A new Sixth Form for young people in the eastern region

Abbeygate Sixth Form College

A new Sixth Form College is opening in Bury St Edmunds. The College will be located on the playing field at King Edward VI School, off Beetons Way and has a provisional opening date of September 2019.

Abbeygate Sixth Form College will transform post 16 education in West Suffolk and will be a centre of academic excellence providing students with high quality learning, and a breadth of choice. The College aims to replicate the success of One Sixth Form College, an outstanding sixth form college in Ipswich, and will offer more than 40 A-Level courses to 16-19 year olds from across the whole of West Suffolk. The curriculum will be timetabled to allow students to study high level specialist vocational qualifications at West Suffolk College alongside their A Levels if appropriate.

An outstanding learning experience will be provided ranging from one–to–one coaching, small group discussions, and student–led debates through to practical research. Guidance on study skills and independent access to resources and facilities will be available to enhance the classroom learning experience.

The College will prepare young people for today’s modern and ever changing world by providing the very best in academic education, enrichment and connections with business to develop its students into confident, successful individuals with unlimited aspirations.


Working in partnership

The College will be built upon successful partnerships between leading education establishments including King Edward VI School, One Sixth Form College, Samuel Ward Academy, Stour Valley Community School, Sybil Andrews Academy and West Suffolk College.

We are working in close collaboration with education leaders in schools to help prepare our young people from an early age for progression onto the top Oxbridge and Ivy League universities. By providing access to specialist teaching and facilities we aim to build upon an already successful curriculum, giving students access to specialist teaching and facilities to inspire and raise aspirations of young people from Year 7.

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Students at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk 15092014

Curriculum and Learning

The Sixth Form College will be large enough to offer over 40 A Level subjects taught by the best specialist A Level teachers covering:

  • Languages
  • Sciences
  • Humanities
  • English
  • Maths and Further Maths
  • Performing Arts
  • Government & Politics

We will also offer the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) to challenge students and provide the opportunity to gain additional UCAS points.


Enhanced Learning

The unique partnership between the Sixth Form and West Suffolk College will allow students, if they wish, to benefit from combined academic and vocational qualifications. Students will have access to specialist practical facilities at West Suffolk College including the new Engineering and Innovation Centre (opening in 2018).

Currently this option of combining both A Level and vocational qualifications is not available elsewhere in West Suffolk. West Suffolk College is an ambitious, successful and long established vocational college based in Bury St Edmunds with an outstanding reputation for vocational education and which works closely with the Suffolk Academies Trust.



Every student will have access to  high quality support from a dedicated  support team to ensure each student can achieve their full potential.


Academic achievement alone is not the key to success. Today’s world demands that young people are resilient, resourceful, team players, self-starters, and independent thinkers. To develop these attributes there will be a wide range of exciting enrichment activities designed to enhance academic study by providing excellent opportunities to foster interests, extend skills, try new pursuits and enjoy an extensive range of intellectual, leisure and recreational activities.

  • Debating societies
  • Competitive sport
  • Technical theatre
  • Choirs and musical groups
  • International voluntary projects
  • Local community projects
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
  • National Citizenship Scheme (NCS)
  • Performing Arts Workshops
  • Exchange programmes and visits with International schools
  • International cultural visits
  • Field trips and expeditions
  • Language and interest clubs
  • Voluntary work
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Institute of Directors (IoD)

Building on a unique partnership with the Institute of Directors (IoD), students will have the opportunity to become  student members of the Institute. This  membership will provide students with  a range of benefits which support them in their studies and in their future  career, giving them a competitive advantage.


International links

The Sixth Form College will build on already established links with  international organisations and  schools to give our students the very  best opportunities to enrich their  education both at home and abroad. There will be opportunities for exchanges  and work placements in countries such as China, Japan, United States, India and Europe.

A multi-ethnic group of college age students are working on a group assignment in a classroom on campus. They are using a computer to do research online.

Links with employment

The Sixth Form’s partner, West Suffolk College, has a long proven track record of successful partnerships and  collaboration with industry and  currently works with over 1700  employers and businesses. Students at the new Sixth Form will have access to the benefits these business partnerships provide, such as work placements, specialist facilities and speakers and mentoring.

Working on real projects will bring context to academic learning and ensure that  students not only achieve high academic qualifications but insight and experience of working with industry partners,  ensuring they attain an edge for  university and employment.

London, United Kingdom - October 20, 2015: Panoramic view to City of London as seen from St Paul cathedral on 20th of October, 2015

Outstanding Progression

The Sixth Form College will focus on successful and aspirational progression for all students. They will have access to outstanding specialist advice and guidance to help them with progression beyond Sixth Form and on to university and employment.

A bespoke programme will support the most ambitious and talented students in their application to the most prestigious institutions, including entry to Oxbridge, and competitive courses such as Medicine, Law, Dentistry and Veterinary Science.

The programme will be tailored for individual students and provide guidance and coaching for entry to top universities both in the UK and abroad including Oxford, Cambridge and other Russell Group universities, as well as MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Ivy League universities in the USA (Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Princeton, Cornell, Brown, Pennsylvania and Columbia).

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