Rugby School has new sixth form at former Bishop Wulstan site

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A new sixth form has been launched at Rugby School.

The Collingwood Sixth Form Centre was opened last week by Sir Ewen Fergusson GCMG GCVO, a previous chairman of governors.

It was formerly the Bishop Wulstan School, which was closed in 2005 and was acquired by Rugby School in 2011.

The new sixth form is designed to be a creative and inspirational space for sixth-form students.

Headmaster Patrick Derham said: “The opening of the Collingwood Centre marks an important moment in Rugby’s history.

“Our sixth form students will have the opportunity to learn in new surroundings that are designed to stimulate their minds and enhance the quality of their educational experience.”

Chief among Collingwood’s features is a life-size picture of a sperm whale, drawn by Jonathan Delafield Cook.

The 11 metre-long artwork was bought from the Purdy Hicks Gallery in London via a donation from the Lawson-May Trust and will be viewable to the general public on a regular basis.

The Collingwood Centre will accommodate Rugby’s economics, business studies, art history, politics, PE and philosophy departments.

It also contains a sports hall, careers centre and sixth- form social centre, as well as a full-service hall and kitchen. A numberof these facilities will be available for wider use outside of term time.

Mr Derham added: “We are thrilled to have acquired an inspirational work of art which seems to produce delight amongst all who see it.

“As well as being a daily treat for our sixth form, we very much hope that anyone with an interest in this spectacular piece, whether as an art lover or through a passion for science or nature, will come and enjoy it on days when the Collingwood Centre is open to the public.”

The previously named site of 3.4 acres, which borders the school and is situated to the south of Oak Street, opposite Kilbracken House, was bought from the Diocesan Schools Commission in April 2011.

It was originally built as a Roman Catholic Seminary in the 1850s, before becoming a Roman Catholic secondary school which closed in July 2007.

Rugby School was founded in 1567. Former pupils include Neville Chamberlain and Lewis Carroll.