Excellent turnout at first open day for Harlow’s brand-new secondary school and sixth form

Plans for Harlow’s brand-new secondary school and sixth form have been unveiled.

Sir Frederick Gibberd College is being opened by BMAT to provide a solution to the critical shortage of school places in the town by 2019.

A popular open event at the weekend gave more than 130 prospective parents and students an opportunity to meet with head of school Dee Conlon, to hear about the curriculum and ethos of the new school and to find out about the application process for places.

A number of families keen to secure one of the 120 places available for 2019 applied on the spot after having listened to the plans for the school.

A fully functioning temporary school building next to Burnt Mill Academy, in First Avenue, will welcome the first cohort of 120 Year 7 students in September 2019.

While there, students at the new school will be able to use specialist facilities and teachers at Burnt Mill, as well as take part in the established school’s extra-curricular clubs and productions.

Key Stage 4 students from Burnt Mill – who will become Sir Frederick Gibberd’s first cohort of sixth formers – will act as mentors to their younger peers when the school opens.

Mrs Conlon said: “I do not have a fancy building to display or examples of students who have succeeded with us to show. But, what I do have is my passion and dedication to work with young people to make a difference. I am committed to Harlow; this is my seventh year in the town and I look forward to seeing my first cohort progress through the school successfully and head off to university.”

For the first year, admissions will be co-ordinated by BMAT. Parents must apply to both BMAT for a place at Sir Frederick Gibberd and to Essex County Council for other options for the first year to ensure their child is allocated a school place.

Mrs Conlon said: “We are all about collaboration. We are working together to improve outcomes for all of our children, from early years through to sixth form. The more schools we work with, the more we can improve life chances for children and young people across Harlow.”

The two-phase opening will see Year 7 become the first cohort, while the Department for Education builds the new school’s permanent home in Tendring Road. When the school moves to its new building, Sir Frederick Gibberd will offer an academic sixth form for students who aspire to attend Oxbridge and other Russell Group universities or leading universities in America and Europe.

Mrs Conlon said: “Our new building will be modern and fit for the 21st Century. A major focus within our curriculum will be PE and literacy; healthy living and reading widely and diversely have a huge impact on everything inside and outside of school. These children will become part of the legacy we are building in Harlow. They will have my undivided attention as the first cohort.

“We will be more than just a school, we will be a family.”

For more information or to apply for a place in Year 7 before the October 31 deadline, contact the school on 01279 307244 or email info@bmatsfg.org.uk

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