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Haverhill Community Sixth Form, St Edward’s Academy, in Romford, Thomas Gainsborough School, in Great Cornard, and Felixstowe School to benefit from shared curriculum





An ambitious commitment to sixth form education will see four schools join forces and provide free iPads to all post-16 students.

Under the ‘Unity Sixth’ umbrella, more than 500 sixth form students at Haverhill Community Sixth Form, St Edward’s Academy, in Romford, Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard, and Felixstowe School will benefit from a shared curriculum including presentation and lectures given by renowned speakers from business, politics and the arts.

And the announcement has come as the sixth form in Haverhill, which provides post-16 education for the town’s two secondary schools, Samuel Ward Academy (on whose site it is located) and Castle Manor Academy is also seeing a record-high number of students applying to join it.

Year 12 and 13 students Jess Bilton, Charlie Jones, Mrs Pawley, Ben Wilsher, Pete Wilson, Andy Hunter, Joni Andre and Edie Clark. Picture: Mark Westley
Year 12 and 13 students Jess Bilton, Charlie Jones, Mrs Pawley, Ben Wilsher, Pete Wilson, Andy Hunter, Joni Andre and Edie Clark. Picture: Mark Westley

The post-16 arm of Unity Schools Partnership will also offer all sixth form students and teachers an iPad from September 2024, for use at both school and home.

Stephen Astley, executive director of education at Unity, said: “We are hugely excited to launch Unity Sixth and its supra curriculum from September 2024.

“By the quartet of sixth forms joining forces, we believe we can offer an enhanced and enriched experience for our students as well as the very best of shared resources, teaching skills and assessment models to drive outcomes.”

The Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Sousa, has enthusiastically committed to help launch these lectures.

Reacting to the partnership, Andy Hunter, headteacher at Samuel Ward Academy, said: “We have had a record number of applications to the sixth form this year and we are still interviewing prospective students this week.

“We have never had so much interest from students at other schools and we are delighted that they will be benefiting from a shared curriculum and resources as part of Unity Sixth.”

Vanessa Whitcombe, headteacher at Castle Manor Academy, said: “This is an exciting development for Haverhill Community Sixth Form and our students.

“The opportunities to learn better by learning together are enormous and we are very excited about the future for our students.”