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One sixth form in Ipswich on track to break 2,000 student barrier

PUBLISHED: 18:22 27 September 2017

More than 1,900 students enrolled at One sixth form in Ipswich for the 2017/18 academic year. Picture: ONE

More than 1,900 students enrolled at One sixth form in Ipswich for the 2017/18 academic year. Picture: ONE

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Record numbers of students have started at One, the largest sixth form in Suffolk, this year, it can be revealed.

Prospective students enjoy a science lesson at an open event at One sixth form. Picture: ONEProspective students enjoy a science lesson at an open event at One sixth form. Picture: ONE

More than 1,900 students were enrolled at the sixth form college, based in Ipswich, for the 2017/18 academic year, driven by a rise in demand for engineering, humanities and performing arts subjects.

One, which provides post-16 courses in A-levels, BTEC diplomas, GCSE resits, and courses in Foundation Learning, opened with over 500 students in 2010. It was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted at its last inspection in June 2015.

This summer, three-quarters (75%) of A-level exams were rated A*-C. Principal Alan Whittaker described the results as “excellent”.

Last night, Jenny Milsom, deputy principal, said there was no “secret formula” to their success.

The assembled cast of the West End to One show held at One sixth form in Ipswich in June 2017. Picture: ONEThe assembled cast of the West End to One show held at One sixth form in Ipswich in June 2017. Picture: ONE

She said: “We have developed a tradition of being an exceptional place to study and learn. I think people now have confidence in what we do. It is very telling that this is the first year that I have not had a single call from parents asking about our results. The assumption has been that we are a good place to study.

“Everyone is just in it together. In terms of our immediate future, we want to work hard to develop the sixth form in Bury St Edmunds as part of our role within the Suffolk Academies Trust.”

Foundation Learning courses range from Engineering BTEC Level 2 and Business BTEC Level 2, to Performing Arts BTEC Level 3 and Media Production BTEC Level 3.

Reflecting on the growth of student numbers, Mrs Milsom said: “In terms of A-levels, we have seen sustained growth in all of our humanities courses and all of our visual and performing arts subjects. Engineering has also grown year on year.

Jenny Milsom, deputy principal at One sixth form, based in Ipswich. Picture: ONEJenny Milsom, deputy principal at One sixth form, based in Ipswich. Picture: ONE

“In terms of subject areas that we are keen to develop, I would say that chemistry and physics are high on our agenda.”

She hinted it was only a matter of time before One broke the 2,000 student barrier.

“I cannot see why we won’t,” she said. “We only need just over 40 students to top 2000, so I am sure it will happen. We are an extremely credible organisation.”

She added that the sixth form college will continue to develop community projects and its work with the National Citizen Service.

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