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In 2014 King Edward's acquired a property on the edge of the site located next to Foundation House on Crowtree Lane for the explicit purposes of expanding Sixth Form provision at King Edward's. Initially retained for Sixth Form Boarding use the School now has plans in hand to convert the property during 2020 into The Professional College to create a dedicated space for the Diploma pathway and to create a business start up hub for the local community.
The building will be converted along similar lines to Norton Lodge our existing Sixth Form Centre to create a modern base for employers and students to teach, learn and study together. The College will also be given a new modern cedar clad frontage as well as landscaping the surrounding gardens and central quad area to create spaces for work - dedicated Early Years spaces and Forest School area plus Greenhouses and Polytunnels for the Agriculture course. The central open air quad and cafe area will provide dedicated chill out zones.
The building is set to open in late 2020, early 2021: initial teaching will take place on the main KEVIGS site.
The Professional College at King Edward's will be have the same high expectations that the school has for all of our students and our goal at the College is to create a first class Diploma experience in a Grammar School setting - one of the first of its kind in the country.
That means that our expectations are high, we expect students to get good GCSE grades including a strong pass at Grade 5 in English and Mathematics to join us and do not intend to do the FE College option of switching children to GCSE equivalent courses after enrollment.
Just as in our A level offer we will be supporting students to achieve the highest possible grades they are capable of and our expectations are that all students should be able to obtain Distinctions or Merits in their work - the equivalent of an A-C grade at A level. Central to that support will be helping students to manage their time and learn how to work independently. In many ways the Diploma is as demanding in this respect as three A Levels.
However the College will also be different from the school. Firstly with its own dedicated base and interaction with the business community and employers the College will have a different feel to it. A different dress code and flexible on/off site experience will also mean that the College will be a unique experience compared to the school Sixth Form making it part of but seperate to the rest of the school. These differences will also extend to the college style routines and structures - no St James' services or assemblies. Although all students will benefit from the wider shared facilities and support in the Sixth Form at King Edward's.
Smaller and more intimate.
With a maximum of 100 students in the College over the four different routes the College will be a much more intimate and smaller affair than the main Sixth Form.
King Edward's plan is to focus on quality provision for quality students with quality employer engagement rather than dilute this with an FE numbers driven model. We therefore anticipate offering only 10 places on each course each year.