Blackpool Sixth Form College
|The Blackpool Sixth Form College|
Blackpool Old Road
|Type||Sixth form college|
|Department for Education URN||130744 Tables|
|Age||16 to 19|
The Blackpool Sixth Form College is a co-educational state funded sixth form college serving the Fylde and surrounding areas in Lancashire, England. The college has around 1,900 full-time students. It offers academic and applied programmes to a wide range of students aged between 16 and 19 and is consistently ranked amongst the best state colleges in the UK.
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 than the busy, built-up centre of Blackpool. Blackpool Transport offers a discounted pass for sixth form students to use the services 24/7 at a fixed, significantly price, with Service 14 having 3 bus stops on the college's frontier. Blackpool Sixth also has a coach service for students from Over Wyre and Lytham-St Annes.
Education and college life
Over 60 A-levels are available to full-time students. Until 2004, the college specialised in the A-level qualification almost exclusively - however, the college has slowly introduced more and more BTECs for students to take at the same level. 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.
The college's Drama & Theatre Studies students - and associated qualifications - frequently perform and host productions in the college theatre, which can seat 300 guests. Blackpool Sixth's most recent (2018) annual musical, Chicago, sold out both nights, exhibiting the popularity of such performances.
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 Award scheme.
The college is fully accessible and is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including engineering facilities and an on-site gym. Some courses are completed almost entirely digitally. Various technology, including cameras, tablets and laptops are available to borrow or loan.
Blackpool Sixth Form, constantly ranks among the top state colleges in the country. It consistently achieves a 99% pass rate and outscores some private colleges in the area.
86% of students continue to university, including at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Princeton, The London School of Economics, and Durham; and 13% successfully begin alternative further education, such as apprenticeships.
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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. 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.
2004 saw the opening of the new Performing Arts building, the Holland building, comprising specialist music and dance facilities, new Social Sciences and History accommodation and extensions to the Library and Common Room areas.
In 2005 the Dining Room was refurbished, a shop was added and a Student Services centre was opened. All College buildings are designated as 'no smoking' for students and staff.
In 2011, Blackpool Sixth Form College was also awarded 'Teaching School Status' in partnership with nearby Hodgson Academy.
Building works which began in 2011 were finished in Summer 2015, after £29 million was put into the project, which included a Starbucks in the foyer beyond reception.
- Joan Wilkinson (1971-1983)
- Robert Farrand (1983-1989)
- Christopher Fulford (1989-2000)
- Jeffrey Holland (2000-2004)
- Felicity Greeves (2004-2015)
- Jill Gray (2015-)
The Blackpool Sixth Form College Alumni Society
The College has an Alumni Society for former students, staff and governors.
Notable former students
- Barney Harwood, children's television presenter
- Dan Forshaw (musician)
- Little Boots (Victoria Hesketh), musician
- John Robb - musician
- Lucy Fallon - actress
- "Chicago's a sell-out success". The Blackpool Sixth Form College. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- "Facilities". The Blackpool Sixth Form College. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- "About us". The Blackpool Sixth Form College. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- Duke, Robin (6 November 2008), "Little Boots' Big Break", Blackpool Gazette, retrieved 30 December 2008