Former school set to start GCSE classes

Volunteers are running the Wormingford Community Education Centre which is hoping to start its own Saturday school offering tutoring to small groups of pupils and their parents.''Pictured: Anthony Stamp (Chairman of Trustees), Graham Leeks (Tutor/Teacher), Rev. John Chandler (Trustee) and Amanda Findley (Trustee) ANL-150427-165240009
Volunteers are running the Wormingford Community Education Centre which is hoping to start its own Saturday school offering tutoring to small groups of pupils and their parents.''Pictured: Anthony Stamp (Chairman of Trustees), Graham Leeks (Tutor/Teacher), Rev. John Chandler (Trustee) and Amanda Findley (Trustee) ANL-150427-165240009

A former school which was reopened by villagers as a community facility is to offer a Saturday school for GCSE students.

St Andrew’s School in Wormingford was closed in 2011 on the recommendation of Essex County Council due to dwindling pupil numbers.

This was despite positive Ofsted inspection results and two new state-of-the-art classrooms being fitted.

Now formal lessons are to return to the building as part of plans for a Saturday school offering group tuition.

The building, which was owned by the church, was taken over by a group of volunteers and turned into Wormingford Community Education Centre.

The centre, which is a registered charity, already hosts a number of classes, from pilates for elderly residents to arts and film workshops.

The Saturday school project will expand what the centre offers to include more academic courses.

There will be mathematics at two levels, science courses to include chemistry, physics and biology, and also English.

Course tutor Graham Leeks said: “The classes will be very small with a limit of six people so that we can offer more individual attention.

“We aim to create a far less intimidating atmosphere than ordinary school because we find that people learn better that way.”

If successful, further classes could be added to include A-level subjects.

The Saturday school courses will be designed to include the central concepts of the subject, taught in two-hour sessions, with GCSE courses lasting five weeks.

Sat in small groups, it is hoped the classes with offer a more financially viable solution to traditional one-on-one tuition.

As an added bonus, Mr Leeks hopes to invite pupils’ parents to the lessons, free of charge, so they can get an understanding of what their children are learning.