Richmond’s ambitious post-16 programme has reached another major milestone with the official unveiling of two sixth form centres at Christ’s School and Orleans Park.

Since the buildings were finished, the first intake of students have been enjoying the very best 21st Century facilities at the centres at Christ’s School in Queen’s Road, Richmond, and Orleans Park School in Richmond Road, Twickenham.

These exciting new buildings were funded by Richmond Council as part of its commitment to deliver more choice in post-16 provision. The total amount the Council has spent to provide sixth form centres is in excess of £30m. The building works at Christ’s School cost £6.5m and when full will provide 180 places, and the centre at Orleans Park cost £8.4m, providing 250 places. In total the Council’s ambitious sixth form programme will deliver 600 places. Previously, not a single secondary school in Richmond had a sixth form – now every school has one.

Council representatives will be joined by contractors at both centres for official opening events over the next few weeks.

The Orleans Park sixth form centre, includes:

  • Specialist sixth form classes
  • Sixth form learning resource centre
  • A new school hall
  • Dedicated media suites
  • Sixth form art studio
  • A-Level biology, physics, and Chemistry.

The sixth form centre at Christ’s includes:

  • Classrooms and seminar rooms
  • Sixth form resource centre and common room
  • Activity Studio
  • Drama Studio
  • Changing rooms
  • Science Labs

Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Children and Schools, Cllr Paul Hodgins, said:

bq."This is a major milestone. Enabling new sixth forms in our schools has been one of this Council’s most important and most popular commitments. Over 500 students are in our new sixth forms now, and this will grow significantly next year. They are more popular than even we anticipated at the outset.

“These facilities are fantastic new additions to Christ’s and Orleans Park, and I would like to thank staff, governors, and students at both schools for their co-operation and hard work to get us to this point. The build at Orleans Park was complicated, and even a significant fire at Christ’s did not prevent their opening this year. Thank you to all.”

Helen Dixon, Head Teacher at Christ’s School, said:

“We are delighted with our fantastic new Sixth Form Building. Its opening represents a very exciting development for Christ’s School. It enables us to offer further outstanding learning opportunities for our students within a dedicated, specialist environment. We are tremendously proud of the efforts of our new sixth form students and all of the hard work our staff have put in to ensure that our Sixth Form is a success.”

Elaine Ball, Headteacher at Orleans Park, added:

“We are delighted that Richmond Council was committed to introduce sixth forms in schools in the borough, we are a forward looking school and this development has already raised the aspiration s of our students across all year groups. The significant investment by the Council has ensured that we can offer a high quality education for students all the way through from years 7 to 13. We are already proud of our new sixth form students and the significant contribution that they are making to both the school and the local community.”

Both sixth forms offer traditional A-level subjects including English, Maths, and Science. A range of specialist subject areas are also available, such as A-Levels in Fine Art or Philosophy and Ethics at Christ’s sixth form, and A-Levels in Spanish, French and German, or photography at Orleans Park.

— from a Richmond Council press release – 27 February 2015