Huish Sixth – a new era

Rachel Britt and Roger Madge of Huish Episcopi Academy, a specialist college for Science, Languages and Applied Learning in Langport, talk to Somerset Life about the bright future for this award-winning college

It is an exciting time for Huish Episcopi in Langport, where pupils have the chance to continue their further education studies in a brand new, cutting-edge designed, �4.5 million sixth-form facility.The new autumn term offered sixth-formers a chance to explore the newly completed building. A multi-functional auditorium, contemporary caf�, high-tech computer suites and vibrant colour scheme are just some of the innovative design features. And the response from the students was very positive. Laura Thornton, a Year 12 student, said: “It was really exciting to come into such a modern building. The best thing is the size of the classes; because they are smaller you can really concentrate and get one-to-one tutoring.”Roger Madge, Head of Huish Sixth, says: “The completion of Huish Sixth, following five years of hard work on the project, has given the entire school a new lease of life. There is a hub of excitement amongst the students and staff, and with the new facilities we can really encourage a number of pioneering projects. We are also looking to establish strong relationships with local businesses, offering them opportunities such as using our conferencing facilities, and we also want the local community to have the opportunity to benefit from the new development. It has so much to offer and we want to share it with as many people as possible. We’re hoping to run art exhibitions and start a film club in the new auditorium, as well as other community-based projects.”

And it’s a double celebration because the school, rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, is one of the first in the country to attain Academy status under the new coalition government. This month, following careful consideration by a panel of staff and governors, the final seal of approval was given, which means the school has freedom from the local authority and will be able to make changes that can maximise the potential of students.One area that will no doubt gain increased focus is the language department, following its recent accreditation in the form of The International School Award (ISA). This recognises the school’s commitment to embedding a global dimension into the curriculum through projects that collaborate with pupils in other European countries. International Dimension Co-ordinator Rachel Britt, says: “It is wonderful to receive this award in recognition of all our efforts to ensure our pupils are global citizens and realise that the world is on their doorstep. We feel it is essential that pupils take advantage of the opportunities available to link with their peers in countries throughout the world, to teach each other, share ideas and gain an insight into the culture of that country.” Today, the use of webcams and Skype has allowed pupils to immerse themselves in other cultures from day-to-day, as well as through school study trips abroad, to increase awareness of local environmental schemes and implementing such schemes via the school’s ‘Not Stupid’ campaign. Pupils are also encouraged to share their work with students in countries as far flung as Chile, New Zealand and India. For further information visit

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