YESTERDAY was hailed as an historic day for Common-weal School as its sixth form opened for the first time.
Prior to this term, the school had provided secondary education but following the construction of a state-of-the-art building, they can now offer A-levels to students.
Around 100 teenagers have signed up for the first intake but more are coming in every day looking to join.
James Matcham, the head of sixth form, said: “There is a very excited and positive feel around the place at the moment. Everything has come together on time.
“The students have started their studies and it has been really successful. You have to think back that a year ago this was all just a car park.
“The contractors and the school have worked hard to get everything together.
“This is an historic day for the school coming on the back of our best GCSE results ever.
“There wasn’t even a building to show students and their parents before they signed up so a lot of trust was placed in us to deliver and we did.”
The new building contains top facilities to create a relaxed environment for students to work on their A-levels.
There is a canteen on the top floor, which is run by town centre cafe Brogan’s as well as a terrace offering views of West Swindon.
On top of that there is a modern lecture theatre as well as a fully up-to-date IT system.
Many of the pupils who started yesterday had come up through Commonweal School and transferred over, but about ten per cent had come from other schools in Swindon.
Among them was 16-year-old Andrew Iwaniszyn who has come from Dorcan Academy.
He said: “I came because I wanted to try something new. It is a really comfortable building and the facilities here are really good.
“It was a bit of a gamble because there wasn’t a building and often projects don’t finish on time but everything is ready and I’m glad I applied.”
Will Stevenette, 16, had done his GCSEs at Common-weal School and is pleased to have made the transition across.
“I’m pretty excited to be starting here,” he said.
“I like the small classes and the sense of community at the school.
“The new building has a really nice feel to it. I’m looking forward to spending two years here.”