary schools, proposed the idea for a new sixth form college in Salisbury. The college was to be separate from any other educational establishment in Salisbury and provide a world class level 3 provision.
The need for a new sixth form college came from the fact that up to 750 students were travelling from Salisbury out of county to study at other schools and colleges. Neil Owen, the founding Chair of Governors said “It is very important that Salisbury has its own sixth form centre. At the moment, if students don’t get into the grammar schools, they don’t know where to go and often end up travelling miles every day.”
And so, with the support of Salisbury MP John Glenn who said that “improved provision (in Salisbury) is sorely needed”, an application was submitted to create S6C. The application was supported by the New Schools Network development programme, which supports bids where pupils are at a risk of educational disadvantage due to the lack of provision.
TIMELINE FOR S6C:
October 2012 – idea for new Sixth Form for Salisbury put forward
May 2013 – S6C gets approval from Department for Education
November 2013 – Principal Simon Firth appointed to start in January 2014
February 2014 – Tollgate Road chosen as site for new building
July 2014 – funding approved and Ofsted give their backing
September 2014 – Salisbury 6th Form College opens to students, using Wiltshire College as a temporary base
2015 – Planning permission granted for the new building on Tollgate Road
November 2015 – Construction of S6C building on Tollgate Road begins
May 2016 – Building handed over to S6C
June 2016 – Students begin lessons in the new building
March 2017 – First Ofsted report released with a Good rating
The building was designed, with input from staff and students, specifically to deliver an advanced level curriculum to students in Salisbury. Timelapse cameras were installed onsite to capture the the build as it progressed:
S6C Student Vice-President 2015-2016, Hannah Bridewell says, “The new building is absolutely incredible, it has exceeded my expectations. I am extremely excited to complete my studies in a purpose-built building with so many opportunities. The new Year 12s and future students are so lucky to be able to complete their full A level study in an amazing space.”
Some of the fantastic facilities that S6C students enjoy include:
· A dance studio with harlequin sprung flooring
· A fully equipped theatre with lighting rig and harlequin sprung flooring
· A fitness suite with a range of weights and equipment
· Purpose designed science labs
· A media and photography studio with green screen
· A north-facing art room
· An outside Multi-Use-Games-Area (MUGA)
· A Mac suite for film editing
· A Google offices inspired Computer Science classroom
In 2017, S6C had its first Ofsted inspection since opening in 2014 and the creation of an excellent new education provision was confirmed with a “Good” rating in all areas, including: leadership and management; teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; outcomes for learners; and 16 to 19 study programmes.
Founding Chair of Governors, Neil Owen said “The whole team has worked incredibly hard to turn the dream of creating a new sixth form college for Salisbury into reality. This judgement from Ofsted confirms what we already knew, that we have succeeded in creating a sixth form college we can all be proud of.”
The report said: “Most current learners are making good progress towards achieving the grades expected of them. Most learners in 2015/16 made the progress expected of them.”
They also said: “A high proportion of learners complete and achieve their qualifications, especially on vocational courses.”
It praised staff for nurturing and promoting good study habits among students.
Principal Simon Firth says the Ofsted is an important milestone in the college’s development. “We can move forward with pride and purpose knowing that we’ve created a solid foundation for the future.”
The report said learners were well prepared for university, apprenticeships or employment and Mr Firth says the college is on track to give students more opportunities to develop these skills, adding: “As a new college, we are working hard to grow and develop our links with employers. We are now working to develop enterprise, employability and entrepreneurship into our programmes of study.”
The report also praised the governors and college leaders for successfully creating an “ethos of tolerance, respect and high aspirations for learners” and for “quickly and effectively” responding to the need for additional, local sixth form provision for learners who have a wide range of academic achievement at the end of key stage 4.
Read more about the Ofsted report here: https://www.salisbury6c.ac.uk/about-s6c/ofsted/