Proposed new sixth form at Haverhill could become the envy of many
Plans have been revealed for an expansion and redevelopment of the Haverhill Community Sixth Form at Samuel Ward Academy that would make it a ‘beacon of excellence’.
The proposed new buildings would house a dedicated sixth form seminar and teaching rooms, a sixth form café and garden area and a sixth form study room.
There will also be a new engineering block, a new art block, a dance studio and a music room.
Headteacher Andy Hunter said: “A town the size of Haverhill needs a good sixth form centre.
“If we encourage our young people to look outside of our town to continue their education, we run the risk that they will not return to share their new knowledge and skills to the benefit of the whole town.
“Haverhill Community Sixth Form offers a close-knit community with excellent pastoral care and academic supervision.
“Because of the limited size as a school sixth form, we can’t offer the range of courses that larger centres can. But nonetheless, we aim to expand our curriculum offer and our intake.
“The new development will increase our engineering capacity with a dedicated A-level standard workshop and an adjacent IT room set up to deliver industry standard CAD/CAM activities.”
The inspiration for the new development is Ruffle’s Mill, which once stood on Wratting Road, a few hundred metres from Samuel Ward.
It was the first mill in the world to incorporate a full-size circular sail rather than the standard arrangement of four sails arranged in a cross. The excellence of its design meant that Ruffle’s Mill achieved nationwide fame.
The intention is to ensure the future of Haverhill’s proud heritage as a centre for manufacturing, engineering and innovation by using the new development to celebrate the unique achievements of the community and to educate a new generation of engineers for Haverhill.
As part of this development, the studio, currently home to the highly regarded school productions, will be remodelled to be an industry standard specification medium sized theatre.
The theatre will seat up to 300 people and work alongside the 200 seat auditorium at the Haverhill Arts Centre.
Having two venues in Haverhill would increase the opportunities to run festival style events across multiple venues. It will be available as a reasonably priced resource to the community during evenings and weekends.
“The addition of high spec theatre space and dance studio, alongside the reorganising of the music and art rooms to be close to the theatre, will provide us with a performing and visual arts hub through which we can offer a range of new courses such as BTEC Performing Arts or the Technical Theatre Diploma.
“It is our intention that Haverhill Community Sixth Form becomes a beacon of excellence in the Arts and Technology, providing rich opportunities for the population of Haverhill and beyond,” said Mr Hunter.
As well as the new theatre, other aspects of the new development, such as the new art spaces, music rooms and dance studio, will also be available for community use outside of school hours.
As part of the planning process, there will be a public consultation running from September 6 to 15, with a chance for the public to visit the school to see the plans and find out more on Thursday, September 9.