Castle Manor Academy

School sixth forms join forces to provide enhanced student experience

Published: 15 February, 2024

An ambitious commitment to sixth form education will see four schools join forces and provide free iPads to all post-16 students.

Under the ‘Unity Sixth’ umbrella, more than 500 sixth form students at Haverhill Community Sixth Form, St Edward’s Academy in Romford, Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard and Felixstowe School will benefit from a shared curriculum including presentation and lectures given by renowned speakers from business, politics and the arts.

The post-16 arm of Unity Schools Partnership will also offer all sixth form students and teachers an iPad from September 2024, for use at both school and home.

Vanessa Whitcombe, headteacher at Castle Manor Academy, said: “This is an exciting development for Haverhill Community Sixth Form and our students.

“The opportunities to learn better by learning together are enormous and we are very excited about the future for our students.”

Stephen Astley, executive director of education at Unity, said: “We are hugely excited to launch Unity Sixth and its supra curriculum from September 2024.

“By the quartet of sixth forms joining forces, we believe we can offer an enhanced and enriched experience for our students as well as the very best of shared resources, teaching skills and assessment models to drive outcomes.”

The Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Sousa, has enthusiastically committed to help launch these lectures.

Reacting to the partnership, Andy Hunter, headteacher at Samuel Ward Academy, said: “We have had a record number of applications to the sixth form this year and we are still interviewing prospective students this week.

“We have never had so much interest from students at other schools and we are delighted that they will be benefitting from a shared curriculum and resources as part of Unity Sixth.”