£3.5m scheme will help transform Portsmouth Grammar School’s sixth form

A nNew Sixth Form Centre is planned for Portsmouth Grammar School
A nNew Sixth Form Centre is planned for Portsmouth Grammar School
Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

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PLANS have been announced for a brand new £3.5m sixth-form centre at Portsmouth Grammar School.

The school’s sixth form has doubled since its current centre was built in 1995. Each year between 35 and 40 pupils join the school for their sixth form years.

The new centre will be set over three floors on the site of the existing building.

The plan is for the centre to open in time for the new academic year in September 2014.

Headteacher James Priory said: ‘As a school the sixth form is continuing to thrive and grow.

‘We had a one built for the school in 1995 but in that time it’s grown by 50 per cent.

‘As a facility, it’s becoming inadequate.

‘It’s more about meeting the changing needs of young people studying at that stage of their lives.

‘It’s also about creating a space that will inspire them for the challenges that are on the horizon for them.’

The new centre includes a large ground-floor social area with a dedicated cafe and exhibition area.

On the upper floors, large classrooms and a suite of seminar rooms will be designed to stimulate discussion and debate.

The first-floor learning zone will be connected by an aerial walkway to the rest of the school.

There will be a dedicated careers facility.

And the new centre will feature a collaborative learning space where students will have the opportunity to study together.

‘It’s a university-style experience,’ added Mr Priory.

‘It’s a purposeful work environment but it’s a space that can hold discussion and exchanges of ideas.

‘It’s about pupils shaping their own learning. At the moment we don’t have a facility like that and this gives it to us.

‘We feel it’s going to make such a big difference.’

And Mr Priory said he hopes this will inspire students across the school.

‘The sixth form has such a big impact on the school,’ he said.

‘They are role models and they set the pace. They are the young people who our younger pupils aspire to be.

‘It really is a hugely exciting time in the life and development of the school.’