Were you a student at Dereham Sixth Form College? Share your memories and photos as part of a 40th birthday celebration

Dereham Sixth Form students in the common room, February 1978. Picture: Archant library

Dereham Sixth Form students in the common room, February 1978. Picture: Archant library - Credit: Archant

Dereham Sixth Form College celebrates its 40th birthday this year and a special commemoration event is planned for the end of the month.

Students working at Dereham's Sixth Form College library in 2003. Photo: Graham Corney:

Students working at Dereham's Sixth Form College library in 2003. Photo: Graham Corney: - Credit: Archant Ltd.

The Sixth Form, one of just three in the country at the time, began in 1977 when schooling in the area became comprehensive.

Initially it inhabited just part of the current site on Crown Road with the rest being used by the lower school of the new Neatherd High School.

It opened with just 41 students.

Due to a shortage of money from the education authority the students, teachers and parents took it upon themselves to turn their new centre into one fit for purpose during the summer holiday before its opening.

The new extension at Dereham Sixth Form Centre. Student Jess Lawrence using the new library in 2007,

The new extension at Dereham Sixth Form Centre. Student Jess Lawrence using the new library in 2007, with then College Director David Richardson in the background. PHOTO; Matthew Usher - Credit: Matthew Usher


You may also want to watch:


They painted walls, re-covered chairs, parents donated furniture and students ran a sponsored swim to raise money for improvements.

When the centre's first director, Laurence Toye, was appointed, the students, wanting to give a good impression, quickly decorated one of the classrooms for the interview. They rapidly developed a friendly and relaxed atmosphere which has continued right through to today.

Most Read

When the Sixth Form celebrated 20 years it had grown to accommodate 272 students with additional classrooms and offered 23 A Levels, 23 AS Levels, GNVQ and GCSE courses, compared to its original offering of 14 A Levels.

Over the years it has increased still in size in terms of student numbers, course offering and buildings and is now a popular choice for post-16 study for a large number of Norfolk students.

Members of Dereham Sixth Form College's astronomy club in 2005 with a telescope paid for by NASA. Te

Members of Dereham Sixth Form College's astronomy club in 2005 with a telescope paid for by NASA. Ten of the club's members travelled to South Africa to teach children about astronomy. Photo: Submitted

A ceremony will be held on Friday, March 31 at 9.45am to which all current and past students are invited.

As part of the event seven sites of special interest around the college will be commemorated with plaques. These are the eco mobile, pedestrian gate, eastern stream, four chimneys, college sundial, reception archway and memorial trees.

The College is also looking to put together a special edition of their newsletter, The Sixth Former, detailing the history of the college and including memories and photographs from past students.

If you would like to attend the ceremony or would like to submit something for the newsletter email Rachel Chavez at rchavez@dsfc.org.uk.

To join the college's Alumni Society visit www.dsfc.org.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus