Sheila Hancock with student Luke Cumberpatch, who was making 3D models. Picture by Peter Boam.
ISLAND-born actor and author Sheila Hancock officially opened the joint VI Form Campus of Carisbrooke and Medina Colleges.
Island Innovation trustees, governors, staff, pupils and parents gathered for the opening ceremony and also celebrated 200 years of education on the historic site, formerly Nodehill Middle School, in Upper St James’s Street, Newport.
Sheila, who is also chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, toured the campus and viewed the pupils’ work, particularly enjoying the A-level artwork.
She said: "The building has been imaginatively converted into a pleasant environment for the pupils.
"They have room to relax away from the pressure of exams, as well as excellent laboratories and lecture rooms.
"It will provide a helpful stepping stone between school and university. I was very impressed by the standard of work and the intelligent, lively youngsters I found there.
"They seemed to be very happy and, with the help of the dedicated staff, are facing their futures with enthusiasm."
As part of the re-organisation of Island education last year, the IW Council awarded the responsibility for running two of the new 11-19 schools to the Island Innovation Trust.
The VI Form Campus offers a wide range of AS and A2 courses to more than 500 students.