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New £32m sixth form college to host virtual open evening

PUBLISHED: 15:38 06 November 2020 | UPDATED: 15:38 06 November 2020

Principle of Abbeygate Sixth Form, David Gartland, with the new state-of-the-art building  Picture: ABBEYGATE SIXTH FORM

Principle of Abbeygate Sixth Form, David Gartland, with the new state-of-the-art building Picture: ABBEYGATE SIXTH FORM

ABBEYGATE SIXTH FORM

A new sixth form college in Bury St Edmunds is getting ready for its first open evening of the year - which will be virtual.

David Gartland says he feels David Gartland says he feels "a great sense of pride to be able to help shape the future of education in Bury and beyond Picture: ABBEYGATE SIXTH FORM

Abbeygate Sixth Form in Beetons Way welcomed students into their £32million purpose-built building for the first time last month.

Last year, 230 learners studied in temporary accommodation as the new premises took shape and 12 months on more than 600 students have a wide choice of over 30 different A-level subjects including music and modern foreign languages.

MORE: Take a virtual tour of the new sixth form college in Bury St Edmunds

The building houses “impressive” science laboratories, art, textiles and photography studios, separate dance and drama spaces, and a theatre and sports halls will be completed shortly.

Abbeygate will eventually cater for 1, 750 students, a number they intend to reach by 2025.

David Gartland and his staff have been helping students settle in Picture: JOHN NICEDavid Gartland and his staff have been helping students settle in Picture: JOHN NICE

A virtual open evening on Thursday, November 12, will be a chance for prospective students to find out about the college and the subjects on offer, see what the building looks like and get a feel for the place.

The principal of Abbeygate Sixth Form, David Gartland, and about 100 staff have been busy helping students settle into their new facilities, near the leisure centre and council offices.

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Mr Gartland said: “Since day one, people have come in with a genuine sense of optimism.

“In recent times students, from across the country, have been through a period of great uncertainty but their attitude, commitment and enthusiasm has been fantastic. They have hit the ground running and adapted to sixth form really quickly.”

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He said their staff “have a huge wealth of experience and a track record of getting their students exceptional results” and he will draw on his own experiences, and that of all the staff, “to make sure Abbeygate thrives and provides exceptional educational experiences for every single one of our students”.

Mr Gartland, who previously worked in London and more locally as principal of Lowestoft Sixth Form, said: “Being provided with a brand new £32million state-of-the-art building is so significant for the region and I feel a great sense of pride to be able to help shape the future of education in Bury and beyond.”

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Abbeygate is one of two members of the Suffolk Academies Trust - the other being One Sixth Form College (One) in Ipswich - and this partnership aims to bring benefits to students across the region.

“In addition to our work as part of the Suffolk Academies Trust, we are keen to foster a spirit of co-operation with educational establishments in the region. For instance, we work closely with our partners at West Suffolk College.” he said.

“The link has been created to ensure the right students get on the right courses at the right college. Thanks to our partnership (with West Suffolk College), students can access A-levels, apprenticeships or vocational courses right in the heart of Bury’s educational hub.”

•Applications for 2021 are now open and as a result of this Abbeygate is hosting a virtual open evening on November 12.

For more information go to the website here or call 01284 636501.


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