VIDEO: Bespoke new facility for Mandeville sixth formers

Sixth form students will now have a quiet, professional place to study at The Mandeville School.

The school’s new William Harding Education Centre was officially opened on Friday, by MP David Lidington and Allison Harrison, the Mayor of Aylesbury.

And the students played a vital part in creating the new facilities, which have utilised space on site which was formerly used by the Bucks Learning Trust.

Nicola Sharp, 17, of the school’s student council, said: “We had a very strong input in what was going to be in this building, for example with the walls in the space, we decided that we wanted this place to be a very strong indication of what the future could hold for us.

“So a lot of our presentations on the wall are to do with university open days, courses, what other options there are outside from university and it’s really nice that we had input, because it is a reflection of what we as the students would like to do when our time at Mandeville is finished.

“It’s really nice to be here because while we might be stressed about exams and things like that, we can see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

The adults were also impressed with the new building, which is will be used teaching and ‘independent, self-directed learning’ and was funded by the William Harding Trust.

Representatives from the trust were also present.

Headteacher Andria Hanham, who took on the role in November last year and has stewarded the school out of special measures, said: “This building is symbolic of a change in work ethic at the school. I think for a long time now our sixth form have had to find various little cubby holes to do their work, and ferreting away in cupboards and libraries and old rooms and things like that.

“So it’s fantastic that they have got a purpose-built, bespoke resource and I have to say that they are using it really, really well.”

And before he cut the ribbon with Mayor Allison, Mr Lidington said: “There is no panacea that is provided by a new building, but a new building sometimes provides a means of lifting the spirits and of symbolising renewal and recommitment and I think that’s what we are seeing here today.

“I was very struck chatting to some of the sixth formers when I arrived, about how proud they were of this place and of how determined they were to make sure that the sixth form centre was looked after.”