Preston’s oldest secondary school is returning to its roots.... by adding a sixth form.
Moor Park Business and Enterprise College, the modern-day successor to the former Preston Grammar School, is planning to open its doors to the over 16s from September for the first time in more than 40 years.
The plan will see Moor Park forming a “soft” federation with Ashton Community Science College, which already has a small sixth form and vocational centre.
This will enable the school to provide a wider choice of subjects and combinations of A levels and Btech qualifications
Headteacher Peter Cunningham said: “This exciting development could not come at a better time for the school community as we celebrate 100 years of education in our fine building.
“Originally our magnificent building housed an 11-to-18 Preston Grammar School so it is very fitting to see us return to our roots by opening a new sixth form.”
Mr Cunningham said the decision to set up a sixth form fitted in with government changes to the school leaving age and the fact that more and more pupils have decided to stay on in education in recent years.
He added: “More and more pupils in Moor Park have decided to remain in education after the age of 16, particularly as standards of achievement have increased at GCSE and many more are now eligible to study A levels and aspire to go onto university”.
Pupils were so excited by the official sixth form launch evening last week they started filling in their application forms the next day.
An extensive building programme is now underway on the site, on the edge of Moor Park, which will provide a new state of the art sixth form centre, new dining facilities and a new sports hall with the latest Apple ICT software for all students to access through mobile devices.
The sixth form will offer 120 places initially and combine with a sixth form already established at Ashton Community Science College to provide a wide range of courses.
Entry requirements will be the same as that for A level study at colleges - five or more GCSES, including maths and English.
By 2015 all students will have to stay on in education or training until they are 18 in line with government regulations.
Mr Cunningham said Moor Park’s new sixth form would help the city meet the growing demand for post-16 places.