New 6th form for St Leonards-Mayfield

State of the art sixth form centre for St Leonards-Mayfield by James Clarke
State of the art sixth form centre for St Leonards-Mayfield by James Clarke

St Leonards-Mayfield School has a new sixth form centre.

The centre, which allows sixth formers at the all-girls Catholic school to have their own dedicated learning area and community space, was declared open during a plaque unveiling and blessing last month by Apostolic Nuncio, the Most Reverend Antonio Mennini.

The new £900,000 facility is the result of a transformation of part of the original school building which dates from 1310. Architects have restored the Grade I listed building retaining its historic feel and character whilst adapting it to accommodate modern functional design and technology.

It’s situated in the Grade I listed Chapel House next to the Old Palace, the original school building. Using existing space, Chapel House was transformed by architects and mixes traditional features such as stained glass windows and exposed beams with modern design.

Academic subjects are brought to life by the multi-touch, multi-technology installed in lecture rooms, digital learning suite, teaching and study rooms. Students can use touch-screen display boards, iPads, smart televisions and high-speed broadband for independent research to support their studies, while the new internet-enabled lecture room will allow them access to university outreach programmes and guest lecturers.

The sixth formers also have a fully-equipped common room, allowing them their own space, where they can focus on studies quietly, whilst still remaining at the heart of the school.

Catriona Franck, head girl and year 13 student, said: “The centre is testament to how important the sixth form is to the school. As studying for AS and A Levels requires a high level of commitment and focus, it is valuable that we have our own designated area without distractions from the main school. However, we are close enough to remain integrated with the rest of the school and to provide support to the younger year groups.”

School head Antonia Beary, said: “The centre is part of a longer term plan to reinforce the value to all students of information communication technology as a tool for independent learning and research, irrespective of whether their interests lie in science and technology, social sciences, arts, humanities or, like so many Mayfield girls, a combination of all of these.” Funds to create the centre were raised partly through the school’s 150th anniversary campaign and individual donations.