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News > School News > Our new sixth form centre, the Benedict Building, has opened

Our new sixth form centre, the Benedict Building, has opened

21 Sep 2023
School News

In January 2023, Sixth Form students were led by Headmistress Rebecca Dougall to be welcomed into their new space with a rendition of the St Helen’s hymn played by the School’s Brass Band before exploring study spaces, the common room and (of course) the café. 

The Benedict Building is a physical articulation of our vision for Sixth Form – to create an environment for our students that will spark their intellectual spirit and imagination – and will provide students with the space and opportunity to grow their academic and extracurricular interests in readiness for the future. 

Named after former Headmistress Sister Jean Benedict (1962–67), the Benedict Building echoes and anticipates the very best higher education institutions, smoothing the transition from school to university. It features nine spacious classrooms, a range of individual and group study spaces, a higher education library, a flexible lecture and performance hall, a café and a large common room. 

Commenting on the campus’ latest addition, Headmistress Rebecca Dougall said: “The design of the building is all about creating spaces that respond to how students work and how they relax. It deliberately anticipates the design ethos of higher education. Above all, we wanted to create a space that presents new opportunities for young women to be inspired and excel. I am confident that we have achieved this goal and look forward to seeing all that the Benedict Building will bring to life at St Helen’s. It has been a real pleasure to work with TSH Architects and Benfield and Loxley to deliver this project.” 

Project Architect Hannah Deacon, of TSH Architects, added: “It has been a privilege to deliver this project from concept design to the finished article. The staff of St Helen’s are very passionate about providing a state-of-the art facility for their sixth form students; featuring contemporary and diverse spaces for learning. We have been working throughout the design stages to ensure that the project was of the highest quality to meet the School’s ambitions. The architectural vision for the building was driven by creating an additional quad that fits well with the current school campus and responds positively to the heritage of the existing school buildings.” 

We look forward to being able to welcome our alumnae community to view and enjoy the new space on their next visit to St Helen’s. 

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St Helen and St Katharine
Faringdon Road
Abingdon, OX14 1BE


Phone: 01235 520173


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