STAFF and students at Daventry’s new William Parker School sixth form are already looking back on their first term with a sense of pride.
And as part of their respect for the establishment it was their idea to enforce a business-style dress code at the sixth form. While it was initially optional, it has now been made compulsory.
The school’s head of sixth form Steve Flanagan added: “We have got a very strong student voice here and they sit in on all of the decisions made.
“This was something they came up with and it has been such a success we have now enforced it.”
“It’s something that all of the students agree with and helps to add to the smooth running of the sixth form.”
Kurt Henwood, 17, who studies English, maths and geography at the school, said: “It is nice to be in your own clothes, but you can still take pride in your appearance. You are here to work.
“I was initially at a different college but chose to come back because I was not comfortable there. It’s a decision I don’t regret making.”
There are only 28 pupils on the books currently who are taught a range of subjects and while they have started small, it has enabled a number of benefits.
Mr Flanagan added: “In some ways it has helped us out because there are smaller class sizes, there is a close relationship between everyone here and a really good rapport between the staff and the pupils.
“When I took on this job, I wanted to create a sixth form that I would be happy to send my child to.”
The school has also arranged for regular mentoring while all the pupils have been enrolled on the gold level Duke of Edinburgh scheme. The pupils also feel they are well looked after on site.
Luke Bell, 16, who is studying English, history and geography, said: “We get a lot of help and support if we are struggling with work.
“I was also at another college and am really happy that I came back. The teachers were able to help me catch up with what I felt I’d missed.”
Melanie Cooknell, 16, studying English, maths, geography and art, said: “There are not as many subjects as there are at other places but all of the important ones are here. There is a lot of support and the teachers are really good and know their stuff.”
The sixth form at William Parker may have started promisingly but there are already plans to further build on that success. Mr Flanagan added: “We are looking to expand in the near future. We are aiming at 50 students for next year and then more for later. We will need more space but we are planning for that.
“When Ofsted came and told us we were good after just eight weeks of running I was very pleased and shows we are going in the right direction.”