BOHUNT School showed off plans for its forthcoming sixth form during an open evening which attracted current students and parents as well as many others from Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex, last week.

Among the teenagers who attended with their parents were pupils from The Petersfield School (TPS), Ditcham Park, Amery Hill, Bedales and Churcher’s College.

Clare Hodgson, head of Bohunt’s new sixth form college, which is due to open in September, told The Herald: “The evening was well attended by more than 450 people.

“Students and parents had the opportunity to talk to A-level subject leaders and teachers as well as to see the progress of the new building, which is located on the site of Bohunt School, as a separate, bespoke building. 

“We have received very positive feedback from a number of prospective students and their parents after the event.

“The sixth form vision of personalised curriculum and high quality learning and teaching were at the centre of a presentation given by myself and Neil Strowger, the chief executive of Bohunt Education Trust.

“There was also the chance for future students to find out more about programmes to support progression to university and enrichment offers such as the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.”

Bohunt’s sixth form will offer a bespoke curriculum to meet the specific aspirations and needs of students, offering three programmes of study tailored to the individual strengths and abilities of each student.

Courses available are English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, German, French, physical education, history, government and politics, geography, psychology, economics, business studies, computer science, maths and further maths, physics, chemistry, drama, dance, photography, art, music, religious studies and philosophy as well as extended project qualification (EPQ).

Mr Strowger said: “Bohunt first applied for a sixth form back in 1997, which was turned down.

“More recently we tried a combined version with The Petersfield School, which was also refused.

“We have long believed Bohunt needs a sixth form provision, and that it is important to offer something different to our students.

“They will be housed in their own new building, they will not wear blazers and will not be bothered by younger students from Bohunt School, who will have no access to the sixth form areas.

“We will offer bespoke teaching, personal support, personal programmes and excellent pastoral care.

“There will also be arts clubs, language clubs, sporting activities, students will be advised on how to open a bank account, how to manage and control money and tutor groups will be small.

“The purpose-built facilities also include a social and cafe area with high end food, which is only accessible to college students.”

Mr Strowger anticipates the building to be completed by April and expects around 150 students to attend in the first year, starting from September 2017, which could rise to 250 in subsequent years.

The three-storey building (pictured below left) will provide 22 classrooms, a cafe and social area, learning resource centre, seminar rooms, prep room, offices, toilets and a plant room, adjacent to the existing school site.

Bohunt already has a reputation for providing an unrivalled range of opportunities for students and the sixth-form programme of study includes enrichment for all students with an enrichment afternoon timetabled in both years 12 and 13.

The time will be used for a range of opportunities and students can choose a number of activities over the two years.

Students will be encouraged to challenge and expand their horizons by participating in activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme including the gold scheme, plus sports leadership, dramatic review club, mentoring, work experience, senior debating society, trips and excursions, teambuilding exercises, as well as the philosophy club and guest speaker programme.

Last April, Bohunt’s application to open its own sixth form was accepted by the Regional Schools Commissioner. 

In addition, the school’s application to the Education Funding Agency for a grant to build the new school block was also given the go-ahead.

Bohunt is one of the top 20 non-selective state schools nationally, the 2014 TES ‘Overall School of the Year’, rated as ‘outstanding’ by school inspection service Ofsted.

The school currently has 140 full-time educational staff, inclusive of teaching and non-teaching, which will increase to 158 when the sixth form becomes operational, rising to 176 when it is fully operational.

The school has 144 parking spaces for staff and visitors on the present site, which will increase by 38 when the parking area next to the new building is completed.