Sixth Form College, Farnborough

The Sixth Form College Farnborough is a sixth form college situated in Farnborough, Hampshire, England. It caters for around 3,700 students and admission is mostly from schools in the local areas of Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire. The college is often referred to as 'Farnborough Sixth' to differentiate it from Farnborough College of Technology.

The Sixth Form College Farnborough
Prospect Avenue

, ,
GU14 8JX

Coordinates51°18′17″N 0°45′22″W / 51.304852°N 0.75603°WCoordinates: 51°18′17″N 0°45′22″W / 51.304852°N 0.75603°W
TypeSixth form college
MottoLearn, Enjoy, Achieve
Local authorityHampshire
TrustThe Prospect Trust
Department for Education URN130703 Tables
PrincipalCatherine Cole
Age16 to 19


In 2006, the college ranked third place in the school league table for Hampshire, achieving a higher ranking for A-Level results than several highly regarded independent and private schools in the area.[1]

In 2007, the college was rated 'Outstanding' by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector,[2] and it retains Beacon Status as one of the country’s top sixth form colleges.

In 2010, the college was one of the first colleges nationwide to gain the 'NFER Research-Engaged Award'.

In 2012, HRH Prince Philip presented the college with one of the first Duke of Edinburgh Award Operating Licences, making the college a Directly Licensed Centre in the Duke of Edinburgh Award network.

The college has also attained awards including the 'Investors in People', 'Investors in Careers', 'Positive about Disabled People' and 'Fairtrade' awards.


The college was founded as the Farnborough Grammar School in September 1936, when the Aldershot County High School outgrew its premises and the boys were relocated to Farnborough.[3]

The Sixth Form College was created from 1974 to 1978, gradually enlarging as the number of Grammar School pupils reduced. Since being incorporated as a sixth form college in 1992, it has grown fast from 1,180 full-time students in 1992 to now having over 3000.

Dr John J Guy was the principal from 1992 to 2010.[4] He served on a number of government committees, including the Tomlinson Committee on 14-19 reform, and in 2001 was awarded the OBE for services to education.[5]

He was succeeded as principal in September 2010 by the college's deputy principal, Simon Jarvis.[6]

In February 2018, it was announced that Catherine Cole, Deputy Principal (Student Services), will succeed Simon Jarvis when he steps down as Principal (and continues as CEO of the Prospect Trust) in September 2018.[7]

College facilities

Cafe Direct at Farnborough Sixth Form College
Cafe Direct, one of three canteens

The college has undergone a major building programme costing over £15 million. The first project was the Prospect Theatre and performing arts suite, which was opened by Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex in 2000. Also, The Dame Kelly Holmes Sports Centre was opened on 25 April 2007 by the double Olympic gold medallist. The developments have also seen the construction of a brand new quad built in the centre of the college, and the Whitehouse Building which boasts an e-Assessment Centre - an IT centre for students to use. The latest building is the John Guy Building, a new block which replaced the former 1960s Scola block. The John Guy Building was opened by the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove in 2010 and houses the physics, computing, arts and photographic departments. It was given a BREEAM 'Excellent' rating. The college has three cafeterias: Café Direct, TimeOut and Shades. The college also has two large fields which are used for sports and recreational purposes. A new lecture theatre attached to the Ranson building, is currently in development and is expected to open in the Summer of 2018.

Student Association

Every March, students elect a President and Vice President, via Single Transferable Vote, whom together lead the otherwise appointed committee to organise student affairs and social activities in and outside of the college, as well as charity events. The President and Vice President sit on the Academy Quality Council.

In October 2007, the 2007/2008 Student Association broke the college record, which had been set the previous year, for the most amount of money raised in a single college day; the £1,800 that was raised eventually went to a variety of gene therapy charities through the 'Jeans for Genes' initiative.[8] In 2007 the school undertook a massive project for Red Nose Day in which over a thousand students took to the field holding red paper above their heads, first making the shape of a nose and then a 6 (the logo of the college), filmed by the BBC from a helicopter.

The 2011/2012 Student Association raised over £20,000 for a variety of local charities over the academic year, the highest raised for charity by the college so far. The 2012/2013 Student Association reestablished the Student College Magazine and have forged links with other local colleges through a Battle of the Bands Competition.


Outside of the classroom, the college runs a comprehensive enrichment programme. The college runs a number of successful sport teams and other societies. One project with local schools, Copperlink, produces a drama production with a local handicapped school every year. The college also runs inter-collegial schemes including World Challenge and Young Enterprise.

The college has established links with Presbyterian Secondary Technical School, Aburi, Ghana. This project is called the Ghana Link and it aims to broaden students from both schools' horizons and develop a two way partnership that would be of benefit to both parties.[9] In June 2007 15 students from the sixth form college went to the school in Ghana and stayed for ten days there they took part in many lessons and enrichment activities. Following this successful visit, which strengthened links between the schools, students at Farnborough Sixth Form College raised funds for students of the Presby Secondary Technical School, Aburi to visit the UK and stay with the students they hosted over the summer.[10] A second batch of students from Farnborough Sixth Form College have stayed with families in Aburi, to continue this link between the schools. However, there is growing concern that Farnborough Sixth Form College could do more to help the Ghanaian school. A longer stay in Ghana for the English students is being considered (an increase to 14 days rather than 10). This longer stay will give the English students a better opportunity to teach which the Ghanaian children would greatly appreciate.

The college has a dedicated Film Production enrichment program which produces commercial and non-commercial films for outside companies and student film festivals.

In March 2000, Prince Edward opened the new £2.5 million Performing Arts Centre incorporating the modern 300-seat Prospect Theatre and teaching suites for music, dance and drama.[4] Touring theatre groups regularly visit the theatre to give public performances - it is scheduled to be renovated in the coming decade. The Prospect Theatre is currently used by the Prospect Theatre Company, Musical Theatre, Production Drama, and Flexi-Crew (Technical Theatre) enticements weekly.

One of the music enrichments making use of this facility is the biannual college Opera Project, where full-scale operas are performed by students. In 2006, the college staged The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, acclaimed within the community.[11] Following the success of this first opera, a performance of Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel took place in July 2008.[12]


A screenshot of CristalWeb on a staff account

CristalWeb is the college's web-based management information system that allows students and staff to see the data that the college holds on them. It is extensively used within the college, to pass messages from staff to students, take registers of classes, submit absence reasons, look up exam results, amend certificates of enrichment, and edit students' personal information. It also enables access from outside the college campus to SixthNet, and its newer version: Moodle, the series of web-pages for each subject faculty containing homework, revision aids and past exam papers, in addition to information about the departments; although Moodle is gradually being phased out and replaced with Google Sites created by each subject, and homework assigned through Google Classroom. The system has been operating since mid-2004.

Notable alumni

Farnborough Grammar School


  1. ^ "BBC NEWS - Education - League Tables - Secondary schools in Hampshire".
  2. ^ 2007 inspection report from OFSTED
  3. ^ "Farnborough Grammar School".
  4. ^ a b "The Sixth Form College Farnborough - About The College" (PDF). 25 January 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  5. ^ The Sixth Form College Farnborough - Principalship Archived 20 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Farnborough Sixth Form College unveils new principal Archived 22 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Get Hampshire, 12 March 2010
  7. ^ "New College Principal Appointed - News - The Sixth Form College Farnborough". Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  8. ^ Students Boycott Jeans for Genes Archived 9 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine, News page on college website, 1 November 2007
  9. ^ "Ghana Link (ghana_link) on Myspace". Myspace.
  10. ^ Ghanaian Students visit College Archived 12 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine from the news pages of the College website
  11. ^ News report of The Marriage of Figaro performed at the college Archived 9 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine from the news pages of the college website
  12. ^ Archived from the original on 9 October 2008. Retrieved 17 August 2008. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ "Stars of future learn from Hollyoaks favourite- Gethampshire". Archived from the original on 24 August 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  14. ^ "Stephen Timms: MP with the safest seat in Commons". 14 May 2010 – via
  15. ^ "Interview Professor Michael Whelan".

External links


Aburi is a town in the Akuapim South Municipal District of the Eastern Region of south Ghana famous for the Aburi Botanical Gardens. Aburi has a population of 18,701 people as of 2013.

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Universities and colleges in South East England
Further education colleges
Sixth form colleges

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