Lord Robert Winston opens Newcastle Sixth Form College
Professor Lord Robert Winston officially opened Newcastle Sixth Form College on Monday, the City’s first dedicated Sixth Form College providing facilities for 16-19 year olds from across the region.
The scientist, broadcaster and writer, who is best known for his pioneering work in the fields of fertility and IVF and for television programmes such as ‘Child of our Time’, made a special trip to the region to be guest of honour at the event.
Professor Lord Winston was joined by representatives from the local councils and community groups in an evolution themed celebration, which looked at the huge journey that the Sixth Form College has made since its conception, almost ten years ago.
He was guest speaker at the event, alongside Newcastle Sixth Form College Principal, Steve Gibson and NCG Chair of Governors, Jamie Martin.
To mark the occasion, the College renamed its lecture theatre, The Professor Lord Winston Lecture Theatre and presented Professor Lord Winston with a specially commissioned painting of the building by local artist John Coatsworth.
As well as meeting staff and students, Professor Lord Winston was also given a tour of the £22m building, which features 60 classrooms, fully equipped science laboratories, digital media centre, dance and drama studios and dedicated art and design workshops and photography darkroom.
Newcastle Sixth Form College was completed in Summer 2013 and is part of NCG, a national provider of education, training and employability. The group, which also owns Newcastle College, developed the specialist facility to serve the needs of local young people wishing to study and as part of its commitment to re-invest in learning.
The 11,000m² sixth form college includes state-of-the-art practical and learning environments, incorporating the latest technologies to assist the College in increasing participation and driving up success.
Students within Newcastle Sixth Form College achieve year on year success creating increasing demand for 16-19 provision, including over 40 A level options, a programme of GCSEs and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
Newcastle Sixth Form College was designed by international architects RMJM. It was built by BAM North East who worked with consultants, Turner Townsend. Located on Westmorland Road, only a five minute walk from Newcastle Central Station and in close proximity to Newcastle city centre, the building is easily accessible and continues the regeneration of the area.
Steve Gibson, principal of Newcastle Sixth Form College, said: “We are honoured to welcome Professor Lord Winston to our new Sixth Form College. He is a fantastic ambassador for education and learning and I cannot think of a more fitting person to officially open our new building.”
“We developed our vision for a ground breaking new Sixth Form College ten years ago. The building is a major investment in learning for the region and will create opportunities for thousands of young people from across the region. We are already seeing the success of this investment.
“Last year alone a record 25% of our students went on to study at prestigious Russell Group Universities, bucking the national trend. We look forward to building on this success in our new home and I would like to thank the staff and students for helping us to realise this dream.”
Professor Lord Winston said: “I really want to congratulate Newcastle Sixth Form College for making such an important contribution to the whole of society and to a very important region in the country. We must invest in future generations. How they are educated will contribute to the strength of our society. There is a lack of aspiration and what is tremendous about the Sixth Form College is that you offer that aspiration.
“This day is focussed on skills. We need to be skilling our population much more and Newcastle Sixth Form College will do this admirably. That is why facilities like this are so important. Young people need to believe that they can achieve and we need to show them that there are goals that they can strive for. Our students are our future and we must celebrate their achievements.”