AN inspiring learning environment where students reach their full potential as they develop personally as well as academically.
That is what you will find at Collyer’s, the Horsham college that can proudly boast of being the only `outstanding’ sixth form college in the whole of East and West Sussex.
As a specialist in post 16 education it offers an enviable breadth of curriculum and huge range of subjects – with more than 40 A Levels ranging from art, biology and classics to psychology, Spanish and travel services, and everything in between.
Exam pass rates are constantly above the national average and amongst the highest in the region.
Collyer’s provides the perfect stepping stone between school and university or employment. Students are encouraged to develop their independence and test their individual self motivation and ability to manage their time effectively, within a supportive environment. Strong pastoral support is age appropriate, helping pupils progress to the next stage, be it university or employment.
Collyer’s is home to around 1800 pupils – 60 per cent from Horsham and surrounding villages, the rest from Surrey, the South Coast and Haywards Heath. Adding to the diversity of students catered for at the Hurst Road site are around 50 international fee paying students and, in connection with the QEII school, a number of ASDAN students developing skills for learning, employment and life. It also works with private schools including Christ’s Hospital and Rikkyo.
Wherever you go within the campus students are engaged in their studies – whether that is in lessons or during study periods and breaks. There is a real sense they want to learn, progress and develop. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. Students appear relaxed and happy – even as they wait outside the exam hall!
Principal Sally Bromley said: “Collyer’s offers a wonderful buzz provided by the students who are questioning, working hard and joining together for enrichment activities. There is a real strength in numbers here. We have a real sense of community, where each person is valued so they flourish and achieve their own full potential.”
Collyer’s, the College of Richard Collyer, to give it it’s full name, is a non-selective college and is proud to say that whatever GCSEs pupils arrive with it can offer them curriculum options where they will succeed.
Collyer’s is steeped in history – it has been around nearly 500 years and on its current site for almost 160. It still has strong links with the Mercers’ Company who founded the college in 1532 – there are four Mercer governors, they offer financial support to enhance teaching and learning as well as help with capital building projects.
Despite its history Collyer’s doesn’t stand still, new multi-million pound buildings are constantly adding to the amazing facilities and opportunities for students, while upgrades to existing facilities take place to ensure the college constantly evolves to meet modern learning standards. The entire site now offers Wi-Fi, meaning students can study using their own computers and tablets anywhere within college. The latest upgrade will see the library extended and refurbished to create more study space for students. It is open until 7.30pm daily to meet their needs.
Teaching areas are inspiring. Traditional classrooms and laboratories sit alongside a modern media suite, television studio, music suite, recording studio, performance areas, dedicated art studios displaying amazing works by incredibly talented students and travel and tourisms’ very own plane, dubbed `Collyair’!
Sports features strongly, with both the netball and rugby teams the reigning county champions. This year Collyer’s is launching sports academies in rugby, netball and basketball, led by specialist coaches who are experts and leaders in their sport. The modern sports hall also has a fitness suite, free to all students, as well as teaching spaces.
Common rooms provide space to study, chat and relax, while the canteen is a social hub.
Duckering Hall is a modern theatre space complete with retractable seating and state of the art sound and lighting, allowing ambitious performances of all types to take place.
Extra-curricular clubs and activities are vibrant and diverse, providing something for everyone to get involved in.
Collyer’s still operates a traditional house system, with eight houses led by a head of house who is responsible for the pastoral support and discipline of the pupils within it. Class sizes range from 10 to about 22 depending on the subject.
Attendance is registered electronically, meaning parents can check in real time whether their child has turned up for a lesson. Parents can also access an online mark book to follow their child’s progress.
Helping students make the right choices about future careers or education is a vital part of Collyer’s work. Aside from traditional careers and university advice, it also stages a host of fairs and events to show students the wide variety of careers and apprenticeships that are available post A Level. About 72 per cent of pupils go onto university and about 30 per cent of those go to Russell Group universities.
Summing up Collyer’s appeal Ms Bromley said: “If you are looking for post 16 sixth form provision we have got the OFSTED badge of excellence that is externally judged, measured and bench marked against other national institutions, against all aspects of our provision. It is not just about results.”