Refurbished Sixth Form Centre opens.
The Loretto Sixth Form Centre first opened around 10 years ago. In partnership with Thomas Franks, we drew up plans to refurbish and update the area as it was beginning to look a little tired (and no wonder, given the daily footfall).
We are towards the end of “Phase 1” – all the equipment is in place and the décor is finished but we are still awaiting the arrival of the 5 sets of “booths” from the factory.
“Phase 2” is a longer-term project looking at the feasibility of serving café-style food over lunchtime in the Centre. We took regular feedback from 6th Form pupils during the process and their suggestions led to significant changes. For instance, we moved the café from what has become the quiet room into a much bigger and more suitable space. Pupils selected the colour scheme (rejecting a green-blue theme in favour of Lorettonian hues) and they tested the furniture. It was an exciting project and the pupils learned about the conflict that can occur between ideas, design and practical delivery.
The Centre itself meets various needs. On the one hand it is a social centre at break, lunch time and in the late afternoons where the Sixth Form can gather together for a coffee and a chat. We have held social events such as film nights and acoustic music sessions in the Centre. It also functions as a café-style work area for the Upper Sixth during Day and Evening Preps. It is a sophisticated and mature space where pupils can spread their work across desks or research online via wifi or in our internet café whilst helping themselves to high-quality drinks and snacks.
The Centre has evolved into three distinct areas: a quiet room at the back which has the look and feel of a university library; a café area with internet facilities and TV; and a larger room next to the café which has a relaxed yet purposeful aura. This set-up really seems to suit the pupils and allows them to work at their own pace.