A Sixth Form Centre blending heritage with modernity

10 FEB 2021

A £36,000 grant from Allchurches Trust has helped to transform a tired 13th Century Building into an awe-inspiring Sixth Form Centre for a Gloucester-based School.

King’s School goes back to the days of William the Conqueror, who sent the Norman Abbot Serlo to Gloucester in 1072, where he found that there were already eight boys being educated in the Abbey which predates Gloucester Cathedral. When Henry VII closed down the Abbeys of England nearly five centuries later, he realised the important educational work being done at Gloucester and set aside money for the foundation of the King’s School.
 
The school continues to have a close association with Gloucester Cathedral with its Sixth Form Centre having been based at the cathedral-owned Dulverton House since 1989 – a Grade II listed medieval building.
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In 2019, recognising that the existing Sixth Form Centre was unsuited to the needs and aspirations of its students, the school raised the funds needed - with the support of an Allchurches grant - to transform this ecclesiastical heritage gem into a space for students and the wider community.
 
Work began in March 2020, only to be stopped for several weeks due to the Coronavirus pandemic. But, after an incredible effort from all, the school unveiled the finished building in January 2021. It is the headmaster’s aim to open Dulverton up to the community so that local residents can also enjoy this stunning new facility. 
 
The school already makes its facilities open to various organisations to enhance social cohesion and boost the local economy. It hosts summer school, fundraising events, the Three Choirs Festival, local church meetings and children’s groups (just to name a few).
 
The new building will help King’s to grow their community work as well as creating an inviting environment for the next generation of sixth formers.
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The Sixth Form Centre, which sits adjacent to the cathedral, has been completely transformed; the beautiful period features have been restored, whilst brighter modern work and social spaces have been created. The aim was to build a bold, unique new learning centre of which the school has most definitely achieved, whilst finding a few forgotten treasures along the way…
 
Hidden gems
 
• A section of medieval doorway – now preserved in situ with glass and lighting to highlight the amazing craftsmanship
• Two huge stone buttresses – one hidden under the stairs and the other concealed in the girls’ toilets
• Evidence of what the boarders got up to in the 1950s – beer cans which predated ring-pulls, vintage food packaging and one or two interesting pictures…
 
Headmaster, Mr David Morton, said: “Within the building there is a collection of 14 pieces of artwork entitled ‘Think Differently’. We have taken established works of art, blended them with a prominent figure from history and given them a modern twist, to challenge the perceptions of the viewer and to encourage ambition and creativity in our students.
We think you will agree that we have created a Sixth Form Centre - blending history with modernity - which is truly like no other.”
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