Gallery: Official Opening of Sixth Form Centre by His Grace The Duke of Westminster

His Grace The Duke of Westminster DL officially opened the new King’s Sixth Form Centre on Thursday, November 9.

The new £2.8m centre can now cater for 250 sixth form students and includes a larger common room, new dining area, kitchen, study rooms and five new classrooms.

A state-of-the-art drama studio has also been built, to help accommodate a thriving drama programme at King’s.  

The extension of the previous centre is a crucial step in the school’s ambition to increase the number of students on bursaries to 100 by 2041, with sixth form bursaries being a particular focus.

The Duke, who is Patron of The King’s School, declared the centre officially open in front of an audience of specially invited guests, including lead contractors Cheshire Renovations and lead Architect Scott Desert.

Headmaster George Hartley said: “It was a huge honour to welcome The Duke to King’s and have the opportunity to show him around our new, purpose-built centre which offers students a truly authentic 21st century learning environment.

“Every element of the centre has been designed with future learning in mind and sustainability at its heart. Student voice was also incredibly important and the thoughts and ideas of a Sixth Form Team were integrated into the two-year project.

“The Duke reflected on the future generations who will flourish within the walls of the centre as they finish their educational journey at King’s and we are very proud to be able to give them every opportunity to do so.”

The Duke also took the opportunity to meet pupils and Headteachers from the Chester School Together partnership, which is a unique Independent State School Partnership (ISSP) between King’s, Bishops’ Blue Coat School and Blacon High School, Catholic High School Chester and Upton High School.

Originally established in 2018 with two partnership schools, the partnership identifies areas of mutual need or challenge across all five schools and creates a programme of events, projects and initiatives to improve outcomes and broaden the cultural and education horizons of pupils and staff.

The partnership receives generous funding from The Westminster Foundation and The Duke was delighted to speak to pupils who had directly benefitted from recent Chester School Together events.

An example of recent events includes:

  • Saturday Masterclasses (Scalextric in Schools, Journalism, Graphic Design)
  • Lifeguard qualification
  • Chester Schools Together Rowing Programme
  • Chester Schools Together Choir and Composition Workshop
  • Two-day Climate Change Symposium at Chester Zoo
  • Diversity and Inclusion Student Conference
  • Oxbridge Preparation Evening
  • Mock University Interviews
  • ADHD Staff and Pupil Conference

Members are passionate about removing barriers to an enriched educational experience through an ambitious 5-year-development plan, which will eventually see all state secondary schools in Chester joining Chester Schools Together.

The partnership was delighted to be awarded the title of Highly Commended at The Independent School of the Year Awards for Outstanding Educational Partnerships in recognition of our innovative programme.