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Brand-new £1.3m Sixth Form Centre opened by Red Arrows Pilot

A new Sixth Form Centre has been given the perfect launch pad to success after it was officially opened by Red Arrows Pilot and RAF Flight Lieutenant, Patrick Kershaw.

Guilsborough Academy’s fantastic new building is home to a dedicated Business, Economics, Psychology and Sociology Centre, and also boasts five classrooms, conferencing facilities and a Sixth Form café area and study space. 

Simon Frazer, Principal at Guilsborough Academy, said: “This is an incredibly important moment for our school community, and something which has been eight years in the making.

"This Sixth Form Centre will really transform the experience for our post-16 students, not only will they benefit from incredible new teaching facilities, but they will be able to have a university campus experience, where they can focus on their studies and nurture the highest possible aspirations for the future." 

Created in the style of a university campus, Guilsborough Academy’s new Sixth Form Centre completes the school’s vision for a state-of-the-art learning and social space for Sixth Form students to enjoy. It will become the hub of life for post-16 students, who can currently choose from 25 courses of study.

Students also benefit from a range of leadership opportunities and an extensive super-curricular offer including the Duke of Edinburgh Award; wellbeing support; careers and UCAS advice; residentials, teambuilding and charity days; and debating, newspaper and sports societies. A popular student-led medic society and the aptly named 'Arrows Group' also support students who aspire to study at medical school, Oxbridge and other prestigious universities.  

Mr Frazer added: “Given that so many students head straight to the universities or apprenticeships of their choice, we knew that we needed someone with an aspirational tale to tell to help inspire our students. We could think of no better person than a former student who has gone on to become a Red Arrows pilot.”

At the official opening, Patrick Kershaw, who studied at Guilsborough Academy from 1997 to 2003, spoke of his 16 years’ service with the Royal Air Force, and having taken part in operations over North Africa and the Middle East, as well as numerous multinational exercises. Now in his first year as a Red Arrows Pilot for Red 3, Mr Kershaw also discussed his six-year long drive to become part of the world-famous flying team. 

He said: “I firmly believe that whatever you want to do just go for it, don't worry about failing, just persevere, and this is something I hope students take away from speaking to me today. My story is testament to that as I began applying to join the Red Arrows in 2015, but each time I faced a hurdle I became even more determined to achieve my dream.

“It is a real privilege and honour to officially open Guilsborough Academy’s Sixth Form Centre today. I have so many happy memories of my time here and know that this centre will be of great benefit to students for generations to come.”

Thanks to the support of the Guilsborough Multi Academy Trust, Guilsborough Academy's new Sixth Form Centre forms part of a £2 million major investment programme in the school site, which also includes a new fitness suite and changing rooms, a new ICT room and a new food and nutrition room. 

Mr Frazer added: "Our thanks go to our governors and the directors of Guilsborough Multi Academy Trust, in particular Angela Carter who has been the driving force behind this project, who have made all of this possible."