Sunny outlook for CCSS as weather presenter alumna opens new look boarding facility


The outlook was sunny when BBC Look East weather presenter and former pupil Alex Dolan cut the ribbon to open a new look boarding facility at CCSS (Cambridge Centre for Sixth-form Studies) on Friday 11 May.

Alex performed the ceremony along with CCSS Principal Stuart Nicholson at the event attended by current and former college trustees, staff and friends, as well as some of Alex’s former teachers. Alex attended CCSS in the 1990s. “I arrived aged 18 wondering what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be a vet but I wasn’t a straight A student, so felt like a bit of a failure.” It was suggested to her by the then deputy head Colin Jarman that she think about studying marine biology, which she went on to do at Newcastle University and loved. “So what they gave to me it set me up for my future career. I always remember this time here as very special and very important and I feel very grateful for what it gave me for my future career. So to open this building is an amazing honour and I’m delighted to be here.”

Chris Senior, Director of PiP Architecture says ‘It has been exciting to work with such a proactive and forward-thinking client. The site brings the typical Cambridge constraints including working with a Building of Local Interest and within a local Conservation Area. We hope the scheme improves circulation and activity through the site and provides students with an enjoyable working and relaxing environment’.

“We’re proud of all our former students,” said Stuart Nicholson. “Some of them, like Alex, go on to do great things and become very well known. One of two of them we see on TV quite often, particularly out political former students. But there are none we listen to quite as carefully as Alex!”

St Barnabas Road Student Residence Site, off Mill Road in Cambridge, includes an extension and complete refurbishment of St Barnabas House. Set in newly landscaped gardens, all rooms in St Barnabas House are ensuite, all designed to a very high specification and benefiting from modern technology and superfast broadband connections. There is an impressive common room with TV and snack-making facilities, also finished to a very high standard. The facilities were designed by central Cambridge based PiP Architecture and project managed by Marstan BDB.

With this development CCSS aims to offer some of the best sixth-form boarding accommodation in Cambridge. Says Stuart Nicholson, Principal of CCSS:: “Cambridge continues to be the choice of students from around the world as a place to study for A Levels and other routes to university and we aim to be as competitive as possible in all aspects. We currently have students from 34 countries, covering Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. As well as the thriving learning environment that the city offers students, families can be comfortable knowing it is also a diverse and tolerant place, respecting cultures, nationalities and religions, something we also reflect within the college.”

Where to look next:

  • To find out more about our A Level and GCSE courses, click here
  • We have possibly the best boarding in the UK – have a look at boarding at CCSS
  • Our student profiles give you an insight into what life is like for students at CCSS
  • If you’re interested in seeing which universities our students go to, click here.

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