The appliance of modern science

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YOUNG Einsteins will soon be making breakthroughs at The Cooper School in Bicester after the first phase of the new £4.5million sixth form was completed.

Three purpose-built science laboratories and a new prep room have now been handed over to the school’s headteacher Ben Baxter by representatives of construction firms Beard and Atkins.

Mr Baxter said: “I am delighted to formally take the new science labs which, when fully equipped, will enable the school to enhance its status as a specialist science school by delivering A-Level chemistry, physics and biology.

“The building of the new labs appears to have been completed quite quickly and has been handed over on the due date despite the severe winter.

“The builders have kept the school informed all through the build programme and we have been able to function normally with no disruptions.”

James Batty, chief site manager for Beard, said: “This first stage has gone according to plan and our next target is to deliver the new stand-alone sixth form block in July.

“We have developed a good partnership with the school and have been able to work together well.”

The new sixth form centre at The Cooper School is due to open in September this year.

Oxon County Council has said the £4.4million centre is the most significant improvement in post-16 education in Bicester for many years, and is at the forefront of its plan to encourage young people to stay and be educated in the town.

The eco-friendly new sixth form centre has been designed as a ‘carbon neutral’ building – meaning it should not cause the creation of any additional carbon dioxide throughout its lifetime.

High-quality insulation, low-energy fittings, and solar panels will also help save energy. Any extra electricity generated will be sold to the national grid.

The two-storey building will have computer rooms and designated study areas, as well as specially-designed teaching rooms.

A modern, comfortable social area and café will be included in the new sixth form centre.

Sixth form students will be permitted to wear their own clothes as long as they are appropriate for the school environment, the school has said. Limited numbers of on-site parking spaces will also be made available to students, and permits will be issued.