- Blackpool Sixth Form College
The Blackpool Sixth Form College serves the
Fylde peninsulaand surrounding areas of the county of Lancashire, England. The College has around 1,500 full-time students, most of whom are aged between 16 and 19 years. Education is mainly focused around the popular A-Level qualification but the College is also diversifying into new areas such as Applied A-Levels and other vocational courses.
The campus is sited in the Highfurlong district of
Blackpool. This places it on Blackpool's extreme eastern boundary, about 3 miles from the coast and close to the neighbouring town of Poulton-le-Fylde. Despite being some distance from the town centre, the College is easily reached by road and rail (in fact there are two railway stations close by). The College's locality is somewhat less urban and arguably more peaceful and picturesque than the busy, built-up centre of Blackpool.
The Highfurlong campus consists of a large main building and a number of annexes including the sports hall, a concert hall (also used for examinations) and a purpose-built music and performing arts suite. The main building houses most of the classrooms and offices and also the library, common room/dining room and one of the two large resource rooms. Some areas of the building are two storeys high and the single storey area is at two levels. Despite this arrangement, the building is very accessible to wheelchair users thanks to a comprehensive set of ramps and lifts.
Outside, the campus contains a large amount of green space. There are large lawns to the front and side of the main building and a large courtyard at its centre. Since many of the students drive cars, the College uses some of its land as car parking space, mainly around the front and back of the main building.
Education and college life
About 45 subjects are available to full-time students. Until 2004, the College specialised in the A-level qualification almost exclusively and A-levels still make up the majority of the courses on offer. The curriculum areas cover the traditional subjects - arts, sciences, languages, economics and mathematics - as well as more modern courses like Media and Film Studies and social sciences.
Students can also participate in wide range of recreational activities. The College has 17 sports teams, and also a basketball academy and a very active
Duke of Edinburgh Awardscheme.
The College was opened in 1971 as a dedicated sixth form centre for the nearby Collegiate Grammar School, although it has always attracted students from other schools across the Fylde and beyond. (A few of the tutors who started in 1971 are still teaching at the College and a considerable number of the staff are former students.) In 1989, the sixth form centre controversially separated from the main school to become a fully independent college. Since then, the number of students has increased enormously and the campus has been extended by several new buildings, the most recent of which is the music and performing arts suite. Plans are underway to rebuild or refurbish much of the original 1971 build in the next few years.
* Joan Wilkinson (1971-1981)
* Robert Farrand (1981-1989)
* Christopher Fulford (1989-2000)
* Jeffrey Holland (2000-2004)
* Felicity Greeves (2004-date)
Notable former students
*Rachel McLean, murder victim
* [http://www.blackpoolsixth.ac.uk/ Blackpool Sixth Form College website]
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