A top Gateshead secondary school has injected £1.5 million into extending its sixth form offering.
Cardinal Hume Catholic School, on Old Durham Road, unveiled its new 20,000 sq ft development to students this week.
The school’s sixth form is now able to accommodate up to 300 students.
It includes a new common room, a dedicated study and library, eight new classrooms, two large multi-use areas and a sixth-form specific dining area.
Nick Hurn, headteacher at Cardinal Hume, said the school will now be able to welcome students who had completed their GCSEs at other schools.
He said: “We have always welcomed external applicants, however we now have the facilities to meet an increased demand to study here.
“We’ve has a lot of interest to date and are delighted that even more young people will be joining us from September 2015.”
“These first-class amenities are designed to encourage independent learning and will encourage the development of study skills welcomed at top universities.
“This coupled with brilliant social facilities created to encourage students to relax and work together, including planning many charity projects, means that Cardinal Hume offers an unrivalled learning environment for A level students.”
The school achieved ‘outstanding’ status from Ofsted following inspection in February this year and in its previous inspection in 2008.
It also boasts a 100 per cent pass rate for its most recent A level results with 80 per cent of students achieving Grade C and above and 50 per cent achieving Grade B.
This places the school within the top eight per cent of best performing schools nationally.
It also enjoys partnerships with a number of blue chip companies including Deloitte who act as mentors to sixth form students.
Cardinal Hume is hosting an open evening for external sixth form applicants and parents and guardians on Wednesday December 3 from 6.30pm.
The evening will begin with a short presentation, a tour of the new facilities and a chance to meet current sixth formers who will share their experiences of studying at Cardinal Hume.
Mr Hurn added: “The external applicants open evening offers a perfect opportunity for people looking to go on to study A levels next year the chance to come along and see our fantastic new facilities for themselves and to hear from some of staff and students about their experiences.”