New centre to help pupils after school

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MOVES are underway to modernise an important facility for post-GCSE students at Morpeth’s high school.

A planning application has been submitted to refurbish and extend the Sixth Form Centre at King Edward VI School, with the aim of helping these students to prepare for life in a university and office environment.

More space is also required because of the growing number of Year 12 and 13 students – more than 400 are currently studying for their A-Levels.

The proposals involve extending the existing ground floor classroom into the undercroft at the rear of the building and constructing a new learning space at first floor level. In addition, there would be a single-storey extension for the south west elevation, which would provide office and meeting room space together with a new atrium and entrance arrangement.

If planning permission is granted, staff are hoping that money will be quickly secured for the project.

Along with Chantry and Newminster Middle Schools and Technology Colleges, the three schools make up The Three Rivers Learning Trust, six out of nine applications during 2012 to a fund available to academy schools were successful.

Mark Simpson, deputy head with overall responsibility for Sixth Form at KEVI, said: “As well as improving the building itself, the new centre will have three large open plan areas to create an independent learning environment. There will also be meeting rooms where students can work on projects in small groups.

“These changes will better prepare our Sixth Formers for the ways in which they will need to study at university and for the workplace environment.

“We’re confident of securing the necessary funding given our track record in the last 12 months.”

The materials proposed for the building are intended to give it a unique identity and modern appearance.