STUDENTS at Bradford’s newest sixth form college will be entering the state-of-the-art new building tomorrow for their first day at New College Bradford.

Last week, while the finishing touches were being made to the city centre institution, The Telegraph & Argus was invited along for an exclusive sneak peek at what lies in store for 600 teenagers starting their A-Levels and BTECs today.

Perched on the corner of Nelson Street and Croft Street, the imposing five-storey building catches the eye immediately with its mix of brickwork, cladding and floor-length windows.

The purpose built, multi-million pound college will be fully completed in December, but the first phase is open and ready for students, with a sports hall, theatre and more classrooms to open at the end of the year when the second and final phase in complete.

The light, airy foyer with impressive hanging lights welcomes students, straight into a common room area and hallways leading to spacious classrooms fitted with the latest technology.

Classrooms are spread across five floors, and include cutting-edge science labs, design technology studios and arts classes with all the equipment students could need.

The building also takes advantage of the latest climate technology, with an air filtration system keeping the building at a constant 21 degrees - the “perfect not too warm, not too cold temperature”, according to principal Stuart Nash.

Upon seeing how the college has come together, Mr Nash said the campus is “very impressive”.

He said: “We have just been finishing off the building and getting Phase One ready, with Phase Two to be handed over around Christmas.

“We have about 600 students starting which was our target number, which will then double to 1,200 next year.

“We are very pleased; the building is very impressive. It has been a bit of a tight turn around to get everything finished but we are very happy, it’s a fantastic facility.

“The classrooms are amazing, they are all sorted, and we have just been finishing off the walkways. Everything is finished to a high standard.

“Students will get an induction today at the beginning with a tour of the building and then straight into lessons and starting their A Levels and BTECs.

“We have 30 A Levels and 16 or 17 BTECs, so a lot of subject choice, and also the teaching staff are specialists, just teaching A Level and BTEC.

the mothership, and everything transfers from there so it should all be of the same quality.

“We were amazed by how many people applied – 2,000 – and we got our 600. Some didn’t meet the entry requirements, but we are quite inclusive.

“The newness of the college made people keen to try us, but some decided to stay at their school’s sixth form.

“We had people apply from 40 different schools in the district, so students coming from all over the district and surrounding areas.

“Historically students have left Bradford to go to college in Leeds and Huddersfield, so hopefully those students will stay in Bradford and study with us.”

Along with Dixons Sixth Form Academy and Bradford College, there are now three level three facilities in the city centre, which Mr Nash thinks will be good for everyone.

“I think with us and Dixons Sixth Form opening it will absolutely raise the game in Bradford.

“Dixons is slightly different to us, centralising their service rather than having sixth forms in individual schools. They are the shining light in Bradford’s education, their results are fantastic.

“With us coming on board with our reputation hopefully we can raise the game even higher.

“We are different from Bradford College, they are a much bigger further education college, whereas we are solely focused on A Levels and BTECs. Due to our size we are also able to offer more choice than school sixth forms.”

At New College, each students’ study programme is unique, and they are able to combine A Levels and BTECs during their study.

Looking after the 600 students will be a team of around 50 members of staff.

Mr Nash said some of the teachers and administrative staff will be coming from New College’s largest campus in Pontefract, described as its “mothership”, but the rest have been sourced directly from the Bradford district.

Heading around the school created a feeling of envy; envious of the state-of-the-art facilities Bradford’s next generation are going to benefit from.

This was not just the classrooms, but the spacious common room decked out in Bradford City’s claret and amber and private study rooms too. Everything is purpose built to help Bradford’s youth maximise their potential. It’s fantastic.