Work begins on £5m Reepham sixth form

Students and contractors marked the last day of play on Reepham High School's playing field last week.The site is set to become a building site as work on a new £5.

Students and contractors marked the last day of play on Reepham High School's playing field last week.

The site is set to become a building site as work on a new £5.3m sixth form centre due to be opened in September next year starts.

To mark the start of the work, students at the school played cricket with builders Kier Eastern - one of whom was a former Reepham High School pupil - and designers of the new sixth form.

Students from Year 10 also officially turned the first sod to mark a new phase in the school's history - it has never had a sixth form before.

A new field is going to be created on land currently used for agriculture as part of the work thanks to £116,000 from Norfolk County Council.

It will see a full size cricket pitch created and a 400m running track.

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The build is being funded by a £5.3m grant from the Learning Skills Council and will accommodate 225 pupils from the Reepham area.

Head Chris Hassell said: “It is a historic day for Reepham High, but its significance is really more far reaching.

“The new sixth form will enrich post-16 education opportunities in Norfolk and so this is a day which the county can take pride in and celebrate together.”

It is hoped it will offer everything from the International Baccalaureate to A-levels and vocational qualifications, including new diplomas.

The new building will be strong on creative media with hi-tech sound rooms, an animation suite, a learning resources centre with 60 computers, an ICT suite with 30 computers, a lecture hall and flexible teaching spaces.

Simon Chipperfield, who now works for Kier, was a former pupil at Reepham. He joined the Kier team against current class mates.

Reepham High first put forward plans to extend its education to a sixth form more than 10 years ago.

Planning permission was finally granted in June and John Randall, the school's head of maths, was appointed head of the sixth form.